Prayer. What you already know is this is a borderline case and you need a skilled DUI attorney to help you. Just asking the question shows that you know better than to try and do this yourself. Doctors don’t practice on themselves, lawyers don’t handle their own cases, and you should not try and do this without an attorney.
Of course, every DUI case is different and you should consult an experienced DUI defense attorney in your area with questions regarding your specific case. It is always in your best interest to have a good DUI attorney represent you when you have been arrested for a DUI.
You can proceed "pro se" which means you are representing yourself, send a letter to that effect to the prosecutor requesting a copy of the police report and any other evidence they have on your case, such as video/audio recordings. Then you look at the evidence to see what mistakes were made, and you negotiate with the prosecutor asking for the charge to be reduced to something lesser than a DUI or you file a motion with the court to suppress evidence and/or dismiss the case. If you do not get the deal you want, and the judge doesn't throw out the case, you can go to trial or plead guilty as charged.
The problem for you is that you don't know a cop mistake when it is staring you in the face, and what you think is a mistake may not be a mistake under the law at all. You don't know these things if you haven't gone through the rigors of law school and sat in the saddle as a DUI lawyer for a few years. So you are greatly handicapped.
Furthermore, if you talk to the prosecutor to negotiate, you may unintentionally say something they can use against you in court. A common example is when people talk about their poor performance on field sobriety tests, they often say, "heck, I couldn't do those sober," without realizing they just admitted they were not sober when they did them.
Then you've got the DMV hearing to request within a timely manner and if you did that, then you will have to defend yourself and know all the "mistakes" that are relevant in that hearing because often the issues are different in the court context versus the DMV context. One matter is criminal, the other is civil. Different rules, procedures, and potential arguments.
Here is the critical thing: I've had people who acted as their own lawyer hire me in the middle of the case when they realized they were in way over their heads. I'll never take another case like that. Because the clients have so utterly ruined every possible avenue of defense by waivers they made, or actions they taken or the things they've said to the prosecutor.
If you are gong to do this, you will have to do a lot of research on DUI laws and science. You should also sit in the court room that your case is assigned to and spend time watching the judge and the prosecutors to get a feel for the process. Maybe a lawyer will look at your police report for a small fee to advise you of mistakes that are obvious. Not every mistake is obvious however, and that is where the knowledge and experience of the DUI lawyer is indispensable.
This answer is my personal opinion, offered for informational purposes only. It is not a legal opinion, nor is it legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with anyone reading it.
In California it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above, per VC 23152(b). The prosecution will generally charge on both the (a) and the (b) counts. So whoever is going to defend you will have to be able to defend you on both counts.
Unfortunately, you probably don't have the experience of defending hundreds of DUI cases. You probably don't know the ins and outs of blood and breath alcohol tests. The common relavent issues in 1538.5 motion and many other common defenses and evidentiary issues in a DUI case.
If this case is important to you and the outcome is valuable, you should probably invest in a DUI attorney that has solid experience with DUI cases. Hiring someone with no training and experience would be unwise even if they work cheap.
The communication above is provided for informational purposes only. It is not legal advise and does not create an attorney client relationship with anyone. Please consider the information above and get competent legal advise from your trusted advisor.
Get a DMV hearing immediately. It has to be set up within 10days of arrest. Then get an attorney who specializes in DUIs. You have agood case. For an attorney check the California Dui Lawyers Association website--CDLA
remember to request a dmv hearing within 10 days. You need to hire a lawyer. I handle DUI's and DMV hearings. Call me at 650-787-6946 if you wish to discuss your case. I am familiar with the santa clara superior court as I worked for the court for three years as a research attorney.
What's the best way to give yourself a liver transplant without a doctor? Or how about, what's the best way to give yourself a root-annal without a dentist?
Please understand I'm not being sarcastic. Even people who study for 10 years, don't always make good attorneys and it takes even more years to learn any area of law well. After all, you wouldn't want someone who just graduated med school performing surgery on you.
If you can't afford a lawyer, get a public defender and pray to god you get someone who isn't just there for a paycheck.
Best of Luck.
Your refusal of the chemical tests means if your case was to go to trial, the jury would be instructed that they can infer from your refusal that you knew you were guilty. That refusal also comes with a one year driver's license suspension. From what little you have described, it sound like your best chance is to bring a motion to suppress evidence under Penal Code section 1538.5, arguing the initial detention, the traffic stop, was a violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. The police have to have reasonable suspicion or cause to believe you have committed a Vehicle Code violation to stop you. At least speak with the Public Defender. They will know how to handle the case and the motion. This is something you should not handle on your own.
Any comments offered are not intended as legal advice. This attorney does not know the specifics of the particular case sufficiently to offer legal advice. You should hire a lawyer who can evaluate the details of your specific situation before offering advice.
I know, you think all us lawyers just want to take your money. So why hire someone when you can just do it yourself?
Of course, you already know that you shouldn't do it yourself. The chances of you getting this dropped on your own are nearly zero.
Yes, it's a shame that you will have to spend your hard earned money. But believe me, it sure beats trying to handle this on your own.
Good luck, and best wishes.
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