DUI DRUGS: PRESCRIPTION AND ILLICIT AND VEHICLE CODE 23152(A), 23152(E)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COURT AND DMV.
At Chico Criminal Defense Lawyer I know the intricacies and nuances of DUI law.
If you are arrested for a Vehicle Code 23152(a) violation, but you were not arrested for a Vehicle Code 23152(b), then you most likely provided a blood sample or a urine sample to the police officer who arrested you. Unlike the Vehicle Code 23152(b), an "A Count DUI" occurs when the officer believes you are under the influence of drugs and or alcohol, but does not necessarily have probable cause to believe that you were under a 0.08% blood alcohol level.
The first thing you should know about an "A count" DUI is that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not automatically get involved with your affairs. When you are arrested for being over 0.08% blood alcohol level, the citing officer is required by law to notify DMV within 5 days of your arrest. This is not true with an A count DUI. As far as the Vehicle Code 23152(a) arrest, the DMV will take your license only when they are notified by a certified court record that you have been convicted of a DUI.
In Court, the prosecution will allege that you were unable to operate a motor vehicle with the ordinary caution of a sober person under similar circumstances, and that the drugs, alcohol, or combination thereof, impaired your ability to drive a motor vehicle to an appreciable degree. Impairment to an appreciable degree means that the prosecution usually must prove their case by examining how you drove and why this driving is different than a sober person under similar circumstances. Additionally, the prosecution will argue that your performance on the Field Sobriety Test (FSTs) was so poor that you were unable to complete tasks that are required for safe driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published 24 clues that can indicate that someone is impaired by drugs or alcohol. Your DUI lawyer needs to know these clues and compare and contrast these clues with the facts of your case.
The arresting officer may write in his or her report that you exhibited slurred speech, that you had unsteady gait, that you had red or bloodshot or watery eyes, and that you had a poor performance on your FSTs.
The first thing your lawyer should do is subpoena any and all electronic recordings related to your case. If there is an audio recording of your arrest then there may be evidence to refute the officer's allegation that you had "slurred speech". Additionally, does a booking photo exist to challenge the officer's assertion that you had bloodshot and watery eyes? Is there video evidence such as a dashcam or a MVARS that can contradict the officer's assertions that you were unsteady or wobbly on your feet? These are all very important discovery issues and your lawyer should go through the evidence with a fine toothed comb to find facts that are beneficial to your case.
Your lawyer should have an in depth knowledge of Field Sobriety Testing. Frequently, the arresting officer will document clues that are not actually clues pursuant to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (N.H.T.S.A.). Your lawyer needs to know guidelines published by NHTSA and how to interpret these guidelines. A good DUI lawyer will be able to spot faulty police work in documenting FST clues. Maybe the arresting officer indicates in his or her report that you failed the FSTs, however, upon closer examination maybe you didn't fail after all.
Another important issue is to retest your blood or urine sample and to hire an independent expert to examine the scientific evidence of your case. The State expert may have a bias interpretation of your blood test results and it is important to hire your own expert to review the evidence.
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