Please Step Out of The Car

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2 Urban Survival Guide: Please Step Out of The Car A Step by Step Guide Through The Los Angeles DUI & DMV Process MR DUI LA Attorney Mark Rosenfeld The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld DUI (384) MRDUILA.com

3 The authoritative and simple step by step guide for someone recently arrested for driving under the influence. What to do, when to do it, and what to expect. Learn how to protect your rights and your good name. ISBN number: Every DUI case is unique, no outcome can be guaranteed. The information in this book is for general information only. Nothing should be taken as legal advice for a specific case. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 2

4 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Attorney Mark Rosenfeld Mark MR DUI LA Rosenfeld is one of Beverly Hills premiere criminal defense attorneys having successfully defended clients in thousands of cases from traffic violations to murder. Mr. Rosenfeld focuses his practice on driving related offenses in Los Angeles County. He is trained and qualified to operate breath, blood and urine testing instruments as well as trained as a Drug Recognition Evaluator and is also qualified as a Standardized Field Sobriety Test Instructor. Attorney Rosenfeld is licensed to appear before all the courts of California, Nevada and the U.S. Supreme Court The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 3

5 CHECKLIST: Step 1: Write down what happened... 5 Step 2: Do I need an attorney?... 8 Step 3: Request a DMV hearing within 10 days Step 4: Arraignment Step 5: Additional Discovery Step 6: Pre-Trial Hearings Step 7: DMV Hearing (aka APS Hearing) Step 8: Trial or Plea Bargain Step 9: Typical penalties for a DUI Step 10: Where to go from here The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 4

6 STEP 1 Write down what happened. Every question is important. These questions will help guide you: Where did you start driving? Where were you stopped? What time were you stopped? Why were you stopped? Where were you going? Were you sick or injured? Were you under a doctor s care? Have you had any surgery? Are you a diabetic or epileptic? Do you have any physical disabilities? When did you last sleep? How long did you sleep? When did you last eat? What did you eat? Were you the driver? Were there any passengers? Was there an accident? Did you drink? 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 5

7 When did you drink, (start/stop)? What did you drink? Who was with you when your drank? Did you take any legal or illegal drugs? Do you wear glasses or contacts? Were you wearing glasses or contacts? Did you smell of alcohol? Did you have slurred speech? What was your attitude? What clothes did you wear? What happened when the officer came to the car window? What happened when the officer got you out of the car? What were the weather conditions? Did you do any Field Sobriety Tests? Where were the Field Sobriety Tests done? What times were the Field Sobriety Tests done? What Field Sobriety Tests did they ask you to do? How did you do on the Field Sobriety Tests, what were results? Did you do a breath test by the car? What car were you driving? 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 6

8 Do you own the car? Was there anything wrong with the car? Did you do a breath test after arrest? Anything that would impact driving? How was the officer s attitude? Were you searched? Were you read your "Miranda" warnings? How long were you held for at the Police Station? 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 7

9 STEP 2 Do I need an attorney? Yes, for many people arrested for a DUI this is their first experience with the justice system. The mandatory court appearances and the DMV hearings will be time consuming, stressful and difficult. Without an attorney you would have to do everything yourself and you would have nowhere to turn for answers to your specific and individual questions. You do not want to rely on the DMV or the prosecutor (the people trying to find you guilty) to tell you what to do or whether the deal, if any, they are offering is any good. If you need medical or dental work, you go to a licensed doctor or dentist. If you need your car fixed, you take it to a good mechanic. Having an attorney is so important the Judge WILL NOT let you represent yourself without signing paperwork acknowledging it is a bad idea The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 8

10 Should I get the Public Defender? Having an attorney is so important that if you cannot afford one the court will appoint one to represent you. Many Public Defenders are good attorneys who can help you out much better than trying to represent yourself in court. Public Defenders are licensed public attorneys who can defend you in court. A Public Defender is much better than trying to navigate the court system alone. Although it is better to have a Public Defender then no attorney, Public Defenders have several limitations: Cannot help with the DMV Often Overworked Lack of accessibility Lack of experience Lack of choice of attorney Can still cost money based on income Not available to everyone Should I get a private DUI defense attorney? A good DUI defense attorney can help in every case. An experienced private attorney has spent the time to 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 9

11 learn not only the law and the court system but the science behind DUIs today. A private attorney will be available to help answer your questions, help fight to save your driver s license, and do the investigation necessary to get the best possible result for you. An experienced private attorney will know the judges, prosecutors and even the police officers involved in your case. In short, you often get what you pay for and you want a DUI defense attorney who will give you and your case the time that it deserves. A private DUI defense attorney will make your life easier. They will be able to help everything run smoothly, be available by phone and and keep you informed, answer your questions and help get the best possible outcome for your case. A private attorney will be able to go to court for you. In most cases your attorney can make all of the court appearances for you and you do not have to miss work, school or time with family The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 10

12 STEP 3 Request a DMV Hearing within 10 day If you have been stopped and arrested on suspicion of DUI the police probably took your driver s license. If they took your license you have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV. If you do not request a hearing (and a stay ) your license will automatically be suspended when the temporary license runs out 30 days after your arrest. If you do not request a hearing within 10 days, you give up your right to a hearing and your license automatically gets suspended 30 days after your arrest. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY RIGHT AWAY YOU SHOULD REQUEST YOUR OWN HEARING WITHIN THE 10 DAYS. The number should be on the paperwork the police gave you. Do not listen to the DMV if they tell you that you should not fight the case or that you do not need a 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 11

13 hearing. You do want and need a hearing. If they do not want to give you a hearing demand a manager The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 12

14 STEP 4 Arraignment An arraignment" is the first court date where you are told what the charges are against you. Usually there are at least two charges;, Driving Under the Influence and Driving Above the Legal Limit. Your DUI Defense attorney will usually take time to talk to the prosecutor about the case, get paperwork (reports, record sheet, sworn statements, etc.), and enter a plea of Not Guilty. In addition to pleading Not Guilty your DUI Defense attorney will get other items to which you are legally entitled. It may be additional police or court documents, a speedy trial, the denial of enhancements or special allegations, suppressing or throwing out evidence or even to getting an expert appointed to help defend the case. After the Not Guilty plea is entered the Judge will set a new court date a few weeks later. There may be an opportunity to settle your case at the arraignment but it is usually not in your best 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 13

15 interest to settle so quickly without doing a thorough investigation The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 14

16 STEP 5 Additional Discovery DUI cases cannot be properly defended without discovery. Discovery is the process of collecting information, documents, and other evidence that could be used at a trial. Your attorney should be diligent in tracking down discovery or evidence that could help your case. If it exists, your attorney should be able to get: Audio/Video Photos Calibration records Maintenance records Usage records Radio logs Dispatch records Activity or arrest logs Officer training records Booking records, and more. DUI cases are often won in the details. Your attorney needs as much information about your case as possible to get the best outcome possible The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 15

17 STEP 6 Pre-Trial Hearing A pre-trial hearing is not a trial. There are no witnesses, evidence presented or jurors. A pre-trial is an in-between stage where prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys meet to talk about the case. It is a chance to discuss the strengths of our case and the weaknesses in theirs. It is a time to exchange documents and case information. Your attorney will work to negotiate a deal (i.e., plea bargain) on your behalf. If a deal is made, and you approve, it is entered into court record and a case is settled at this pre-trial stage. Additional if the case is not settled, discovery may be requested including blood re-analysis, supporting calibration records, or even officer personnel records depending on the case. Legal motions can also be argued at a pre-trial hearing. Motions can be used to force the prosecutor to produce evidence, exclude evidence, show the officer is untrustworthy or even dismiss the case The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 16

18 Depending on the case you may have only a few pretrial hearings or there may be many over several months. Usually they are spread out with a few weeks between hearings to allow your attorney to fully investigate your case The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 17

19 STEP 7 DMV Hearing (aka APS Hearing) The DMV hearing also known as an APS hearing, is where a DMV Hearing Officer (not a judge or attorney) holds a hearing or meeting that was requested back in Step 3. The DMV is trying to decide if your driver s license should be suspended. This hearing is done at the same time as the court case, but has very little or nothing to do with what happens in court. The DMV is concerned with three issues: 1. Was there reasonable cause to believe you were DUI? 2. Were you lawfully arrested? 3. Were you driving with a 0.08% Blood Alcohol Content or more? After this hearing, the DMV Hearing Officer will make a decision and you will be notified by mail with the decision. The Hearing Officer will decide if, and for how long, the license should be suspended The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 18

20 If the license is suspended there will be a hard suspension period (no driving at all) and then a way to get it back early in most cases. To get it back there are special requirements including insurance, fees, classes and more The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 19

21 STEP 8 Trial or Plea Bargain Once the pre-trial process is completed it is time to decide if your case should be settled (plea bargained) or if the case should go to trial. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your situation you may decide to take a deal. With a deal you would know exactly what the charges and punishment would be and what you would have to do as part of the deal. If a deal is not reached your case would go to trial with a jury of 12 people chosen from the community. All 12 people would have to agree guilty or not guilty. If they cannot all agree a mistrial would be declared and the case may be retried. If the case goes to trial the police officer would come to court to testify as well as expert witnesses including forensic specialists to talk about blood or breath testing, field sobriety tests and your case The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 20

22 A trial should last between three and six days depending on the courthouse and number of witnesses. If the jury finds you "not guilty" you are free. If they find you "guilty" a judge chooses the penalties The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 21

23 STEP 9 Typical Penalties for a DUI If you are convicted of a DUI, by a plea bargain or by a jury, there are mandatory minimum penalties required by state law. The way to get around the minimum penalties is to avoid the DUI conviction by pleading to a different, lower, charge or winning the case at trial. The minimum penalties on a 1 st time DUI include: Probation Fines Alcohol classes License suspension Permanent Criminal Record Another large concern in some counties (like Los Angeles) is if you are convicted of a DUI you have to install an ignition interlock device or IID (breath testing instrument) on your car. IID's are costly and are in plane site for anyone to see The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 22

24 The judge can also order you to do 12 step meetings, not drive with any alcohol in your body, hard labor such as picking up trash, all the way up to six months in county jail. Even on a first time DUI. Other facts like a DUI refusal or excessive speed require mandatory jail time even on a first time DUI. On a 2 nd or 3 rd time DUI the punishment gets much stiffer and jail is required The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 23

25 STEP 10 Where to go from here As you can see, if you have been charged with a DUI it has serious criminal and DMV consequences that can affect you for years to come. You have made a smart choice to do some research into what a DUI case involves. You should take the next step and call a local DUI defense attorney who knows how to protect you, your rights and your good name. When looking for the best attorney for you consider the following: Referral Reputation Experience Specialty area Trial skills Training Knowledge Ratings (AVVO.com) Reviews (Yelp.com) Location Scope of what is covered Price 2014 The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 24

26 A good DUI defense attorney should be able to not only protect your rights and fight for you but save you money and headaches along the way. However, it is important to remember that if you are shopping for an attorney based on price alone it may end up costing you a lot more in the long run. Good lawyers are not cheap and cheap lawyers are usually not very good. Time is running out and early action will help you and your case. Call an expert DUI defense attorney today The Law Office of Mark Rosenfeld, Esq. Page 25

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