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Practices - Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Santa Ana, Orange County

The DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt have heard the same questions from people accused of DUI’s in Orange County, time and time again.  Is it worth hiring an attorney to fight my DUI?  My Breathalyzer or DUI blood test show that my Blood Alcohol Content was over the legal limit, is there anything a lawyer can do for me?  The answer is yes!  There are a multitude of defenses that the DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt can present, based upon examination of the facts and the police report. 

Here at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt, we are very experienced with defending against DUI charges in Southern California.  Did you know that DUI blood testing is prone to error?  We can have our expert toxicologist retest your blood sample, and sometimes find that samples have been contaminated due to improper testing or handling.  Here are some other ways in which our DUI attorneys can assist you in defending against DUI charges:

  1. Improper police procedures. Police must follow strict procedures in the process of stopping a vehicle, administering a field sobriety test and/or a "Breathalyzer" test, properly writing a police report and associated paperwork, and making observations of someone suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    If these procedures are not followed, your DUI attorney can successfully argue that the stop of a vehicle was illegal and any evidence that came after the illegal stop must be "thrown out".
  2. Improper testing, handling, and storage of blood or breath samples. Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations establishes procedures as to how the state will administer, collect, store, and analyze both California DUI blood tests and DUI breath tests. Any violation of Title 17 opens DUI blood or breath test results to attack.

    The DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt have vast experience with DUI defenses related to Title 17, as do the experts who work for our team.
  3. Rising blood alcohol. Alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream after entering the body. As alcohol is absorbed, your Blood Alcohol Concentration or "BAC" will rise. If you provide a DUI blood or breath sample before you reach your peak absorption rate, the results of those tests may be falsely high. The rate of alcohol absorption varies from person to person, influenced by factors such as how quickly a person drinks, or what type of alcoholic beverage a person was drinking.

    Due to these factors, your alcohol absorption rate may still be on the rise at the time you take a DUI blood or DUI breath test. That is why this defense is referred to as the "rising blood alcohol" defense. In other words, your Blood Alcohol Concentration may have been below the legal limit at the time of driving, but rose to or above the legal limit by the time you submitted to a DUI blood or breath test.

    Remember, California DUI law, specifically Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), states that your BAC must be at .08 or higher at the time of driving to be convicted of a DUI.

DUI – The DMV Hearing
Many people do not realize that a California DUI is not purely a matter for our criminal courts if arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.  The DMV Hearing is a very important aspect of defending DUI charges in California, and to helping our clients keep their driver’s licenses.

First, it is important for you to know that you must contact the DMV within 10 days of being arrested for a DUI in California.  If you do not contact the DMV, you will forfeit your right to a DMV Hearing, and your license will automatically be suspended after 30 days.  Here in Orange County, you will want to contact the DMV Driver’s Safety offices in Irvine.  Please follow this link to find your local California DMV Driver’s Safety Office:

CA DMV Driver’s Safety Office Locations

Generally, your DUI lawyer from the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt will conduct the hearing, and you will not be required to attend.  The DMV Hearing is held by a DMV Hearing Officer, and is to determine whether a person arrested for DUI was driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or higher.  The arresting officer may or may not be present for the hearing.

After the DMV Hearing is concluded, the decision of the DMV Hearing Officer will be mailed out within 1 to 30 days.  It is important to note that even if the DMV Hearing Officer finds in your favor, a conviction for DUI in the criminal courts may still impose a suspension of your license.

Let the DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt help you successfully defend against your DUI charges, and keep your driver’s license!

If Your Driver’s License is Suspended
Generally, if your license is suspended because of a DUI, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt can get your license back within 30 days.  You will then have a restricted license for a period of time, which allows you to drive for purposes of getting to and from work.

If you have special circumstances such as needed to care for children or sick/elderly family members, please let our DUI attorneys know, and we can work with the court or DMV to be sure you can take care of those obligations with a restricted driver’s license.

Please do not drive while your license is suspended! Driving in California on a suspended license is a crime. Click here for more details on driving on a suspended license.

Driving on a suspended license can lead to jail time, a probation violation, a longer suspension, and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device or a “Breathalyzer” in your vehicle.   If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, please view the above link for more information, and contact the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt for a consultation.

DUI – Criminal Proceedings
Most people arrested for a DUI will be charged with two crimes – Vehicle Code sections 23152 (a) and (b).  Section (a) is the general section for driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and (b) specifically makes it a crime to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. 

Your DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt will, first and foremost, attempt to prevent conviction of either DUI charge.  This can involve taking a deal from the prosecutor, which does not include pleading guilty to a DUI, or taking the case to trial.  We can also negotiate with the prosecutor for a guilty plea that includes no jail time, no work release program, less time spent in a DUI class, or other reductions in penalties. 

Typically, after a DUI arrest, you will spend some time in jail and be released without having to pay any bail amount.  Your first court date, called an arraignment, will be set.  This first court date is the opportunity for your DUI Attorney to plead “Not Guilty” to your DUI charges. 

Between Arraignment and the disposition of your case (whether it be a guilty plea for a deal, or a trial) there will be several courts dates.  During these weeks or months, your DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt will spend time writing and arguing motions on your behalf, having our investigator conduct interviews or collect evidence, obtaining evidence from the prosecutor, and other tactics we use to show the prosecutor that you are more than just a case number. 

At the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt, we have several proven tactics to show the prosecutor that you are a person who deserves careful consideration – a person who deserves to be treated with compassion, for your sake and the sake of your family.  When your DUI attorney takes your case to court, you will no longer be simply a case number.  You will be a human being, whose obligations to the court will be balanced against your obligations to family and work. 

Please contact the DUI Attorneys at the Law Offices of Pereira & Moffatt for help defending against your California Drunk Driving charges.

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