Fresno DUI Season | Fresno Criminal Defense & DUI Attorney

Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney and DUI Lawyer Jonathan Rooker reminds us that the DUI Season is upon us again with the Holidays approaching.  Many people celebrate the holidays by imbibing with alcoholic beverages, travel to and from social gatherings such as family events or work parties.  During the course of these celebrations, gatherings, work events, and general holiday cheer, many people end up having a life altering event, being arrested for DUI while returning home.

If you find yourself in this situation, keep in mind that the informed citizen must understand that the officer who detains you is conducting a criminal investigation attempting to gather evidence that will be used to prosecute you.  They ask questions such as how much you have consumed, when you consumed the alcoholic beverages, if you ate a meal, slept, and numerous other questions.  Keep in mind, they aren't just curious, they are limiting your defenses in trial, can use any information later found to incorrect as a separate violation of lying to a police officer, and you may be helping them build a case against you.

Field Sobriety Tests are another issue.  Once again the officer is conducting a DUI investigation, and using one of the strongest tools in his arsenal.  Another factor is the FST's are rarely conducted on camera, and the person evaluating the performance of the FST's has already concluded that you have been consuming alcohol, and may be impaired.  They also regularly claim to have kept notes on a subjects performance of the FST's, used them to write their final report, then destroyed their notes.  The problem is, the report is not written contemporaneous with the performance, it is written at a later time, usually after a decision to arrest is made, breath alcohol results have been determined, and a large amount of information has been gathered from the subjects themselves.  The FST test results are often a "justification" of why a decision to arrest was made, and reflect the necessary information to justify their conclusion that the subject was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle. The FST's are also the most important weapon in a prosecutor's arsenal when prosecuting a DUI defendant for driving while impaired. It is commonly stated by expert witnesses that the best person to gauge impairment in a DUI case, is the officer on scene.  That is the same person who concluded the defendant was impaired, based on FST's and the often cited, yet rarely explained, "totality of the circumstances" involved in the arrest.

Another factor in avoiding a DUI is keeping the vehicle in proper working order.  Check you headlights, blinkers, tail lights, and especially you license plate illumination lights.  One of the most common non-driving causes of a DUI stop is a burned out license plate illumination light.  It is also one of the rarest citations written.  The reason is most likely that the officers want a reason to stop you, so they do not regularly cite people for a burned out license plate illumination light, thus allowing an perpetual justification to stop that vehicle, at any time.  If the individual was cited, he would be forced to fix the light, and take one of the weapons to justify a stop out of their arsenal.  Another justification is the middle or third brake light in the back window.  It seems to burn out more regularly than other lights, and becomes the focus of DUI enforcement officers looking for a justification to stop a vehicle, usually in the late night or early morning hours, all too often resulting in a DUI investigation and/or arrest.

If you are celebrating the holidays, make sure not to drive while impaired or under the influence.  Fresno and Fresno County will have stepped up DUI enforcement patrols, DUI checkpoints, and DUI saturation patrols looking to stop anybody they can to check for Drivers who may be impaired.

Fresno DUI Attorney | Madera DUI Attorney If you've been cited, you need to know what to do next. Help your attorney help you, contact me as soon as possible

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Fresno DUI Lawyer Jonathan Rooker: Fresno area law enforcement agencies have some of the strictest DUI enforcement policies in the Nation. The first decision an officer makes during the DUI enforcement is the decision to stop the vehicle. It may be a driving pattern, maintenance infraction, tinted windows, or other issues the lead the officer to make that decision. The next decision is whether to have the driver exit the vehicle and conduct a DUI investigation. Factors include odor or alcohol, red watery eyes, and slurred speech. Timely stopping, parking, and fumbling with a license or insurance paperwork, all influence the officers decision to continue the investigation. Once outside the vehicle the subject may sway or have trouble following directions. At the conclusion of the third stage, the officer decides if there is probable cause for an arrest. If you are arrested, there are steps you should take on your own behalf. It is important for anyone cited for DUI to contact the DMV within 10 days to preserve their right to an Admin Per Se Hearing in front of a DMV officer. Failure to contact the DMV within 10 days may result in the suspension of your driving privilege. Remember, the officer arrests at probable cause, but it takes proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. If the officer does their job right, a large percentage of the people should be found not guilty.

Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney: Sometimes good people need help during tough times

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Fresno & Madera Criminal Defense Lawyer Jonathan Rooker: Domestic Violence (DV) charges, punishments, and your rights is something you need to understand if you've been accused. DV charges can result in a sentence of probation, jail, and/or prison. DV can be charged under various sections including PC 243(E) or the more serious PC 273.5 Felony (DV) accusation. Many convictions result in being sentenced to a 52-week program, referred to as the Batterers Treatment Program (BTP). The right to own, possess, or use a Firearms, a serious issue for many people who grew up in the rural valley hunting, fishing, and target shooting can be lost forever. While Judges routinely advise those convicted of misdemeanor Domestic Violence that they will be prohibited from owning firearms for 10-years, the Federal Government will preclude gun ownership for the remainder of the persons life if they are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. It is important that the court knows you are a law abiding, upstanding, and productive member of society. Don't let an accusation turn into a lifetime of being stigmatized as a criminal.

"Criminal defense is about helping good people, that is what I do." Jonathan Rooker


Experienced Fresno and Madera County Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Rooker understands the needs of each client are quite unique to each individual client. Some clients are looking to keep their drivers license, others are looking to avoid long periods of incarceration. Many times pride and principles are cited for the client's motivation to achieve a particular resolution to their case. Many clients just want to put their life, family, and career back together. It is the responsibility of the defense attorney to coordinate and effective defense for the benefit of the client. It is essential that I provide the best defense for the individual person and their specifically tailored needs in life. I will help you by building the best defense that the facts allow. One important aspect of hiring a private attorney is the time they spend listening to your needs, and working to obtain an effective resolution under the circumstances. When these problems arise, it's time to reach out for a helping hand. I handle criminal defense cases on a daily basis, helping people with their issues. Let me help you.