I got a DUI, what happens now?
First thing you should do is call the DMV, and ask for an administrative hearing with a DMV hearing officer. This is important, as you only have 10 days to request one, or your will lose your right to have one. The number is on the back of the pink paper you were given, or should have been given to you, at the time of the DUI.
You should contact an attorney for a free consultation. This is important. They have experience evaluating cases, and client needs. Different clients have different needs and desires for the outcome of their case. Some want to beat the the charge, others want to avoid jail time, while many are just worried about their drivers license.
State issue professional Licensing:
Many clients, like teachers, Class-A drivers license holders, attorneys Insurance brokers, Insurance sales people, Real Estate Brokers & Salesman, along with many other professions have state issued professional licenses that may be affected by a first or subsequent DUI charge.
Does my Attorney really care about the outcome?
Yes, may attorneys actually care about their clients case outcome. One, over the course of a case your attorney will get to know you, your situation in life, and many times your family and professional situation. The repercussions of a case have a ripple effect through a persons life. Secondly, work of mouth is the most effective advertising an attorney can have, and it's free. If we handle you case in a satisfactory manner, and you are happy with the effort, and results, we will likely have referrals when somebody you care about is in an unfortunate situation. We know that. You case actually has an effect on our livelihood. We recognize that, in a way, our we are linked by the results.
Did you perform FST's?
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests are critical tool used by Officers to help determine if a motorist is impaired. If you performed these tests, you should hire an attorney that is trained on Field Sobriety Tests. Jonathan is one of a select few attorneys who have completed the Standardized Field Sobriety Test Student, and Later, the Instructor Course. Each course consists of multiple Days in class instruction. The Student Course involved a wet lab with participants dosed with alcohol.
If you performed field sobriety tests, hire an attorney trained in Field Sobriety Tests, so they have the ability to perform effective cross examination of the officer.
Did you take a Breath Test?
If so, hire an attorney who has experience and education regarding the dynamics of a breath machine. The predominant machine used in California is the Draeger 7410 and its newer model, the 7510. Jonathan is familiar with these machines, and routinely takes courses and reads article about breath alcohol detection and its inherent flaws. They are not always accurate, and are not specific for alcohol. If you took a breath test, make sure to hire an attorney who is educated on breath machines and their inherent flaws.
Did you take a blood test?
Jonathan has completed a course at Axion Laboratory in Chicago on the proper methods, techniques, and function of forensic Alcohol analysis utilized a gas chromatograph. He learned how to read chromatograms, proper function of the blood test, internal standards, and how to prepare samples. He learned to fix the capillary tube used to carry the molecules, and how to recognize flaws in the chromatograms that indicate error or mechanical breakdown within the machine. If you took a blood test for alcohol, make sure to hire an attorney who has training and experience with Gas Chromatographs. You can search see the attorneys who have graduated from the class on the web at:
Are Blood Tests for alcohol accurate for DUI purposes?
That depends. The there are different kinds of machines that test blood for alcohol, or more specifically the molecules and attempt to identify and quanitate the volume of alcohol in the blood. The oldest type of machine currently in use is a Direct Inject Gas Chromatograph utilizing a packed column.
The direct inject refers to the sample taken from the vial of blood being tested for alcohol. The injector actually removes a part of the liquid, injects it into the column of the machine in liquid form.
A packed column is a column that is typically larger in diameter and is "packed" with small sphere shaped structures that allow the carrier gas to pass through the column and in route to the detector. The most common column length is is approximately 30 meters in length.
A second type of column used for identification of alcohol in DUI blood test cases is a capillary column. A capillary is much smaller and constructed to allow for carrier gas to pass through as well. The diameter is closer to that of the diameter of a hair. It is newer, and more accurate when compared to a packed column.
A single column gas chromatograph utilizes a single column to ascertain the results. A dual column, much newer technology, utilizes two separate columns to individually ascertain if it is alcohol or a separate substance with the same elution time as alcohol. Co-elution from a column in gas chromatography is an issue, and the dual column helps eliminate errors.
The older style of chromatography is direct inject, the newer style is head space gas chromatography. This system allows for the liquid and the gas head space in the vial to reach a point where the amount of alcohol in the gas is a specific ratio of the amount of alcohol in the blood, and the small portion of the gas is then injected in the column for testing. This is a much cleaner method and less prone to contamination.
Make sure you hire a qualified attorney for you case if you took a blood test for alcohol. Many lawyers advertise that they are DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY, others state they specialize in DUI's, and still some maintain they are the BEST DUI ATTORNEY in the area. However, many lawyers who practice criminal defense use DUI defense to help pay the bills, but have little formal education or training in DUI Defense, the science behind the breath testing equipment, and very few have the specific education and training needed to defend a blood test DUI Case.
Where do I go for DUI Classes?
Finding a nearby and convenient DUI Class is important to clients. That is why I assist them with locating the best program for their needs. The courts and DMV will require a DUI class following a conviction or Admin Per Se hearing before a client will be able to gain a California Drivers License. Some of the local DUI Class programs in Fresno County are listed below.
If you would like to attend DUI Classes in Clovis:
A&J Social Services 559-348-0129
855 West Ashlan Avenue, Suite 101
Clovis Ca 93612
To Attend DUI Classes in Fresno:
King View Community Services 559-256-0100
7170 Financial Drive
Fresno, CA 93720
Fresno County Hispanic Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, Inc 559-268-6475
1803 Broadway Street
Fresno Ca, 93721
To Attend DUI Classes in Kerman
A&J Social Services 559-846-8444
661 Madera Avenue
Kerman, CA 93630
To Attend DUI Classes in Reedley California:
A&J Social Services 559-637-1036
749 G Street
Reedley, CA 93654
Fresno was ranked as "America's Drunkest City" by Men's Health Magazine:
Overall Ranking: 1st
Deaths from Liver Disease 2nd:
Deaths in DUI Crashes: 16th
Binge Drinking 33rd;
DUI Arrests 4th
Harsh DUI Laws: 80th
Overall Grade: F
In defense of Fresno please consider the following factors that may have skewed the results.
However, there may some explanations for many of these factors. The liver is the primary enzyme based metabolism organ in the body. Fresno is in the heart of the Agriculture based Central Valley. Agriculture is great for the economy, but combined with the pesticides, pollution, and geographic location in the valley which traps pollution, there are other explanations for the high incidence of liver disease deaths.
DUI Crashes are also very high ranking at 16th in the Nation. However, there are several contributing factors. First, the expansive layout of the Fresno area and the rural high speed traffic contribute greatly to the incidence of DUI related fatalities. Rural roads lead to high speeds, and when the accidents happen, they are more likely to be fatal. Also, the number of miles driven by a person after consuming alcohol may be much greater than in comparable cities. Also, the lack of a sufficient mass transit system for travel within the greater Fresno area after work hours could also contribute. Many smaller surrounding towns and cities congregate in Fresno for social interactions, sporting events which include a major college and up until recently a AAA Baseball franchise, and numerous bars and restaurants. Small towns and cities on the outskirts of Fresno may include high speed rural roads, freeways, and longer distances driving. Also, the valley weather changes to the extremes of a hot summer to the notorious valley fog.
Hot summers lend themselves to travelling roads such as Friant Rd to Millerton Lake, which is one of the most dangerous roads in America. Combine that with a tendency to consume alcohol in the heat while ridding jet skies, boating, or on the sandy beaches of the lake, and we have found a situation that lends itself to dangerous DUI related activity, long driving distances, towing vehicles, and alcohol. Also, it is common for people to float on one of the two major rivers in the Fresno Area, once again all the factor are present for fun, and likewise, disasters to occur. People travel, consume, and drive a long distance home.
The valley fog can be dense and unsafe. It can be so think that people can hardly see past the front of their vehicles. The Fresno Fog accounts for numerous injuries and some fatalities each year. However, when alcohol is present, alcohol is listed as the primary cause for a majority of these accidents. Driving in the fog is difficult, and adding even a small amount of alcohol increases the risk level of driving, but the fog alone may be the culprit in some of the deaths attributed to alcohol.
Binge Drinking is another critical factor cited in their study. Fresno ranked 16th in the nation among cities evaluated. While this alone doesn't explain all of it, Fresno is an active regional center of the Central Valley, and has a major college that attracts students from all areas of the country. College students are young and prone to excess. Also, Fresno State University boasts on campus dorms, and a very active Greek Fraternal life that has several fraternities and sororities who have traditionally indulged in excessive drinking patterns. Fresno has multiple Junior Colleges and private colleges that also enjoy a youthful indulgence of social interaction. The main social scene, bars, clubs, and events for the region are also found in Fresno, for which are all contributors to the high ranking.
DUI Arrests being cited as 4th place. Fresno Police Department is a nationwide leader is innovative strategies to combat drunk drivers. Fresno Police and CHP combine for grant funded DUI checkpoints more often than almost any other cities. As mentioned above, the vast expanse of the city and surrounding areas necessitate a longer distance for many bar patrons to drive in order to reach their home. Also, all DUI's are not equal. Many cities have a more laid back approach to DUI's, but Fresno will commonly arrest people who have less than .08 BAC, are possibly impaired by prescription medication, or using medical marijuana. Fresno also makes use of Drug Recognition Evaluations to cite and/or arrest for non-alcohol related impairment. Therefore, alcohol may not have been present during many of the DUI arrests, and in spite of the high efforts by police, Fresno ranked fourth, and the ranking may be misleading.
Harsh DUI Laws are another area that was counted. However, the DUI laws are a state law, not a city ordinance. Therefore, the ranking would seem to be biased against the entire state of California. Hardly fair to blame Fresno for a state law.