Bail Reform Law Consequences for DUI Charges

Bail reform sounds like it will address some important imbalances in our criminal justice system. But before you leap for joy, consider some potential consequences for anyone arrested for a DUI in California.

Governor Brown just signed a bill, August 28, 2018, that will keep you in jail for a long time under certain conditions. Anyone involved in an accident where someone is injured or has a blood alcohol level greater than .20% will be kept in jail until summoned before a judge.  That means no release on your own promise to appear or bail until you are brought before the judge.

Here is how you protect yourself as best as you can. First, unless you are under the age of 21, and required to take breath test in the street, the Preliminary Alcohol Screening Test (PAS) test, or you are on probation and required to take the PAS test, politely refuse to take all of these tests.  In fact, don’t take any breath tests, always just take a blood test for alcohol. This way they don’t know if you are a .20% or greater, and that will not be grounds to hold you or prevent you from getting bail.

Remember, if someone is injured, or if is a 3rd DUI, or you are a .20% or greater, the police are not supposed to release you until you see a judge.  If you didn’t take the PAS test, or any other breath test, they cannot know if you are a .20%, so they have no grounds not to release you before you go before the judge.  If you have an accident and someone is injured or if this is a 3rd time DUI, they can and are supposed to keep until you appear in court before the judge just as soon as this new law goes into effect.

Immediately call my office for help at 510) 346-6666

Donald Gray Drewry

25 Years of Successful defense and former President of the California DUI Lawyers Association.

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Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

7 Steps You Should Consider Taking Now after Your First DUI Arrest

"I have never been arrested before, and I am scared. What will happen to me?"

Getting arrested for the first time can be a traumatic experience. This process will go a lot more smoothly if you just follow the steps listed here.

  1. Write down everything you can remember starting with the time you went to bed the night before, and all the way through your release from jail. Do this before you forget something including what time you got up, and everything you ate all day, drinks where, when, what, how many and times.
  2. Contact a good lawyer. A cheap one will get you exactly what you pay for. There are many things your lawyer can do for you. And make sure this is going to be the lawyer who will handle your case, that is really important. Too many firms have a sales person sign you up, and you get someone you have never talked to.
  3. Your lawyer should immediately request your hearing with the DMV so you don’t lose your right to a hearing. It must be done within 10 days from the date of your arrest. Have the lawyer do it, so it is done correctly.
  4. Next, the lawyer will go to court for you at the arraignment, and plead you NOT GUILTY. Then you will be given new dates to return. Then the lawyer will get your police and other important reports. From here the lawyer will go through this and compare it with your list of events of what happened. Then maybe set a motion to suppress evidence depending on what the attorney finds. The lawyer will also need all the video and audios that may or may not be available. All of this evidence is necessary for the attorney to properly evaluate your case, and it can take months. YOU SHOULD TALK TO NO ONE BUT YOUR LAWYER DURING THIS TIME.
  5. Now, you and your attorney will decide whether or not you want to settle this case with a plea bargain or go to trial. To get a good plea deal, the attorney needs all of that evidence, and sometimes they don’t want to give, so the attorney will to do a motion to compel the evidence.
  6. I have never had a client go to jail on a first time DUI case that was a Misdemeanor charge. That is not true for all attorneys, but it should be. However, in most cases where you took a blood test, no accident, and no breath test, you should probably go to trial if your attorney has the new special software for Integration of the Digital Data results of your test. If they don’t have this, you should be looking for one that does. If it is another type of Misdemeanor, all of the same above is needed for your case too!
  7. Convictions can prevent you from getting a new apartment, job, or even a loan, or get into a college. It is important that you take care of it properly now, later is too late.

The Law Office of Donald Drewry would be happy to review your options. Call us at (510) 346-6666 and we'll set up a free consultation.Our office is located in San Leandro, California.14895 E. 14th Street, Suite 485 San Leandro, CA 94578-2991.

If you're a trucker and you've just been arrested for a DUI, you need to read this now

I became an Interstate Trucker in the early 1970s. I continued to work as a trucker in the Bay Area of Northern California as I worked my way through college and law school. I truly understand the problems that are unique to Truckers in California when arrested, and even worse, convicted by the DMV or in the Criminal case, or both. If it is a first-time DUI, EVEN IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL VEHICLE, you will lose your Class A license for one (1) year, and if a second DUI, no time limit, you will lose your Class A license for “LIFE”. That is correct: for “LIFE”. This does not mean stopped while driving in your truck, it is any DUI.

It doesn't matter whether you were arrested driving a truck or your personal vehicle

Here is an example of a problem for a Commercial Truck Driver arrested and convicted for DUI in California. You have never been in trouble before. An excellent driving record. You go out to dinner on a Saturday night with your wife or husband, or a friend, and at dinner you have three (3) drinks over several hours. On the way home, you are stopped by the police for a minor traffic violation, changing lanes without signaling, or speeding five (5) miles above the speed limit, or a taillight out. Now, the officer asks you if you have been drinking. You, of course, being honest as you should be, say yes. So now, the officer has you do Field Sobriety Tests, and a roadside breath test (PAS), that you are not required to take (never take the Roadside breath test unless you are under 21 or on probation), and then you are arrested. You are given a choice of either a breath or blood test for your implied consent (required) test. Always take the blood test in my opinion, but it is up to you; if you are taking drugs, then you want the breath test, but the officer may make you take a blood as well. You only want one (1) test. Now, you are arrested and taken to jail.

The Blood Test and the DMV Hearing

According to your chemical test, you are a .11% Blood alcohol reading. The District Attorney charges you, and your lawyer is trying to get your charge reduced, but the DMV is also holding a hearing, and they DO NOT NEGOTIATE, so if you lose, you will lose your Commercial License for one (1) year. You must win both the Civil DMV and Criminal cases. If you are an Owner Operator, there goes your job, insurance, truck, house, and maybe your marriage. This is serious, and you need to consider this to be serious immediately.

Finding the right attorney to handle your case

Not all lawyers are equal. If you did not tell the officer where you were coming from, where you are going, admitted drinking, but just said a few and not exactly how many, did not take the breath test in the street, and a blood test, you are in better shape than you think with a good lawyer. Remember, NEVER TALK TO THE OFFICER, just answer the basic questions, don’t volunteer answers, and NEVER LIE; JUST DON’T ANSWER EXCEPT FOR THE BASICS. There is now 21st Century technology, called Integrated Technology (that not all lawyers have or have even been trained in) that can help you fight your blood case for alcohol or drugs. For example, I am one of only two lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area that have this special software.

You have to protect yourself as much as possible because you have so much to lose as a professional truck driver with either a Class A or B License. If this has occurred to you, contact me immediately for a FREE CONSULTATION for an arrest anywhere in the Bay Area, and I also do limited cases anywhere in California.

I have successfully represented many TRUCK DRIVERS through the years. Each year the penalties get tougher and tougher. You cannot afford to wait. Contact me now, and start preparing to save your livelihood. Free Consultation call now : (510)346-6666.

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