People from all walks of life get charged with DUI. It is easily one of the most common and frequently charged crimes you will find in Alameda County.
Yet, despite their popularity, DUIs are also one of the most complex crimes to prosecute. What other crime involves evidence from so many fields of science? Biology, metabolism, pharmacology, gas chromatography, psychology, and neurology are a few of the scientific fields that often come into play in the analysis of a DUI case. Consequently, the factual, legal, and evidentiary hurdles that the prosecution must overcome can be tricky.
We strive to obtain the best possible outcome for you by digging as deeply into the case as we can. We start by using subpoenas to obtain information that goes far beyond whatever the police report says. We obtain calibration and service records for the machines used to analyze your breath or blood. These machines are not infallible, especially when they have not been properly maintained and tested. We obtain records on the training and experience of the people who performed the tests, drew blood, analyzed blood, etc. Without proper training, the test results are unreliable. With blood samples, we can also obtain a court order to have the blood retested by an independent lab.
Our office has the knowledge and experience to recognize opportunities to improve your case. Whether your case calls for negotiating a plea agreement or a DUI jury trial, we have the know how to obtain the best possible outcome for you. We work with scientific experts and independent laboratories to build a robust defense for your case. Take a moment to look at a sampling of our success stories, including DUIs.
You are fighting two battles
DUI cases are different from other criminal matters because the are frequently fought in two separate battles -- the license suspension with the DMV and the criminal charge in court. As strange as it may sound, the outcome of one battle rarely has any impact on the outcome of the other. That is to say, you can lose the with the DMV, but win in court, and vice versa.
License suspension hearings are challenging to win for a number of reasons:
- The rules of evidence are more relaxed with the DMV than they are in court
- The DMV hearing officer essentially plays the role of both judge and prosecutor
- The standard of proof (preponderance of the evidence) is much lower than the standard in criminal court (proof beyond a reasonable doubt)
However, defeating the DMV is not impossible. Your case will need to be thoroughly reviewed and investigated to see if there are any meritorious legal challenges that can be brought to preserve your license.
What is a "wet reckless"?
Even if you have only done a small amount of research about DUIs at this point, you have likely already encountered this strange term -- wet reckless.
In California, there are three different crimes that fall under the category of DUI. They are, DUI, wet reckless, and dry reckless. The statutes VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b) are for DUIs. These two crimes are usually charged together and are often referred to as the "(a) count" and the "(b) count". The "(a) count" alleges that you were driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. The "(b) count" alleges that you were driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or greater. In terms of consequences, there is no distinction between a conviction for the "(a) count" versus one for the "(b) count".
A "wet reckless", also called reckless driving with alcohol involved, is a lesser-related charge to DUI. The statute for a "wet reckless" is VC 23103(a) and the punishment is set forth in VC 23103.5. There are some advantages to pleading to a "wet reckless" instead of VC 23152. Some of the advantages include:
- Lesser court fine
- No mandatory minimum sentences
- No mandatory requirement to complete DUI school
- In Alameda County, the DMV does not require the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicles for a wet reckless
However, you still suffer points on your license with a wet reckless and many insurance companies treat wet reckless as if they are DUI convictions. In fact, if you are charged with an additional DUI within 10 years, a wet reckless conviction is treated the same as a prior DUI conviction.
A "dry reckless" is simply reckless driving, that is, nothing in the conviction has anything to do with alcohol. The statute for reckless driving is VC 23103(a). A conviction for this offense carries the same advantages as a "wet", but has an even lesser fine, and is not priorable.
Whether this is your first time being arrested, or you have previously been convicted of DUI, this can be a terrifying experience. Let us guide you and protect you through this difficult time so that you can put it behind you. In most cases, you will not even need to come to court. We will investigate your case, research the law, and explore every possible avenue that may be available to win your case.
Contact us right away so that we can get to work fighting for you.