When Should You Not Hire An Attorney To Defend a DUI Case

November 28, 2013

Most DUI arrests in Los Angles can be defended using legal or scientific arguments.  Our skilled DUI attorneys will help you defend your DUI case in Los Angeles county (or in some case in neighboring counties).  Guilt of a DUI driver in Los Angles (and the rest of the state and country) is based on what the government can prove.  Intoxication, after all, is highly subjective! Yes, there are cases that are difficult to defend.  On the other hand, there are cases that are extremely easy to defend.  Yet, many fall in the middle.  Please call our office directly at (323) 464-6424 to talk to an attorney specializing in drunk driving defense for a free consultation.  You can tell us the facts of your case and we will tell you if we can help you.  If we can’t, we’ll tell you right away and will not  ask you to hire us.

Case in point: On Valentine’s Date of 2013 at 1:43 am Ms. Susan Wells was driving near Bakersfield when she got pulled over by a CHP officer Julian Irigoyen (no relation to “Shake It Up” child star).  As luck would have it, Officer Irigoyen noticed that Susan Wells has “constricted pupils and a dry mouth”.    This was a reason for the officer to suspect that Ms. Wells was under the influence of illegal drugs.   Once arrested, she tested positive for marijuana, opiates and cocaine.  Her van was searched and heroin and syringes were found.   She tried to fight her case, but after losing her 4th amendment motion – plead guilty pursuant to a plea bargain offer.  She reserved her rights to appeal the denial of the 4th amendment motion and argued all the way to Supreme Court that she was stopped illegally.   Interestingly, the reason for the stop of her van was not what Officer Irigoyen observed, but what a possibly anonymous tipster observed and called 911 dispatch.  (People v. Wells 136 P 3d 810).  

The Supreme Court disagreed with Ms. Wells and found that an uncorroborated tip (by possibly anonymous caller) can be sufficient reasonable cause to pull over a car for a short investigation.  So, in a similar circumstances it would be difficult to defend a DUI case in Los Angeles.  However, our skilled DUI attorneys can distinguish awful cases like that by pointing out that in Wells’ court gave 4 reasons why it was not a Constitutional violation for Officer Irigoyen to stop Ms. Wells.  It follows, when either of the 4 reasons are not there – it is a constitutional violation to pull a driver over base on a telephonic tip.  Here are the reasons: First, state interest in protecting the public from drunk drivers outweigh “relatively minor” inconvenience of being stopped.  Second, Supreme Cour decided that tipster is reliable because the events were contemporaneous as the caller observed driving and phoned in.  Third, expectation of privacy is reduced in a vehicle.  Fourth, tipster’s reliability is confirmed in this case by the officer who verified vehicle type, color, location, and direction of travel.   If, for example, the caller did not give color of vehicle, forth element of the Well’s checklist (and reliability of tipster) can be question – permitting shifting back to officer needing to see a violation of traffic law (or erratic driving) to pull over a vehicle.   In short, although Wells case is bad for defense – court’s creation of a checklist allows for a lot of wiggle room to distinguish cases and force a dismissal of DUI cases. Hire An Attorney To Defend a DUI Case.

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