4/17/2014: SANTA CLARA COUNTY (SAN JOSE) .17% BAC 2nd OFFENSE DUI w/ PROBATION LICENSE & SUSPENDED LICENSE
Outcome: ENHANCEMENTS, PROBATION VIOLATION & SUSPENDED LICENSE DISMISSED
Description: Client was a younger guy who had made the boneheaded mistake of driving after drinking. He was previously convicted of a DUI in Santa Clara County and was still serving a three year informal probation sentence when he was stopped by the CHP again in Santa Clara County for texting behind the wheel. Client submitted to Field Sobriety Tests and then blew into a Preliminary Breath Test ("PAS") which had difficulty obtaining a singular reading of .17% BAC, this in spite of numerous attempts by the Client to provide a breath sample. Client was shocked by the number and subsequently REFUSED the required implied consent breath test. Thinking better of it, Client changes his mind and submits to a station house breath test with a dramatic decrease to .09% BAC. Client is nevertheless charged with a second offense DUI with high BAC enhancement, probation violation and separate misdemeanor offense of driving on a suspended license.
Client was originally represented by the Public Defender's Office who had actually assigned a law student to represent him. He decided to go with me and I arrived at the courthouse to substitute in as attorney of record for the law student who had the misdemeanor plea form in hand awaiting my client’s signature and plea to both the DUI and suspended license misdemeanors.
After substituting in as attorney, I continued the case to today's Pre-Trial Conference calendar where I pushed and pushed and pushed the reluctant but ultimately very fair, District Attorney to resolve the case for a plea to the DUI and admit his prior with a DISMISSAL of all other charges. This resulted in client receiving three years of informal probation, fines of approximately $2,100, an 18 month multiple offender DUI School, and 10 days of SWAP in lieu of actual jail time.
By continuing client's case for new Pre-Trial Conference, I was able to get the expensive suspended license misdemeanor dismissed and his total SWAP reduced from 15 to 10 days. Client failed to request DMV hearing and was determined to have REFUSED. NEVER REFUSE A BREATH OR BLOOD TEST, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'VE SUFFERED A PRIOR DUI CONVICTION OR SUSPENSION. If so, you'll be like this client and lose your license in California for TWO YEARS, period. No driving at all. I'm hopeful, however, that this mistake won't happen again.