FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT A DUI
I have been arrested for a DUI in Kern County, now what?
Once a person has been arrested for a DUI in Bakersfield or any of the
surrounding areas, the clock starts ticking in terms of protecting your drivers
license. If you have been given a notice of suspension(a pink piece of paper)
then you have only ten calendar days to request a hearing to save your
license. This action is completely separate from the Court date the person
was given at the time of his or her release from jail. The Court no longer has
anything to say about a person's driving privilege in California, this decision is
left to the exclusive control of the DMV. A License Suspension Hearing must
be requested. The services of an experienced Bakersfield DUI Attorney can
help in presenting defenses that could result in the return of your driver's
I do not have a California License, should I care about the DMV notice
Yes, if you have a license in another state or desire to drive in California.
What is suspended is the person's privilege to drive in California. This means
that even if you have a license in another state you will not be able to drive in
California if the State suspends your privilege. The California DMV will issue
you an "X" number that will follow you for the rest of your life. In addition, if
you intend to get a license in California, you will be prevented from doing so if
you take no action to prevent the suspension. With regard to out of state
drivers, if California suspends your privilege here, you may also be suspended
in your home state under a theory of reciprocity under the Interstate Compact
Agreement. For out of state drivers, a DUI in Bakersfield can be complex.
The officer did not read me my rights can you get the charges dismissed?
A person does have a fifth amendment right against self incrimination and the
Courts have held that if a person is interrogated while they are in custody they
must be read their right to remain silent, and their right to an attorney.
However, within the context of a DUI case, the issue often is whether the
person was "interrogated" and if so whether they were "in custody" at the
time. Recent case law has created exceptions to the Miranda Rule as it relates
to roadside questioning relating to a traffic stop and DUI investigation. The
bottom line is that Miranda Rights are usually not required in a typical DUI
stop and criminal arrest and even when they are, the remedy for a violation of
the rule is simple suppression of the statement-not dismissal of the case.
I did have something to drink and then drove, doesn't this mean I am
guilty of DUI ?
Not always, California law states that the person must have been impaired by
the alcohol at the time the driving occurred or be above the legal limit.
Typically a person drinks but is not above the legal limit or impaired even
though they have alcohol in their system and on their breath. Another
situation is when the person was drinking was recent to the stop and their
blood alcohol was rising after the stop, this can create a defense to DUI.
Why am I being charged with DUI if I did not drink, I only smoked a
In California a DUI can involve drugs as well as alcohol. Suspicion of driving
while under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, may be proper
grounds for a charge of DUI. However the problem associated with marijuana
ingestion and DUI is that the level at which a person is impaired is not
commonly agreed upon in the scientific community. Also, smoking marijuana
hours or even days earlier can still show up in a person's system yet not be
affecting their ability to drive at the time they were arrested. A Marijuana
DUI arrest is unique, our Bakersfield DUI Lawyers have defended countless
DUID charges with excellent results.
If the Police officer does not show up at my initial court date will my
DUI charges be dismissed?
No, a DUI is a misdemeanor not a traffic infraction. The initial court date is an
arraignment and the police officer will not be present. In fact the police officer
may never be present during the court proceedings until the date of trial if
any. However, subsequent Court dates could involve testimony by the
arresting officer, if the cop fails to appear at trial or a motion prior to trial the
case could be dismissed.
Is it true that a person should refuse to take the chemical test?
No, absolutely not. You should usually never refuse to take a chemical test in
California. A refusal to take a blood or breath test could result in the automatic
1-year suspension or two year revocation of your driver's license even if the
DUI charge is dismissed. And if convicted a refusal can result in increased
penalties including jail time. Also, the refusal can be introduced into evidence
as "consciousness of guilt" of having too much alcohol in your system.
However, this can be refuted by your defense attorney both in Court and at
the DMV. This doesn't mean that a person has "no chance" to save their
license, defenses exist to refusal charges and most experienced DUI Attorneys
can argue exceptions to the refusal charge. Also, California law now requires
anyone placed on probation for a DUI offense to submit to a PAS test in the
field, if someone on probation for VC23152 fails to take or complete a PAS
breath test they could be facing a one year suspension of their license. A DUI
Attorney in Kern County or Bakersfield can fight the suspension at the DMV.
If I live outside of Kern County do I need to be present to defend my
No, Many of our clients reside out-of-state our live outside of Kern County
but sustained a DUI arrest while visiting Kern County California. As long as
you are charged with only misdemeanor DUI, we can (in most cases)
represent you and resolve your case without you having to come here for
Kern County Court appearances. This also applies in cases where a person
may have missed their Court date and have a warrant or a hold on their
driver's license. Two exceptions exist. First, if your case goes to a jury trial,
you may need to be present. Although judges will sometimes allow DUI
defendants to waive their appearance (even at trial), it is much easier for a
jury to convict someone they've never seen. Second, we may need your
testimony at a pre-trial hearing to contest the traffic stop or arrest. If traveling
here is logistically difficult, we will do everything we can to avoid making it
Kern County DUI Attorney Bruce Blythe can be found on Google Plus.
Call the Bakersfield DUI Attorneys at 661-327-7833