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 license.
I do not have a California License, should I care about the DMV notice of
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 little
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 DUI
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 necessary.
Call the Bakersfield DUI Attorneys at 661-327-7833