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How Can An Experienced Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo County DUI Attorney Help You?With so much to lose with a DUI conviction, representing yourself is not worth the risk. An experienced Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo DUI attorney can restore some of your driving privileges through a restricted license so you can possibly continue to work, drive your children to school and perform other essential activities with your car. If you do not successfully obtain this restricted license, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended after thirty days. The DMV hearing is separate from the DUI criminal proceeding, but if your vehicle is essential to your livelihood, it is worthwhile to have legal representation at the DMV hearing to protect your license and to begin preparing your defense. These hearings are held at a DMV Driver Safety Office. The only such office in the entire Tri-County region is in Oxnard. However, your attendance at the DMV hearings and even the criminal proceedings may not be required. It may be possible for Attorney Ali Quddus to attend both the DMV hearings and the court appearances on your behalf where he will argue the best defenses for your case. If you were arrested for DUI in Santa Barbara, Ventura or San Luis Obispo County, Attorney Ali Quddus will personally handle every aspect of your case and work to get you the best result possible.
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested?
If you fail a FST or Breath Test or refuse to take these tests, it is possible the police officer will decide to arrest you. Remain calm and cooperative if this happens. If you refuse tests at the police station, the officer will likely threaten you with the possible suspension of your driver’s license for one year. Avoid interaction with the police. You may give the police evidence of probable cause that they do not already have. Minimal interaction with police will help your Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo DUI attorney chip holes in their case. If your test comes back with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher you will be charged and if your BAC comes back lower but drug usage is suspected, you may be required to take a blood or urine test. If you do not have a significant criminal history, you are likely to be released after your testing is completed. However, officers may hold you in jail for several hours before releasing you. Before your release, your driver’s license will be confiscated, and you will be issued a temporary one that is valid until a suspension goes into effect.
What Should I Do At A DUI Traffic Stop?
When the police pull you over, you should not answer questions such as “Were you drinking?” or “How much were you drinking?,” but it is important to decline politely. You can simply say, “I prefer not to answer any questions.” Unless you are under the age of 21 or you are on probation for DUI, you have the right to decline the Field Sobriety Test (FST) and the Preliminary Breath Test. If you decline chemical tests at the police station, it can lead to a loss of your license for up to 1 year so this choice must be made by each individual. It is often best to decline these tests because they can produce false positives for DUI which can be used against you. Resist the urge to explain and simply state that you prefer not to take the tests. If the police become persistent or aggressive, simply state that you would like to speak to a lawyer because the more you say, the more likely it is that you will incriminate yourself.
What If The Evidence Against Me Is Overwhelming?
The police want you to think that the evidence against you is so overwhelming that there is no point in pleading not guilty. Do not fall for this ploy! Attorney Ali Quddus knows many ways to successfully defend you against these charges including:
- Improper Stop/Lack of Probable Cause: If the police did not have a reasonable suspicion to stop you or probable cause for your arrest, it is a violation of the 4th Amendment and all the evidence collected is not admissible.
- Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Test (FST): Officers must strictly comply with rules when administering a FST and any mistakes can invalidate this evidence. FST results can also be unreliable due to your disability, medical condition or the stress of the test itself.
- Improper Procedures or Improper Maintenance of the Breath Test Machine: Officers are required to comply with strict procedures when administering the Breath Test. A deviation from these procedures can deem your Breath Test results invalid. For example, an officer must observe you for fifteen minutes before administering a portable breath test to ensure you do not burp, regurgitate, or consume anything that may contain alcohol. Any of these things can cause the breath test machine to give an inaccurate blood alcohol content (BAC). If the officer gave you the test too quickly or did paperwork rather than observe you, the validity of the test can be called into question. The test can also be deemed invalid if the officer fails to calibrate the equipment often enough or calibrates it improperly.
- Improper Blood Test Procedures: If testing is done without proper consent or under harmful, unsanitary conditions, the sample can be thrown out. If the sample is tampered with, mishandled or if there are problems with the chain of custody of the sample, the evidence may be thrown out. If there is not a sample for your attorney to send for a separate analysis, then this restricts your ability to mount a defense and the case may be thrown out.
- Inadequate Proof That You Drove or Were The Driver: If the officer charged you because he presumed you were driving the vehicle when you were merely parked or sleeping, this may cause the case to be thrown out. If the car was driven by somebody else and the officer presumes you were the driver, you cannot be convicted for DUI.
Anything you say to the police can and will be held against you in a court of law, so it is important to contact an experienced Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo DUI attorney as soon as possible after you are charged.