What to Expect in Your Bakersfield DUI Case
So, you have been arrested or cited for a DUI in Bakersfield, now what?
First, get your car out of impound, the costs to store the vehicle are
outrageous and the fees pile up quickly, so get it out right away. Second, get
some rest, spending the night in jail is physically draining and there is no
reason to stress out any more than necessary trying to hire a lawyer
immediately, you have time. When you have time, speak to a lawyer about
the next steps.
Call Bruce To Get Answers To Your Questions 661-327-7833
Did you know that the breath or blood test in a drunk driving case can be
rebutted if it can be shown that the person's blood alcohol level was different
at the time of actual driving? Yes, California law allows evidence to be
admitted that shows the driver had a "rising blood alcohol level" due to
recent drinking in relation to the time he or she was pulled over. This
disparity between actual BAC and the sample taken be vary as much as .06,
so that a breath test number of .13 at the police station may really be a .06 at
the time of driving. A Bakersfield DUI Attorney can effectively present this
testimony in Court and at the DMV to get the charges dropped.
An arrest for a DUI in Bakersfield can be quite intimidating. Keeping a level
head and getting quality advice soon after the incident can often mean the
difference between a conviction for drunk driving or a dismissed or reduced
charge. The guiding hand of an experienced DUI Attorney can be priceless.
Today, a conviction for driving while intoxicated or having a blood alcohol
level above the legal limit can stay on your driving record for a minimum of
ten years with legislation in the works to extend that to a lifetime.
The biggest problem associated with an arrest for driving under the influence
in today's Internet age is the misinformation that comes from friends and
casual acquaintances about what to do and how to handle the matter. It
must be understood that a DUI is a serious criminal charge that can have
long lasting consequences. Do not take the advice of lay persons, consult a
Bakersfield DUI Lawyer who can take the time to understand your particular
case and draw up a plan to minimize the ramifications and potential sentence.
Questions abound for the average person. To begin with what needs to be
done about my driver's license? First, an Administrative DMV hearing must
be requested no more than 10 calendar days after the arrest. The best way
to approach this aspect of the case is to let a DUI Attorney make the formal
demand, for two reasons. One, the lawyer can request all associated
documents and reports (called discovery). Second, the attorney knows the
procedures to get an unbiased, fair hearing officer. This is crucial in order to
get a fair hearing and just outcome. Thereafter, the case proceeds to the
The Criminal Court Process
When you were released after the arrest you were likely issued a paper
(either a ticket or a formal notice to appear with an O.R. release) containing
information about the Court date in the case. This initial court appearance is
called the arraignment. The legal purpose of the arraignment is to enter a
“not guilty” or a "guilty" plea. If a not guilty plea is made, which is typically
the case then a second Court date is calendared. This next court date is
sometimes referred to as a "pretrial" hearing. In many cases the attorney
may not enter any plea at all, and just postpone the arraignment until a future
date. Both approaches achieve the same result which is to acquire a
continuance in order to properly prepare and investigate the facts of the
criminal case. In Bakersfield Superior Court once the client is arraigned the
case is transferred to a different courtroom for future appearances.
In the interim, the lawyer will request all pertinent discovery in the case,
including all police reports and documentary evidence prepared by the
agency that made the arrest. If the case includes a blood or urine test, the
attorney may request a Judge's order commanding that the sample to be sent
out for independent testing by a private laboratory. Upon receipt of the
biological sample the lab will verify the alcohol concentration of the blood or
urine test and perform tests for proper levels of required preservatives. The
validity of the toxicology results is a important part of the case and must be
ascertained. Incidentally, many people ask: How quickly can I get the blood
test results in my case? The answer is not always clear. The District
Attorney will usually have the results at the arraignment, but not always. At
the present time, there is a long wait to get the BAC test results, sometimes
as long as 30 days.
The time between the initial Court appearance and the second court date will
allow an opportunity for counsel to meet and confer with the Deputy Kern
County District Attorney assigned to the case, review the case for possibility
of settlement, and in many instances get a plea-bargain offer. Due in large
part to busy court calendars, it is very typical for a Bakersfield DUI case to
have a many continuances. Not only is this customary, in most cases a delay
in the proceedings almost always benefits the client.
In most criminal drunk driving cases the attorneys will often file various
motions with the court. A motion is a formal request to a judge seeking an
order for something to be done. Examples of typical motions in a DUI case
are Penal Code section 1538.5 motions to suppress evidence, motions to
dismiss for constitutional rights violations, and orders directing the
government to turn over information or other evidence. Oftentimes, a legal
pleading may be filed attacking the legality of a DWI sobriety checkpoint
when that is a factor in the case. Most motions are sought and litigated
without the client's involvement; others may necessitate that the client be in
Court. Anytime the defense attorney files a motion that requires the
defendant to be in court the law firm will give the client plenty of notice so
that arrangements can be made for you to be present and participate in the
During the pretrial court process, the D.A. will usually make an offer for a
resolution to the case. This offer may be an opportunity to plead to a lesser
charge, such as reckless driving, or may simply be a negotiation about the
consequences to be imposed if you admit to driving under the influence.
Because every case is unique, what may be a very favorable disposition in
one case may not be in another. The defense attorney will always investigate
and research the particular circumstances of your DUI case with you to
assist you in deciding whether to accept or reject the D.A's offer to settle.
When evaluating a plea bargain deal you should consider, among other
things, your comfort level with going to a jury trial and the financial strains
that go with that option. Also, whether a conviction for driving under the
influence will impact a professional license or have a deleterious affect on
When an offer to settle is accepted, this will bring an end to the case.
Common types of plea bargains include being placed on probation for a
period of time (as short as one year or as long as five years, depending upon
the circumstances of the case), as well as the imposition of a variety of terms
and conditions of probation. Typical terms and conditions include paying a
fine, taking educational courses (DUI classes), or having a restricted driver’s
license. The terms and conditions of probation vary widely, as they will
reflect the plea-bargain that is unique to your DUI case. Should no resolution
be reached, the case will proceed to trial.
A DUI arrest in Bakersfield or other areas of Kern County should not be
handled without the help of an experienced attorney. Call the office directly
and ask for a personal and confidential consultation about your case.
Call Bakersfield DUI Lawyer, Bruce Blythe at 661-327-7833
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