Greetings Everyone! I want to take this minute to put out the annual DUI notice. The holidays are upon up so it is crucial that we do not make the police departments rich and the jails full this year. And as much as the firm would love your $2500+ retainer fee for a first time DUI, we would rather our clients invest that money into positive things and we definitely do not want to see any of you spend your holiday at LA County Jail. So please take heed to the following tips and advice, get a designated driver and if you do find yourself in a DUI situation, please call us at 310-431-9689 so we can arrange to bail you out and take that $2500 donation. (See below for DUI heads up tips and advice).

Please note that this legal advice only applies in the state of California. If you live in or are visiting a state other than the state of California, this legal advice may not apply in your state and the penalties may be totally different. CA does not play though with drinking and driving and I will spell out the minimum penalties for you in a moment.

The best advice we can give you for avoiding a DUI is DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE, PERIOD. It’s not worth the money, time, embarrassment and jeopardy to your license (which will automatically get suspended for 6 months in CA if you are arrested for a DUI) and there are so many alternatives to avoid these problems. Also, if you are a marijuana consumer, DO NOT SMOKE marijuana in your car because if you are stopped by the police (at a check point or for a traffic violation) you are setting yourself up for an arrest if they smell marijuana smoke in your car. This will happen even if you have the legal right to possess and consume marijuana so please be cautious on this note as well.

In the event that you do make the mistake of drinking and driving or smoking and driving here are some additional tips to help avoid you getting arrested (even though you probably still will be arrested), but more importantly to help you avoid a conviction after you are arrested.

  1. REMAIN SILENT. You have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination (see the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution). That means, if you talk and waive those rights, ANYTHING you say CAN AND WILL be used against you in a Court of Law. And even though the police usually tell you this when they read you your Miranda warnings, many people still run their mouths and find themselves in much more trouble because they have just confessed to committing a crime. With that being said STFU and remain silent. That will make your attorney’s job all the more easier when we have to defend you in court. You are required to provide your driver’s license and contact information. However, anything beyond that, you do not have to answer. So when the police officer asks you if you have been drinking, you do NOT state, “well, officer, I just had a beer like 4 hours ago.” FAIL. You have just admitted and confessed to drinking and driving and you will be arrested. STFU and you cannot go wrong. If the officer is drilling you, simply ask the officer “am I under arrest or am I free to leave. If I am not free to leave I would like my attorney present before I speak to you about anything.” At that point they will either arrest you or send you on your way or continue to try to ask you questions and you will continue to provide the same response or shut up and just look at them.
  2. Do NOT agree to a search of your car, even if you do not have anything to hide, but especially if you DO have something to hide and do NOT submit to an blood alcohol test or breathalyzer test on the scene. You do NOT have to submit to these test after being pulled over. You MUST submit to these tests if you are in fact arrested and taken down to the station. At the station, you will continue to remain silent and request that your attorney be present if they try to question you about anything.
  3. Have bail money on deck. If the police are going to arrest you, they are going to arrest you and there is not anything much an attorney or you can do at that point until the matter goes before the judge. If you get arrested, be prepared to bail out because if you do not bail out you will spend all four days in jail and you will not see a judge until Monday (or even Tuesday depending on the day and time you get arrested). Now, if you can handle jail for a day or two and you would rather not shell out $2000-$3000 for bail, hold tight and on Monday have your attorney request an O/R release when you see the judge. Unless you are a flight risk or a danger to society, they should grant you an O/R release and you can save yourself some dinero. Most people probably do not want to spend 4 days in LA County so if you plan on drinking and driving and/or smoking cannabis and driving, it’s best advised that you have $2000-$3000 on deck so you can get out and then pay us as well (additional $2500+).
  4. If you do get arrested and find yourself catching a case for a DUI offense, be prepared to spend the next year or so going back and forth to court and ultimately shelling out a lot more money for fines, classes, fees, court costs and penalties. All together those fees, fines, court costs and penalties add up to about another $3000-$5000 and your license will be suspended for at least 6 months. If you refuse to submit to testing at the jail facility, your license will be suspended for up to a year or longer depending on your situation.

So to sum this all up, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE and DO NOT SMOKE CANNABIS AND DRIVE. Otherwise, just like that billboard says, “You have just blown $10,000.00.” No lie. So everybody have a happy Thanksgiving, be safe, have designated drivers on deck and smoke that cannabis at home or on the sidewalk but not in your car and everything should be dandy. Stay safe!