Livermore, a city in Alameda County, California, is the most populous city in the Tri-Valley, with a population of approximately 87,000. Livermore is one of California’s oldest wine regions, surrounded by wineries, as well as farm and ranch lands. If you are a member of this lively city, you may have stopped off at Tap 25, on Livermore Avenue, to enjoy gourmet burgers and an extensive beer collection, or perhaps you prefer The Rock House Pub & Grill on First Street, which offers American microbrews, live music, and a cozy patio.
When stopping by a bar or pub in Livermore to enjoy a drink turns into DUI charges, you may feel as though your week—and your future—is crashing down around you. At any moment, an officer might stop you for the smallest infraction as you drive home; you might find yourself in the middle of a DUI checkpoint on Portola Avenue and North Livermore Avenue.
Since California penalties for a DUI conviction—even a first-time conviction—can be harsh, it is beneficial for you to know what the state of California really doesn’t want you to know about DUI charges.
Along with hiring an experienced Livermore DUI attorney as soon as possible, you should also be aware of the following:
Jury Trials Give You a Better Chance at a Positive Outcome
Unlike some other states, in the state of California, it is generally assumed you want a jury trial, unless you say otherwise, and it is nearly always a better idea to put your case before a jury rather than a judge. If there are any holes at all in the prosecution’s case, it is very much to your advantage to have a jury trial, and hope for even one person who doubts your guilt.
Prosecutors tend to dislike jury trials since they take one or more days to complete, meaning you could force the prosecutor’s hand—pushing them to either offer a good plea deal or drop the charges altogether. In many cases, the sentencing for DUI offenders may be harsh enough that the jurors will come back with a “not guilty” verdict simply because they feel the punishment is too extreme.
Police Officers Make Mistakes
Let’s face it, police officers are human beings, and there will be times when they fail to follow the strict letter of the law, both when making the decision to pull over a suspect as well as when administering field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests. In order for a police offer to pull you over, the law requires the officer have a specific, explainable reason for doing so. The law also requires those reasons to pass the validity test down the line. In other words, even if the officer saw you walk out of a bar, get into your car, and drive away, it does not give him or her sufficient reason to pull you over—unless you’ve clearly violated a traffic law, or obviously driven in an impaired manner.
Police Officers May Forget Crucial Facts
While you certainly take your DUI arrest personally, remember that the average police officer makes several DUI arrests per week, and by the time your court date arrives, he or she may remember very few specifics of your arrest. When questioned closely by your attorney, the odds are the police officer will have forgotten crucial points—which obviously works to your advantage.
Breathalyzers Are Not Always Accurate
Although we live in a high-tech world, even the most expensive breathalyzer machines have their weaknesses. When all is said and done, breathalyzers are merely machines, which use an assumption to calculate the amount of alcohol in your blood based on the amount released in your breath—an assumption which has been proven to vary significantly.
For example, did you know breathalyzers are calibrated according to male physiology? Breathalyzers can give women higher readings than they actually have.
Because of the wide variance, the basic principles of the machines are flawed, leading to readings which can be as much as 50% different to the actual breath content. Because the manufacturers of some breathalyzer machines have refused to reveal the source codes used to convert your small puff of breath into a comprehensive BAC number, several courts are deeming this a reason to dismiss DUI cases.
Your Attorney Is Familiar with the DUI Process
In the end, the state’s prosecutor may not have the necessary evidence to prove the DUI case against you, and may also have issues in proving your BAC. In some instances, the prosecutor may also possess exculpatory evidence, which could completely disintegrate the case against you. This means that to some extent, in some cases, the state may be bluffing a bit.
For all these reasons and more, you should speak to a highly experienced Livermore DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in order to avoid having your future changed forever. Your attorney will have the knowledge and the background to mount an aggressive defense on your behalf—and will be well aware of every “trick” the prosecution may have up its sleeve.
Contact the Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed. Our Oakland DUI defense firm handles cases all over Northern California, including Livermore. Call (510) 907-6600 for a free review of your case.
We are available for jail interviews and phone consultations if you have been detained. Contact us now.