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Riverside DUI Defense Attorney

Attentive Service & Aggressive DUI Defense in Riverside County

When arrested for driving under the influence in California, two separate processes begin - criminal DUI and the DMV process. The one that most people are aware of is the DUI criminal process, where you are given a citation with a date to appear in court. Where you were pulled over will determine which court in Riverside County at which you must appear. The second "case" or process happens with the DMV, where you must fight to retain your driving privileges so that you can drive until the outcome of your DUI trial is decided.

There are several DUI defenses that could help your case have a successful outcome, but you must hire an experienced Riverside DUI attorney who will take the time to go over your case line by line and know what to look for. The Law Offices of Thomas Wallin provides a free online case analysis so that an experienced DUI attorney can review your case at no charge and contact you regarding possible defenses to your case in Riverside County. Many DUI attorneys simply take whatever is given to them by the district attorney without taking the time review the discovery and find defenses that will work for their clients. Our office will make sure every possible defense is examined before we ever have a client plead guilty to driving under the influence.

Cases Handled by the Law Offices of Thomas Wallin

DMV Hearings
Riverside DMV actions are handled through the San Bernardino Driver Safety Office. When cited for a DUI in Riverside, the officer should give you a form called a DS-367, which states you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing or you will lose your right to drive. This is why it is imperative to hire a Riverside DUI lawyer who will contact the DMV on your behalf and set up your hearing for you. If you or your attorney does not request a DMV hearing within the 10 day period, you will lose your driving privilege 30 days after the date of your arrest.

First Time DUI
For a first DUI offense, the penalty in California is 96 hours to six months in jail and a fine of $390-$1,000. Repeat offenses within 10 years of the prior conviction will result in harsher penalties, or even a felony conviction.

Multiple DUI
A second or third DUI within 10 years of a prior conviction will increase the jail time, as well as the license suspension term. However, a fourth or subsequent DUI is a felony in California and will likely be penalized with a prison sentence of at least 16 months, as well as revocation of your drivers' license.

Field Sobriety Tests
During pretrial motions, your attorney could challenge the evidence against you by arguing the existence of police misconduct in field sobriety tests. These tests are meant to judge whether or not you are intoxicated by evaluation your motor skills and attention capabilities, but the results could be false if the officer did not administer the tests correctly.

Vehicular Manslaughter
If a person dies in an accident caused by a drunk driver, it is vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and is punishable by 16 months, two, or three years in prison; however, if gross negligence was involved, the term can be as long as 10 years.

License Suspension
Whether a first time DUI or a felony DUI, your license will be suspended or revoked if you are convicted of drunk driving. You could request a DMV hearing to regain your driving privileges until your trial is complete, but you must do so within 10 days of your citation or arrest.

Underage DUI
Anyone who is 18-20 years old will be charged with underage DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05% or higher within three hours of driving. Penalties for underage DUI generally involve a suspended license and mandatory completion of a driving-under-the-influence program.

Out-of-State DUI
If you received a DUI in California but are a resident of another state, you will still be processed according to California law, so contact a Riverside DUI lawyer right away. Also, your license and driving record will still be affected according to the laws of your home state.

DUI Expungement
After being convicted of DUI, you may be able to have the offense wiped from your record. If you complete the terms of your probation without any violations, you may be able to request and expungement, so contact a DUI defense attorney today.

Unlawful Police Stop
Pretrial motions may include a motion that the police stop itself was illegal. If the officer had no grounds to believe that you were intoxicated behind the wheel (such as weaving, speeding, or ignoring traffic signs and signals), he or she had no right to pull you over for DUI and your charges could be dismissed.

A Summary of the Riverside County DUI Process

Dealing with the DMV
After you retain our DUI defense team, our office will contact and schedule an Admin Per Se hearing and challenge the suspension of your driver's license. In most cases we will subpoena the arresting police officer for your DMV hearing in order to cross-examine him or her and challenge their training, background and experience, certain testing methods, their implementation of those tests, and many other factors that are particular to each individual case. Most Riverside DUI cases will be completed in one DMV hearing session; however, depending on unusual cases, there could be more than one DMV hearing necessary to address special issues.

Criminal Drunk Driving Cases
Your first appearance in court for criminal DUI charges will be for an "arraignment." At attorney from our firm will usually appear without you having to be present in court. At this initial hearing, you will be advised of the Complaint against you by the State (in this case, the Riverside County District Attorney), and you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

At the arraignment, our DUI lawyer will either enter a plea of "not guilty" on your behalf, or we may decide that it is to your advantage to continue your arraignment for tactical reasons. At this first court session, we will obtain a copy of the Complaint, as well as the police report from your DUI arrest.

Riverside County Pretrial Conference
After a not guilty plea has been entered at your arraignment, we will set a pretrial conference for your DUI. The pretrial conference allows us to discuss your case before your trial and to conduct discovery so that we can negotiate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and schedule future court appearances.

The DUI Discovery Process
After your first pretrial conference, in preparation for a potential jury trial, we will initiate a discovery process which includes investigative requests on the law enforcement agencies, crime labs, witnesses, and prosecution entities involved in your drunk driving case. Depending on the complexity of your particular case and our goals, the discovery process may take several court appearances over a period of many months. The goal of the discovery process is to secure all records and evidence so that we can best prepare your defense before going to trial, as well as put us in the best possible position for settlement, if necessary.

Pretrial Motions
Some DUI cases require pretrial motions, the purpose of which is to challenge the admissibility of the prosecution's evidence against you so that it is excluded from permissible evidence. Each case is unique and, depending upon the facts of your DUI case, your police stop, field sobriety tests, breath tests, blood tests, statements and additional facts may be excluded. Sometimes, aggressive pretrial motion filing on your behalf could compel the District Attorney to offer an advantageous plea bargain resolution of your DUI charges, or result in a complete dismissal of the drunk driving allegations against you. Your attendance at the pretrial motions phase of your court process may or may not be necessary, and our office will advise you in advance as your case proceeds.

The DUI Jury Trial
Finally, if we are unable to come to a settlement of your DUI case, a jury trial date will be set. We will then continue with pretrial motions in an attempt to suppress any negative evidence against you. If the facts around your DUI arrest are excluded from the jury's consideration, they cannot be used when deliberating your guilt or innocence. Most often, Riverside DUI jury trials conducted by our law firm last from four to ten days and are considered lengthy because of their scientific and technical nature. Our primary objective will be to exclude and limit the evidence presentable to the jury. After pretrial motions are finished, we start jury selection, sometimes called the "voir dire process."

The DUI Jury Selection Process in Riverside
In California, your jury will consist of twelve selected persons and, in Riverside County, usually two alternate jurors. In order for the Riverside County District Attorney to obtain a conviction in your DUI case, all twelve jurors must agree that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If one juror maintains any reservation about your guilt of DUI, a "hung jury" should result and your case will be declared a mistrial. During the jury selection process in Riverside, questions are posed to possible jurors to reveal any potential bias or prejudices, especially related to DUI charges.

Burden of Proof in California
Once a jury is selected, opening statements start by the prosecutor first and then our defense attorney. Upon conclusion of these opening statements, the District Attorney will begin to call testimony from their witnesses, as the burden of proving your guilt for DUI rests with the District Attorney. Most often, the arresting officer will be the first witness called, followed by the witness who administered your blood or breath alcohol test, and then the State's forensic toxicologist to provide the jury with testimony regarding alcohol's effects on the human body, as well as the proper methods and procedures for administering the chemical tests used in your case.

Cross Examination in a DUI Case
After the District Attorney's Office is finished examining each of its witnesses, our DUI defense team will have the opportunity to cross-examine the arresting police officer and the forensic toxicologist. We could show how the officer failed to comply with many regulations and procedures, which discredit the officer. We could also point out the weaknesses in the prosecution's case with their own toxicologist expert.

Defense Testimony
As your DUI defense team, we will call our own witnesses to the stand, such as companions or passengers at the time of your arrest, police officers or witnesses who were not called on by the prosecution, our own forensic toxicology expert in many cases, and sometimes a private investigator, all to shed reasonable doubt on the State's case against you.

Closing Arguments
After all testimony is completed, the Riverside District Attorney's Office will be given an opportunity to have closing argument. Our defense attorney will then be allowed to argue the case to the jury, and finally the District Attorney will be given one last opportunity to argue that case, since they have the "burden" of proving their case. After closing argument from the prosecution and your defense attorney, the jury will start deliberation in an attempt to reach a verdict of guilty or not guilty. If all twelve jurors fail to reach a unanimous decision regarding your guilt or innocence, a mistrial will be declared, otherwise known as a "hung jury."

The Law Offices of Thomas Wallin is available to assist you 24/7. Please call for a free initial consultation on your case. A reasonable fee structure can be determined for your needs; our firm accepts MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Call today at 1-888-900-0951 to learn how we could aggressively fight your DUI charges in Riverside County and the surrounding areas.

Areas of practice
DUI Defense
DMV Hearings
DUI Expungement
Field Sobriety Tests
First Time DUI
License Suspension
Multiple DUI
Out-of-State DUI
Underage DUI
Unlawful Police Stop
Vehicular Manslaughter
 
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DUI Attorney in Riverside
Riverside Address:
3750 University Avenue
Suite 680
Riverside, CA 92501
Irvine Address:
8 Corporate Park
Suite 300
Irvine, CA. 92606
Redlands (San Bernardino County) Address:
1980 Orange Tree Lane
Suite 260
Redlands, CA. 92374
San Bernardino Address:
198 North Arrowhead Ave.
Suite 21
San Bernardino, CA 92408
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