Overview of an El Dorado County DUI Case
El Dorado County Superior Court DUI Jurisdiction
All DUI arrests in the county or cities located within El Dorado County will be handled by the El Dorado County Superior Court. This includes DUI arrests in the cities of Placerville and South Lake Tahoe and the communities of Auburn Lake Trails, Cameron Park, Camino, Cold Springs, Coloma, Cool, Diamond Springs, Eldorado, El Dorado Hills, Georgetown, Grizzly Flats, Pollock Pines, Rescue, Shingle Springs, and Tahoma. There are two courts in El Dorado County which are in Placerville and South Lake Tahoe.
El Dorado County Superior Court DUI Court – Placerville
All arraignments in Placerville are handled in Dept. 7 and most cases are sent to Dept. 1 or Dept. 2 for pretrial conferences. This includes misdemeanors and felonies.
El Dorado County Superior COurt DUI Court – South Lake Tahoe
All misdemeanor cases in South Lake Tahoe are handled in Dept. 3 while all felonies are handled in Dept. 4.
El Dorado DUI Court Specific Issues
On high blood alcohol cases, accident cases, or cases with aggravating factors the District attorney will request actual jail time and an ignition device even on first offense cases. On second and third offenses, the sentence will include substantial jail time. DUI court may be an option for 2nd and 3rd offenders. DUI Court reduces the amount of jail time in exchange for formal probation terms including treatment, testing, and increased supervision.
Why you should have an El Dorado DUI Defense Attorney
We have handled over 2500 DUI cases and know the El Dorado DUI courts, judges, and district attorneys. We have the experience and knowledge to keep you out of jail and to get the best results in your case.
You Have Two Cases
If you have been arrested for DUI in El Dorado County, you have two problems – A DMV problem and a criminal court problem. The DMV and the Court process are separate and each must be fought independently. The DMV case relates to your CA driving privilege and whether your license will be returned, suspended, or revoked. The Court case deals with punishment for the crime of DUI and may include jail time, fines, alcohol education classes, license suspensions, probation, vehicle impound, installation of an ignition interlock device or a combination of these things. Sentencing enhancements may increase punishment and length of license suspension.
DMV License Suspension v Court License Suspension
There are two ways your driving privilege in CA can be suspended. If you lose or default on the DMV hearing, a 4 month to 1 year suspension can occur. If you get convicted in court, it will trigger a 6 month to 2 year suspension. In some cases your license can be revoked for up to 10 years. If you were not on DUI probation at the time you got arrested, in most 1st offense cases you are eligible for a work restricted license after 30 days, on a 2nd offense after 90 days, and 3rd offense after 180 days.
Important – DMV Hearing Date MUST BE SET Within 10 days of arrest
To get a DMV hearing you must actually call DMV to request a hearing, it is not automatically set for you. It is your responsibility to set your DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest. If you do not request a hearing within 10 days, your license will automatically be suspended 30 days after your arrest for a period of 4 months on a first offense and 1 year for a 2nd or 3rd offense, a refusal, Under 21 or DUI probation violation. The number to call to set your DMV hearing is on your Temp License/Notice of Suspension. (Usually Pink Paper)
EL Dorado COunty First Court Date
After you are released from jail, you are given a court date for your arraignment in EL Dorado County. Arraignment is where the government tells you the charges and potential punishment you face. If you have never been to court as a defendant and are uncomfortable in a room full of strangers, this can be embarrassing and time consuming. If you hire an attorney, your attorney can appear for you so you never have to go to court. If you don’t hire an attorney, you must appear at your first court date or a warrant will be issued. Don’t confuse your court date with your DMV Hearing date.
Bail Motion at FIrst Court Date
In El Dorado county, the prosecutor will request an increase in bail at your first court hearing if you are charged with a felony DUI. If you are not prepared for the bail motion, you will be taken into custody in court.
At the time of your arrest, the police take your license and give you a Temporary License/Notice of Suspension. This piece of paper is your new temporary driver’s license so keep it with you. If you were to be pulled over, you would show it to the police officer for your valid license. If you had a valid driver’s license at the time, you can continue to drive for a period of time that depends on how you handle the DMV action. If you request a DMV hearing, you will be allowed to drive until a decision is rendered on the outcome of the DMV hearing. If you don’t set a DMV hearing, your driving privilege will be suspended 30 days after your arrest.
Notice of Suspension
The notice of suspension notifies you of your right to a hearing to contest the action against your license. Most people don’t read it and even if they did it’s confusing and doesn’t clearly explain that you need to request your hearing within 10 days. You must read your temporary license and notice of suspension because it contains important information regarding your legal rights.
Work Restricted Driver’s License
If your license was valid and you were not on dui probation at the time you were arrested, then you may be eligible for a work restricted driver’s license. On a first offense, you would have to wait 30 days, on a second offense 90 days, and on a 3rd offense 180 days. This means that from the time your suspension takes effect you couldn’t drive for 30 (1st), 90(2nd), or 180(3rd) days.
Why Innocent People Get Arrested
Innocent people get arrested because when you admit to drinking, smoking marijuana, taking prescription drugs or an officer smells alcohol on your breath the cop can’t let you go even if you blow under the legal limit or pass the roadside field sobriety tests. He can’t let you go because if he does and you crash and kill someone his department will get sued and his career just ended. The cop isn’t going to risk his career on you and that is why innocent people get arrested. If you admit to drinking, smoking marijuana, or taking prescription drugs you can pass the field sobriety tests and blow under the legal limit and you’ll still get arrested.
Why You Need An Attorney
Most people think they don’t have a chance to beat a DUI because of bad facts, an accident, a high blood alcohol level, it’s the cop’s word against their word, or because friends tell them they don’t have a chance. In most cases, people including attorneys who tell you to plead guilty aren’t giving you the best advice. You must aggressively challenge the government’s case because the government makes mistakes, innocent people do get arrested for DUI, and the government has the burden to prove the case against you.
The Government Makes Mistakes
The government has the burden to prove the case against you. Since most people plead guilty to DUI charges the police and government lab get sloppy because few people challenge their methods. An experienced DUI attorney will find the problems in the government’s case and use those to negotiate a non-dui related charge or dismissal of the case. I’ve had tough and high Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) cases get reduced or dismissed because the police illegally stopped my client, the officer was fired or in trouble, a witness was unavailable, the blood was drawn in expired blood tubes, the lab technician wasn’t qualified, the breath calibration solution was expired or a 15 minute observation period wasn’t observed prior to the breath test. These are but a few of the reasons why what seems like a hopeless case can be won. For every one of my client’s that had their cases reduced or dismissed because of some problem with the government’s case, there were dozens of people who pled guilty to cases that would have been reduced or dismissed if they would have known about the problems. The government is never going to tell you the problems in their case prior to you pleading guilty. That is why you need an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Why Commercial/Occupational Drivers Need An Attorney
If your job and ability to make a living is based on your ability to drive, you need the best defense you can afford. Many jobs have mandatory reporting of DUI related cases or the company’s insurance company will report DUI related actions to the company. Many employers won’t let you drive on a restricted license even though you are legal to drive for work because their insurance carriers won’t let them. If this is your situation, you need the best DUI defense you can afford in both the DMV hearing and the court. Depending on the facts of the case, there are a lot of things an attorney can do to help you keep your job including negotiating with the judge and the DA. If the facts are right, like a low BAC, and there is a way to save your job, many DA’s and judges will be open to trying to resolve the case favorably for the defendant. This could save your job.
Why Pilots/Nurses/Dr’s/Attorneys/Professional People Need an Attorney
Pilot’s and FAA employee’s need an attorney because any DUI related action against them can result in a loss of a pilot’s license and employment. Doctors, Nurses, and people with professional licenses are at risk because many have automatic reporting requirements meaning that upon arrest your licensing board will be notified of the action against you. They will want to know how the case is resolved and if you suffered a conviction. Upon conviction, they may take action against you. So you have to make sure what happens in court and the DMV won’t have any effect on your professional license. Only experienced attorneys who have dealt with these issues should be relied on in representing you. Your professional license could depend on it.
Even if you are convicted of a DUI, you can still get your case expunged. An expungement allows you to lawfully answer that you have never been convicted of a crime. To be eligible, you must have successfully completed probation, paid all your fines and fees, and completed the terms of your probation. DUI expungements are not mandatory but discretionary under the law. When you hire our law firm, we will present the best case to the judge so that you get your expungement granted.
You don’t have to plead guilty, contact our office today for a free same day consultation
We have successfully represented many professionals, business people, and others accused of drunk or drugged driving. We have successfully obtained acquittals, dismissals and reductions of DUI charges and have had DMV suspensions set aside. We know the DUI courts in El Dorado County. Call our office today at (916) 939-3900 or (530) 621-1800 to speak directly to an attorney about your El Dorado County DUI case. We are open 24/7/365 to answer your questions.
Ca DUI Law – 23152
(a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.
(b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
(c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210. In a prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
(e) Commencing July 1, 2018, it shall be unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a motor vehicle when a passenger for hire is a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense. For purposes of this subdivision, “passenger for hire” means a passenger for whom consideration is contributed or expected as a condition of carriage in the vehicle, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vehicle. In a prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
(f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.
(g) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.