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I will be running a series of articles regarding DUI or what is commonly referred to as "drunk driving"  which is not an accurate term because you may not have felt drunk, or have been drunk at the time of driving in order to be convicted for DUI. 

As a former Deputy District Attorney that prosecuted DUI cases and as a defense attorney that has handled DUI cases for more than 13 years I know the in's and outs of the system.  And I am the right Attorney to help you evaluate or fight your case. 

Driving under the influence is the most common crime committed in America, and mostly by people that have never been in the system before.  Contrary to popular belief Driving Under the Influence cases can be difficult and complex to litigate. 

You should understand three things about a DUI case

1. Though very common dui cases can be complex

2. The stakes are high and involve your freedom and driving privilege.

3. There is a complex system in place for DUI cases meant to insure convictions

 

DUI CASES ARE COMPLEX

Whether someone was drunk is not the measure.  Many times I have clients come into my officer and say there were  perfectly fine to drive and were not feeling the affects.  Since every person is different and will feel the effects of alcohol in different ways, the law has said you are per se impaired at certain levels .08 for people over 21 and even lower for people below 21.  Now I know that setting this level at .08 is in itself abitrary.  How do you say that someoene is impaired at .08? Under a per se or .08 or above offense the question of whether the driver was impaired or not is considered irrelevant.  The law is satisfied if by proof of blood-alcohol level alone.  Now this does not mean that what is referred to as the A count or the under the influence count which requires impairment has gone away, they exist side by side and are often charged together, you can be charged with both but yuou cannot be punished for both offenses under penal code section 654.   

THE QUESTION IS ALWAYS HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BAC IS ABOVE .07?

The answer to that question is you wont know.  You would have to do constant blood test analysis to confirm what your bac is, and that is impossible to do.  When you are going out for a glass of wine after work it is very difficult to know excactly what your bac would be at any point. 

THE STAKES ARE HIGH THE PENALTIES FOR DRUNK DRVING ARE HIGH

 

The penalties for Drunk Driving depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction, the first offender will be fines around $1,500.00 but that is just the fine.

you will also be ordered to pay for a dui school of three six or nine months and in fresno county attend at least 8 days of aowp, which will come out of  your pocket. 

 

WHAT IS THE CORPUS OF A DUI

Corpus Delecti means the body of a crime.  For Example a Murder the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim is dead and met his demise by criminal not natural means.

For DUI offenses.  The driver must be observed or otherwise shown to be driving.  For example a drive is found unconscious in a car wraped around a pole.  The conclusion would be that he was driving the prosecution must show a prima facia case that a crime has occurred before it can introduce statement of the accused.   In other words the prosecution must prove that someone was driving a vehicle and that driver was under the influence at the time. 

 

THE CORPUS FOR A DUI IS THREEFOLD

1. DRIVING

2.  A VEHILCE

3. UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL,

DRUGS,

OR UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF COMBINED ALCOHOL AND DRUGS,

HAVING A .08 OR ABOVE BAC. 

 

I will several articles following discussing DUI law.

 

 

 

 

 

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Gerald Schwab, Jr.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY & DUI ATTORNEY SERVING ALL OF CALIFORNIA

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Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
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Fresno, CA 93704
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