Arrested For DUI, Do You Need A Criminal Defense Attorney Or A DUI Lawyer?

Matthew Ruff, Torrance Criminal Defense Attorney

In California the charge of driving under the influence is a misdemeanor criminal offense unless someone is hurt or the accused has more the 3 priors in the last 10 years. The offense carries stiff penalties such as potential jail time and loss of driving privileges. When choosing who to defend you is it better to get a criminal defense lawyer or someone who specializes in drunk driving cases?

Since the charge includes DMV consequences in addition to possible penal consequences it is best to choose an attorney who has special knowledge of DWI and the intricacies involved. For example, the administrative hearing associated with the case involves evidentiary rules and procedures more akin to civil than criminal. The unique legal rules require an understanding of a broad spectrum of law.

The evidence in a driving while intoxicated case is also very different than any other case. For instance, the tests given to a suspected impaired driver are called SFST’s and require an understanding of NHTSA standardized training and the protocol and methods utilized in the administration of the tests. A DUI Lawyer is educated on the methods to attack the tests in Court and to cross examine the police officer regarding any mistakes made in the investigation.

With regard to the chemical test aspects of the case, it is imperative to have an understanding of the science and regulations which govern drug and alcohol testing in the State of California. You see in order to establish defenses in the case you must be able to spot issues such as defects in the blood collection process or how the breath test was conducted. Moreover, the 4th Amendment to the Constitution which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures plays a big part of driving under the influence practice. The lawyer must have a working knowledge of the case law and statutory laws governing the challenge of police practices.

Here’s a recent example of how specific knowledge lended itself to the favorable resolution of a DUI case in Torrance Court. The client chose a breath test and Matt obtained the records of the machine used. He discovered a malfunction in the breath sample hose heater which he used to get a reduced charge in the case.

Another example is a case where the client submitted to a blood test and the BAC came back well above the legal limit. At the DMV hearing Matthew was able to expose the fact the sample may have been collected in violation of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations. As a result the License was returned. You see, the Department of Motor Vehicles gives great weight to a violation of official regulations therefore a good understanding of the relevant rules and regulations will assure a favorable outcome. Likewise, in another retained case Counselor Ruff was able to expose a violation of then CCR 1219.3 which compels the breath test operator to continuously observe the subject for a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the collection of a breath sample, result was a dismissal and return of driving privileges.

About thetorranceattorney

Matthew Ruff is a Torrance criminal defense attorney located near the 405 freeway on Crenshaw Blvd. Focusing on DUI and serious criminal cases for over twenty five years. In addition to criminal cases, Matthew also defends clients at the DMV regarding license suspension hearings stemming from drunk driving arrests.
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