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Driving While Under the Influence

DUIS can be attacked on various levels.  Simply because one of your results (breath or blood) registered a 0.08 or more does not mean you have a hopeless case.

The key is to identify the weaknesses in the government’s case and be able to effectively expose them to a jury to obtain a favorable result.  The art of identification and presentation are equally important in obtaining a successful outcome.  Therefore, the more experience a lawyer has in handling different types of DUI cases, the more proficient the lawyer will be in identifying and presenting the case. This skill is necessary to prevail in trial and/or to obtain a desirable case resolution.

Shapiro has had the fortune of working full time in two of the busiest DUI courthouses in Los Angeles County – Metropolitan and Beverly Hills.  In that capacity, Shapiro learned and mastered DUI Defenses.

They include:

  • Rising Blood Alcohol (Client was below a .08 at the time of driving)
  • Deviation of Machine Precision
  • Mouth Alcohol
  • Field Sobriety Test False Positives
  • Title 17 violations
  • Medical- GERDS (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), Asthma, Neurological, Dental etc.
  • No Driving
  • Partition Ratio
  • Poorly Planned Sobriety Checkpoints
  • Unlawful Stop of the Motor Vehicle- Search & Seizure Violations

Shapiro is a certified MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) instructor on “How To Defend A Hopeless DUI”. He makes himself available to answer questions from all lawyers.

DUI & DMV: The Interplay

The value of a driver’s license cannot be overstated, especially in Los Angeles.

Shapiro understands how precious the privilege to drive is and is prepared to deal with the Department of Motor Vehicles in preserving that privilege.

Shapiro has been conducting administrative hearings for over 15 years. DMV hearings are different in some ways to the court system and similar in others. DMV hearings are more informal than the Court when it comes to what meets the threshold for admissible evidence. All the defenses that can be used in court, are available at the DMV hearing. For the most part, the DMV hearing and court proceedings are independent of one another. For example, the DMV can find someone culpable for a DUI and subsequently a jury might find the same person not guilty of a DUI. The overall interplay between DMV and the court can best be explained in length with an attorney.

Just because a .08 or above result is recorded during an incident does not mean that the DMV hearing is futile. In the appropriate situation, Shapiro can try to discredit the results and prove that his client’s blood alcohol level was not in fact a .08 or above at the time of driving. In addition, sometimes attacks can be made on the machine itself, the administration of the test, or the lack of training of the administrator of the test.

The DMV hearing also often offers the opportunity to cross-examine the police officer in anticipation for trial. The DMV hearing is a recorded proceeding under oath and can be used to impeach the police officer at trial.

The opportunity to preserve your privilege to drive begins with you. You or your attorney needs to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of when you receive notification from the DMV, which begins from the date of the arrest. If it is not timely requested, it will be deemed waived.

Lecture Given at the Alternate Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles 8/2/2017