Aggressive Defense for Drunk Driving Charges in Long Beach, CA
WHO WE ARE
David J. Givot is a leading DUI defense lawyer, with a reputation for providing aggressive and personalized legal counsel to clients in Long Beach and throughout Southern California who have been arrested for drunk driving offenses of all kinds. Whether it’s a first time DUI offense, DUI with injuries, felony DUI, or vehicular manslaughter, David Givot and Attorney Of Counsel, Ashlie Brillault, are ready to defend your rights across the board.
When you or someone you care about has been arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) in or near Long Beach, California, you need an aggressive, competent Long Beach DUI lawyer at your side to fight for your Constitutional rights, to assist you in avoiding a criminal conviction, and to prevent the suspension of your driver's license.
WHAT WE DO
While we consistently deliver skilled legal DUI Defense counsel in criminal court, our comprehensive defense extends to include representation before the California Department of Motor Vehicles and, for clients with professional licenses, before the various State Licensure Boards to minimize the long-term potential consequences of mere DUI allegations.
WE LOVE OUR CLIENTS
More than just representation, at the Law Offices of David J. Givot, you will receive the guidance, comfort, and support you need to face and fight your DUI charges.
We have found that by representing clients in all of the actions that result from a DUI arrest, we are able to build more effective cases that result in more positive case outcomes.
When it comes to DUI arrests in California, there is a lot to know.
What’s YOUR Legal Limit?
Everyone knows that, in California, you are considered DUI if your blood alcohol is 0.08% or higher. But that rule is not the same for everyone. For example, if you are a commercial driver, your threshold is only 0.04% and if you are a under 21, 0.01% is enough to consider you DUI.
It’s Not Just Alcohol
Another common misconception is that “DUI” only means alcohol, it doesn’t. DUI is “Driving Under the Influence” and the law does not discern between alcohol or other intoxicants, like marijuana, prescription medications, or even over-the-counter cough medicines like NyQuil®. Under the influence is under the influence; the law and the consequences are the same.
That Pink Piece of Paper & The DMV
When you were released from jail, after being arrested for DUI, you were given a pink paper in place of your driver license – which they likely confiscated. That pink paper is very important and, in most cases, the officer probably did not fully explain what it is.
That pink paper is your temporary driver license; it is only valid for 30 days, after which your license is automatically suspended. What the officer didn’t tell you was that you only have ten (10) calendar days from the date of arrest to call the DMV Driver Safety Office and request a hearing in order to try and prevent the suspension. Your Long Beach DUI Attorney will handle that for you and get the temporary extended so it does not expire in 30 days.
What Are You Facing in Court?
For a first DUI, if you are over 21, the law calls for a suspension of your license for up to a year, up to 6 months in jail (although, in most cases you won’t do any jail time), a fine of up to $2,000.00, and a DUI class from 3 months up to 18 months.
If it’s your second DUI within 10 years, everything is increased and there is mandatory jail of at least 96 hours and potentially up to one full year.
For a third DUI in ten years, everything is increased even more and the minimum jail time is 120 days.
What if You are Under 21?
Both the DMV and Courts take underage DUI very seriously. If you are convicted for DUI while under 21, you can face a suspension of up to a year, 30 day vehicle impound – even if it’s not your car, up to six months in jail, mandatory DUI classes, and you may be required to install an ignition interlock device.
Commercial Drivers Beware!
If you are arrested for DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, the limit is only 0.04% – less than one average beer. For you, the fines can be substantially higher, jail can be imposed in addition to all of the other enhanced sanctions. Long Beach is a very busy commercial vehicle city and they take commercial vehicle DUIs very seriously.
Field Sobriety Tests and PAS are Optional
The police will never tell you, but if you are 21 or older and not on DUI probation, ALL of the so-called field sobriety tests are optional. That means, you can decline them with no consequence. Also, the preliminary alcohol screening device (PAS) – the little breath test they do at the roadside – is also optional and can be declined with no consequence.
Even the test where they shine a light in your eyes and say follow my pen is optional and should be respectfully declined.
The only value of the field sobriety tests is for law enforcement; to be used against you. Respectfully decline.
The Chemical BAC Test is Mandatory
While the officer may present the “chemical blood alcohol test” as an option, there really isn’t one; you must do either a breath or blood test AFTER you have been arrested. If you refuse, the DMV will most assuredly suspend your driver license for a full year and the refusal can be used against you in court to show a “consciousness of guilt.” You do not have a right to consult an attorney before deciding whether to take a chemical blood alcohol test.
However, before your refusal is actually a refusal, the officer must read – verbatim – the refusal admonition from the DMV form AND he or she must then offer both a breath and a blood test.
Breath or Blood?
Many DUI lawyers have an opinion about which test is preferable. We do not. There are pros and cons to both.
The breath test is quicker and requires the officer to comply with Title 17; that is, they must observe you for a particular length of time before administering the test. The police always say they do, but in reality, they almost never do. Once a breath test is done, there is no remaining sample to re-test. We are stuck with whatever the police report says the reading was.
Blood tests take longer, there’s more paperwork, so you could remain in custody longer. The results are generally reliable; assuming the lab follows all of the proper procedures for handling and analysis. Blood tests leave a remaining sample that can be re-tested if there is something questionable about the results. Also, with a blood test, the police can check for substances other than alcohol.
Most law enforcement officers will try and bully you into taking the breath test because it’s easier and less paperwork for them. Don’t be bullied. Take the test YOU choose. If they refuse to give you the test of your choice, we can deal with that in court.
Driving on a License Suspended for DUI
Don’t do it. If your license has been suspended because of a DUI and you are caught driving, that is a whole new misdemeanor crime – it’s not just a ticket. The fines are high, there is mandatory jail, and if you are still on DUI probation, the new charge can result in a probation violation and even more jail. All of the courts and prosecuting agencies in and around Long Beach take this charge about as seriously as the DUI itself.
They Didn’t Read You Your Rights
On TV and in the movies, the “Miranda Rights” are always a big deal. Most people don’t know that the police are only required to read you your rights AFTER you are arrested. Until then, they can ask you all the questions they want, but YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ANSWER!
Your right to remain silent is absolute and exists regardless of whether you have been arrested. Even though the officer does not have to read your rights until you are arrested, you still have them and should always invoke them by saying: “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer any questions without my lawyer present; I am invoking my right to silence and to have an attorney present.” After that, you don’t answer any questions. Where are you going? Where are you coming from? Is this your car? Have you been drinking? The answer to any question is: “On the advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer any questions without my lawyer present; I am invoking my right to silence and to have an attorney present.”
Yes, that will make the officer angry, but that his or her problem. You do not need to forfeit your rights simply to make sure the officer is pleased; the officer is not your friend and he or she will not be doing you any favors in exchange for you being submissive to them.
If they ask for your license, registration, and proof of insurance, provide it without question.
Be respectful. Be polite. Be silent.
Your DUI is Worth Fighting!
The statutes and rules seem pretty clear: if you are driving under the influence, you are going to lose in court. NOT ALWAYS!
Before you can lose a DUI case, the prosecutor must be able to PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT several things, including:
1) you were driving,
2) that the police had probable cause to stop and arrest you,
3) all of the tests were performed correctly and all the machines were in proper working order.
In addition, BAC tests can be challenged, PAS tests are known to be unreliable, and field sobriety “tests” are nothing more than subjective agility exercises and their connection to sobriety is questionable at best.
Then there is the officer’s credibility to be questioned. For example, the police report will say you had red, watery eyes, but will the booking photo match that description? They will say your speech was slurred, but will the dash-cam audio confirm or disprove that? They will say you were staggering, but will the dash-cam video show that to be true?
When it comes to a DUI in and around Long Beach, there are many questions to be asked and many procedures to be questioned and that is reason enough to enlist the services of a tough and experienced DUI Lawyer in Long Beach.
Finding the Right DUI Lawyer in Long Beach
There is no shortage of lawyers in the Los Angeles area, but how do you pick the right one for you?
In my humble opinion, there are certain key things to look for when deciding on a lawyer to handle your DUI case in and around Long Beach. For example:
1. Is the lawyer easy to reach or do you have to go through layers of call screening?
In DUI and criminal matters, your lawyer should not be difficult to reach at a moment’s notice. You should not have to traverse layers of assistants and receptionists in order to speak to your lawyer. Better still, you should have multiple lawyers you can contact who have knowledge of your case.
At DUI Lawyer Long Beach, every case gets two attorneys, David Givot and Ashlie Brillault. With David supervising each case and Ashlie handling the pretrial court process, there are two sets of eyes to analyze every fact and to seek every opportunity for success.
2. Will the lawyer take your call at any time of the day or night or are there set office hours?
DUI and criminal matters are not like other types of legal cases. They are dynamic and subject to countless variables that don’t always conform to office hours.
Your DUI lawyer in and around Long Beach should be available to you when you NEED them. Because we work as a team, when one is unable to answer, the other usually is. In the rare case when neither is immediately available, both can be reached by text or, at the very least, a voicemail returned as quickly as possible no matter the time.
3. Is the lawyer responsive to your questions and patient with your concerns, or overly concerned about his or her precious time?
You are going to have a lot of questions. The entire DUI process is intended to be scary and confusing. Your lawyer should be willing to spend as much time as YOU need to talk about it. You should never be made to feel that your lawyer’s time is more valuable than yours.
4. Does the lawyer tell you the straight truth about your case and situation or does it seem that he or she is just telling you what you want to hear?
The DUI process in Long Beach, as most anywhere else, is serious and there can be many consequences. Your DUI Lawyer should be willing to tell you the truth, even when you are not going to like it. Telling you what you want to hear or making promises that are impossible to keep is unfair to you and can only lead to disappointment.
5. Does the lawyer encourage you to seek multiple opinions from other attorneys or does he or she try to sign you up immediately?
A DUI in Long Beach or anywhere else is serious and different lawyers will have different opinions about how to handle it. You should seek as many opinions as you feel you need before making a decision about who to hire to represent your interests, your rights, and your freedom. You should be cautious about any DUI lawyer who insists that you hire him or her immediately or pressures you into hiring them. There should be no pressure. If you feel pressure, beware.
6. Does the lawyer charge a flat fee for unlimited hours and court appearances or will he or she nickel and dime you for every minute?
DUI and all criminal cases take time to manage; sometimes months. When looking for a DUI Lawyer in and around Long Beach, consider whether he or she charges a flat fee or charges by the appearance or by the hour. Charging by the appearance or by the hour can quickly drive costs up well into several thousands of dollars. Consider a DUI lawyer who charges a flat fee that is all-inclusive and unlimited hours. More importantly, the flat fee should include ALL court appearances, the DMV hearing, AND misdemeanor trial.
7. Is there a good chemistry; does the lawyer make you feel comfortable or even more nervous?
This may be the most important factor to consider. Your DUI lawyer will be guiding you through a very challenging time. It is essential that you are comfortable with him or her so that you can work together to achieve the best possible result.
If you or a loved one has been arrested of a DUI, your first call should be to a premier Long Beach DUI Attorney. It is imperative you contact an attorney right away in order to understand your situation, find out what next steps need to be taken, and get a knowledgable DUI attorney on your side to defend and fight for you and your freedom. Call our offices 24/7 to schedule your Free Consultation at 562-206-2012.