Banning Courthouse Case Study: From 100 MPH DUI to Wet Reckless Plea

A vibrant red modern sports car, sleek and aerodynamic, speeding over 100 mph in a suburban setting.

Case Background: High-Speed DUI and Legal Challenges for a Work Visa Holder

We recently represented a client who was in the United States on a work visa at the Banning Courthouse in Riverside Calfiornia. He is an Indian national and was here for work at a company. He got pulled over for a 1st DUI, specifically for driving over 100 mph, which exposed him to the DUI speed enhancement. Additionally, he was recorded on Lidar. Two officers in the car were able to testify to this. This incident occurred on the 10 eastbound freeway, west of Oak Valley Parkway. Eventually, the vehicle exited on 6th St. and entered a parking lot at 6th and Vail Ave. Since the client was here for work, he was later transferred to Ohio. Several factors were at play here. The client’s occupation was in the computer industry, specializing in programming. He was of Indian descent and here on a work visa. The charges he faced included a DUI with a speeding enhancement. The legal issues involved determining whether the state could prove that he was driving recklessly and whether he was driving under the influence and over the legal limit of 0.08. The legal hurdles and complexities of the case involved him being over 0.08 at the time of driving. Additionally, there was the potential of a speeding enhancement. In many cases where a client is borderline, the prosecutor may charge the speeding enhancement for bargaining purposes, making these cases difficult because a DUI should have been avoided in the first place. The strategy in this case was to avoid the speed enhancement and the DUI. Ultimately, we aimed to avoid everything. However, with our client going over 100 mph, we had to work with the circumstances presented, including a breath test result of 0.08.

Legal Proceedings: Navigating the Court System and Achieving a Favorable Plea

Initially, when the case passed through the legal system, the first court date at the Banning Courthouse, known as the arraignment, took place. By this time, our client had moved to Ohio. Being in Ohio, he was unable to attend the first court date. Interestingly, no case was filed on the date of the arraignment, meaning his attendance would have been unnecessary. We continued to monitor the court dates at the Banning Courthouse for a subsequent date for our client. The case was eventually filed, and we made an appearance on behalf of our client who had moved out of state for his DUI. Case Proceedings: Provide an overview of how the case progressed through the legal system, including important hearings or motions. As the case progressed, we had several pretrial dates, also known as negotiations. At the arraignment, we had the option to admit or deny the charges. Preferring to avoid a DUI for our client, we denied the charges. After denying the charges, we decided to confront the case head-on. We met with the prosecutors, informing them of our rejection of the DUI charge in the pretrial process. After negotiations with the prosecutor, we secured a charge of reckless driving with alcohol, a significantly better outcome for our client. The DUI charge was dismissed and replaced with a reckless driving charge, providing our client with a more favorable settlement. During this process, our firm acted as a negotiator and intermediary. While our client continued his work out of state, we engaged in arguments and negotiations with the state to move away from the DUI charge. Our knowledge of the Penal Code allowed us to represent our client in his absence. These efforts contributed to the dismissal of his DUI charge and the acceptance of a wet reckless charge instead.

Client Impact: Overcoming Cultural and Legal Barriers in a Foreign Legal System

The case’s outcome had a substantial impact on our client’s life. Being from another country, he was unfamiliar with the U.S. legal system. His charges subjected him to additional probation conditions and entangled him in the complex systems of the DMV and court. Additionally, his plans to move out of state complicated matters further. Navigating these challenges would be difficult for a local resident, let alone someone from another culture. We managed these issues on his behalf, allowing him to focus on his work.

Lessons Learned: Successful Negotiation Strategies in DUI Cases

The biggest lesson from this case is that it is possible to negotiate down two levels if the facts justify it. Our client faced a DUI with a speeding enhancement but we successfully negotiated to dismiss these charges and secure a wet reckless charge instead. This outcome avoided a 60-day minimum jail sentence, which would have been catastrophic for an Indian national here for work. Instead, he received one year of probation and could complete his alcohol class out of state.

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