Successful Sleeping in Car DUI Defense at the Santa Ana Courthouse

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Sleeping in Car DUI Defense

We used one our Successful DUI Defense to get our client out of trouble. Our client was apprehended in front of the Swinging Door Saloon in Tustin, CA, with a blood alcohol content over 0.20. He was found asleep in his car after a night of drinking. The Tustin Police Department arrested him, suspecting driving under the influence. However, the case had its flaws and we used the Sleeping in Car DUI defense to get him off .

sleep in car dui

Problems with the Prosecutions Case.

The police could not determine the exact time he had driven. Furthermore, we established that he was at the Swinging Door Saloon, corroborated by a dashcam in his car. This dashcam activates with the car’s engine and recorded his trip to the saloon before shutting off. It later turned on again when he started his engine, recording continuously for another hour until the police arrived. This evidence suggested that, although he intended to drive, he did not actually do so and was just sleeping in his car when he got the DUI.

The prosecution attempted to argue that he had driven to the saloon while under the influence, but this was challenging for them to prove. At the end of the trial at the Santa Ana courthouse, in front of Judge Yellen, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty. Despite this, the Orange County DMV Office, with Hearing Officer Phan, suspended his license. We filed a writ with the Superior Court to reverse this suspension and were successful in getting his license reinstated.

How did the dashcam footage play a crucial role in the Sleeping in Car DUI Defense

Yes, the dashcam footage played a crucial role our Successful DUI Defense of the DUI charge. The client’s dashcam showed his driving, or lack thereof, and the length of time he was parked. Although it did not show the time, the officers’ dashcam which we subpoenaed from the DMV hearing did, which helped establish the driver’s dashcam time. By combining both, we established that the client turned on his car and sat there without moving. The dashcam footage from the client’s car, along with the footage obtained from the admin per se hearing through the discovery process at the driver safety office, significantly helped our client.

What legal arguments were used to challenge the prosecution’s claim that the client drove under the influence?

The legal argument we used to challenge the prosecution’s claim that the client did not drive under the influence and contributed to our Successful DUI Defense was called the No Drive Defense. This is also known as DUI while sleeping in a car or DUI in a parked car defense. This defense assumes that the person was driving but makes it impossible to determine when they were driving. The premise of criminal law is that the state must prove a person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, they were not able to show the time of driving, even if they suspected he was driving.

Can you explain the process and significance of filing a writ with the Superior Court to reverse a license suspension?

The significance of filing a writ with the Superior Court to reverse a license suspension is important when a DMV employee abuses their discretion. This often happens with a certain hearing officer at the Orange Driver Safety Office, particularly Hearing Officer Fan. She is known for ignoring evidence and being an advocate for the state. In this case, we filed a writ, and then the attorney general offered to reinstate the license because they knew the hearing officer made a mistake and wanted to avoid paying attorney fees.

Despite a not guilty verdict, why did the DMV still suspend the client’s license, and how common is this?

The DMV suspended the client’s license before the not guilty verdict. Because this happened before the verdict, we were able to file a writ in Orange County Superior Court to reverse the DMV’s decision. After that, we had a jury trial and, following the pretrial process, the verdict came back as not guilty.

What are the key factors that contribute to a jury returning a verdict of not guilty in DUI cases?

Several key factors contribute to a jury returning a verdict of not guilty in DUI cases. In this particular case, it was more about Sleeping in Car DUI Defense and whether or not the prosecution met their burden of proof, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. This case was difficult for the prosecution as they lacked evidence aside from suspicion. Several prosecutors did not want to budge due to ego, necessitating a trial. No other prosecutor wanted to take on the case, again because of ego.

How does your firm handle cases where there is a discrepancy between the court’s verdict and administrative actions like license suspension?

When there is a discrepancy between the court’s verdict and administrative actions like license suspension, these factors are considered in resolving the court case. In cases where there is an administrative suspension, winning the court case can undo it. Conversely, if the administrative suspension is upheld and the court case ends in a DUI conviction, it will result in suspension. Every case is different, and these dynamics are considered when discussing options with our clients and when to get their restricted license.

What advice would you give to someone who finds themselves in a similar situation with DUI charges and potential license suspension?

People facing potential license suspension should, at the very least, have the police report reviewed by an attorney. After reviewing the case, the attorney can advise on how to proceed. Not every DUI case should go to a jury trial; in fact, many should be kept out of the jury’s view. However, a few cases should go the distance. Additionally, many cases at the Orange Driver Safety Office should not result in suspension. By consulting an attorney, you will know whether your case is one of these or not.

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