Burbank DUI Process
Burbank is a city located 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles that is known as the "Media Capital of the World" due to the presence of such large media conglomerates as the Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers, and NBC. The number of Burbank DUI cases has dramatically increased over the last few years. People are being arrested and jail for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol in Burbank. This crime is more commonly called a Burbank Drunk Driving case.
Burbank is also home to the Burbank Courthouse, located at 300 East Olive Avenue, Burbank, CA, 91502. The Burbank City Prosecutor files nearly 5,500 cases a year and the Burbank Police Department directly files 12,000 to 15,000 traffic citations a year. One of the most commonly charged criminal offenses at the Burbank Courthouse is Driving Under the Influence pursuant to California Penal Code section 23152(a) and/or California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) .
A Burbank DUI typically begins with contact from a law enforcement officer from the Burbank Police Department or any of the other agencies that operate within Burbank, including the California Highway Patrol, the Airport Police operating out of the Bob Hope Airport, and even the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.Burbank DUI Investigation
A Burbank Drunk Driving investigation may be triggered by one of several events.
Most Burbank DUI arrests occur after a law enforcement officer observes a driver commit some violation of the California Vehicle Code or other law. The law violated can range from relatively minor violations, such as failing to properly signal a turn, to serious violations like driving on the wrong side of the road.
The Burbank law enforcement officer making the vehicle stop must be able to cite a reasonable, articulable justification for stopping that vehicle. This means that the vehicle stop cannot be based on a suspicion or hunch that the driver is impaired. After stopping the vehicle the officer will usually engage the driver in conversation to see if there any indications that the driver has been drinking. Burbank law enforcement officers look for physical signs of intoxication such as odor of alcohol on the driver's breath, bloodshot and/or water eyes, and slurred speech. Officers also will usually ask the driver if they consumed any alcohol prior to driving.
If the officer observes any these indicators and suspects that driver is, in fact, under the influence, they will escalate the traffic stop and ask the driver to exit the vehicle to perform a series of Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs). These include the standardized tests which consist of the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test which looks for the presence of certain involuntary eye movements, the walk and turn test, and one-leg life test which test for balance and ability to process and follow instructions.
In addition to the standardized tests, law enforcement officers in Burbank may employ a series of non-standardized tests, including the Finger to Nose Test, the Rhomberg balance test, and others. Many of these tests are discussed further in the article on Burbank Field Sobriety Testing. All of the tests used are subjective and depend on the judgment of the individual officer, not a calibrated device or scientific tool.
At this point, the Burbank officer may request that the driver submit a breath sample using the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device. This is a portable device that can be affected by many external conditions, such as weather. However, while the result may not be completely accurate, it will give the officer an indication if the driver has been consuming alcohol and, if so, how much. If the officer concludes that there is sufficient probable cause to arrest the driver for Driving Under the Influence, they will make the arrest and transport the driver to the police station or hospital for booking and further breath or blood testing. It is important to know that a person does not have to submit to the PAS test. In most cases this is the real justification that law enforcement officer has to make his arrest.
Drunk Driving in Burbank can also be observed by members of the public at large. Often, a member of the public may observe a fellow driver committing violations of the Vehicle Code or driving erratically and may call 911 to report the suspected Drunk Driver in Burbank. A law enforcement officer would then be sent to the area to try and locate the driver based on the tip provided. If they locate this driver, the officer will proceed with a DUI stop and investigation as described above.
A traffic collision can also be an event that prompts a Burbank Driving Under the Influence arrest. Following a collision, Burbank law enforcement officers are typically contacted and dispatched to the scene of the collision to investigate. If the investigation shows that one or more of the drivers was likely Driving Under the Influence at the time of the collision, the officer will arrest the driver(s) for DUI.
The situations described above all involve a scenario in which an impaired driver has performed some sort of driving conduct associated with impaired driving. However, in some circumstances, a Burbank DUI arrest may occur without any bad driving conduct. The Burbank Police Department increasingly relies on DUI checkpoints to generate DUI arrests and criminal charges. Burbank DUI Checkpoints are generally set up at heavily-used intersections and are held during evening hours when more Drunk Drivers are likely to be on the road. The checkpoint allows Burbank law enforcement officials to monitor all drivers passing through for Drunk Driving. Burbank DUI checkpoints must adhere to specific Constitutional guidelines. These checkpoints are discussed at length in the section on DUI checkpoints.Burbank DUI Arrest
Regardless of how the Burbank DUI investigation begins, it almost always ends with the law enforcement officer arresting the suspect driver and taking them for further breath or blood testing if the officer concludes that the suspect was Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol in Burbank. The suspect will be given the option of providing a breath sample at the station using the Intoxilyzer breath testing device or a blood test at a nearby hospital. If the suspect opts for the breath test, the results are immediately known and that person can be charged with Driving Under the Influence pursuant to California Penal Code section 23152(a) and/or California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) if the breath sample yields an alcohol level greater than 0.08 percent. If the suspect chooses the blood test, they will usually only by charged with VC § 23152(a), as the blood test takes some time to process. However, a prosecutor can add a charge of VC § 21312(b) later on in the DUI process.
In either case, the arrestee will be booked into the Burbank Police Department Jail located at 200 North Third Street, Burbank, CA 92106. He or she will usually be released the next day and provided a notice to appear with a court date at the Burbank Courthouse, located at 300 East Olive Avenue, Burbank, CA, 91502. The suspect will also have their California license taken from them and will be provided a temporary license informing them of an impending DMV license suspension.Burbank DUI: Before The Arraignment
The time between a Burbank DUI arrest and the arraignment date at the Burbank Courthouse is crucial. At this point it is important to have a private Burbank DUI attorney working immediately on your case. There are important deadlines which must be met, such as the ten day window in which a driver has to officially request an administrative hearing regarding their license suspension with the DMV.
In addition, a Burbank DUI lawyer can intervene early into the DUI process prior to charges being filed in order to work with the prosecutor and/or law enforcement agency to try and minimize or even avoid a filing altogether. If charges are filed, a private Burbank Drunk Driving attorney can fight the case on a variety of grounds, including the probable cause for the vehicle stop, the sufficiency of the samples provided and/or devices used for testing, and other crucial elements that prosecutor must be able to prove under California Penal Code Section 23152(a) and/or California Penal Code Section 23152(b) . An experienced and effective Burbank DUI attorney can challenge the People's case in order to get the charges dismissed or significantly reduced.
An individual facing charges of Burbank Driving Under the Influence basically has three options in terms of legal representation: they can represent themselves, they can use the services of the Public Defender, or they can retain a private Burbank DUI attorney.
Representing oneself without the benefit of an attorney is never advisable. The Burbank DUI process is complex, and professionals dedicate entire careers to learning and mastering DUI litigation. Abraham Lincoln, who himself was a criminal defense attorney, once said that "he who represents himself has a fool for a client." An experienced Burbank Drunk Driving attorney can bring a wealth of information and knowledge regarding the DUI Process that a person representing themselves simply does not have. Additionally a reputable Burbank DUI Defense attorney can evaluate a case for its strengths and weaknesses in a manner that someone defending themselves are never able to do. Simply put, a person who proceeds without an attorney puts him or herself at a marked disadvantage before the court.
If a person is indigent and has no job, no car and no money then a public defender may be appointed to represent that person. However, this may not be the best decision. A public defender cannot work on the case until the first court date, they cannot handle the DMV hearing, and they are often times over burdened by many cases. Many public defenders have extremely heavy caseloads and may not be able to give your case the individualized attention you believe it deserves. A defendant is not able to select who his or her public defender will be, and if they are not satisfied with whoever is appointed to represent them, they have little recourse in getting a different attorney.
Much of the Burbank DUI Pre-filing Investigation and work a private Burbank DUI attorney can complete cannot be done by a public defender due to the fact that a public defender is not assigned until the arraignment date. In addition, public defenders do not handle matters outside of the criminal prosecution, such as the DMV hearing.
A person charged with Drunk Driving in Burbank can also retain a private Burbank DUI defense attorney to handle his or her case. There are so many DUI attorneys to choose from that someone facing DUI charges may be overwhelmed.
In selecting a Burbank DUI attorney, it is important to keep several factors in mind. People should beware of attorneys who charge significantly lower amounts than other private attorneys. These attorneys typically deal in high volumes of cases and have very little interest in providing individualized attention to any one client. Additionally, people should be wary of the stacks of letters advertising DUI attorneys they receive following their arrest. These lists are purchased by various attorneys and often make big promises that cannot be fulfilled.
Those charged with a DUI in Burbank may seek out someone who is an expert on DUI law. This attorney may look great on paper, but if they own a large law firm or are visible in informational videos or DUI websites, you should be wary. Many of these attorneys have very limited contact with clients and instead hand their cases off to younger or more inexperienced junior attorneys. You may discover that they attorney you thought you had retained is not the same person who ends up handling your case.
In seeking out an attorney, there are several qualities that one should look for. Experience, especially extensive prosecutorial experience, is immensely valuable for any attorney. Such attorneys have handled cases from both the prosecutorial and the defense perspective and have true expertise on the subject matter. Additionally, one should find an attorney that they know will be available to them and will not hand their case over to a different attorney. With so much at stake, retaining a private Burbank DUI attorney with 14 years of prosecutorial experience may make the crucial difference when dealing with the charges against you.Burbank DMV Hearings
As mentioned previously, at the time of arrest, the suspect will have their license taken from them and the individual will be provided a notice of impending suspension. Unless the person (or his attorney) files a request for administrative hearing with the DMV within ten days, the license suspension will go into effect. The length of the license suspension depends on factors such as age of the driver, whether or not there was a refusal to provide a breath or blood sample, and whether or not the driver has had prior DMV suspension and/or DUI convictions, and finally if the reason for the DUI was due to drugs or alcohol. The DMV hearing process is discussed at length in the article on DMV hearings. Needless to say, having a private Burbank DUI attorney representing you at the DMV hearing gives you the best shot of avoiding a license suspension.Burbank Arraignments
The arraignment, as noted on the notice to appear provided at the time of arrest, is when a DUI defendant's first appears at the Burbank Courthouse. At this time, the defendant is notified of the charges against them and asked to enter a plea to those charges. If the defendant is represented by a private Burbank DUI attorney, they do not need to attend this hearing, as their lawyer can make the appearance on their behalf.
At the arraignment, the defendant or his attorney is provided with a copy of the complaint, which formally lists the charges, and the "discovery," which typically consists on the incident reports from the night of the arrest. The private Burbank Drunk Driving attorney will enter a plea of "not guilty" on behalf of his client and will set another date, usually a month off, for a pretrial hearing.Burbank Pretrial Hearings And Motions
After the arraignment, there may be a series of pretrial hearings at the Burbank Courthouse in which a private DUI defense attorney and the prosecutor can try to resolve several issues. A private Burbank DUI defense attorney will file discovery requests for additional material the prosecutor possesses that would help in defending their client.
Additionally, pretrial hearings are when the majority of motions are heard and ruled on by the Judge or Commissioner overseeing the case. These motions can vary depending on the specific fact patterns involved, but often include motions to suppress the evidence of blood and/or breath samples based on the illegality of the traffic stop or motions to attack the accuracy of the chemical test. These motions may force a prosecutor's hand if he or she realizes there are weaknesses to the case and may prompt that prosecutor to dismiss or significantly reduce the charges filed.Burbank Jury Trial
It is extremely rare for Burbank DUI charges to actually go to jury trial and approximately 95% of the matters resolve prior to trial, either through settlement or dismissal of charges.
If a defendant's DUI charge does not resolve, a private Burbank DUI attorney can try the case before a twelve-person jury. At trial, the prosecutor will have to present their evidence and witnesses to the members of the jury. The Burbank DUI defense attorney is allowed to cross-examine these witnesses as well as present witnesses and/or evidence of their own. A defendant is always entitled to take the stand and testify on his or her own behalf. After the case has been presented to the jury, they will attempt to reach a verdict of "guilty" or "not guilty." All 12 jurors must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of a defendant's guilt before a verdict of "guilty" can be rendered. If the jurors cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the case may be "hung" and the judge can order a mistrial. In these cases, the prosecutor may attempt to retry the case against the defendant and a private Burbank DUI attorney will make motions against having a new trial.1. After The Burbank Trial
If the defendant is successful at trial and is found not guilty, his Burbank DUI defense attorney can still make motions to seal or destroy any criminal records that have been filed with the court. Additionally, a Burbank Drunk Driving attorney can provide official notice of the acquittal to the DMV, his client's insurers, and even his employer if necessary.
Burbank DUI Defense Attorney Michael Kraut is skilled at representing DUI clients at all stages of the DUI process. Mr. Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney who is highly respected by prosecutors and law enforcements officials in Burbank. Mr. Kraut has a reputation for relentlessly fighting on behalf of his clients facing possible DUI convictions. He has been hired by Judges to represent their own family members and often times he is retained when law enforcement officials are arrested for driving under the influence.
For more information about the Burbank DUI Process, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Burbank DUI Defense Attorney Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 2600 West Olive Avenue, 5th Floor, Burbank, CA 91505. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 818-563-9810.