Author of "The DUI Answer Book" - Answers to Dozens of the Most FAQ's in a DUI Case ( Get your free copy)
"My name is David and when I got my 3rd DUI I hired Pat Silva to fight for me and he did! He got my 3rd dui dropped, all I had to do was plead no contest to a few moving violations. I had a bac of .17 and he still got it dropped that's why I call him the specialist!" (Another Happy Client)
Leader Amongst DUI Lawyers! I teach other DUI lawyers on how to defend DUI cases. Who do you want working on your case? The Master or the Student?
LATEST VICTORY: Christopher B. was charged with a 3rd time DUI. His 2 priors were in another state. We filed a "Motion to Strike the Priors" asserting that the out of state dui's did not meet the California equivalency test. RESULT: His out of state priors were stricken from the record, so instead of facing a 3rd time DUI in California, he is now only facing a 1st time DUI.(This does not predict a similar outcome of your case but is intended to show the fruits of my hard work) Only a dui lawyer knowing the dui facts about drunk driving defenses could get a result like this.
Another One: Daniel S. was charge with having a .20 BAC DUI and crashing his car. RESULT: We beat the DMV hearing and saved his license and his job. Last update 8/18/14: We got the case dismissed in court! All this by a dui lawyer working the dui facts and beating the drunk driving myths.
One More: Michael T. is a truck driver and had lost the DMV hearing while being represented by another attorney. This meant that because of the dui his Commercial Class "A" license was suspended for a year. Michael came to me, an experienced dui lawyer, and I was able to overturn the DMV loss through the court system and ultimately get him back on the road driving his big-rig. The results of a hard working dui lawyer working up the dui facts and dispelling the drunk driving myths.
And One More: Jasmine: was charged with a .09 BAC RESULT: DUI dismissed, she pled no contest to 2 traffic infractions.
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DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LITIGATION
Drunk Driving Defense Litigation - PHASE ONE: What are the Facts?
The first phase in a successful DUI defense case is to challenge the cop's reason for allegedly stopping you. This can be done by contacting a San Bernardino County DUI lawyer.
The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution states that all men shall be free from unreasonable search and seizure. In order for the police to comply with the 4th Amendment they must have probable cause to stop you. Without probable cause the stop is illegal and all evidence obtained cannot be used against you in a court of law This means that all the evidence such as the breath test, blood test, and all field sobriety test cannot be used against you. This is known as the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. Only a good dui lawyer working the dui facts can beat the bogus drunk driving myths.
Examples of where the courts found that the cops did NOT have probable cause to stop you.
Object hanging from rear view mirror
No front license plate (People v. White (2003) 107 Cal.App.4th 636.)
Driving over the right shoulder fog line
Driving over the gore point at a freeway exit
No observation of you driving by the cop
Weaving that is not pronounced or for a substantial period of time
Taking of your blood sample without being arrested
Driving on private property PEOPLE V. KROHN (2007) 149 Cal.App.4th 1294
But then you ask, How do we fight the stop? In California, we use what is called a Motion to Suppress under Penal Code Section 1538.5. This motion will be heard in court similar to a trial. There will be a judge, prosecutor, myself, you, and the cop. The cop is put on the witness stand to testify as to why he stopped you. Once the prosecutor is done with his initial set of questions, I then get to cross examine the cop and prove that what he thought was a good reason to stop you was not justified under the law.
ANOTHER RECENT SUCCESS STORY!! Hass E. was charged with a 2nd time DUI while he was still on probation for his first DUI. The DA alleged that he had a .28 blood BAC, an accident at over 100 mph, and charged him with a VOP. Before trial the DA wanted Mr. E to do 120 days of county jail, 90 days of a SCRAM braclet, and a $2000 fine. TRIAL: We started trial and after we excluded some evidence through the Motion in Limine process the DA re-evaluated their case. RESULT: DUI dismiss, Mr. E pled to a wet/reckless, NO jail time, NO scram, NO VOP, and a $800 fine. All the results of a hard working dui lawyer who knew the dui facts and the drunk driving myths.
In our Phase Two we focus on obtaining ALL of the documents you are entitle to. In the legal world we use a fancy name and call this "discovery." You are entitled to a substantial amount of documents. Such as, police report, witness statements, lab document, breath results, blood results, and much more. The prosecution will usually give us the police report and breath or blood results without much problem.
We then go a level deeper in our request. If you did any kind of breath testing we then request copies of all documents associated with every machine you tested on. This would include, repair invoice, calibration proof, maintenance records, gas records, just to name a few.
If we are fighting a blood test case we then request copies of ALL Gas Chromatograms that were performed on your blood. This usually results in us obtaining 60 plus additional pages of documents. Once we have these documents we can have our Nationally Recognized Expert review the documents for any problems in the testing. The procedure is called Gas Chromatography when they test your blood for the presence of alcohol. The process of Gas Chromatography is the process of separating the chemicals in your blood.
We Know the San Bernardino, Riverside, & Orange County Courts
As a DUI lawyer work day-in and day-out in the local DUI courtrooms within the Inland Empire. As a DUI lawyer I have made trusting relationships with the judges, Deputy DA's, and the court staff. I am well respected and known in all the Local courthouses, from San Bernardino Central DUI courts, to Pomona DUI courts, from Victorville dui courts to Temecula courts, from Riverside dui courts to Banning dui courts. Not every courtroom in every courthouse handles DUI's. It is important that your dui attorney knows who to talk to and the best approach to handling your dui case. I also represent good folks who need my level of experience and will manage cases in Orange County and Los Angeles County.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO ANALYZE THE DUI CASE?
In order to properly analyze your case we need a sit down face-to-face meeting which will typically last about an hour. Typical information that I need includes, your name and date of birth, age, height, weight, date of incident, time of incident, which police agency, how many cop cars on scene, how many cops in each car, did you call the DMV for a hearing within 10 days. This is just the background information.
Next we deal with the reason for the stop. My focus then shifts to each fact inch by inch of the dui arrest. We look at whether or not the officer had reasonable suspicion for stopping you for an alleged dui. As I mentioned above, you are protected by the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution and you have the right not to be stopped unless you have at a minimum violated a traffic code.
WIDMARK FORMULA. Erik Widmark was the original creator of the algorithmic formula which is used today to calculate your blood alcohol concentration. During our office meeting I will show you exactly what your BAC was at the time of driving based on your alcohol consumption. It is very important that we know exactly what you were drinking and when. We will use this and additional information in our computer program to produce a graph of your blood alcohol level.
STANDARDIZED FIELD SOBRIETY TEST. I am Certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. I have taken the same course that many Police, Sheriff, and CHP Officers have taken. However, as an dui attorney who knows the dui facts, I am trained to to execute the test perfectly. I have memorized the exact language of the SFST and well as the validating clues associated with each test.
HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS. This is the eye test. But did you know that most officers don't even know the most basic elements of the test? In order to do the test properly the officer must make 7 passes on each eye. If the officer does the test correctly he will have taken 86 seconds at a minimum to complete the eye test. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test is one of 3 test recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as being a "standardize field sobriety test."
How did the SFST come into existence? Back in 1975 the NHTSA gave a research grant to the Southern California Researh Institute which was lead by a Dr. Marcelline Burns. The study was 2 years in length. The purpose of the study was to identify which of the field sobriety test being used across the country had any reliability in determining if a person was over a .10 BAC. However, if you read the actual study one will find that the BAC limit which the officers used as their arrest decision point was .08.
Remember, back then the legal limit was .10. At the conclusion of the study they stated that there were 3 field sobriety test that could be reliable. They were the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk and Turn, and One Leg Stand. HOWEVER, the NHTSA Manual states that in order for the validating clues taken from the test to be valid, the test must be done EXACTLY as prescribed in the manual. That is found on PAGE 19 of SECTION 8 of the NHTSA Manual.
Back to the HGN, first the officer must give the test according to NHTSA standards and secondly the officer must be able to articulate all 6 of the validating clue. The validating clues must be articulated as "lack of smooth pursuit", "distinct and sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation", and "onset of nystagmus prior to 45 degrees."
LACK OF SMOOTH PURSUIT: The cop can produce a false indication of lack of smooth pursuit if he moves the stimuli ( his finger) across your field of view too fast. If the officer moves his finger at a rate of 1 second for every 30 degrees of angle this could affect the eye's ability to track the finger. http://www.theduianswerbook.com
DISTINCT AND SUSTAINED NYSTAGMUS AT EXTREMES. This 2nd part of the test requires the officer to "hold" his finger out to the far extremes, to the point where no more white is showing out of the corner of your eyes, he must hold it there for 4 seconds, the officer must do this twice on each eye, by the time the officer is done it would have taken the officer 20 plus seconds just to complete this portion of the HGN test. In reality, it takes approximately 1 minute and 26 seconds to complete the entire eye test. http://www.bestcaliforniacriminallawyers.com
David's Success Story
I met David when I was a young 20-something adult and I had bought a brand new airless sprayer from Home Depot. My buddy, Mark, David’s dad, was living in an older home and he said, “hey, come test out that sprayer over there, we’ll have a bar-b-que and drink some beers.” So I took my airless sprayer over there, and we ended up spraying that 1,100 square foot house in one day and it looked brand new. David was only four years old at the time. Almost 30 years later, I get a call from David, and he says, “I need help with a DUI.” I have not heard from David in almost 30 years, so it was kind of a surprise to hear from this young man that I last knew as a young child...... David told me that he was arrested for a DUI, and he did not think it looked good. He said that he was blowing off some steam and he had went to the local bar. I called the DMV to schedule an appointment to fight the license suspension, I received the police report about a month later. When I read the report I thought, boy, this does not look good, the cop wrote in the report that David was swerving over the left double yellow line three full times, and he went over the right white line twice before he pulled him over. David was arrested by California Highway Patrol which has a dash camera system, I subpoenaed the dash camera, and upon reviewing the video, there was some huge surprises. The video disclosed that it looked nothing like the police report that the cop wrote. Remember, the cop wrote that David went over the double yellow line three times and over the white line on the right twice.
This is what the video disclosed. David stopped at a red light, there’s a car behind him, the cop rolls up and he stops, they sit there another 10 seconds. As the light turns green, David proceeds straight. As he proceeds straight, the road dog legs to the right at about 15 degrees, David went straight, and as he got to the yellow line, he adjusted to the right, and continued driving in the middle of the lane. David’s wheels maybe got within two to three inches of the yellow line, but it never went over the yellow line three complete times like the officer wrote in his report. As I watched the video, it also disclosed that David did not go over the right white line even once. Based on the video, David drove completely perfect. He did not speed, did not swerve, and he definitely did not go over the lines as the officer described.
We held the DMV hearing, and I subpoenaed the officer to appear. When he appeared, he testified, and he said exactly what his report said, he said David went over the line three complete lines, his wheel was all the way over the double yellow line on the left, and that he went over the right white line two complete times. When I showed the officer the video, he stated, “oh, the videos can be wrong sometimes. That’s not what I saw that night”, I’ll give credit to that officer, as the country song goes, “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it”. Needless to say, I won the DMV and I saved David’s license. I did not mention that this was David’s third DUI, and his blood alcohol level was 0.17. A loss at the DMV would have required a suspension for a minimum of one year.
We went to court on his case, and I filed what’s called a motion to suppress under penal code 1538.5. Upon filing the motion, I came to court ready with a laptop, a DVD, and I was able to get a seasoned District Attorney who recognized the problem that the officer would have if he was going to take the stand and testify about what he allegedly saw. The DUI was dismissed, and ultimately, this saved David’s job and his license.
Tim's Success Story:
Tim was accused of a 2nd time dui with a breath reading of .11. The CHP believed Tim failed all of the field sobriety test. At a jury trial the expert for the government stated that they believed Tim drank 14 beers. Here is the problem, it took the officers 4 hours to process Tim through the system and NOT once did Tim ask to use the restroom. How does a person drink 14 beers and not have to urinate? I also proved that that breath machine was not working as designed.
Here is what Tim wrote about our law firm:
When I received mu DUI I reached out to another lawyer I knew and he referred me to Patrick Silva based on his experience and reputation in the legal community. I believed I had a case and after reviewing the details Mr. Silva felt strongly in supporting me as well. My case was dismissed after going to trial. It was a very stressful situation for me and Patrick went above my expectations throughout the entire process. I found Mr. Silva to be very ethical, honest, and professional. The trial process was tedious at times and Mr. Silva is extremely confident and knowledgeable which made me very relieved to watch him work on my behalf. The Judge, court room staff, and even the DA all showed great respect for him. To the jury he came across as an advocate for justice. Mr. Silva never made me feel like my case wasn't important. He was very responsive to my calls and kept me informed. I believe many attorneys will take your money, give you some weak advice, and get ready to move onto the next case, but Mr. Silva was extremely thorough and worked on the many details of my case until the very end. I was definitely happy he was on my side watching him work in the court room. I highly recommend Patrick Silva to anyone looking for an attorney and, although I don't plan on ever needing his services again, he would be my first call without hesitation. He's a worker and a fighter and has my respect for what he has done to help me and my family.