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DUI Dismissed In Metropolitan Court


My partner, Jeff Gold, was in Metropolitan Court last week with a client charged with DUI with a “refusal enhancement”. The client also had a prior DUI from out of state. An allegation that the defendant willfully refused to submit to a chemical test normally results in extra penalties if the defendant is convicted of DUI. Typically, the court would require a nine month alcohol education program instead of the mandated minimum three month program. In addition, anyone convicted of a DUI with a “refusal enhancement” faces the possibility of some jail time.

Jeff was able to persuade the deputy city prosecutor handling the case to dismiss the DUI and the enhancement and reduce the charges to an “exhibition of speed” pursuant to California vehicle code section 23109(c). This is a non-alcohol related misdemeanor that does not carry the normal consequences of a DUI.

Jeff’s approach to defending a DUI is to engage his clients in activities that promote such a settlement. Frequent AA attendance, letters of character reference and a psychological assessment are elements of this. The idea is to show to the court that the defendant accepts personal responsibility for his actions and will not be coming back with a second or third DUI. Some DUI defense lawyers will tell their clients that this approach does not work and that the only way to beat the case is to go to trial.

While that approach is valid and trial is often necessary for clients who must avoid a conviction, trial is not for everyone and Jeff’s approach to defending DUI cases can get the desired result without incurring the cost or risk associated with jury trial. Of course, everyone’s case is different and clients have different priorities. What works for one client, may not work for another client and past results are no guarantee of future success in other cases. At Gold & Witham, our approach is to carefully consider each individual client’s concerns and to provide individualized representation.

If you are interested in representation for a DUI, please call us for a free case evaluation at 800-716-6791.