DUI Cases in Beverly Hills

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles is that the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office often put young inexperienced prosecutors in control of misdemeanor drunk driving cases. DUI defense can involve technical and scientific issues which even experienced attorneys have difficulty understanding. Young deputy prosecutors, "cutting their teeth" on DUI cases are often out of their depth. This can work to our advantage if the case goes to trial, but most clients would rather avoid the cost of trial if possible. The frustration comes in trying to convince prosecutors to dismiss or reduce charges where there is a valid issue in the case. Some young prosecutors are scared to do this or just don't have the discretion to consider it.

I was recently in court on a first time DUI case in Beverly Hills. The client has a .08% breath test reading and a valid rising blood alcohol defense, based on a recent drinking pattern. The young and nervous deputy prosecutor in court seemed not to understand basic issues and refused to even consider a reduction to a wet reckless. This is a case that is now heading for trial even though the client is young and has limited funds available to pay for it. The clients willingness to compromise by pleading guilty to an alcohol related reckless driving is very reasonable and I would argue that it is a waste of time and resources to try a case like this.

Politics plays a big role in these things ofcourse and there is a lot of pressure on prosecutors to be tough on DUI cases. The problem I have is that young prosecutors should be given proper guidance in treating each case on its merits and listening to genuine arguments, rather than being told to say "No" and not think for themselves. They are qualified lawyers afterall, and should be free to exercise proper judgement for themselves.


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