Exhibition of Speed in Metropolitan Court
I had two separate DUI cases this week reduced to an "exhibition of speed" in Metropolitan Court, which is the main DUI court for central Los Angeles. "Exhibition of Speed" is a violation of Vehicle Code Section 23109(c). Although it is still a misdemeanor and not an infraction, it is not alcohol related and does not constitute a prior conviction for DUI purposes, so that a future DUI conviction would still be regarded as a first offense.
The penalties for an "exhibition of speed" typically include 24 months of informal probation and a fine of $240 plus penalty assessments. The court does not order an alcohol education class or any other penalties associated with a DUI and the conviction does not trigger a suspension or an ignition interlock device requirement from the DMV.
Generally speaking, a reduction to an "exhibition of speed" is a very good disposition and one that should normally be accepted. The cost and risk of jury trial is not normally attractive if such an offer is made. However, there are occasions when even this type of offer should be rejected and the case should go to trial. I was offered an "exhibition of speed" for a client in Van Nuys Court recently. My client turned down the offer in favor of trial. This was a DUI based on medication, not alcohol. The client was vindicated because he was found not guilty after trial.
There are courts that will never make such an offer in a DUI case. Ventura Court does not offer reductions in DUI cases, and a "wet reckless" is as good as it gets in Orange County.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles and you have a court case pending in Metropolitan Court, do not plead guilty to DUI before speaking to a DUI defense lawyer in Los Angeles as it is often possible to avoid a conviction for DUI in return for a plea to a lesser charge.