DUI Defense Attorney
For many years, Mr. Dudley has represented defendants in prosecutions for driving under the influence (DUI). Recently, he has focused that aspect of his practice on defending felony DUI cases, including charges of vehicular homicide.
Particularly through his ability to attack the expertise of investigating officers and to challenge the reliability of forensic evidence, Mr. Dudley has obtained acquittals, dismissals and favorable dispositions for his clients in a good number of DUI cases.
Because he does not limit his practice to, or even focus it principally on, DUI defense, he is able to bring to such cases, particularly the felony allegations, insights which would not be available to those attorneys with narrower criminal defense experience, especially those attorneys who refer to themselves as DUI experts.
Driving under the influence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony driving under the influence is usually reserved for incidents that have aggravating factors. These can include:
- Blood alcohol level that is substantially higher than the legal limit.
- The suspect has a prior DUI conviction, or multiple prior convictions for driving under the influence. If the prior DUI was also charged as a felony this is a further aggravating circumstance.
- The alleged DUI driver was involved in an accident (rather than pulled over by the police). When the accidents involve injuries to other people the charge is usually felony DUI.
A DUI incident that includes the death of another person will likely lead to vehicular homicide charges. It is the most serious type of DUI, and the charges can sometimes be raised up to second degree murder if there are aggravating circumstances. Aggravating circumstances would include things like prior DUI convictions, or egregiously reckless actions while driving intoxicated.
Consequences of Conviction
Felony DUI is a serious charge, and conviction will lead to serious punishments. Lengthy incarceration is likely, and it will usually be served in a prison rather than a jail. There are heavy fines, and driving privileges may be revoked permanently. In addition, the felony record can prevent returning to previous employment, and may prevent future employment.
Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing a felony DUI, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help build you a solid defense. Mr. Dudley has the experience, the resources and the skill you need to minimize your penalties. To schedule an evaluation of your case, contact Mr. Dudley today.
DUI Defense: Selected Case Results
- P. v. H.C.: The highway patrol observed the defendant weaving erratically on the freeway and smelled the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath. The defendant allegedly failed three field sobriety tests and then refused any forensic blood/alcohol tests. At trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict and the judge ultimately DISMISSED all charges against the defendant.
- P. v. A.G.: Leaving a major event at a local horse racetrack, the defendant crashed his vehicle into another car. Three civilian witnesses described him as being belligerently drunk and two police officers claimed he failed several field sobriety tests while failing to be cooperative with them. A breathylyzer test recorded his blood/alcohol level as twenty percent above the legal limit. A jury found him NOT GUILTY of all charges.
- P. v. M.W.: Police observed the defendant violate several traffic laws and, subsequent to his detention, fail several field sobriety tests. The defendant refused to submit to any forensic blood/alcohol tests. After a jury could not reach a verdict as to his guilt or innocence, the trial judge ultimately DISMISSED all charges against the defendant.
- P. v. J.O.: The defendant purportedly violated several traffic laws and was stopped by the police. Subsequent to failing several field sobriety tests, he submitted to a breathylyer test which found his blood/alcohol level to be substantially above the legal limit. The defense filed a motion to suppress all evidence, claiming that the defendant had been unlawfully stopped and detained. Granting that motion, the trial judge DISMISSED the case against the defendant.
- P. v. H.B.: The defendant was a prominent lawyer whom police arrested leaving a club in downtown Los Angeles. A blood test revealed his blood/alcohol level to be 0.12. The defense filed a motion to dismiss the case due to undue prosecutorial delay as a key witness for the defendant had left the country before charges were filed. The trial judge granted that motion and DISMISSED all charges.
- P. v. A.L.: The defendant was a prominent lawyer who was observed driving his vehicle at 100 miles per hour over the Bay Bridge in San Francisco. The defendant passed every field sobriety test but was taken to a police station where a breath test recorded his blood alcohol level at 0.32. Although the prosecution initially wanted the defendant to serve significant jail time, he was eventually sentenced to PROBATION with several days of litter collection along local highways.
- P. v. P.B.: Police observed the defendant violating several traffic laws and fail multiple field sobriety tests. A urine test recorded the defendant's blood/alcohol level at 0.12. When the defense re-tested the sample, that level was recorded at 0.08. Pursuant to a defense request, the prosecutor then DISMISSED the case.
- P. v. D.M.: The defendant was partying at a club in Hollywood, California until early morning hours. When she left to retrieve her vehicle, local police officers pulled over her car for illegally parking in the street. Through private investigation, the defense demonstrated in a motion to suppress evidence that valet parkers at the club and placed the vehicle lawfully in the street. Before the motion could be heard, prosecutors agreed to DISMISS the DUI charges and allow her to plead guilty to a non-alcohol related offense.
- P. v. K.S.: Police initiated a hot pursuit of the defendant, who was suspected of drunk driving. After initiating a brief, high-speed chase, the defendant drove her vehicle into the garage of her residence, closing her garage door on top of a marked police car. After the SWAT team was called to attack her home, the defendant allowed law-enforcement officers to enter the residence and arrest her. The defense alleged several violations of her constitutional rights. Due to evidence of these violations, prosecutors DISMISSED all criminal charges and allowed her to plead guilty to two traffic infractions.
- S. v. N.F.: At 2:00 am. on a weekend morning in Texas, the defendant crashed her vehicle into another car while driving in excess of 80 miles per hour. Both cars careened across five lanes of heavy traffic. The driver of the other car was seriously injured and the defendant temporarily escaped. Responding to a 911 call from an un-involved driver, a DPS officer was able to locate the defendant and detain her. The defendant supposedly failed several field sobriety tests and then refused to take any forensic blood/alcohol tests. Before trial, the judge granted the defense motion to suppress evidence and DISMISSED all charges against the defendant.