Monday, April 25, 2011

Problems with DUI Breathalyzers

It's amazing how many times I have heard an "expert" testify that the breath device used in a DUI case is accurate, because it has so many safeguards that if it wasn’t working properly it wouldn't give a result. Obviously, that's not the case with the Alco-Sensor V used in Ventura County where hundreds of DUI convictions will be overturned and others will never have charges filed against them. Ventura County bought this device in January and since this time they have discovered that the Intoximeters’ breath device has been giving inaccurate readings.

Orange County law enforcement agencies also use one of Intoximeters’ breath devices, the Alco-Sensor XL IV, which is the same manufacturer as Ventura's Alco-Sensor V. The testimony I have repeatedly heard by the District Attorney's expert during DUI trials is that the amount of alcohol my client drank is inaccurate, because the machine is always right. The breath machine has the necessary "safeguards" such as the 15-minute observation period, the calibration and accuracy checks, the .00 reading prior to testing, the deep-lung blow, the two tests within a .02 of each other and on and on- "we have all these safeguards and we have two tests, the machine, not your client, is the one telling the truth". This is probably what they were testifying to the jurors in Ventura County until just recently when they discovered an issue with the mouthpiece of the DUI Breathalyzer.

So when you're sitting in that jury box and you're listening to the District Attorney's "expert" while they tell you that the breathalyzer is accurate by explaining all the “safeguards” and ultimately ending with “it gave two results”, please think again.

For more information on DUI visit: DUI Charges

Monday, April 11, 2011


Completing an application? A common occurrence, whether for school, new employment, advancement in employment, loans, and so forth. Then the question appears, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” So vague and unassuming, you just want to put “no” and move on, but should you… or will that DUI, drug issue, bar fight, or other mishap from decades ago show up right when you least need to be reminded of that indiscretion. Clean your record once and for all. There are various terms for cleaning your record, but the most common choice is a Motion to Expunge made under Penal Code section 1203.4. Terminology may be used such as sealing a record, which only occurs if the indiscretion occurred as a juvenile, or a Pardon, which only occurs if the person went to prison. Most, however, will need a Motion to Expunge. This process takes place after a person has completed all of the terms of probation, and where a felony conviction occurred, after the felony has been reduced to a misdemeanor. The Judge will then allow the convicted person to withdraw their plea of guilty or finding of guilt, and the Judge will then dismiss the case against them. Some charges do not qualify for an expungement such as a few vehicle code violations and some sex offenses. Other terms of the plea will not disappear such as driver’s license conditions and the inability to possess a firearm. In addition, if you are completing a government or state application, an expungement will not seal the record for those eyes and you must disclose the previous conviction. However, for the most part, a record may be completely expunged, and when asked if you have a misdemeanor or felony conviction, you can simply put “no”. Click here for more information on expungements