Honolulu DUI Lawyer
Experienced DUI Defense in Honolulu County
If you were pulled over and charged with DUI, the first thing we’ll
need to do is see what court you landed in. The island of Oahu alone has
six courthouses that handle DUIs. While laws are statewide, each judge
will have his or her own minor variations and peccadillos that a seasoned
attorney needs to know. Who the prosecutors are could also greatly affect
the outcome of your case, as prosecutors run the gamut of understanding
to less so. If we need to go to trial with an unreasonable prosecutor
who cannot understand the importance of a criminal conviction to your
life, we have no problem taking them to trial to explain the importance
of understanding our side.
On a side note, some lawyers may tell their clients that everything will
be okay or dismissed at the initial consultation. Here at Landsberg Law
Office we strongly believe that to do so is malpractice. At this point
in the case, no attorney will know enough to make such a statement; and
those who do are merely trying to give you a false sense of security in
order to take your money.
Are you facing a DUI charge in Hawaii? Call Landsberg Law Office today at
(808) 468-7292 or
contact us online to schedule a meeting with our
Honolulu DUI attorney.
What Information Do You Need in a DUI Case?
At the Landsberg Law Office, we are honest with you from the very beginning.
We can give a basic assessment based on your memory of what happened, but
before we commit to a full strategy we will need to obtain the following:
Offense Report: We will get the Offense Report from the ADLRO. If you choose, we will
sit down with you and discuss the contents page by page. There are many
ways around a DUI conviction.
Why were you pulled over? Is that reason consistent with the current case
law? Next, who is the officer? Are they TEU or a DUI Task Force Officer,
or are they an inexperienced patrolman who will likely crumble on the
stand? What Standard Field Sobriety Tests did you perform? Did you have
any prior mental or physical injuries?
Breath Test Score: Many attorneys are unwilling, or unable, to go up against an Intoxilyzer
result. However, that’s the not the case at Landsberg Law Office.
Our attorney is trial-tested and proven in court. We stay up to date on
the latest news and scientific findings that relate to any of the Intoxilyzer
models nationwide. Often, breath tests are simply performed wrong, or
the paperwork used to justify them is outdated. The Hawaii Supreme Court
has criticized the Honolulu Police Department on the way it has maintained
scientific records and instruments in the past, and all that case law
may end up being relevant to your case.
Blood Test Results: The science is based on gas chromatography, mass spectrometry gas chromatography
or enzymatic assay testing, and is highly scientific. You need an attorney
with a science background who can explain the gas chromatography to you
in terms that you can understand and can convince the judge that they
know the machine better than the police officer. A skilled and knowledgeable
DUI trial lawyer will not only challenge the four corners of the science
and the chain of custody with the blood, but will also know how the science
works and where problems arise in that process.
How Do You Win a DUI Trial?
Few lawyers have learned to win DUI trials on a regular basis. DUI is one
of the hardest cases to try because it is an opinion crime. The definition
of intoxication is to be under the influence of alcohol (or drugs) in
an amount sufficient to impair the person’s normal mental faculties
or ability to care for the person and guard against casualty, or having
a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.
A skilled DUI trial attorney needs to systematically weave a thread of
doubt throughout the entire case, demonstrating to the judge everything that occurred leading up to, during
and after the arrest. The police and district attorney only focus on the
negative aspects of your police interaction.
- We will give the judge ALL the information they need to follow the law.
- We will reveal the truth to the judge, even if it prevents the district
attorney from completing their mission.
- We discuss with you what you are up against, and use your responses during
that discussion in how we express to the court what is important about you.
How Will the Breath or Blood Test Affect My Case?
If the State has a breath or blood test, your case might become more difficult,
but a fair judge will still follow the law and find you not guilty.
Recently, the State of Hawaii has been very good on suppressing, or keeping
out, the breath test results – meaning your breath test may not
count against you. The State must prove that your BAC is accurate and reliable. Honolulu
DUI Prosecutors, while well-meaning, are often overworked and relatively
young. While still trying to figure out the rules of evidence and how
trials work in general, it is hard for them to gain enough knowledge and
understanding of the Intoxilyzer machine and infrared spectroscopy to
be able to present reliably on the results. Blood is more difficult to
defend than breath and, again, few DUI defense attorneys understand the
science. As such, it is absolutely crucial that you hire a blood or breath
DUI trial attorney such as the one at our office.
What is a Drug Recognition Evaluation?
A person may be intoxicated by a variety of substances, including: alcohol,
prescription medication, illegal drugs, over the counter medication, or
any combination thereof. So, if you look intoxicated and blow a 0.000,
you are still not going home. Blowing a 0.000 is the first step of the
14-step Drug Recognition Evaluation, where the officer tries to allege
that you are intoxicated by something other than alcohol. You are going
to need a skilled attorney who is familiar and comfortable in all aspects of a DRE.
Is a DUI a Felony in Hawaii?
felony DUI has three major differences from preparing and attacking a first DUI.
First, the defense is before a jury, not a judge. Second, the jury hears
you’ve “done the same thing three times before.” It
is a tough—but not impossible—stain to overcome. And third,
when it comes to the penalty, we are looking at potentially multiple years
in prison. Surprisingly enough, often your case itself is much better
as a felony. Using legal techniques, we can get around the stigma of prior
DUIs, and the jury gives us much greater leeway for talking about your
state of mind and character, rather than simply the bad results of a faceless
machine. There is no reason you should be prevented from professing your
innocence even though you admitted guilt twice before. Call direct for
an appointment with our DUI attorney: (808) 468-7292.
Your Rights as a Driver in the State of Hawaii
There is no constitutional right to drive. When you first got your license,
you signed it, effectuating a contract between you and the State of Hawaii.
Part of that contract is that by driving on Hawaii roads, if you are ever
pulled over for DUI then you must provide a breath sample. It is called
implied consent. Due to constitutional issues, the State generally cannot force you to
take a breath or blood test. We will go into more detail on implied consent
below. You can fight your case if you blow, take a blood draw, or refuse
the test. All require different strategy and knowledge.
What is the ADLRO Hearing?
If you refused the breath test, then the ADLRO is going to attempt to suspend
your license for two years on your first DUI arrest. If you have a prior
DUI where you refused the breath test and it is within five years of your
first refusal, then the ADLRO will attempt a license suspension of three
years. The penalties only go up from there. If you took the breath test
or blood test and failed (over a 0.08 BAC), then the State will attempt
a driver’s license suspension of one year on the First DUI and one
and a half years if you have any prior convictions within five years.
Under Hawaii Law, you still have the right to a hearing on whether your
license will be suspended. The hearing is governed by the ADLRO and is
conducted by a Director, who plays the role of both Judge and Prosecutor.
Once we request the hearing, the scheduling is governed by a number of
different rules, and they are often continued for strategic reasons by
either side. You rarely have to attend the hearing, and not doing so is
better if the officer decides to show up and then sees and remembers you.
If s/he does appear, our DUI defense attorney will have the chance to
cross-examine, under oath, and get a transcript of her/his testimony to
use in your criminal case.
What Happens in the ALDRO Hearing?
At the ADLRO, we are either going to get valuable testimony for your criminal
case or you will get to keep your license. Even if you lose your license,
most times you are entitled to an Ignition Interlock permit or an Employee
Driver’s Permit to allow you to continue driving. We will help you
acquire whichever one is right for you. Of course, each individual case
needs to be discussed and assessed in person, during a free consultation.
You have two cases against you if you have been arrested for DUI. You likely
know about the criminal case charging you with the crime of DUI, but you
also have a civil case against your driver’s license. You have a
limited number of days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing
to try and save your license. When you request the hearing, it will be
the difference between fighting to keep your license, getting your license
back, or being unable to challenge the revocation at all.
If you hire our DUI defense attorney early enough, we will request the
hearing for you. If you do not, we will still do everything we can to keep you driving.
Can a DUI Be Expunged in Hawaii?
A DUI can be expunged if you were not convicted of one, you were convicted
of one while you were under 21, first time DUIs. Call our Honolulu
criminal defense attorney to ask him how he can help you expunge your DUI from your record.
Contact Landsberg Law Office to schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced DUI lawyer!