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On a side note, rumors are some lawyers may tell their clients that everything will be okay or dismissed at the initial consultation. We believe that is malpractice. At this point in the case, they do not know enough to make such a statement and are trying to give you a false sense of security in order to take your money. At The Landsberg Law Office, we are honest with you from the very beginning. Why can give a basic assessment based on your memory of what happened, but before we commit to a full strategy will obtain these things:
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. 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 present reliably of the results. Blood is more difficult to defend than breath and, again, few DUI defense attorneys understand the science. It is absolutely crucial that you hire a blood or breath DUI trial attorney such as the ones at our office.
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 will be the difference between fighting to keep your license, get your license back, or being unable to challenge the revocation at all. If you hire Marcus early enough we will request the hearing for you. If you do not, we at the Landsberg Law Office will do what we can to keep you driving.
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. If you refuse an alcohol test in the state of Hawaii, you expose yourself to a second charge of “Refusal to Blow” under Hawaii Revised Statute § 291E-68 and enhanced penalties at the ADLRO. You can fight your case if you blow, take a blood draw, or refuse the test. All require different strategy and knowledge.
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 another 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), then the State will attempt a 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 can be suspended. The hearing is governed by the ADLRO, and is conducted by a Director, who plays the role of both Judge and Prosecutor. All hearings are held on King Street over near Market City. These hearings are not scheduled automatically, we must request them. 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, Marcus will get a chance to cross-examine, under oath, and get a transcript of her/his testimony to use in your criminal case. Often the officer’s testimony is discredited at the ADLRO hearing, resulting in a positive outcome for the DUI case. For that reason, many officers fail to show up. Also, simply due to the location and scheduling of the hearings, often it is harder for the officers to come to the hearing than to Court. If they fail to appear and they were properly subpoenaed, then you win and keep your license. 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 bed discussed and assessed in person, during a free consultation.