Kim W. Hansen: Anyway, what I thought I’d do today is maybe just drop some free legal advise, some tips of how you can stay out of trouble and avoid having to call me on a few things. These are some things off the top of my head, some things that have happened. Cases I’ve had in the past.
I’m sure we’ve all gone to the doctor and we’ve been given a prescription. Maybe we went to Dr. Mark, had had are teeth pulled or something, and he gave us a prescription for Vicodin for the pain, and we don’t want to take that whole prescription bottle with us to work, so what do we do.
We just put out our dose for the day in a double baggie. We put it in our purse if we’re a lady, pocket if you’re a guy, and maybe get pulled over for a traffic ticket or something. You’re fumbling to get your license out and low and behold, this little baggie of pills stumble out or see on the front seat. You have no prescription for that, so what are you facing, now you have a charge of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. That happens, so, what’s the…
Business Growth Innovators Member: Take the prescription.
Kim W. Hansen: Take the prescription, thank you Andy. He’s not even an attorney and he’s figured that out. Just keep that in mind. And people try to help the friends or family, they say, oh, you’re out of that prescription, here I’ll put some in a baggie, it’s the same thing, you know, I give it to him, and you’ve got the same problem. So just kind of avoid those things. That’ll keep you out of a lot of trouble with some of the drug laws.
How many of you have teenage drivers at home with you? Anybody?
Business Growth Innovators Member: They keep coming back.
Kim W. Hansen: Yes, they keep coming back. One of the things, when your teenager gets their license. They’re so excited to drive, of course, what is more fun than to drive, than sharing it with your friends. It’s no fun to drive by yourself. Get all your pals, and drive them around. Hey, I got my license, and low and behold, you go to pick them up and one of them might have a beer with them. And you think, well, I’m not going to touch this stuff. I don’t want to get a DUI at an early age.
So you say, hop in, but stay in the back. Well as the driver of t he vehicle, you’re responsible for that. Get a traffic stop for just a regular traffic violation, you’re going to have an open container charge with a minor in possession of alcohol, and that’s an automatic one year suspension on the license.
So we’re going to have those teenage drivers coming up, just give them the little lesson. If you’re friends want to ride with you, fine. If they want their beer to go with them, give them the choice, they can either stay with their beer, or you can come without the beer, because you’re going to be the one who pays the price on that.
Lets talk about the DUI’s for a little minute. If you get stopped on a DUI, California has what’s called implied consent law, where when you sign up to get your drivers license, you’re giving consent to a blood alcohol test, either a breath or a blood test.
When the officer stops you, maybe you’re going the wrong way on a one way street, or maybe you forgot your headlights, or whatever they stop you for. They want to make sure that conviction sticks so they’re going to try to bolster their case by doing what are called, field sobriety tests.
You don’t have to do those. You can say, I don’t want to them. You aren’t required to do them. They might want to have you blow into a little, they might have a little machine you can blow into right there in the field in their car. Here, take this, just to clear you to make sure you aren’t DUI, so we can let you go.
You don’t have to blow in that, again, that doesn’t come under that implied consent law. If they arrest you and take you down to the station, then you have to do one of the blood or breath tests down there, or you’re going to get what’s called a refusal enhancement which has additional penalties to a DUI. You’re going to be facing a one year suspension for a first offense on that.
So don’t feel compelled to help them build their case by giving them a field sobriety test. People all think, I can pass that, I haven’t had that much. Those tests are subjective. If you ask the officer how do I pass the test, he’s not going to tell you, because there is no standard objective pass line.
All it is, is their getting evidence to put in a report. If they have to go to trial in a court, they can testify. This is what he did, he closed his eyes, with his head back, he was swaying two or four inches, it’s all the same on the police reports. I don’t have to read them anymore.
It’s going to be two to four inches of head sway, it is. It’s never six, or eight, or ten. It’s always two or four inches, and if I had you put your head back, close your eyes, put your hands out and estimate 30 seconds. Is 28 seconds passing, is 29, does it have to be 30. No, there is no standard on that.
Like I said, it’s just a way for them to gather evidence to make their case stronger against you. So you don’t need to give those pass tests. You don’t need to do those field sobriety tests.
If you’re ever detained by an officer in an investigation, and you’re not sure what it’s about, you can just ask them. Am I under arrest? He’ll say yes or no. He’ll probably tell you no, he’s just doing an investigation. Then you can say, am I free to go? If he’s investigating he’ll say no or not. The reason I say ask those questions is because, if later on it comes out that it was an unlawful detention, you’ve asked those questions, and their on the record. Sometimes they have their digital recording devices. And they’ll have your conversation on there. Those can all be used as a defense for you, whether you had given a consent or not to being questioned by them.
The other thing I mentioned a couple weeks ago when I was here. You don’t ever want to give consent to a search. You mind if I just check your vehicle before I let you go? No. I don’t want you to do that. Would it be okay, if I did that? No, unless you have a warrant. If they really have a reason to arrest you, they’re going to arrest you on the spot. Sometimes they’ll say, if you do this, I’m not going to arrest you.
If they’ve got enough information, they’re going to arrest you whether you’ve cooperated or not with them. So just tell them no if they want to search, and have them get a warrant.
A lot of times it’s just a fishing expedition, maybe they’ll get lucky. Not necessarily you, or somebody else they’re doing that with to have drugs, or whatever with a car or a gun or something.
Police officers aren’t perfect. Police officers, believe it or not, sometimes they don’t tell the truth. Sometimes, I’m not saying all, because I have a brother-in-law who’s a police officer. I have a brother-in-law who’s a DA, but sometimes there’s bad apples in there. If they aren’t going in on a search, there’s no way they can plant anything in there to make it look like they’ve got a good arrest.
So, you just don’t want to give them that opportunity. 99% of the time you’re going to be fine, but you don’t want to be the one bad apple that it happens to. Just about out of time, they gave me my two minute warning there. So, I’ve already got questions, so we’ll start back there. Go ahead.
Business Growth Innovators Member: Can you challenge their accuracy or calibration of their equipment, for example (?) those radar guns they got?
Kim W. Hansen: Defense attorney’s always request those records, calibration records and see. Some times they haven’t been calibrated correctly or recently within the time frame, and so that’s a great defense. So we’re always in discovery are asking for those types of records, the calibration and how the testing was done. See if the officers been trained. That’s another thing we check for, to see if they had their post training on that.
Business Growth Innovators Member: Which is more accurate, the blow thing or blood?
Kim W. Hansen: Well, different defense attorneys, some like their clients to do the breath, some like the blood. It kind of depends on what you’re doing. If it’s a low blood alcohol, you think you’re just on the border, I like them to do the blood because it’s preserved and you can have it re-tested by an independent lab. There’s a sample on the end, perhaps it will come out under the limit of .08. If you think it would be way high the breath might be a way to go. Thank you everyone. I appreciate it very much.
The Law Offices of Kim W. Hansen emphasizes the following areas of Criminal Defense law:
1700 W. Katella Ave., Suite 200
Orange, CA 92867