What are the steps in the defense of a DUI in California ? 

1.  DMV administrative hearing within 10 days. This hearing must be requested within 10 days or else the DMV will automatically suspend your license.

2.  Arraignment. This is your first appearance in court. If retaining an attorney, the attorney may go to court on your behalf. This is the first opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty or “no contest” to your DUI charges.

3.  Investigation by Defense. This includes the investigation of the traffic stop and police reports surrounding your arrest. This also involves the utilization of attorney resources including a private investigator to gain witness statements and other information necessary to a proper DUI defense strategy. It is important that the equipment used by the police in your case was calibrated and in good working order. This is one of the many issues where we'll file a discovery motion. 

4.  Pre-Trial Conference. This is where the attorneys on both sides meet with the Judge to determine whether the case will be brought into court and what punishment(s) will be sought.

5.  Trial. This phase is the jury trial in court. Most DUI cases do not go to court, however those that do would benefit from an attorney’s expertise to reduce potential punishments.

6.  Sentencing/Probation Reviews. This is the final stage in the DUI process where the court gives orders as to what it requires you to do after sentencing as punishment. Often times there are fines/fees/assessments, jail or GPS monitoring, probation of some sort, and DUI school requirements. An expert attorney can reduce or eliminate some of the harsher variations of these penalties. We serve Butte County, Glenn County, Tehama County. We will represent Military personnel in Yuba and Sutter County, as a courtesy to those who serve our country. 


Third Offense CVC §23152 Consequences: 

  1.  $2050 fines n fees
  2. 3-5 years formal probation @ $2000 per month
  3. DUI Class 30 month court approved program
  4. Lic. suspension 3 years (convertible to restricted license after 18 months)
  5. 120 days – 1 year of Jail time. 

In Butte County Court, on a third DUI we usually ask to refer it to probation where they would conduct a RANT assessment, sent is cont. if HIDE eligible they would do 120 days most of which would be on an ankle monitor, but they could do a few days in custody and be released with t/c. Sometimes the better option is to ask for 120 days 90 suspended with 30 month DUI school and get around HIDE. See Cvc23548b.

Revocation: A third CVC §23152 conviction triggers a 3-year revocation imposed by the DMV, CVC §13352(a)(5). If the trial court imposes the maximum one-year sentence, it may also order a delay of the license suspension start date until the jail sentence is completed. CVC §23665.

Restriction Eligibility: There is eligibility for an IID-restricted license after six months or one year, depending on whether or not drugs are involved in the DUI offense. Read further to find laws regarding  IID-restricted license option, requirements and limitations, as well as the early timelines for eligibility. 

  • Court Has Option to Order Ignition Interlock Device for Others
  • CVC §23575 gives the court the option to order an ignition interlock device. Previously the IID was mandatory for some offenders (see former CVC §23246(a)(1)).
  • When ordered, the IID requirement is reported to the DMV as disposition code “I” on the abstract sent to the DMV.
  • IIDs for  third- time offenders after six months. CVC §§13352(a)(3) and (5). To make this earlier IID-restricted license scheme work, effective July 10, 2010, excessive-alcohol APS suspensions terminate once the offender has been convicted of a CVC §23152 alcohol-only offense arising out of the same incident and has satisfied the conditions for an IID-restricted license under CVC §§13352(a)(3) (second offender) or 13352(5) (third) 

Current Butte County, California DUI consequences, 2017

DUI 1st

DUI 2nd

MIP- Minor In Possession of Alcohol In Chico:

There are typically three agencies who may have authority over you as a result of a MIP citation or arrest in Chico :

1.  The court

2.  The DMV and

3.  The University or other Education System

The Court:

An MIP citation in Chico is under the Authority of the  Butte County Court. Law enforcement, including Chico Police Department, University Police, Alcohol Beverage and Control, may all write a Minor in Possession charge. A MIP conviction results in a one year license suspension regardless if the case is a misdemeanor or an infraction. Our MIP Attorneys will appear in court on your behalf and represent you at all the hearings. This means you do not need to attend court if you wish to not. We will attend an MIP arraignment, then set your case for a court trial. We will conduct a court trial, this is typically 1 to 3 months from the time we make the first court appearance. We try to time the trial based on your schedule of work and education. If we win at trial, your case is dismissed.

MIP mitigation. If we take your case to trial, and the DDA proves their case and the Judge decides against you, we intend to mitigate the consequences to this charge by filing a Petition for a Restricted License and then in one year, a case Expungement. The Restricted License would allow you to drive to necessary activities such as school, work, school activities and medical appointments if requested. An Expungement will result in the court record stating "dismissed" as opposed to a conviction date. California law has become more favorable to people who've had their charge expunged. An employer may not ask about an expunged record, and licensing boards may not use an expunged conviction as the only reason to deny a professional license for some professional licenses. 


If, at some point, the court decides against you, then court documents regarding your MIP will be sent to DMV. DMV is required to suspend your driver's license for one year.  Our Chico MIP Law Firm will file a petition requesting you be allowed to drive for necessary activities. In order for you to have a "critical need " or restricted license we must prove up where you live, where you need to go, where public transportation is located, and why it is necessary for you to drive to these locations. We will file this information for you. It is very difficult to get from place to place without a car, especially in Butte County. 

The University or other Education System:

Chico State University has a "Judicial Counsel" disciplinary committee. They get copies of all the arrests, and require students to appear in front of this committee if there is an arrest. Chico State University then requires the student attend some awareness classes. etc. Butte College and the Lineman school might also take into consideration and have discipline processes depending on your field of study. A cadet at the Police Academy, for example may be removed from the program for a criminal arrest or driver’s license suspension.

DUI Laws 2016:

The California Vehicle Code Section 23152 defines what it means to drive under the influence. Here’s the new statute regarding Drunk Driving and Driving Under the Influence Laws in California.   

  • Driving Impaired. DUI section (a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage to drive a car, or truck, or motorcycle or even a lawn mower.DUI with .08 alcohol level
  • Driving with alcohol level of over a .08. DUI section (b) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in their blood to drive a vehicle.DUI as an addict
  • Driving and addicted to medication or drugs. DUI section (c) It is unlawful for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in an approved narcotic treatment program.DUI driving in commercial vehicle
  • Driving a commercial vehicle with alcohol level of .04 or greater. DUI section (d) It is unlawful for a person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle.DUI with drugs
  • Driving impaired with drugs. DUI section (e) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle. 
  • Driving impaired with drugs and alcohol. DUI section (f) It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.

Changes in California DUI Laws Affect drivers in California. The Butte County court has new plea forms articulating these laws. Drugged driving is more common on California roads and highways than drunk driving, according to a 2012 study commissioned by the California Office of Traffic Safety. For more information please go to our web site: http://chicoduiattorney.com

Who is the best DUI attorney in Butte county?

We have high ratings from our clients. Five star Yelp reviews, Google and Avvo reviews are all at the very top. Attorney Susan M. Hearne specializes in DUI defense. Her years of experience and success can be referenced by respected websites such as Avvo, Yelp and others. Attorney Susan Hearne proudly serves all of Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties.

What can an attorney do for me ?

An good DUI attorney can be beneficial to your case in a number of ways:

Set a DMV administrative hearing appear on your behalf for that hearing..

 Make court appearances on your behalf (this means you do not have to be there).

 Provide a thorough evaluation and investigation.; we have in house private investigators

Provide a comprehensive DUI defense strategy.

Experience and Expertise.

Reduced penalties (such as GPS monitoring instead of jail time)

What is Driving with Drugs ?  

Driving with drugs means any drugs in your system can impair your thinking or coordination and this effects your ability to drive safely. This can mean legal drugs that are prescribed to you, or illegal drugs.

California law states it is illegal to drive while impaired due to the consumption of drugs. "Drugs" are defined as a substance other than alcohol that can affect your nervous system, brain or muscles. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal drugs.

Methamphetamine is a nervous system stimulant and is legally used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  Most methamphetamine in California, however, is illegal. Methamphetamine has been used to improve endurance and to help truckers complete their long hauls without falling asleep. While something used to improve performance and alertness could actually impair driving is a bit confusing. However, side effects may impair your thinking or reaction to events while driving.  Small amounts of methamphetamine can cause a loss of sleep, physical activity, rapid heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Larger amounts of methamphetamine can cause: anxiety, confusion, mood swings, angry behavior, paranoia, delusions (such as the sensation of insects crawling under the skin).

Ecstasy, cocaine, and other drugs also effect your ability to think and physically function. 

Because of its for adverse effects, meth and other drugs could impair a person's ability to drive in a reasonable and prudent manner.