Don't let a DUI lock YOU up!

Once arrested, what happens next in my Butte County DUI? 

There are two, three or more entities that may review your case and have the authority to order consequences on a DUI:

1. California DMV

2. California Court System

3. College that you attend may have a disciplinary board.

4. Professional Licensing Board. If working as a Nurse, Counselor, Truck Driver, or even Audiologist! You may receive a disciplinary review of your license. 

IMPORTANT: DMV will automatically suspend your license unless you take action immediately!! Request an administrative hearing with DMV to keep a temporary license. This hearing must be requested within 10 days of the citation issuance. Our law office will contact DMV for you if you are our client. 

·     The Court System or the jail, will order an arraignment. This is the first opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty, or “no contest” to your DUI charges. It is typically you first appearance in court. If you have retained an attorney, and the case is a misdemeanor, the attorney may go to court on your behalf. 

·     If you are a College Student, play on a sports team, or simply attend a local college, there can be an issue with this type of case and the college. Many teams have a policy regarding a criminal arrest and your ability to stay on a team. This is typically because the college wants to keep a good reputation with the community and wants its’ players to be good role models to the community. We will talk with your coach and work with the school to assist in keeping you in good standing. If you attend college, make sure you keep up on emails to see if the college has called you to a disciplinary hearing.


·     If you have a Professional License, make sure your current address is filed with your professional licensing Board. You do NOT want that agency to send a letter to an old address. Professional licenses that can be put into disciplinary action includes nurses, doctors, dentists, EMT, paramedic, audiologist, school teacher, coach, and other professions. The issue regarding licensing is if the DUI has some sort of connection to your work. This is an issue of disobeying the law and putting the community at risk. We will send a letter of response to the licensing board and refer you to an Administrative Law attorney should the case go to an administrative hearing. 

What Happens Next in The Court? 

1.  Investigation by Defense

This includes the investigation of the traffic stop and police reports surrounding your arrest. This also involves the utilization of our 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 that we'll file a discovery motion. 

2. 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.

3. Trial

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

4. 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 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. 

2017 California DUI Laws: what it means to drive under the influence. Here’s the new statutes regarding Drunk Driving and Driving Under the Influence Laws in California.  

a.)   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

b.)   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.

c.)   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.

d.)  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.

e.)   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. 

f.)   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 2015 study commissioned by the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Who is the best DUI attorney in Butte county?

We have high ratings from our clients. 5-star Yelp reviews, Google and Avvo reviews are top reviews! Attorney Susan M. Hearne specializes in DUI defense. Her years of experience and success can be referenced by respected websites such as AvvoYelp and others.

What can an attorney do for me?

A good DUI attorney can be beneficial to your case in several 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 including use of our very own in-house private investigators

·     Provide a comprehensive DUI defense strategy

·     Has experience and expertise with the law

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

What is driving under the Influence of 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. However, something used to improve performance and alertness could 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 affect 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. 

MIP (Minor-In-Possession) of Alcohol In Chico:


There are typically three agencies who may have authority over you because 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. 

DMV and a Minor-in-Possession:

CSUC from above.jpg

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. 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.

How does a prior minor DUI conviction affect a second DUI and the DMV?

A person who was convicted of a DUI while a minor will be only be charged in court for a “first offense DUI” upon being arrested for a new DUI. The difference between a first offense DUI and a second offense DUI means substantially increased punishment. Unfortunately, California DMV will treat him/her as an enhanced second offender, will impose multiple DUI offender length of suspension periods, e.g. upon upholding an administrative license action, and may require a multiple offender alcohol program if convicted.

A finding that a juvenile has committed an offense is equivalent to a conviction of a violation of the same offense, but only for the purpose of the DMV’s driving privilege suspension and revocation provisions of California Vehicle Code Sections 13100 et seq. [See California Vehicle Code sections 13105, 13352(a) and (b), and 13352.2.] Past minor adjudications cannot be charged as sentence enhancement in California DUI cases and the court cannot consider them at sentencing for a later adult DUI offense. [California Welfare & Institutions Code section 203; People v. Bernard (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d Supp. 16] Juvenile traffic court records are destroyed, but may be microfilmed, after 5 years or at age 21. [ Welf. & Inst. C. section 826]

An effective & preemptive DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer tactic can be to have the juvenile finding sealed and destroyed on petition to the Juvenile Probation Department, and to have the JPD submit a copy of that action to DMV. Otherwise, DMV is permitted under California Vehicle Code Section 13105 to act on juvenile “convictions,” but such convictions may not be pled, proved or considered by a California DUI court in connection with any subsequent DUI offense. CVC 13352(b) provides that for purposes of CVC 13352(a)(2) through (a)(9), the multiple DUI offender license suspension and revocation provisions, a juvenile finding of a DUI or drunk driving violation is a “conviction.”