Houman Fakhimi

Spate of High-Profile DUI Arrests Hit LA - Area

In recent weeks, a number of high-profile DUI arrests have been made throughout the Los Angeles area.

They include the ex-wife of a former pro-wrestler, the son of an L.A. city councilman and a former archbishop.

Santa Ana DUI Lawyer Houman Fakhimi understands that for many people arrested on DUI charges, it's the first time they've ever found themselves afoul of the law. Many people find the process extremely intimidating, and in an effort to move on, tell investigators everything or, worse, simply plead guilty.

What you must understand about California DUI cases is that they may be serious, but the odds of your beating the charge or having it reduced are not insurmountable when you have a legal advocate with experience on your side. Even if you know you were drinking and driving, there are sometimes technicalities that may come into play that could work in your favor so that certain evidence may be suppressed, or not used against you in court.

In one of the recent cases, the archbishop of San Francisco was arrested back in August of suspicion of DUI. He was slated to go to trial Oct. 9, but instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. The archbishop had reportedly been on his way home after dinner with his mother and was stopped during a routine DUI checkpoint. He ultimately received three years probation, a $1,100 fine and a requirement to attend a panel discussion by Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And, he'll have no DUI on his record, which also means his license will not be suspended.

In another recent case, the son of L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson was arrested for misdemeanor DUI after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint on Figueroa Street. At the time, he blew a breathalyzer result of 0.15 percent, which is nearly double the legal limit. While the city attorney's office typically handles misdemeanor DUI cases, this one was forwarded to the local district attorney for the apparent conflict of interest.

And in another case, Linda Hogan, ex-wife of pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, was stopped for speeding on the Ventura Freeway. She was reportedly driving erratically The officer who pulled her over reported she blew just over the legal limit of 0.08 percent after returning home from a jewelry event.

This case in particular may be interesting to see because someone who blows anywhere from a 0.08 percent to a 0.10 percent is within the margin of error for a DUI. Breathalyzer machines are not full-proof, and as such, a skilled DUI attorney may be able to make a strong case for why such evidence should be suppressed. Even if that evidence did make it to a judge or jury, it's possible the attorney could make an argument that the machine could have been off by a point or two, resulting in a potentially false positive.

For a first-time DUI offender, you face up to six months in jail. However, assuming you have the help of an experienced lawyer and a minimal criminal record, the chances that you will actually serve the maximum amount of time are not great.