As Aldon Smith can attest, DUI charges can have a lasting impact on your life.
Aldon Smith Arrested for DUI
The San Francisco 49ers linebacker was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (“DUI“), vandalism, and hit and run.
According to Lt. Kurt Clarke of the Santa Clara Police Department, Smith, 25, was drinking when he swung open his SUV-type car door into a smaller damage, causing roughly $500 worth of damage. He then left the scene, according to Clarke. The owner of the damaged vehicle also left the scene without identifying himself to police. “I don’t know if he knew that person,” Clarke said.
After officers arrived, Smith returned to the scene. That’s when the officers called to the scene noticed signs of Smith being under the influence. As Clarke said, “The officers believed he was under the influence of alcohol.” Following sobriety tests, in which Smith failed, he was arrested.
Smith was released on $26,000 bail and is expected to appear in court on Oct. 6.
Smith Responds to Claims
Outside the Santa Clara jailhouse, Smith not only apologized for the incident, but also denied that he was under the influence at the time of the accident.
“I want everybody to understand this wasn’t a DUI,” Smith said. “The situation that happened could have been handled differently. I apologize to everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out.”
Smith Released by 49ers
The 49ers have since released Smith, issuing this statement:
“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues. Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”
This is not Smith’s first run-in with the law, but according to 49ers Coach Jim Tomsula,the player had been working hard to improve his behavior.
“The guy is working really hard and he had a pitfall,” said Tomsula. “He has been turning his life around.
“Although he won’t be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he will be supported and helped, and he will not have to walk this path alone. That comes from the ownership down.”
In 2012, Smith was arrested in Miami Beach on suspicion of DUI. He accepted a deal for a lesser charge. And then in 2013, Smith was arrested in San Joseon suspicion of driving under the influence and also possessing marijuana. According to authorities, he was drunk, with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit, when he crashed his car into a tree. At that time he was suspended from five games. He also voluntarily checked himself into a treatment facility.
Then in 2014, the linebacker pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and three felony weapons charges stemming from a party that was held at Smith’s home in 2012. During that party, officers were called to the house, where Smith was stabbed and two other people were shot. Authorities say he fired a handgun from a balcony to help to disperse the crowd.
At that time, the deputies called to the scene found assault rifles inside his home.
Last season Smith was suspended from nine games for being in violation of the league’s policy on personal conduct and substance abuse.
Additionally, in April 2014, he was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport after arguing with screening agent. The agent accused him of making comments that suggested he had a bomb.Los Angeles city prosecutors eventually declined to file charges against Smith.
DUI allegations are not to be taken lightly. There are a number of things you will need to address if you are accused of being under the influence.
A DUI Investigation
In a DUI investigation, being pulled over is just the first step a driver will go through. Being pulled over is scary. The thoughts that run through a person’s brain include when is the officer going to ask: Have you had anything to drink today? You should know that the police cannot force you to answer any incriminating questions. Therefore, the best answer to the officer’s question may be that you would prefer to speak to a DUI defense attorney before answering any questions. Since a BAC of anything under 0.08 is not driving under the influence, telling the officer that you had one beer is not incriminating and explains the smell of alcohol on your breath.
Field sobriety tests are the next step of the DUI process. In California, you do not have the right to consult an attorney before deciding whether to submit to them, however, you can politely decline these tests. You are not legally required to perform these field sobriety tests. An officer may have a subjective view of the tests and determine you have failed even if your results were on the borderline. This evidence can then be used to help convict you of DUI. Be aware, however, that if an officer genuinely suspects that you are intoxicated, he or she will be less likely to let you go on a warning.
The next step might be a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test. This is usually a breath test that is often a pre-arrest chemical test. It is one of the most common tests that police officers use to identify driving under the influence. It is also used post-arrest. Prior to your actual arrest, you may refuse to take a breath test. If you are concerned that your blood alcohol level may be high, you may consider taking a breath test so that there is a possibility of impeaching the results later.
In the event that you are lawfully arrested for a DUI, you are bound by law to allow the police officer to administer a chemical test to determine your BAC.
California’s “Implied Consent Law” requires you to submit to chemical testing if you are arrested for driving under the influence and the arresting officer has probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence.
Upon being arrested, you are often given a choice of blood or breath tests. While breath tests are fairly reliable, results can be unreliable for a variety of reasons. Breath analyzers don’t actually test blood alcohol concentration (BAC), which requires the analysis of a blood sample. Instead, they estimate BAC indirectly.
Blood tests are the most accurate of the tests. Because a blood test is the most accurate, you should choose it if you are confident that your blood alcohol content is below the legal limit. If you give a blood sample, the sample must be preserved according to specific rules so that it is available to your attorney for independent testing and analysis later.
You cannot be forced to submit to a chemical test. However, upon refusal, your California Driver’s License will be suspended for a one-year period by the Department of Motor Vehicles, regardless of the outcome of your DUI case. You have the right to a hearing to contest this suspension and must request this hearing within ten (10) days from the date of you arrest.
Working with Daniel Perlman
As a former prosecutor, Los Angeles DUI lawyer Daniel Perlman understands prosecution strategies inside and out. He is committed to staying ahead of the prosecution through uncovering any procedural errors, contradictory evidence or violations of your civil rights. Mr. Perlman will determine the right defense strategy based on the facts of your specific case. We handle all types of DUI cases, including:
First Offense DUI: Contrary to the rumor mill, nearly 80 percent of our first offender clients’ cases are resolved without a DUI conviction.
Underage DUI: Alleged juvenile DUI offenders face unique challenges when facing such charges. We are prepared to respond to those challenges.
Felony DUI: These are serious charges that require urgent attention. Felony charges include DUI causing an injury or a fourth offense within 10 years.
DUI Involving Drugs: Whether prescription drugs or banned substances (“street drugs”), carries the same penalties as DUI involving alcohol.
Multiple Charges DUI: These will result in higher penalties based on how many times you have been previously convicted. We are often successful in minimizing statutory jail sentences by seeking treatment options.
DUI Involving an Accident: Or causing property damage, injury and/or death requires a knowledgeable, experienced defense attorney. This is as serious as it gets, involving the possibility of state prison, so it is important to hire a diligent and skilled lawyer.
Boating Under the Influence: Involving alcohol or drugs can have the same negative consequences as driving a vehicle while intoxicated.
DMV Hearing: Act promptly to protect your driving privileges. We must request your hearing within 10 days of your release or your license will be automatically suspended.
DUI Defense Lawyers
Although it is never easy to beat a DUI charge in Los Angeles, you probably have a stronger defense than you think. That’s why you should consider working with DUI Defense Attorney Los Angeles.
There are hundreds of possible police errors, and they can add up to reduce your charges. Depending on the facts of your misdemeanor or felony DUI case, our DUI attorneys can concentrate on seeking a dismissal based on any violation of your constitutional rights or a reduction based on other errors or mistakes by law enforcement. Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers are also fully prepared to secure a victory by casting doubt on the evidence obtained against you.
The criminal defense lawyers at Daniel Perlman Law in Los Angeles will put our experience to work for you. We believe every defendant has the right to a zealous defense. We offer free initial consultations and will usually quote a flat fee that will cover all the services necessary for your case. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers, call 877-887-4541 or contact us by e-mail.