Bakersfield DUI Attorney

Top Rated Kern County DUI Attorney

☎️Call Matthew Direct at 661-327-7833

You Won't Be "Passed off" to Secretary

Have you been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Kern County? Did you know that California law allows you to challenge the license suspension and permits you to get your license restored while the case is being fought? Yes, and Top Rated Kern County DUI Attorney Matthew Ruff has the skills to win your case. Time is of the essence however because if you don't act immediately you lose your rights.

The Highest Success Rate!

25 years of hard hitting experience in the Courtroom. Bakersfield has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the state, hire a Law Firm that knows the secrets of getting DWI cases dismissed. Did you know that the crime of driving under the influence is one that is heavily laden with issues of science, such as alcohol absorption times, elimination rates, and the complex issues related to breath testing machines. Having a lawyer familiar with these scientific principles can often make the difference between being found guilty and being acquitted of he charges. Matthew has that knowledge and training, with over two decades of experience in the courtroom and DMV hearings. One recent example of a case Matt won was an arrest that occurred after a traffic collision and the client had a .19 blood alcohol level. Matt fought the state's assertion that his client was guilty and was able to win the DMV Hearing and get his clients license back with NO SUSPENSION.

.25 BAC Busted Down To A Wet Reckless!. Matthew defended a client arrested after he crashed his car near Santa Clarita. The CHP arrived on scene and observed an open bottle of Jagermeister on the front seat and the client passed out behind the wheel. Field Sobriety Tests were conducted and the client was arrested. A blood sample was taken at the hospital and the results came back .25 BAC. Matt immediately demanded a DMV Hearing and argued the time of driving was not determined so the chemical test results were inadmissible, the DMV agreed and returned his license. In Court Matt met with the DA and pointed out the issues and potential defenses in the criminal case. The DA agreed to DISMISS THE DUI CHARGES and reduce the charge to a wet reckless, sparing him from the dreaded Ignition Interlock and other consequences. The open container charge was also dismissed.

Just this month Matthew was able to get DUI Charges Dismissed in Kern County, Mojave Court after he was retained by a client arrested on Highway 58. The client was pulled over after an off-duty CHP officer observed him driving erratically and holding a liquor bottle out the window of his car. The CHP pulled him over and detected a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and other symptoms of intoxication. A breath test was given which resulted in .11/.11 Bac, he was arrested for VC23152. Matt got the case, went to Court and was able to get the VC23152 (DUI) charges dropped and the case reduced to a wet reckless.

Another significant victory was a case Matt handled for a client in Frazier Park. The California Park Rangers arrested him and he blew a breath result of .11/.12 in the field. He was FST exercises and arrested. Matthew brought in an expert toxicologist to show his true BAC at the time of driving was below .08. Matt won the DMV hearing and saved his license. Subsequently, he went to Court and got the DUI charges dropped.

When interviewing a lawyer, ask how long they have been practicing law. Anyone with less than 10 years experience is simply a novice and if you hire them expect that they will be learning the law on your dime. The mistakes they make would likely be avoided by an attorney with decades of experience under their belt. Matthew Ruff has the time tested strategies and methods that can make the difference between being convicted of a DUI and possibly having your case dismissed or reduced. Matt teaches younger lawyers the fine points of defending clients who are facing a drunk driving charge and are looking to avoid the stigma of a DWI tarnishing their DMV record and criminal jacket. Ask yourself- why would you want to hire the student when you can get the teacher?

One of the most frequent Courts we handle is the Arvin Lamont Court in Southern Kern County. This Court is the jurisdiction that presides over all cases originating from Interstate 5 near the Grapevine, Lebec and Frazier Park. Recently Matt defended a client arrested going southbound heading back to Los Angeles. The CHP gave him a breath test that registered above .08 and he was charged with VC23152 and his license confiscated. Matt was retained and he immediately stopped the suspension through the DMV. This was important because the client had a commercial driver's license. Matt investigated the facts and prepared a defense that resulted in the DUI Charges being dismissed and he won the DMV hearing which got his client's license returned.

One of the toughest types of cases to defend is that of an underage driver. These cases, referred to as "zero tolerance" are regarded as UN-winnable by many attorneys due to the draconian nature of the laws relating to their prosecution. In spite of those challenges Mr. Ruff wins a great deal of these cases both at the DMV and in Court. For example, in one recent case he represented an 18 year old girl arrested on the outskirts of Bakersfield and charged with DUI. The officers took her license and booked her after she blew a .17 on the breath test. Attorney Ruff took the necessary steps to set up a formal hearing with the DMV and got a stay of the suspension pending that hearing. After acquiring the official reports he discovered substantial evidentiary weaknesses in the case. After pointing out the lack of evidence the department summoned the arresting officer and called him as a witness. Thereafter Ruff cross examined the BPD patrolmen and brought out even more deficiencies in the case. In the end Matt got the DMV to grant a dismissal of the charges and set aside the suspension, returning her license.

Arrested for DUI in Bakersfield? If the answer is yes there are immediate steps you must take to mitigate the consequences of the incident on your drivers license. There are 3 things you must do right now in order to ensure you have a chance of avoiding an automatic loss of your driving privilege and a criminal conviction for DUI: (1) DO NOT DELAY in demanding an APS hearing with the DMV, take a look at the pink paper you were served by the officer in the middle portion of the front it tells you what your obligations are regarding challenging the suspension. (2). DO NOT contact your insurance company and tell them about the DUI arrest (unless your were involved in a collision). There is no good reason to tip them off about the incident early on, the information you may have read about acquiring an SR-22 only comes into play if you lose the DMV hearing or are convicted in Court of a VC23152 or VC23153. (3). LAWYER UP! The fact is you have little or no chance of winning this case on your own. DO NOT try and represent yourself.

Recent Case Results

Matthew represented a local resident arrested for DUI in Kern County following a car accident. The CHP showed up and smelled alcohol on his breath and commenced a DWI investigation by having the client perform field sobriety tests. According to the officer's report, the client failed to perform the tests correctly and he was arrested, taken to the station and submitted to a blood test. Upon his release he began calling attorneys for advice. He spoke with Matthew who explained the possible outcomes and his options at that stage of the case. Concerned about his license, the client retained Mr. Ruff and he gathered the relevant reports and blood test results. The client was shocked to learn it was a .18 BAC. Nonetheless, Matthew put together a defense, arguing the officer violated the law in the collection of the blood sample. At the DMV hearing, the attorney submitted argument and case law to the judge and the case was thrown out. The DMV returned his license and "set aside" the suspension, clearing his record of the arrest.

What about the concept that a person is innocent until proven guilty in a Court of law? Well, that presumption applies only to the criminal charges, not the administrative consequences to a person's ability to drive. You see California deems a license to be a privilege, not a right and therefore they seek to take away that privilege immediately upon the arrest and breath test if the results are shown to be higher than .08%. As such an accused must object to that punishment by demanding a formal hearing whereupon the DMV must then prove the necessary elements and allow the respondent to challenge the evidence and cross examine the officer. The elements that must be established are: 1. The driver was lawfully arrested 2. the driver was driving at a time the BAC was .08 or more.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence or having a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of .08 and took a breath test in Bakersfield chances are you were administered the Draeger Alcotest 7110 which is a mobile breath machine that is prone to error. The machine uses infrared and fuel cell technology to determine a person's blood alcohol level using a sample a their breath. Like many breath machines used throughout the state of California, the Draeger is known to be unreliable when the subject has mouth alcohol, which can be present if the individual recently burped, belched, regurgitated, had recent dental work done, has acid reflux, GERD or other medical conditions such as diabetes or are on a high carb diet. Yes, the breath testing apparatus is prone to error under many conditions and the government will not tell you this. Matthew Ruff has fought and won many tough cases both in the criminal courts and at the drivers license administrative hearings. We know the dirty little secrets about chemical testing that exist and have been exposed, leading to acquittals, dismissals and charges being dropped.

Our Law Firm wins more DMV hearings than the statewide average and more than most any other firm in the area. Why is this important? Well, when you are arrested for drunk driving they take your license, you must request and win the APS hearing in order to avoid a suspension. Why do we win more than others? We take them seriously. We analyze each case very meticulously, identifying errors in the official forms and paperwork, uncovering false information and illegal acts on the part of law enforcement. One particular area we focus on is that of the lawfulness of the arrest and stop. The law says the officer must comply with the 4th amendment to the Constitution, this means that the contact must be based on a sufficient level of reasonable suspicion and probable cause. The issue of Constitutionality is not limited to stops by the police on the roadside. Recently, Matthew represented a client arrested inside her home after law enforcement got a 911 call by another motorist claiming the client's vehicle was driving recklessly. Cops showed up at the house and observed the client's car in the driveway. They entered the yard through a gate and saw the accused on the couch and asked her to step outside. The lawyer filed a motion challenging the arrest on the basis that the entry into the yard violated the client's fourth amendment rights. After a full hearing in Court a Judge agreed with Matthew and threw out the case.

The District Attorneys Office in Kern County pursues driving under the influence cases very aggressively. In fact, just this month the agency received a grant for prosecution of DUI offenders in the amount of $400,000.00. These funds will be used primarily for second and third time offenders and incidents where the drunk driving resulted in injury or a fatality to innocent victims. Moreover, the Bakersfield Police Department will implement more DWI checkpoints in and around the community, particularly in the southwest and downtown neighborhoods. The CHP and local departments such as the KCSO have also been working closely together to arrange "DUI Turnovers" of suspected drinking drivers. These arrangements are intended to allow more experienced, trained officers to conduct the initial investigation of sobriety and achieve a higher conviction rate in Court and at the DMV.

A new study found that more people than previously thought are physically unable to provide a valid breath into current breath alcohol analyzers. The author looked at over 280,000 spirometry records to come to his conclusion. Here are a few takeaways from the study:

  • 1 man in 186, and 1 woman in 61 are physiologically incapable of providing an evidential breath sample
  • 1 man in 87 or 1 woman in 32 if are a smoker.
  • Age increases risk, with people in their 70's being six times more likely to fail than those in their 40s.
  • Stature increases risk. 1 in 38 short men and 1 in 26 short women (i.e. below the second percentile of height), cannot provide a valid sample

This study will be helpful in cases where subjects are charged with refusals. There is a small percentage that have trouble providing a valid sample.

Are Breath Tests Accurate? Sometimes, but not always. The most common problem associated with the accuracy of breath tests in Kern County is human error. That's right, humans make mistakes and police officers are human so mistakes will be made during the breath machine administration. Commonly, the officer willl forget to follow protocol and miss steps such as the 15 minute observation period, when this is missed the breath results can be inflated.

Should I wait and do nothing until I receive a letter from the Court? You will NOT get anything from the Court pertaining to this case. Unlike a traffic ticket, there is no way to simply pay a fine and be done with a DUI or drunk driving case. Therefore, you will not be sent a "courtesy notice" or any type of reminder to appear in Court. Do I need to get an SR-22 right away? We are often asked this question by those facing a Court date for DUI. There is a lot of mis-information out there pertaining to the need for an SR22 so let us set the record straight. First, if you are convicted of any section 23152 or 23153 the DMV will demand you file the SR22 in order to get reinstated. However, in many cases your attorney can negotiate a lesser charge or obtain an acquittal of these charges so there will be no requirement to file in these situations. Secondly, if you suffer an actual suspension by not requesting an APS hearing within 10 days or the action is upheld following a hearing then the SR-22 will also be necessary. But, in many cases attorneys win DMV hearings and so the filing would not be compelled. In summary our advice is to hold off getting one until it appears absolutely necessary. We work with insurance professionals that can mitigate the potential insurance ramifications and will guide you through the process appropriately.

I was arrested for DWI on Interstate 5 and took a breath test, can those results be challenged? Yes, the law in California gives everyone accused of a crime the benefit of a presumption of innocence. This means that the DA must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Breath machines are regulated by CA law and must comply with certain standard in order to be reliable. Our Law Firm scrutinizes the machine's accuracy and history to determine if the results in your case were trustworthy. We have beat tests as high as .30 and above on the basis the test was administered incorrectly.

I was arrested in Kern County and took a blood test, how long does it take to get a result? The answer to this question depends largely on what agency took the sample. Many people wrongly believe that the sample is tested by the hospital or the agency that collected the blood, this is not true. For example, the CHP submits the blood vial to the Kern County Crime Lab and they actually test for ethanol or alcohol concentration. Our experience is the results could take as long as 2-3 months to be reported. This is due largely to the budget cuts and lack of adequate resources. In some cases the time delay can create prejudice to the accused and motions can be filed asserting the client's rights were violated. In any case a person facing a pending Court date for a blood case should consult with counsel to discuss their options.

Facing a DUI charge in the Bakersfield Court? We can help. We have extensive knowledge about DUI defense, an understanding of the law and science that cannot be matched by any other law firm. We have defended over 2000 actual cases in that particular Court. Ask anyone you are considering whether they have litigated that number of cases in that Court. When looking for a DUI Lawyer in Bakersfield you must consider the lawyer's experience and track record in the locality where your case will be heard. Our results on Kern County DUI cases are second to none and our experience is unrivaled. A Bakersfield DUI arrest does not have to automatically lead to a conviction, with over 30 years combined experience we have been defending drunk driving allegations with phenomenal results. When pleading guilty is not an option call the Bakersfield DUI Attorneys that are experienced in getting cases dismissed and saving drivers licenses for clients. Our attorneys have helped those from all walks of life, Commercial Drivers, Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Nurses, Oilfield Workers, Engineers, Cops, Students, Military, Out of State Residents, you name it. For us every case is treated with passion and determination to win.

All Bakersfield DUI cases are heard in the Superior Court on Truxton Avenue, our Kern County office is located a mere block away from the Court and we appear there just about every day. With regard to the drivers license suspension component of the DUI case, the file is sent to Bakersfield Driver Safety where the APS unit will hold a hearing to determine whether your license will be suspended. In order to get a DMV hearing however it is necessary to make a formal request with 10 days of the date of the violation. Fortunately, we have substantial experience in both aspects of the DUI case, the criminal side as well as the DMV side.

We know the scientific principles behind blood alcohol testing! For example, did you know that when the lab technician analyzes your blood sample for alcoholic content it does not actually test the blood but the gas that is present on the top of the vial? Yes, the testing process is called head space gas chromatography and we know the ways to challenge the process better than any other DUI Lawyer in Bakersfield. We obtain the chromatograms that are generated by the gas chromatograph machine used by the crime lab. Our vast knowledge of the underlying principles allow us to win more cases than anyone else.

Over the last 25 years we have saved hundreds from the dreaded stigma of a DUI conviction by utilizing innovative defenses and aggressive approaches. For example, in one recent case our client was charged with driving while intoxicated after being pulled over in downtown Bakersfield after a night out with some friends. Much to her surprise, the blood test that she took at the jail came back with a B.A.C of .24%. Our office immediately took the necessary steps to obtain a DMV hearing in Bakersfield and we challenged the blood test on various evidentiary grounds and attacked the lab protocol in how the results were reported. To the amazement of our client we persuaded the DMV to set aside the suspension and they threw out the blood test. Our client walked away with no drivers license suspension. In another recent case, our lawyers represented a client that worked for one of the largest oilfield service companies in Kern County. We knew that a loss of his license and a conviction for DUI would mean a certain termination, so we fought the case hard. We found a defense with regard to his breath test, even though he was well above the legal limit according to the machine, we got the results thrown out and saved his license and kept the DUI off his record.

In another Kern County case, we represented a client who was arrested after a car accident. She was was present at the scene when the police arrived, she was given a series of field sobriety tests and arrested for DUI. Her breath test revealed a BAC of .17%. Our office immediately demanded a DMV hearing in the Bakersfield driver safety office and got a stay of the suspension. At the hearing, attorney Matthew Ruff exposed a deficiency in the state's case and the suspension was set aside and the client got her license back, no punishment whatsoever and no requirement she get an SR-22. In Court, the case was reduced down to a lesser charge.

In addition to representing those accused of DUI in the city of Bakersfield, the attorney also helps those in outlying areas of Kern County such as Mojave, Lamont and Taft. For example, in one recent matter Matthew handled a DMV hearing for an arrest for driving with a .08 BAC or more in Tehachapi California. The client was involved in a car accident on a country road and the police were dispatched and he was taken into custody. His license was confiscated and a DMV hearing was scheduled. At the hearing Mr. Ruff cross examined the arresting officer and established that the breath test was not done in compliance of the regulations under Title 17. As a result, the client got his license back with no suspension from the DMV.

Many driving under the influence cases can be successfully defended despite high breath or blood test results. At the core of our system of justice is the premise that the prosecution must prove that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This places the burden of proving guilt on the District Attorney, the accused does not have to prove they are innocent. In many cases the evidence may be susceptible of two different interpretations, one that points to guilt and another that points to innocence. In those cases the appropriate conclusion is that the person is not guilty. The Lawyer's job is to ensure that the prosecution meets their burden of proof in every case.

No attorney can guarantee a dismissal of your case or say that they win every DWI case they are hired to defend, our Bakersfield DUI Lawyers however, have won numerous cases involving arrests for all law enforcement agencies in the area including the CHP, Bakersfield Police, Kern County Sheriff's Department, Park Police and the California Department of Defense.

We also fight DUI cases on the grounds that our client's constitutional rights were violated. In one recent case we were successful in getting a DUI thrown out in the Bakersfield Court after persuading the Judge that our client was pulled over without probable cause. The case victory was even more amazing given the fact that our client had two DUI priors and was on probation at the time. We take the Constitutional Rights of our clients very seriously and do not leave any stone unturned when fighting a Bakersfield DUI charge. Among the challenges we have used to get Bakersfield DUI charges dismissed are: false arrest insufficient evidence of intoxication, bad breath tests, failure to follow the regulations, police officer error, medical issues, refusal to take a chemical test, lack of proof of driving, Miranda rights violations, and many others.

So, what are the most important factors to consider when looking for a Bakersfield DUI Attorney? EXPERIENCE! Most folks only need a lawyer once in their lifetime, hire the best with the most hands on experience in the area. There are cheaper attorneys out there that will only want to plead you out first chance they get. Be proactive when hiring the law firm, ask the prospective DUI Lawyer about potential defenses that he has used, ask about similar cases he or she has defended and what the best and worst case scenarios can be. Remember, it is your criminal record and DMV printout that is at stake and you only get one shot!

Every year citizens in need of legal counsel look for DUI Lawyers in Bakersfield only to be inundated with ads placed by law firms who have no foot print in the community. Our Firm has been practicing law and fighting drunk driving cases in Kern County for over twenty five years. Matt is trained on the field sobriety tests using the same methods that the CHP and other police departments use. We also are familiar With the breath machines used in the local area and know how to beat them. With local connections you can be sure that your case will be handled by an attorney who knows the local assistant D.A. and the Judge on a professional level.

How Reliable Are The Field Sobriety Tests? The Federal Government did a study years ago which showed that FST exercises are fraught with the possibility of FALSE POSITIVE findings on the part of the officer. The most common 3 test battery of exercises comprises of the HGN, Walt and Turn, and One Leg Stand. This battery of tests are only validated by NHTSA if the officer follows the standardized methods of administration. If the cop deviates from the methods taught to him in any way, the results and validity of the test is compromised. Matthew is trained on all sobriety tests the cops give in Kern County. If it is determined the tests given to you were not done in accordance with the officer's training, Matt has had success getting cases dropped or charges reduced.

If you or someone you care about is facing a DUI, call us today for a no cost review of your arrest. As local Bakersfield DUI Attorneys we promise each of our clients that we will fight the case until the best outcome can be achieved, and that each case will be handled with the personal attention to detail that we would give to a member of our own family. Call today and speak directly with the lawyer that will handle your case, our local number is 661-327-7833. Remember, you must act within the first few days if you want to save your license from being automatically suspended. You cannot wait until you go to Court to speak to a Bakersfield DUI Lawyer, contact us today and we will take over and get the DMV hearing arranged as well as obtain the police reports and information about your breath or blood test results.

How Do You Beat A DUI IN Kern County?

1. The Officer Did Not Have Probable Cause To Arrest You. Under our current system of laws the police are required to have a certain level of suspicion before you can be arrested. For DWI cases the requisite amount of PC is enough to create a strong suspicion that the person committed a crime. In California the offense requires proof the person is impaired to such a degree they are no longer able to operate a motor vehicle with the caution characteristic of a sober person under the same or similar circumstances. Unfortunately, many officers fail to investigate the case properly and an experienced DUI Attorney can challenge the conclusions and opinions of the cop and get the case dismissed.

2. You Are Innocent. In some cases a person's BAC is actually below the legal limit at the time of driving but rises after the stop to a higher level. This is called a "rising blood alcohol issue". In these cases a lawyer can bring in a toxicologist to show the alcohol level was in fact rising because the client was in the absorptive phase of alcohol metabolization. If the facts warrant the defense a client can expect to have a judge or a jury find them Not Guilty and be acquitted of the charges.

3. The Breathalyzer Was Inaccurate. All breath alcohol testing machines have some level of error compared to blood alcohol testing which is a direct method of calculating BAC. In Kern County most law enforcement agencies use the Drager Machine which uses Infrared and Fuel Cell Technology to produce a result. As with any piece of machinery, breakdowns will occur and when it does it means a potentially innocent person will be wrongfully accused of a crime. If you believe your purported blood alcohol level from a Breathalyzer is false you should reach out to a lawyer to embark upon a plan to get the discovery on the device and challenge the reliability of the instrument.


Contact Matthew J. Ruff Attorney at Law Today!

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