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Top Ten Tips > Fighting a DUI Arrest

9. Necessity

necessitySometimes people feel compelled to drive while intoxicated in an emergency they are facing, or to help someone else, or in order to contend with, or escape from a dangerous situation. Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DUI lawyers will explain to you that this is properly called an "equitable defense" which means it is based in consideration of fundamental fairness rather than written in a specific law. If successful, the defense can result in reduced or dropped charges in Solano County superior or traffic court, but such defenses are not typically recognized in the separate Fairfield, Vallejo or Vacaville DMV part of a DUI case.

These defenses are most successful when you identified the emergency at the time of the initial police encounter, and your Solano County DUI attorney can show the court independant facts which establish that the danger was of such a nature that there were no practical alternatives and even a sober, reasonable person would have been compelled to drive. In addition, in order to be successful with the equitable defense of necessity, typically you must have driven only so far as was necessary to escape the risk of danger or otherwise address the emergency. For example, if you were trying to get away from someone threatening your safety, then typically driving a couple of blocks or a mile or so would be the furthest expected and permitted.


Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

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Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, North Bay resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of North Bay DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz