Senior Managing Attorney, Susan Haber
College: UCLA 1995
Law School: Loyola Law School 1998
Admitted to Bar When/What States: California Bar 1998
Avvo Rank: 8.3
SFST qualified September 2012
Hobbies and interests when not working: art, music, theater, over 15 year volunteer for Alpha Phi, spending time with family
Why I Love What I Do:
As a former Deputy District Attorney, I strongly believe that the prosecution must be able to prove every case it files beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes the prosecution can’t; and I feel it is my duty as a criminal defense attorney to ensure all of my client’s rights are protected.
I worked with a client who was charged with Driving Under the influence and refusing a chemical test after she informed the police that she was driving her friend’s car and hit an embankment which totaled her friend’s car. Upon speaking with the client, she told me her friend was the driver, not she. When I asked her why she told the police she was the driver, she stated that she had consumed alcohol once she and her friend arrived at Mountain High Ski Resort, which was hours prior to the accident. She had fallen and broke her wrist soon after they began snowboarding; and she spent the remaining portion of the day in the emergency medical center at the ski resort while her friend continued to drink alcohol throughout the day as she snowboarded. After the accident she and her friend decided that since her friend had two prior DUI’s and had recently consumed alcohol, that my client would tell the police that she was the driver. She never thought her blood alcohol content would be over the legal limit since she had consumed alcohol many hours prior to the accident; however, her preliminary alcohol screening test result was a .15%.
After she was arrested she was taken to the hospital for a fractured wrist against her wishes by police because she did not have the money to pay for medical care. When the officer asked her if she would take a breath or blood test she said, “I will take a breath test”. The officer informed her that she could not take a breath test because they were at the hospital, and that he was just “reading the admonition off the form.” Since she was afraid that she would be charged for the blood test, she continuously stated “I want a breath test.” The officer told her that she was refusing a chemical test because the only option she had was to take a blood test.
As soon as the case was filed in court, I provided the prosecution with:
-A written statement from the client stating exactly what had occurred and that she was not the driver;
-Text message screen shots of discussions between the client and the real driver of the vehicle which casted doubt that the client was the driver;
-Information that the friend (and real driver) refused to provide a verbal or written statement to me about what occurred;
-When she informed the prosecution that she was in Texas caring for her mother who was recovering from surgery, I provided the prosecution with the real driver’s Facebook screen shots showing that she was in Los Angeles. This showed that the real driver was lying to the prosecution about her location so she could not be subpoenaed to go to court.
After many discussions with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office prosecutors, they agreed to dismiss the charge against my client for Driving Under the Influence and refusing a chemical test.