My question involves criminal law for the state of: CA
I was convicted of a DUI in Riverside County California early this year. My arrest resulted from a traffic stop for an unsafe lane change. There was no accident or "incident" or any "event" other then a traffic stop/arrest in my particular case.
I am having a problem with the city I was arrested in. I received a bill from them for several hundred dollars. The bill states that it is for Emergency Response Costs. California Government Code Section 53150 specifies that any person who is under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or any drug, whose negligent operation of a motor vehicle causes any incident resulting in an emergency response, is responsible for the costs associated with a public agency's emergency response to the incident.
I have already written the city a letter stating that my case does not qualify for those charges. I even referenced the case of "California Highway Patrol v. Superior Court of Alameda" which made clear that an ordinary arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not sufficient to bill for emergency response. They ignored my letter (sent certified mail) and are still demanding the monies(received second letter from them) without acknowledging my letter at all.
From the looks of it I am going to have to take them to court to get this clear. I need to hire an attorney to fight this for me. I know it may cost more then what I am being billed for to hire a lawyer but I think I can sue them for my lawyer fees, etc.
It really bothers me that they have probably billed many people in the same situation whose case did not meet the criteria for such billing and without knowing any better I bet many people paid them.
What are my options? Anyone have any suggestions? Any help is greatly appreciated.