California DUI Attorney
California DUI Law
California’s DUI laws are some of the strictest in the United States and can rule to months, years, or already a lifetime of negative consequences. DUI laws are complicate because of all of the variables that can be involved in a DUI case. How the defendant is charged and how penalties are imposed depend on a number of factors. Someone without a legal education and experience with California’s DUI laws may not be able to fully understand the laws, so contacting a California DUI lawyer if you’ve been arrested for DUI is extremely important to your case. These legal professionals know the intricacies of the law and have access to expert witnesses, all of which can help you to build a stronger defense.
In California, there are two parts to a DUI case. One part focuses on the defendant being too impaired to safely function a motor means at the time that they are stopped This can be backed up by documenting the defendant’s irregular driving habits, failure to perform sobriety tests, the smell of alcohol on the defendant, or a physical turn up that indicates impairment. The second part is based on chemical testing, not impairment. The prosecutor must only show that the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration level surpassed the legal limit of 0.08% while they were operating a motor means. Because of the complexities of dealing with this kind of case, contact a California DUI lawyer closest after your arrest to ensure that you have the best possible defense from the very beginning of your case.
DMV Administrative Consequences for DUI
When someone is arrested for DUI in California, they are given a slip of paper outlining the charges. This slip also acts as a permanent license that expires ten calendar days from the date of the arrest. If it is your first offense, an automatic four month suspension will be put into effect unless you contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and request a hearing on your license suspension. You may be able to extend the validity of your permanent license until your DUI trial date, but you won’t have this option of you fail to contact the DMV in the allotted ten day time period. Remember, it is ten calendar days from the date of your arrest, not business days. You must also remember to take into account any holidays that may cause the DMV to be closed at any point during the ten day period. Your best course of action is to contact the DMV closest and avoid having to worry about not being able to get in touch with them later. If you wait until the last minute and can’t get in touch with anyone because of a closed office or telephone issues, you have failed to request your hearing on time and your license suspension will take effect. This is why you need to have a California DUI lawyer on your side. Once a hearing is requested, your attorney can represent you at both criminal and Department of Motor Vehicles proceedings.
The penalties for DUI depend on the circumstances of your case. Refusal to submit to chemical testing results in harsher penalties, already if you were not under the influence when you were asked to submit to the testing. For driving under the influence, the DMV penalties are a 4 month suspension for the first offense, one year suspension for the second offense, three year revocation for a third offense, and a four year revocation for a fourth or later offense. For refusal to submit to chemical testing, the penalties are a one year suspension for a first offense, two year revocation for a second offense, three year revocation for a third offense, and a four year revocation for a fourth offense. Losing your license for a year or more makes it very difficult to carry out the daily activities of life. This is why hiring a California DUI attorney is so important. Having legal representation can help you to get the best possible outcome after your DUI arrest.
California DUI Penalties
The criminal penalties for a DUI conviction in California depend on how a DUI is being charged, how many prior convictions a defendant has, and other circumstances. Penalty enhancements may be made if the DUI resulted in injury to others. The DUI penalties in California include fines, court costs, probation, jail time, alcohol treatment programs, and the possibility of being required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. Without probation, the penalties for a first conviction within ten years are:
o 96 hours to six months of jail time
o Fines of $390-$1,000
o 6 month license suspension
Second convictions within ten years have the following penalties:
o 90 days to one year in jail
o Fines of $390-$1,000
o Two year license suspension
As the convictions continue to accrue, the penalties for DUI become more harsh. A third offense can consequence in the following:
o Three year license revocation
o $390 to $1,000 fine
o 120 days to one year in jail
Fourth and later DUI offenses are charged as felonies so the penalties are more serious. Penalties for a felony DUI include:
o 16 months or 2 to 3 years in state prison or 180 days to one year in a county jail
o Four year license revocation
o Fines of $390 to $1,000
Probation is also an option in DUI situations, as long as the offender agrees to a substance abuse treatment program. Depending on the number of convictions you have had and the penalties you have received, having a DUI conviction on your record can complicate your life beyond repair. Without a driver’s license, it is very difficult to get to and from a job every day or already do simple things like picking up a carton of milk or going to the store if you run out of bread. If you live in a rural area with no transportation, being without your license can really ruin your career prospects. Having this criminal charge on your record can also impact your chances of being employed, especially if you have a felony DUI conviction. This is why you need to contact a California DUI attorney; your life is too important to trust to someone with no legal experience. Representing yourself and relying on information you find online or hear from friends is one sure way to disaster. Consulting with a California DUI lawyer will help you to gather all of the information needed to prepare your defense and it will give you the representation you need if you want to have any hope of a successful outcome.