2022 Guide to DUI Charges

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Defense For a DUI in California

Working with someone who specializes in DUI cases is important if you want to obtain the best outcome in relation to a DUI arrest. While the facts of the case will play a large role in the severity of the punishment, an expert DUI attorney can ensure that you are given the best chance at avoiding jail time and excessive fines.

What is a DUI Under California Law?

California Vehicle Code 23152(a) is the law that prohibits driving while under the influence of drugs, medication, and extreme levels of alcohol in the system. If someone is pulled over by the police and they are found to be exhibiting physical signs of intoxication and impairment due to drugs, alcohol or some combination of the two, they will likely be arrested as a result of this California Vehicle Code. This covers offenses including DUI arrests related to alcohol consumption as well as DUI of drugs.

What is the difference between California Vehicle Code 23152(a) and California Vehicle Code 23152(b)?

While California Vehicle Code 23152(a) requires that the arresting officer can prove that the defendant was driving the vehicle AND they were under the influence of drugs or impaired by alcohol, California Vehicle Code 23152(b) is slightly different. California Vehicle Code 23152(b) comes into play if the officer can show that the person in question was driving AND they showed a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor vs. Felony DUI?

Typically, a first DUI will be charged as a misdemeanor in court rather than the more serious felony. The difference between the two types of charges are in the severity of the punishments. The felony charge will often result in greater fines, enrollment in more extensive DUI courses, and longer jail time- perhaps even time served in a state prison. It is a much more serious offense to have on your record.

What is an Aggravated DUI Under California Laws?

Multiple DUI arrests within a 10-year period and other aggravating factors can result in a felony charge for what would otherwise be a misdemeanor DUI. For example, driving at high speed or causing injury or death as a result of the DUI incident would all be considered aggravating circumstances and could be the difference between minor jail time and serious time in prison. Even carrying children as passengers while driving under the influence can escalate the charges against the person being arrested.

What are the Penalties for a DUI in California?

The penalties that are handed down for DUI cases can vary widely depending on the circumstances of the case and how well a defendant is represented in and out of court. Generally speaking, the penalties for a first DUI in California (usually a misdemeanor) can include:

  • A probation period of 3 to 5 years which is informal and doesn’t require checking in with a probation officer
  • Up to 6 months of a suspended license with the possible option of a restricted Haemmerle that allows the holder to only use the vehicle for the purposes of going to work
  • Fines of $1500
  • Attending DUI courses for a period of three months
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) that can measures the blood alcohol level of the driver prior to starting the vehicle
  • Serving up to 6 months in jail
  • Participation in community service

As mentioned before, DUI incidents that include aggravating circumstances can significantly increase the penalties or even cause the charges to be changed to a felony. An experienced DUI attorney is the best way to defend against the charges that are brought against you. They will provide experience and negotiating ability that someone who is unrepresented would not have access to.

Learn how the Right Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help you beat a DUI charge

One important thing to remember is that a DUI charge doesn’t need to mean a DUI conviction. Having he right representation can make all the difference when it comes to your DUI arrest. For example, if during the arrest it is found that the arresting officer didn’t follow all of the procedures, it might be possible to have certain evidence thrown out. Additionally, if there were other circumstances that might have interfered with the accuracy of any breath tests or coordination tests that were conducted on site, a lawyer may also be able to question that evidence. An experienced attorney will be able to walk you through the entire process and let you know what is in store. From the initial DMV hearing as well as court appearances for the criminal charges, an experienced DUI attorney is a must to have by your side. Here is a general overview of what the DUI process might look for you: rrest is made for drunk driving, the offender will face a court hearing and a possible DMV hearing if they wish to keep their license.

DMV Hearing

How to avoid having your driver’s license suspended? Make sure you have the representation of a top-notch DUI attorney to advocate for you at the DMV hearing. During the DMV hearing the offender will have the opportunity to make their case for keeping their license. It is the DMV, rather than the criminal courts, that will determine whether a person can keep their license, they do not have a say in criminal matters. Those are handled by the court system.

Court Hearing

Unlike the DMV hearing, which is not necessary, the court proceedings that follow a DUI arrest are mandatory to attend. At the arraignment, which is the first court appearance, the defendant will learn what charges have been raised against them. They have the opportunity to either plea guilty or not guilty. It is also possible throughout this process that the attorneys could urge the defendant to enter into a plea deal which would be done if they thought it would result in significantly less jail time or fines compared to what might be sought after if the case goes to trial.

An attorney who is experienced in handling DUI cases can advise on the best course of action throughout the DMV hearing and all court appearances. Having someone who understands the procedural issues and can knowledgably advocate for you is the best defense you can have.

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