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Fallbrook DUI Lawyers


California’s DUI Charges

A DUI conviction on a person’s record can have serious, long-term ramifications, such as imprisonment, fines, reputational harm, and the suspension of driving privileges.

Keep reading to learn more about California’s DUI charges, the administrative and criminal penalties and repercussions for a DUI, and available common defenses.

A DUI is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, according to California Vehicle Code section 23152(b). If your blood alcohol concentration is less than 0.08 percent, you can still be detained, but the police may need more evidence to convict you. According to California Vehicle Code sections 23136 and 23140, drivers with commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) have a lower limit of 0.04 percent, and minors (under 21 years of age) and those on probation for past DUI offenses in California have an even lower limit of 0.01 percent.

If a suspicion of a DUI with drugs is raised, the California police have the authority to arrest you only on the basis of objective intoxication indications. Marijuana, some prescription drugs, and other regulated or banned substances may be applicable in these situations. Chemical tests may be required, and refusing to do them could result in your license being automatically suspended. It is important to note, however, that these tests are not always 100% correct.

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Criminal and Administrative Penalties

You may face criminal and administrative sanctions if you are charged with a DUI in California.

Criminal Penalties

You can and should consult a lawyer as quickly as possible in a criminal trial to ensure a strong defense.

The court may impose different penalties depending on how many previous DUI charges you have. A first-time offender will most likely face a sentence ranging from 48 hours to six months in prison, as well as a fine of $1,000. A four-month license suspension is usual, but if you are under 21, your penalty could be extended to a year. You may be obliged to attend DUI school for at least three months if your blood alcohol level was high. The courts will also have discretion in determining whether the car is impounded or whether it requires an interlock ignition device to guarantee that the car is only used when you are sober.

DUI punishments become more severe with repeated offenses, and they are usually classified as misdemeanors. The fine for the second and third offenses is the same as the first offense. However, jail time is greatly increased, with a second-time offender facing 96 hours to one year in prison and a third-time offender facing 120 days to one year in prison. House arrest or jail alternative work may be granted for second-time offenders, and for third-time offenders, 30 days of probation and 30 months of DUI school may be allowed.

Administrative Penalties

Even if you have not been convicted of DUI yet, administrative fines imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can be enforced.

When you are charged with a DUI in California, the police are likely to seize your driver’s license and issue you a 30-day temporary license. To prolong the temporary license, you can request a hearing with the DMV. If you fail to appear at the hearing, your license will be suspended immediately.

In most cases, the outcome of such a hearing is a finding that the temporary license may only be used to get to and from work or other essential travel until the case is resolved. If no hearing is requested, all driving privileges lapse at the end of the 30-day period, and the criminal case’s final disposition is decided by the court.

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Available Common Defenses

Anyone can be charged with a DUI, and there are ways to effectively challenge DUI accusations even if there is strong evidence against you.

It Is Possible That the Arrest or Detention Was Carried Out Illegally

The officer on the scene may not have had probable cause to perform the traffic stop, the breathalyzer might have been faulty, or the officer may have violated your rights by cutting corners. These are some examples that may be sufficient to get the charges dropped or reduced.

DUI Should Not Always Be Implied or Assumed When Someone Drives Badly

The police will pay close attention to the driver’s pattern of behavior, noting things like speeding or weaving between lanes, which are signs of someone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A skilled Fallbrook criminal defense lawyer can effectively dispute this by getting the individual police officer to testify about all of the ways you correctly and safely conducted yourself.

Objective Symptoms of Intoxication Are Not the Same Thing as a DUI

A DUI conviction in California is heavily influenced by the defendant’s behavior and demeanor. Red eyes, a heated face, and slurred speech are all common signs of intoxication. An expert criminal defense lawyer, on the other hand, can show valid grounds for those symptoms by addressing “innocent” explanations, such as allergies, a cold, or weariness.

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Schedule a Consultation With Fallbrook DUI Attorney James N. Dicks

Please contact jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys as soon as possible if you have been charged with a DUI: (760) 630-2000. James N. Dicks is a board-certified criminal law specialist who can offer you advice and information regarding the law if you are charged with a DUI.

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