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Rainbow DUI Defense Lawyers

How Should You React to a DUI Arrest?

Keep calm—as soon as you’re arrested, contact your lawyer. You will need to comply with police chemical tests, but you shouldn’t answer any questions until you have a lawyer present.

Arrange for a ride home when you can: you could be kept in the cells for a short time or released straight after being processed in the station. Your license will automatically be suspended for 30 days, so don’t risk driving.

If you want to apply for a restricted license, you should contact your California DMV Driver Safety Office as soon as possible, and within ten days of your arrest. This is the first step in arranging for a DMV hearing, which your lawyer can assist you with.

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The Local Area and Traffic Flow

The small settlement of Rainbow is about 50 minutes north of San Diego. The main roads in the Rainbow area are Old Highway 395, which runs beside the Escondido Freeway, and Rainbow Valley Boulevard, which connects Rainbow to Temecula to the north.

The other busy road is Rice Canyon Rd, which connects Rainbow to Hwy 76. If you are driving in the Rainbow area on the weekend, be aware that police may be out looking for DUI cases on these roads.

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What Constitutes a DUI in California?

One form of DUI in California, found in § 23152 (b) of the California Vehicle Code, involves the driver’s blood alcohol content. If you fail a breathalyzer test, you can be found guilty of a DUI even if there’s nothing wrong with your driving.

The DUI threshold for most drivers over 21 is 0.08% BAC or higher. Commercial drivers, including Uber and Lyft drivers, have a different limit: their BAC must be lower than 0.04%. Drivers under 21 and on DUI probation must return a result of 0.00%. It’s best never to drink when you know you have to drive.

You can also be charged with DUI if you’re found to be driving “under the influence of alcohol,” under § 23152 (a). For instance, you might return a BAC reading of only 0.07% but if your driving is erratic and you show obvious signs of intoxication, you could be charged. Officers use observation and also field sobriety tests to prove that you are impaired by alcohol—they will generally do the same if they suspect drug use.

Regarding drugged driving, the relevant section is driving “under the influence of drugs” § 23152 (f). Drivers will incur a DUI conviction if they are considered to be under the influence of any drug, including illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter substances. § 23152 (g) also covers cases where the driver is affected by both alcohol and drugs.

There is another section (§ 23152 (c) that makes it an offense to drive while addicted to a drug. This section is rarely used.

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The penalties for DUI offenses in California vary. Here’s a rough guide to fines:

  • First offense: $390 and $1,000 + penalties
  • Second offense: A fine and penalties totaling around $3,000
  • Third offense: A fine of up to $5,000, plus $10,000+ in penalties.

A first offense comes with a maximum sentence of six months in jail, and subsequent offenses by up to one year in jail. However, most of the time, however, first-time and second-time offenders are dealt with via a period of probation instead. This can involve:

  • Agreeing to drive with 0.00% BAC
  • Complying with requests for chemical tests when pulled over by police
  • License suspension for at least six months
  • Agreeing to attend DUI school and any court-ordered drug or alcohol programs.

Jail is usually mandatory for third-time offenders, but this can be commuted to house arrest or rehab.

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How Will Prosecutors Attempt To Prove You Committed DUI?

Prosecutors use the evidence collected by police in their DUI investigation to try to prove you were driving under the influence.

In the case of BAC cases, the level of alcohol in your blood is usually quickly determined by a breathalyzer test (although this is not foolproof—police have sometimes been known to breathalyze the passenger rather than the driver, for instance after an accident).

When it comes to driving under the “influence of drugs,” or driving under the “influence of alcohol,” evidence they use can also include:

  • Statements you made when police pulled you over
  • How well you performed in field sobriety tests (FSTs)
  • Police observations of your driving, appearance, and behavior (for instance, dilated pupils, slurred speech)
  • Examinations carried out by drug recognition experts at the police station
  • The results of chemical tests.

It’s important to note that you can politely decline to take FSTs before you are arrested: these tests can be difficult even for a sober person to pass, and they are often used as grounds for arrest.

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How Can a Lawyer Help You?

A lawyer can advise you and support you during your DMV hearing, submit pretrial motions for you, and represent you in court. There are many defenses to a DUI that a Rainbow defense lawyer can potentially put forward for you, for example:

  • Police did not have probable cause, such as a driving error, to pull you over
  • Police didn’t have probable cause for arrest
  • They didn’t follow regulations when it came to collecting and storing evidence
  • The level of drugs in your system was too low to cause impairments
  • The “detection window” for the drug you took was longer than the period of impairment.

A lawyer can also put forward alternative explanations to the court for why police might have perceived you as “impaired,” for instance, medical reasons, coordination, or balance problems.

In some situations, a lawyer can help arrange a plea bargain for you, in which you plead guilty to a lesser charge, including “being under the influence” rather than “driving under the influence” of drugs. If you’re looking for an experienced lawyer to defend a DUI in Rainbow, don’t hesitate. Give jD Law Criminal Defense Attorneys a call today at (760) 630-2000.

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