When someone is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can expect to face a wide range of penalties. These penalties will likely impact their lives for years down the road. For this reason, when someone is accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol, it is imperative that they retain the services of a seasoned Tehama County DUI lawyer who can help them fight those charges at every turn. Read on and contact our Redding, California firm today to learn more about defending against DUI charges in the state of California and how the right legal team can help fight for your rights.
What Are Some Potential Penalties for DUI Charges in California?
Before getting into the specifics of defending clients against DUI charges, it’s important that anyone accused of driving while intoxicated first understands the potential penalties they’re up against. Even for a first-offense DUI here in California, if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, you will likely face the following:
- Between 48 hours and six months in the county jail
- Up to three years on probation
- A $1,600 fine
- A driver’s suspension of at least six months
- Mandatory completion of a court-approved DUI school
- You will lose your right to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system in the future (even a BAC of .01% will warrant a DUI charge)
You should also note that you will develop a criminal record once you’re convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol. A criminal record can impact your life in several ways, making it very difficult to get or keep a job. It may also make it harder to secure loans, and it may bar you from owning a firearm in the state of California, among many other hardships. As you can see, it’s paramount you have a seasoned legal advocate in your corner who can help shield you from these penalties at all costs.
If I’m Convicted of Driving while under the Influence, How Long will it Remain on My Record?
After you’re convicted of a DUI, there will be a 10-year lookback period with the DMV. Essentially, this means that your DUI will be on your record with the DMV for ten years. This is important for two primary reasons. To start, if you are found guilty of a subsequent DUI after the 10-year period is up, it will likely only count as your first DUI, so the penalties you’ll face won’t be as harsh as they would be for a second offense. Additionally, for that 10-year period, you will likely face spiked insurance premiums, essentially having you pay for your DUI for years into the future.
What can I Expect When Going to Court for a DUI in California?
First, you will attend your arraignment. During your arraignment, you and your attorney will stand in front of a judge who will inform you of the charges you are facing, the maximum penalty you may face for those charges, and, from there, will set the next court date. Typically, your next appearance in court will be in what’s known as a settlement conference. At this point, your attorney will be in touch with the prosecution’s office and will be looking to either reduce the charges you’re facing or, in the best cases, your attorney may even come up with a defense against your charges that can beat them all together. For this reason, it’s so important that you hire a seasoned Redding criminal lawyer who can assess the circumstances of your charges and, from there, fight for a favorable outcome on your behalf.
What are some of the most practical defenses against DUI charges?
Of course, the specific defense that our firm will use depends largely on the circumstances of your arrest. That said, just some of the most common defenses against DUI charges are as follows:
- The breathalyzer test results were inaccurate due to any of the following:
- The breathalyzer test was improperly calibrated
- The breathalyzer itself was defective
- You have a medical condition, such as GERD, that commonly results in false positives for driving while under the influence of alcohol.
- You recently used a mouthwash containing alcohol before submitting your breath sample.
- You weren’t driving at the time of your arrest. For example, if you were asleep behind the wheel of a parked car and your keys weren’t in the ignition, you should have a viable defense.
- The arresting officer failed to wait 15 minutes before administering a breathalyzer test.
- Driving erratically or failing to obey the rules of the road doesn’t necessarily mean you were under the influence of alcohol.
- The arresting officer unlawfully stopped you.
- The arresting officer improperly conducted a field sobriety test.
- You have a medical condition that prevents you from passing a field sobriety test.
- The Preliminary Alcohol Screening test results were inaccurate.
- The arresting officer otherwise conducted him or herself improperly/violated your constitutional rights in some way, thereby rendering the evidence against you inadmissible in court.
These are just some of the many potential defenses your attorney can use to combat your charges, and, as previously mentioned, the defense we use in your case will depend on the circumstances of your arrest and the charges you’re currently facing.
Contact Cohen Criminal Law
The bottom line is that if you’re facing DUI charges of any kind, whether you’ve been accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the most important thing you can do is retain the services of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can help combat your charges at every turn. Cohen Criminal Law has been a trusted legal advocate for those accused of driving while under the influence here in California for over three decades. You can have peace of mind when choosing them to handle your case. Contact Cohen Criminal Law today to schedule your free initial consultation with their criminal defense firm.