In California, driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal offense, as well as a grave traffic violation. Over time, the state has consistently increased the penalties for DUI in a bid to check the injuries and fatalities that arise from drunk driving. These penalties range from significant fines to lengthy prison terms. With such serious ramifications, a DUI arrest means that you need an attorney who understands the intricate details of a DUI defense.
The Barona DUI Attorney will take charge of your DUI case. Our primary goal is to put up the best defense to discredit the evidence against you and avoid a conviction. We will work with you throughout the process, negotiate with prosecutors, and possibly get a favorable ruling from the judge or jury.
For years, Barona DUI Attorney has established an outstanding track record in DUI defense. We navigate the complex justice system to provide superior services to all our clients. We work closely with you and your family in every step of the process and uphold the integrity and ethical standards. Therefore, we have the respect of our clients, peers, prosecutors, and judges.
If you or a loved one are in custody for DUI, you need to call our attorneys immediately. We will give a free, confidential consultation to inform and help you understand your available options and to protect your rights. We ensure that your statements are not self-incriminating and provide advice on how you can avoid compromising your lawsuit. We will assess the specific details of your charges, and advise you on the most persuasive defense strategies.
We utilize our resources, including a thorough examination of facts and evidence, witness interviews, and private investigations to support your case. We manage all our cases internally, and our team of dependable attorneys will invest significant amounts of time and energy in working on your case.
We take quality time to know you, and we genuinely care about how your trial ends. We strive to treat you well, to provide you with top-notch services, and to mitigate your concerns and fears. Each of our skilled, dedicated attorneys will approach your lawsuit on an individual basis. You can rest assured that we never hire external attorneys to handle any of our cases.
Offered Services at Barona DUI Attorney
California law prohibits you from driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, drugs, or both. The state considers you to be under the influence when your faculties have inhibitions due to drugs or alcohol. Inhibition means that you cannot function in a way that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. California’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%, but stricter standards apply for specific categories of drivers.
Upon your arrest for DUI, you must answer to two separate DUI cases. The first is a criminal offense, which you must fight in court, while the second is a DMV procedure to safeguard your driver’s license from revocation or suspension. Regardless of the type of DUI charges, Barona DUI Attorney will represent you at the DMV hearing as well as during court trials for any of the following offenses:
First offense DUI
Although a first DUI offense is a misdemeanor, it is still a serious crime. It can earn you misdemeanor probation for up to five years or even a six-month jail term. Upon conviction, you may get a restricted license and retain your driving privileges after you install an IID in your car for at least four months. If the court does not grant you a restricted license, you will get a six-month license suspension. You can only avoid a license suspension if you request and win a DMV hearing, or the court does not convict you for DUI.
Other possible outcomes of a first DUI offense are:
- DUI school that typically lasts three months but may extend to nine months
- Penalty assessments and fines of up to $2,000
- Work release
A DUI offense also results in indirect repercussions, such as higher auto insurance premiums. More importantly, DUIs count as priors. Therefore your first DUI will remain on your criminal record. It will count for at least ten years, and you will receive stiffer penalties for subsequent DUI convictions.
Second offense DUI
Since every DUI offense counts as a prior, each successive conviction for wet reckless or DUI in under ten years enhances the punishment. A second DUI is a misdemeanor whose penalties are:
- Summary probation for up to five years
- Fines and penalty assessments that may total to almost $2,000
- Up to 30 months in DUI school.
- Installing an IID in your car for a year
- Jail time for the 96-hour mandatory minimum up to the one-year maximum
Third offense DUI
Having a third DUI conviction within ten years will present more severe ramifications than the first or second DUI conviction. This enhancement arises because all DUI convictions count as priors. A third DUI is a misdemeanor whose penalties include:
- Informal probation for between three and five years
- A county jail term of at least 120 days, but up to one year
- 30 months of a court-approved DUI school
- Approximately $2,000 in fines, assessments, and penalties
- IID installation for two years
A felony DUI is more grave than a misdemeanor DUI, and its penalties are harsher. You will face felony DUI charges if:
- You have three previous DUI convictions within the past ten years
- You have a minimum of one felony DUI convictions within the past ten years
- Your DUI offense involves inflicting injury or causing death
A Barona DUI Attorney can defend and help you avoid the possible penalties for felony DUI, which include:
- A prison term of up to three years
- License revocation for four years
- Substantial fines
- Extended periods of DUI school
- A three-year status of Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)
The court may sentence you to four-year incarceration for felony DUI causing injury. The sentence may be longer if:
- More than one individual, other than you, suffer injuries in the same incident.
- The victim sustains serious bodily injury
California’s Zero Tolerance law does not allow persons aged below 21 years to consume alcoholic beverages. It also prohibits them from driving when their BAC exceeds 0.01%. Violating this law is not a crime, but an infraction, meaning that a conviction will not put you behind bars. However, it carries the following penalties:
- License suspension
- A $100 fine or more if the sentence is for your second or succeeding offense
- Mandatory sessions in an alcohol education program
- Vehicle impoundment if it is your second or subsequent conviction
DUI of drugs (DUID)
California law defines a drug as a substance or mixture of chemicals that affect the muscles, brain, or nervous system. They can also impair your ability to drive in a way a rational, cautious person would. Drugs include:
- Illegal drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine
- Legal drugs like marijuana
- Over-the-counter medicine including medicines for cold and antihistamines
- Prescription medicine even when it does not make you high
A first offense DUID is a misdemeanor that mostly does not include jail time if no third party sustains injuries. The potential penalties are:
- Informal DUI probation for between three and five years
- Fines, penalties and assessments
- A six-month license suspension
- At least three months in DUI school
Penalties for a second and successive DUID conviction include:
- Hefty fines
- Time in DUI school
- A longer suspension of your driver’s license
- A mandatory minimum term in jail which increases with each successive wet reckless or DUI conviction.
Your DUID becomes a felony if:
- Your current offense is your fourth or successive DUI
- You have at least one previous felony DUI conviction
- A third party sustained grave injuries or died as a result of your DUID
- The incident is your third or successive DUI causing injury
The penalties for felony DUID depend on your specific charges and your criminal history. They include:
- Jail or prison time ranging from 16 months to four years
- Felony probation in place of part or the entire prison or jail term
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- A license suspension or revocation
DUI causing injury
Injuring another person due to DUI is a crime, even if your BAC is within the legal limit of less than 0.08%. The prosecution will charge you if they think their case is strong, so long as the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system is measurable. If your BAC equals or exceeds 0.08%, the offense is a definite DUI.
The penalties will depend on several factors, such as your criminal history, especially previous DUI convictions, and the injuries that the victim suffers. Your conduct after the accident, such as hit and run, will also play a vital role in determining your punishment. The penalties for a first DUI causing injury include:
- Serving time in county jail
- Informal probation for three to five years
- Fines ranging from $390 to $1,000
- A court-approved alcohol education program
- Suspension of your driver’s license
The offense counts as a prior. Therefore, the penalties increase with subsequent convictions for wet reckless or DUI. If it is your third DUI causing injury, the charge automatically becomes a felony with stiffer and long-lasting penalties.
Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
This crime occurs when you unlawfully kill a person while you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is a felony, for which a conviction comes with:
- A California state prison term of four, six or ten years
- Imprisonment for 15 years to life if you have at least two previous DUI convictions or an earlier conviction for negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Gross negligence is more than a regular mistaken judgment, inattention, or carelessness. It is when your behavior is extremely different from how a typical careful person would act in similar circumstances. It is behaving without concern for the consequences of your actions or consideration for human life. You are grossly negligent when:
- You act dangerously and cause a high possibility of great bodily harm or death
- A rational person would have been aware that such actions would cause such a threat.
Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is a grave felony offense and a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. A conviction will significantly enhance the consequences of any future crimes.
Negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
The prosecution will charge you with this offense if you:
- Unlawfully kill a person while driving under the influence, but without malice aforethought
- You kill a person through an illegal deed that does not amount to a felony
- You cause death by illegally conducting a legal act, but with no gross negligence.
The penalties vary depending on the type of charges. They include:
- A maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail for a misdemeanor
- A fine not exceeding $10,000 and 16 months, two or four years jail time for a felony
- A further, consecutive three to six-year sentence if a surviving victim sustains great bodily harm.
A regular DUI conviction comes with its set of severe punishment. However, the presence of some factors can enhance the standard DUI penalties either by increasing the sentences or elevating the charges to higher levels. Such aggravating factors include:
- Excessive BAC: It is a crime to operate a vehicle with your BAC at 0.08% or higher. However, a BAC equal to or exceeding 0.15% is special. It may justify enhanced penalties. Even when the courts grant you probation, they will impose punitive restrictions that will make your life more difficult.
- Excessive speed: Overshooting the speed limit on a freeway by 30 mph or on other roads by 20 mph will enhance your DUI penalties. California law provides for 60 additional days on your sentence. The 60 days is a pre-condition if the judge puts you on probation for your DUI charge. It is also a requirement by law that the 60 days is a consecutive term and does not overlap your sentence for DUI.
- Refusal to submit to a test: If you decline to take a chemical blood or breath test and the judge convicts you for DUI, the denial can contribute to enhancing your sentence. When you refuse a test, there is no proof of your actual BAC. Therefore, the courts assume that your BAC was above the legal limit, and you get a matching sentence.
- Reckless Driving: This refers to willful or deliberate disregard for the safety of people or property. It is driving in any manner that puts other people or vehicles at risk even if you do not cause an accident. Reckless driving attracts a consecutive sentence of 60 additional days. The days are a pre-condition for probation on your underlying DUI offense, and they do not overlap your penalty for a regular DUI.
- Minor in the vehicle: A conviction for DUI while you have a child under 14 years in the car will earn you a mandatory jail time of 48 hours. You will spend all these hours in jail, even if you get probation for the underlying offense. The court cannot stay the sentence, nor can you serve it in intervals of shorter periods. You may get a longer sentence depending on the charges against you.
- Causing an accident: in case you are under the influence and you cause a car accident that results in injuries, your criminal charges may be either a felony or a misdemeanor. If the accident is a hit-and-run, your DUI sentence will be longer, and you will get an additional penalty for the hit-and-run. Even when the incident does not result in injuries, judges often consider the accident a valid reason to enhance your sentence. The actual outcome depends on the court determining your case.
- DUI while on probation: An arrest for DUI, during your probation, is a violation of your probation conditions. The rule applies to conditional for both DUI and other criminal offenses, even without a new DUI conviction. Driving with any amount of drugs or alcohol in your system during your probation period is an offense. The judge may reinstate the original sentence for the crime for which you are on probation. If your violation is for DUI probation, you will face the statutory punishment for your repeat DUI and additional penalties.
Depending on the specific details of your case and your criminal record, the most common forms of enhanced penalties include:
- An extended prison term which often has a mandatory period
- Substantial fines
- A longer probation period
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Mandatory attendance of an alcohol education program
- Installation of an IID on your car
In addition to the consequences directly related to the criminal charges, you may also incur:
- Civil liability for the victims’ physical injuries or damage to property
- Higher vehicle insurance premiums or denial of coverage
Consult a DUI Attorney Near Me
DUI convictions count as priors for ten years. Having such a criminal record for such a long time can have far-reaching effects on your life. Fortunately, a Barona DUI Attorney can help you fight and avoid a conviction. If the police arrest you for any DUI crime, call us at 619-535-7150. Our goal is to oppose the charges against you and do everything we possibly can to get an outcome in your favor.