The chances of getting arrested while driving drunk are high in California since the DUI laws in the state are harsh to offenders. San Diego DUI Attorney can be the law firm of your choice following a DUI arrest in Guatay, CA. Our firm handles legal matters ranging from driving offenses to drug crimes. Below is a detailed explanation of how we help DUI offenders.
Understanding the Meaning of DUI in California
Also abbreviated as DUI, driving under the influence is an offense related to driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drugs. Police officers in California stop suspected DUI offenders in traffic stops or DUI checkpoints. The officer may stop your vehicle on a reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. You must submit to a breath/blood test for the law enforcement officer to confirm whether you were sober or not.
A DUI chemical test may suggest you were driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol if you fail the test. For instance, if the breath test results indicate a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, the officer will charge you for a DUI. The law enforcement officer will book you as a DUI offender at the police station. You will also receive a pink document, which is a temporary driver's license following the DUI arrest.
Aggravating Factors for a DUI
DUI, as an offense, usually stems from several aggravating factors that may include having a BAC of 0.015 or higher while driving. Carrying a minor in your car when you are intoxicated may also count as an aggravating factor for a DUI offense. Other factors include causing a car crash or causing property while you are driving under the influence. Your DUI case may attract severe penalties if the following conditions are true:
- Having multiple (two or three) DUI priors in a ten-year timeline
- Being below 21 years of age at the time of your DUI arrest
- Committing the DUI crime while under probation
- Fleeing from the accident scene when you are responsible for the crash
- Refusing to take a blood/breath test
Working with a Guatay DUI attorney can help you argue the reliability of these aggravating factors. You may even try to convince the prosecution to reduce your DUI charge to wet reckless charge if one of the factors is reckless driving. California prosecutors consider wet reckless as a bargain used by DUI defendants to get fewer sentences. You will not lose your driving privileges once the prosecution accepts your request to this bargain.
How DUI Court Hearings Take Place
The court will ask you to attend the hearings if the DUI case proceeds to any trial stage. Your case may take weeks to months to solve hence requiring several court dates. The role of your lawyer is to gather evidence, file motions, and negotiate with the prosecutor and judge for favorable or lesser sentences. The negotiations may include a charge reduction or dismissal.
Though not promised, your lawyer may agree on a fair sentencing deal requiring you to plead to a lesser DUI or criminal charge. The prosecution team may reach this agreement with your lawyer if they do not have sufficient facts to support their allegations against you. A judge will request you to appear in court and make this plea in person or have notarized documents of your case signed outside the court. Signing the notarized documents results in your attorney, making the plea on your behalf.
In the event both parties fail to settle, your case will proceed to a jury trial. The members of a jury trial usually represent different communities in the county the crime was committed. Prosecutors and judges in California expect to spend optimum time on a case since they have lots of pending cases to handle. The timeline for solving your case will depend on the evidence and defenses produced by your lawyer and the prosecution.
Filing Blood Split Motions
Law enforcement officers in California must withhold urine or blood samples belonging to DUI suspects as required by the DUI laws. The samples make it possible for you (a DUI defendant) to request an independent test when you suspect the samples were improperly stored or cross-contaminated. Our attorneys can help you make the request and ask the court to nullify inaccurate test results presented in the courtroom as evidence.
With a blood split motion, you will be asking an independent agency to subject your samples to a chemical test. The independent tests can reveal your actual BAC (blood alcohol concentration) levels and be used as evidence in court. You may request one if you have reasonable suspicion that a law enforcement officer tampered with your results. Instances of inaccurate chemical tests may involve evidence tampering and equipment malfunction.
Avoiding the Immigration Consequences of a DUI
Deportation and inadmissibility are among the immigration consequences of a DUI offense. You stand a chance of avoiding these consequences only if you work with a Guatay DUI attorney. The prosecution handling your case will focus on making it difficult for you to beat the DUI allegations. You have to share as much information as you can with your lawyer to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
Immigrants charged with DUI offenses are at risk of getting deported or being inadmissible to the US. The U.S immigration authorities may get hold of your arrest record if you are in the country illegally or have overstayed your visa. Examples of offenses that put you at immigration risks include DUI with a suspended license and driving under the influence of drugs. You also risk deportation and inadmissibility to the US when charged with having DUI priors or driving under the influence with a minor (a person aged 14 years and below).
Our Attorneys Helping Clients with the DMV Process
Your legal right to an administrative DMV proceeding is only valid for ten days The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not offer extensions to this deadline. Once your passes, you cannot request a hearing and will automatically have your driver's license suspended within 30 days. Asking your lawyer to request and arrange for this hearing in time can help your course.
The DMV allows attorneys to represent their clients during the administrative hearing. With your lawyer present, it is possible to explain to the DMV why you should not lose your driving privileges. Our lawyers usually request maintenance logs for equipment used to carry out breath and blood tests. They also rely on witness statements from the arresting officer and other officers involved in the investigation to defend clients at DMV hearings.
The Possible Outcomes of a DMV Hearing
DMV administrative hearings involve lawyers/defendants giving their defenses and DMV hearing officers giving the verdict on the case at hand. Your lawyer will receive the verdict of the hearing from the DMV hearing officer in thirty days after the hearing. The DMV will authorize an automatic suspension of your driver's license if the officer finds you at fault. On the other hand, you will have your driving privileges reinstated if the officer does not find you at fault based on your attorney's defenses.
Winning a DMV hearing will not make your pending DUI case disappear. However, the win may help you form a defense strategy for negotiating a deal with the prosecution. If your DUI arrest was based on the crime of driving under the influence of drugs, you forfeit your right to a DMV hearing. A conviction for the same offense increases your chances of having your license suspended.
What Happens Following a License Suspension?
Your right to a restricted license is valid for thirty days from the day you had your driver's license suspended. You can get one within the given period by working with a Guatay DUI attorney. A restricted license requires you to drive to and from your workplace, school, or DUI school. Obtaining one is better than driving on a suspended license since suspended licenses attract jail time and longer license suspension periods.
If your vehicle weighs 26,0001 pounds, you have to get a CDL (commercial driver's license) from the DMV. The license will allow you to drive commercial vehicles such as double trailers, school buses, and those carrying hazardous substances. You do not have the right to a restricted license once the DMV suspends your CDL following a DUI arrest. California's DUI laws hold drivers of commercial vehicles to higher standards than those driving non-commercial vehicles.
Do Out-of-State Drivers Risk License Suspension in California?
Law enforcement officers from California cannot stop and arrest you if you are an out-of-state driver caught committing a DUI offense. The only thing they can issue you is an Order of Suspension. An Order of Suspension is an administrative notice meant to notify you that the DMV will suspend your driving privileges in California for up to 30 days.
Information regarding your arrest will be available to your home state if the state complies with the Interstate Driver's License Compact. With this legal framework, various US states manage to share information about DUI convictions and arrests with each other. If your home state is part of IDLC, a DUI arrest in California may result in penalties such as probation and heavy fines. Other consequences for the arrest include having an IID in your motor vehicle and attending a court-credited DUI school.
Types of DUI Cases Handled by Our Lawyers
Before you start worrying about the possible consequences of a DUI charge, focus on finding the best legal advice and representation. Guatay DUI attorney helps give clients like you a peace of mind when they have pending criminal charges. We specialize in DUI offenses such as DUI homicide, aggravated DUI, DUI with drugs, and DUI hit and run. Discussed below are these cases in detail:
First-Time, Second-Time, Third-Time DUI and Fourth-Time DUI
A first-time DUI charge usually stems from a DUI offense committed for the first time. The crime attracts a jail sentence of 48 hours with fines not exceeding $2,000. Your arrest may be based on offenses such as underage DUI, military DUI, and driving with a minor.
Second-time, third time and fourth-time DUI all qualify as subsequent DUI offenses. They stem from committing a DUI twice, three, or four times in a period of ten years between each conviction. You may spend up to one year in jail and pay a maximum of $1,000 in fines for a second-time DUI. Subsequent DUI offenses attract penalties such as HTO (habitual traffic offender) status, probation, jail time, and enrollment in a DUI school.
DUI with Drugs
Vehicle Code 23152(f) of California's DUI laws considers driving under the influence of drugs as a DUI offense. Being intoxicated with drugs or prescription drugs while you are driving may increase your risks for causing an accident. Drugs may include marijuana or painkillers (which qualify as prescription drugs). Your criminal history and the details regarding your arrest will determine the possible penalties for committing this offense.
DUI Causing Injury
The crime of DUI causing injury can either be a felony or misdemeanor with penalties including imprisonment and license suspension. Other consequences of committing this crime include restitution (to the victims), probation, and a maximum 4-year license revocation. The severity of the injuries will depend on whether the offense qualifies as a misdemeanor or felony. You risk being labeled as a habitual traffic offender by the DMV and having three strikes on your state-issued driver's license.
Since this crime qualifies as second-degree murder, you risk facing a prison sentence of fifteen years to life when convicted of DUI homicide. The offense also attracts consequences such as three strikes on the driver's license and restitution (to the surviving family member). Also known as Watson Murder, DUI homicide is a type of DUI known to result in the death of a driver, pedestrian, or passenger.
In California, second-degree murder is murder caused as a result of having disregard for the life of other people. Second-degree murder is not deliberate and premeditated, unlike first-degree murder. The prosecution will focus on proving you intentionally and knowingly had disregard for the victim's life while you were driving under the influence.
DUI Hit and Run
You are at risk of facing DUI hit and run penalties the moment you flee the scene of a car crash you caused even if you were a victim. A DUI hit and run is a hit and run incident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The right thing to do in this situation is to stop and offer help to injured individuals. You should also inform the highway authorities or local police about the accident
How We Can Help You Get an SR22 Form
An SR22 is a form provided by car insurance companies to their respective clients to confirm their compliance with the state auto liability insurance requirements. Your insurance company needs to send a copy of this document to the DMV after issuing you with one. The form is a necessity when you want the DMV to reinstate your driver's license following a suspension or revocation. You will also need it when ordered to maintain an IID in your car every time you drive.
One of the things you need to prove once the DMV suspends your license is financial responsibility. Your ability to prove this aspect is only valid for thirty days, in which the DMV will expect you to file the form. Driving offenses, including DUI, usually increase the need for getting an SR22, especially when arrested for committing any of them. The offenses may include drunk driving, reckless driving, failure to pay parking fees, and causing a car crash with an uninsured car.
The first step to obtaining an SR22 in California involves reaching out to your car insurance company. One way the company can establish the nature of your request is by determining your reasons for needing the form. Your insurer may decide to cancel your insurance policy or issue you the certificate depending on the information they obtain about you. Expect your insurance premiums to increase once you get the SR22.
Guatay DUI attorney has been helping drivers obtain SR22 forms, including the Operator's Policy Certificate and the Owner's Policy Certificate. They can also help you file an Owner's Policy Certificate for a vehicle registered under your full names. An Operator's Policy Certificate is a necessity if you are not the car owner. A Board Coverage Policy Certificate, on the other hand, will cover the financial responsibility of vehicles registered or not registered under your name.
Have Your Case Handled by a Proficient DUI Attorney Near Me
Your DUI case may attract favorable outcomes once you decide to consult and work with an attorney. San Diego DUI Attorney is a law firm operating in Guatay, CA with skilled lawyers who can help you or your loved one when facing DUI charges. Our reputation largely comes from the level of professionalism our lawyers exercise with every case. Seek expert opinion on your DUI case today by calling us at 619-535-7150.