Choosing the right attorney to represent you in court is one of the most important decisions you can make when facing DUI charges in Cameron Corners. The right attorney will be with you throughout the process, gathering evidence and planning a strong defense for you. At San Diego DUI Attorney, we have been around for a long time, offering guidance, advice, and legal representation to people who are facing charges for DUI. We could be what you need for a more favorable outcome if you or your loved one is facing DUI charges in Cameron Corners.
Legal Definition of DUI in California
DUI laws in the state of California apply equally in all its cities, including Cameron Corners. For this reason, motorists in Cameron Corners are bound by the same requirements as those in all the other parts of the state. The laws, in this case, make it illegal for anyone to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with a DUI of 0.08% or higher. There are seven misdemeanor offenses provided under Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code which anyone arrested for DUI can be charged with. These are:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the point that your physical and mental abilities have been impaired. This section of the law applies to drivers who have been intoxicated such that they are unable to drive as good as a sober person would. Such a driver would face charges under Section 23152(a) of the state’s Vehicle Code
- Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content Level of 0.08% or more. This is called the per se definition of DUI in California. Under this law, it will not matter to the law enforcement officers if you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or not. As long as your BAC level is 0.08% or more, you could face serious charges for drunk driving. This offense is provided under Section 23152(b) of the state’s Vehicle Code.
- Driving when you are already addicted to any drugs. This offense is covered under Section 23152(c) of the California Vehicle Code.
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content level of 0.04% or more as provided under Section 23152(d).
- Operating a hire vehicle such as an Uber or taxi with a passenger, when your Blood Alcohol Content level is at 0.04% or more. This offense is covered under Section 23152(e)
- Driving under the effect of any drug, provided under Section 23152(f)
- Driving with a combined effect of both drugs and alcohol, as provided under Section 23152(g)
Note that the first two are the most common misdemeanors under California DUI laws. Also, each of these offenses carries severe penalties which may include hefty fines and time in jail. That is why it is advisable to hire a reasonable DUI defense attorney to help with your case. There is a lot that a Cameron Corners DUI Attorney can do for you. They can have the judge either reduce your charges to a more lenient charge or have your charges dropped.
DUI Cases a Cameron Corners DUI Attorney Help You With
A first DUI offense in the state of California is not treated any differently from other criminal offenses. State laws are very stringent on drunk driving, and so, a first offender will face strict consequences. Note that the first DUI offense is likely to be convicted as a misdemeanor. Some of the consequences you are likely to encounter are:
- Informal/summary or misdemeanor probation for between three and five years
- A maximum of six months of jail time
- A fine that could range between $390 and $1,000
- A court-ordered drug or alcohol education program for between three and nine months
You could also be required to set up an IID in your vehicle for at least six months if you want to continue driving without restrictions. If not, you may lose your driving privilege for between six months and one year.
As if that is not enough, California law requires anyone arrested for DUI anywhere in the state to apply for a DMV hearing within ten days of their arrest. This request is essential as it will postpone your driver’s license suspension until that time your DMV hearing will be determined.
A first-offender DUI needs excellent legal representation for many reasons. Your attorney will advise you on what to do or say during the period of your arrest. He/she will also plan a strong defense against your charges. Your attorney will be there with you throughout the process, providing you with the emotional support you need during that period. He/she will also request a DMV hearing for you with the California DMV, and legally represent you during the trial.
A second DUI offense happens when you are facing arrest for DUI for the second time in ten years. The second DUI offense is also convicted as a misdemeanor in California, carrying the following penalties:
- Summary or misdemeanor probation for between three and five years
- At least 96 hours and a maximum of a year in jail
- A fine that could range between $390 to $1,000
- Mandatory requirement to complete a court-ordered DUI school for a period of between 18 to 30 months
- Mandatory requirement to install an IID for at least a year. If you agree to this, you will be able to drive anywhere. If not, you may face driver's license suspension for at least two years. With the suspension in effect, DMV can only grant you a restricted driver’s license. This can only allow you to drive to a few places, such as school, work, and DUI School.
You need a competent attorney by your side if you are going to fight the charges you are facing. You also need a smart DUI attorney if you want to win the DMV hearing. This way, you may be allowed to continue driving as you await the court verdict on your DUI case.
California DUI is a priorable offense, which means that penalties for drunk driving increase with every successive DUI conviction. A third DUI offense will, therefore, carry heftier penalties than the first and second DUI offenses. A third DUI offense is said to happen when you are arrested for DUI the third time in ten years. The crime is also convicted as a misdemeanor, just the same as the first two DUI offenses. Some of the penalties you are likely to face are:
- Informal or misdemeanor probation for between three and five years
- At least 120 days but not exceeding one year in jail
- Fines ranging between $390 and $1,000
- A mandatory requirement to complete a court-ordered DUI program for 30 months
- Necessary need to set up an IID in your car for two years. If you agree to this, the court will allow you to drive anywhere. If not, you will face a DMV license suspension for three years. A license suspension for a third-DUI offender could be converted into a restricted driver’s license, but only after 18 months of suspension.
- You could also be labeled as a habitual traffic offender by the state's DMV if you face a third-DUI offender conviction
If you have already met two DUI convictions, you already know that the third one will come with even heftier penalties. For this reason, you need the best legal help you can get. A competent Cameron Corners DUI attorney will employ the best defense strategies available to fight the charges you are facing.
If successful, your charges could be reduced or dropped altogether. Again, losing your driving privileges for three years is not easy, primarily if you depend on your car. That is why you need a DUI attorney to represent you during the DMV hearing. His/her presence can make a significant difference in the outcome of that hearing.
California Felony DUI
Only the firth three DUI offenses in California are convicted as misdemeanors. Any DUI conviction that comes after that will be charged as a felony, and this means even heftier penalties for the offender. There are other instances where a prosecutor will file felony charges against a DUI offender. Generally, felony DUI offenses come as a result of the following:
- When an offender is facing a DUI conviction for the fourth time within ten years
- When an accused DUI offender caused an accident which resulted in the death or injury of others
- When the offender’s blood-alcohol content at the time of their arrest was higher than the allowed level of 0.08%
If you are facing a felony DUI conviction, you need the best legal help you can get. This is to avoid the hefty penalties you are likely to get. Some of these penalties include:
- A maximum of four years in prison
- A fine of not more than $1000
- A possibility of losing your driver’s license for four years
- A mandatory DUI education program for at least 18 months
- Designation by the DMV as a habitual traffic offender
A competent Cameron Corners DUI Attorney can help you avoid these and many other penalties following your fourth DUI arrest.
Hit & Run DUI
Hit & Run when driving under the effect of drugs or alcohol can result in very extreme penalties. These may include hefty fines and more time behind bars. There are mainly two types of Hit & Run offenses in California, both of which can be charged with DUI:
- Hit & Run resulting in physical injuries, a breach of Section 20001 of the California Vehicle Laws
- Hit & Run leading to property damage, a breach of 20002 of the California Vehicle Laws
Note that you can still be charged with Hit & Run even when you are not answerable for causing a crash. As long as you fled from the scene of the crash. You would face Hit & Run charges even if the other motorist was 100% liable. The law requires every driver that was involved in a Hit & Run incident to wait, provide their personal information to other parties involved and at least call the police.
If another person was injured in the Hit & Run incident, you need to provide them with your information. This should be done even when the injured person was driving with you in your car, and have no intention of filing a legal case against you.
Hit & Run is in itself a serious offense. Penalties will be heftier if it is charged with DUI. For that reason, you need the best Cameron Corners DUI Attorney you can get. This way, some or all your charges could be dropped or reduced. The sentences you are likely to receive for Hit & Run in California include:
A misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by:
- Not more than six months of jail time
- Probation for at most three years
- A fine of no more than $1000
- Two points on your driving record
- Payment of restitution for damaged property
A felony conviction, which is punishable by:
- A fine of between $1000 and $10,000
- Imprisonment for a maximum of three years. Incarceration could be four years if the Hit & Run resulted in the death of another person
Note that for a Hit & Run DUI offense, you will face both penalties for California Hit & Run and DUI consecutively.
Possible Defense Strategies that Could Help Your case
Other than being with you throughout the legal process, your Cameron Corners DUI attorney will legally represent you during your DUI hearing in a California court and also during your DMV hearing. To do this successfully, there are several defense strategies that he/she could use to convince the court to either reduce your DUI charges or drop them. Some of these are:
There was no probable cause for your arrest
The law requires law enforcement officers to have a good and reasonable cause for suspecting a motorist for drunk driving before stopping them. Some of the probable causes accepted in DUI cases include running stop lights, speeding, and driving impairment patterns.
If the arresting officer did not have a good reason to suspect the driver for drunk driving, your attorney could petition the court to suppress any evidence he/she may have obtained after your arrest. As a result, the court may not have enough reasons to charge you with DUI, thereby dismissing your charges.
Errors or inaccuracy in the breathalyzer tests
Breath tests are the most common ways to determine BAC levels for motorists in the state of California. However, breathalyzers do not test your BAC level directly. Instead, they measure a driver’s breath alcohol, then multiply it by a partition ratio, which gives an estimate of the driver’s BAC level. Again, different BAC levels can be expected depending on a person’s gender and body weight. For these and many other reasons, it is possible to have inaccurate results with breathalyzer tests.
Other issues on breathalyzer test results could occur due to improper maintenance and calibration of testing equipment. Sometimes incorrect use of breathalyzers by the police could affect the test results.
These are some of the arguments your Cameron Corners DUI attorney can use to help with your case. If the court accepts the dispute, it could drop your DUI charges.
The rising blood alcohol level
This defense strategy will work if your BAC level was below the allowed limit when you were driving but rose by the time the breath test was administered on you. The argument behind this defense is that alcohol takes between 45 minutes to three hours before it gets fully absorbed into the blood. As you wait around, the delay can cause your BAC level to rise more than it was during the time of the arrest.
This defense will work if there was a considerable amount of time between the time of your arrest and the time the breath test was administered. Your attorney could also use this defense if the test results showed a BAC level that was slightly higher than the legal limit. If the arresting officer admits that you did not exhibit other signs of intoxication, your attorney could use this defense to get you off the hook.
No proof of driving
You cannot face a DUI conviction DUI if there is no proof that you were operating the vehicle. Even if there were clear signs of intoxication or your BAC level was above the legal limit, you will not be liable of DUI if the prosecutor does not prove that you were indeed behind the wheel. Your Cameron Corners DUI Attorney could, for instance, argue that the arresting officer found you drunk in a parked car.
Find a Cameron Corners DUI Attorney Near Me
A DUI conviction is capable of altering many aspects of your life, including your professional and social life. That is why you need to fight the DUI charges you are facing. The help of a competent DUI attorney can change the outcome of your DUI case. At the San Diego DUI Attorney, we have vast experience in handling all types of DUI cases in the state of California. Call us at 619-535-7150 if you are in Cameron Corners, and let us plan the best defense for you.