Police officers are always on the lookout for DUI offenders on the road to help reduce cases of impaired or reckless driving. The best way to fight a driving offense involves hiring an attorney. Our work at the San Diego DUI Attorney is to attend to the legal needs of drivers across Casa de Oro allegedly charged with a DUI or other driving offenses. In this article, we discuss the various areas our legal expertise covers.
Vehicle Codes 23100 to 23135 of the California laws sum up the driving offenses motorists may face when recklessly operating motor vehicles. Each one of these laws covers the specific facts to the driving offense and the respective penalties. The need to hire a Casa de Oro DUI attorney will increase when charged with one of the following offenses:
Speeding, which involves driving under excessively high speeds, is one of the driving offenses in California. The arresting officer may charge you for participating or indirectly helping another driver in a speed contest. Once convicted, the court will require you to pay fines varying from $355 to $1,000, go to prison, or face both penalties. You may also face a license suspension for ninety days to six months.
Reckless driving charges may arise if you had a willful disregard for pedestrians or motorists' safety when driving. A law enforcement officer may bring these charges for recklessly driving along the main road or in a parking facility within the state. Possible penalties for this offense include imprisonment, a maximum fine of $1000 or both.
Hit and Run
The crime of hit and run usually stems from an incident involving a driver who speeds off after causing an accident. In the context of criminal law, this offense may result in property damage or bodily injury to victims such as motorists and pedestrians. Challenging the prosecutor's allegations against you (with the help of a DUI lawyer) may help you fight these charges. The prosecutors, on the other hand, must prove there were visible signs indicating property damage and bodily injury suffered during the incident.
Vehicular manslaughter is a driving offense that ultimately leads to the death of another driver or a pedestrian. The leading causes of vehicular manslaughter include reckless driving, speeding, or impaired driving. Prosecutors handling your case will have to prove the aspect of negligence and intent when the crime was committed.
Driving Offenses Stemming from Drug and Alcohol Use
Vehicle Codes 23152 to 23229.1 highlight the various driving offenses related to drug and alcohol use. DUI (driving under the influence) is the foremost common driving offense motorists face in the state of California. Casa de Oro DUI attorney helps alleged DUI offenders explore different options for fighting their DUI charges. Explained below are the driving offenses related to drug and alcohol use:
DUI of Alcohol
Alcohol, when consumed excessively, impairs the brain making a person lose motor functions and make irrational decisions. Drivers in California should not have blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent or above when they are driving. Driving any motor vehicle with alcohol in your system is a crime. Operating a vehicle with a combination of both drugs and alcohol in your system is also a crime.
DUI Causing Injury
"DUI causing injury" incidents usually arise when a drunk or impaired driver causes a car accident. If you are the alleged driver, in this case, you may face DUI causing injury and DUI charges. The penalties for this kind of crime depend on the fatalities and facts surrounding the allegations. A Casa de Oro DUI attorney may be your best hope to fighting this type of charge in court.
Driving a Car While Under the Influence of Alcohol or Marijuana
Consumption of marijuana is known to cause impairment in drivers just like alcohol consumption. iYou are at higher risk of having a criminal record (based on DUI) for allegedly driving a car while under the influence of marijuana on California highways. The penalties for this offense are less severe since the offense qualifies as an infraction.
DUI of Drugs
Drugs alter the normal functioning of the body once consumed. A driver’s normal abilities may be altered due to drug consumption. Driving under the influence of a drug is unlawful in the State of California. Once police officers have a probable cause for stopping you, they will immediately ask you to submit to a drug test to determine whether drugs were in your system.
Driving with a 0.01 Percent or More BAC While on a DUI Probation
California courts expect convicted DUI offenders to avoid future run-ins with the police for committing a DUI offense. The convicts should have a BAC of less than 0.01 percent when they are operating a motor vehicle. If they refuse to take a DUI breath/blood test when arrested, they risk facing a one to three-year license suspension/revocation.
Watson Murder and DUI Homicide
Homicides are events characterized by the killing of someone else while a DUI homicide is a homicide triggered by the consumption of drugs or alcohol. The prosecutors may treat your DUI homicide case as Watson Murder if you recently got warnings regarding the dangers of DUI. Court proceedings for this type of case usually take time and require the help of an expert DUI attorney.
DUI for Non-Citizens
A non-citizen (an individual without the legal rights to be in a country) may face DUI charges just like citizens. These DUI charges may include driving on a suspended license, multiple DUIs, and underage DUI. Since the US immigration authorities are strict on convicted non-citizens, there are chances for them losing the legal right to live/work in the country. Expert legal advice and representation may help you or your loved one experiencing this situation.
DUI for Underage Drivers
Vehicle Code 23140 is California's law prohibiting underage drivers (drivers below the age of 21 years) from operating vehicles while on drugs or alcohol. An underage driver may face DUI charges driving with a BAC of 0.05 or higher. The prosecution team will handle your case in a juvenile court, whose proceedings are separate from the adult one. Breath and blood samples taken during or after your arrest will help prosecutors build a case against you.
Wet Reckless as a Plea Bargain for DUI
The need to settle for a plea bargain in a DUI court proceeding usually arises when the defendant has close to zero legal options left. With the wet reckless plea, your attorney will ask the prosecution to reduce your DUI charge to wet reckless. When the prosecution accepts this deal, you will face charges for driving recklessly while under the influence of drugs/alcohol. Though the penalties will be less severe, the court or DMV will not suspend your license.
Out-of-State Drivers Seeking Help on DUI Cases
Out-of-state drivers are at the same risk as California drivers at facing DUI charges. California DUI laws prohibit adult drivers (whether a resident or an out-of-state resident) from operating vehicles with a BAC of 0.08 or above. The DMV will alert your home state regarding your DUI arrest, provided that the home state is part of the IDLC. Also known as the Interstate Driver's License Compact, IDLC allows member states to access each other's records on DUI convictions and arrests.
Your home state may file separate charges when charged for committing a DUI crime in the state of California. The California criminal laws have zero tolerance for both residents and out-of-state residents. You risk having a criminal record and having an expert install an IID in your motor vehicle. Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) help law enforcement officers track your BAC on a log generated from within your car. You may also face jail time, pay fines, or incur car insurance penalties.
Understanding IIDs (Ignition Interlock Devices)
Ignition interlock devices act as small breathalyzers installed at the dashboard of the car to randomly measure a driver's breath for alcohol. California courts usually request DUI offenders to have a professional carefully install the equipment. The need for installing an IID in your car may increase when you commit any of these offenses:
- First-time DUI with a 0.015 percent BAC or more
- Driving with a suspended California driver’s license
- First-time DUI with a 0.08 percent BAC or more
- Refusing to submit to a DUI breath/blood test
After installing the IID in your car, a court will recommend you to have it in any other vehicle you own. The IID system randomly stops the car engine and asks for breath samples in five to fifteen-minute intervals. When you do not give the sample, the device will log the results, which will be used as evidence at court. It is impossible to have someone else take the breath tests for you since IIDs detect breath patterns. You cannot also interfere with or uninstall the equipment.
Seeking Help with SR22 Forms
One of the documents needed as proof of compliance with California's auto liability insurance laws is an SR22 form. You can obtain this form from your auto insurer and use it to avoid DMV-imposed license suspensions. California's strict auto liability insurance laws impose penalties such as license suspension for any violations. Your DUI lawyer can help you understand the reasons for seeking this type of form.
The first step in seeking an SR22 form involves approaching a car insurance company. Insurers usually review their clients' risk levels and other relevant information before issuing them the document. Once you get yours, the insurance company will mail the DMV a copy of the paper. The DMV will later decide whether or not to reinstate your driving privileges. Driving with an IID expertly-installed in your vehicle is one of the conditions of an SR22 form
Speaking to a DUI Lawyer Regarding License Suspensions/Revocations
License suspensions/revocations are the immediate penalties alleged DUI drivers face following a DUI arrest. A police officer may withhold your driver's license once you refuse to submit to a DUI blood/breath test. The officer may even issue you an Admin Per Se notice, which is a white sheet used to notify DUI drivers about their license getting suspended. Always consider approaching a Casa de Oro DUI attorney to seek legal representation and advice on such matters.
A first-time DUI offense usually attracts at least six months in license suspension under Vehicle Code 13352(a). The suspension will only take effect once the prosecution proves you were driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Your lawyer's only option is fighting the case on your behalf to help you avoid facing a DUI conviction. One of the ways the legal expert can fight your case is by establishing whether there was a probable cause for your DUI arrest.
You risk facing a one to two-year license suspension for committing a second-time DUI (ten years after your first-time DUI conviction). The DMV may issue you a restricted driver’s license on the condition that you will be attending a court-approved DUI school within the state. A conviction for third-time or fourth-time DUI offenses also attracts license suspensions/revocations among other penalties.
Scheduling a DMV Hearing with the Help of a DUI Attorney
The California Department of Motor Vehicles, abbreviated as DMV, has strict regulations regarding DMV hearings. An alleged DUI offender has only ten days to call the DMV and schedule this kind of proceeding. The purpose of the hearing is to help get your full driving privileges back after you got a temporary driver's license. A temporary driver's license can expire in thirty days while your right to request the DMV proceeding will expire ten days following your DUI arrest.
A DMV hearing differs from a court hearing since it focuses on determining whether drivers charged with driving offenses can gain their driving privileges back. You will need an expert DUI attorney during this situation to bring your case to the DMV hearing officer. Once the hearing is over, you gain or lose your driving privileges. While winning a DMV hearing may sound good, the win will not make the prosecution team drop your pending DUI case.
Getting Legal Help for a Suspended Commercial Driver’s License
Driving a commercial vehicle when you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol is unlawful. Commercial vehicles may include school buses, double trailers or motor vehicles with 26,000 pounds or higher in gross combined weight. As a driver operating any of these vehicles, you should not drive a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or above.
You may face a license suspension for up to a year for driving a commercial vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Two or more convictions for this offense may result in a lifetime DMV license suspension. The DMV will not issue you a restricted license following a conviction for this type of offense. Entrusting a DUI lawyer with this case may increase your chances of getting your driving privileges back.
Can a DUI Attorney Help Seal Your DUI Arrest Records?
A Casa de Oro DUI attorney can help you have your DUI arrest records sealed. Though criminal convictions come after arrests, your DUI arrest may not necessarily lead to a conviction. The court may accept your request and prevent your arrest history from appearing in most criminal background checks. Law enforcement officers will still have a copy of your arrest records in their system for future reference.
A prior arrest or conviction for crimes such as domestic violence, elder abuse, and child abuse may make it difficult for you to seal your DUI arrest records. A judge may grant you this request depending on the intensity of the legal defenses presented by your lawyer. Senate Bill 393 introduced the legislation that allows California residents to seal arrest records when the following conditions are true:
- You did not have any criminal charges filed by the prosecutor against you
- The prosecutor decided to drop the criminal charges against you
- You completed the (pre-sentencing or pretrial diversion program as required by the court
- A California jury acquitted you of the DUI charges you were facing
- You succeeded in overturning or vacating your DUI conviction at an appellate court
DUI and Blood Split Motions
Your DUI case may increase the need for a blood split motion your lawyer when there is credible doubt that the BAC results are inaccurate. Law enforcement officers usually collect urine, breath, or blood samples from alleged DUI offenders for testing. If you think the test results do not accurately describe your BAC you have the right to challenge them. A blood split motion is your best remedy for this situation.
Hire a Proficient DUI Lawyer Near Me
Though DUI offenses form a large part of the crimes committed in California, you have the option to challenge DUI charges legally. The San Diego DUI Attorney operates in Casa de Oro targeting residents detained for committing DUI offenses. Book a consultative meeting with our lawyers by phone at 619-535-7150.