Driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal offenses in Clover Flat. If you’ve been arrested for this offense, you should reach out to a Clover Flat DUI Attorney as soon as possible. San Diego DUI Attorney is a law firm that is made up of attorneys who are well versed in DUI charges. These attorneys can raise various defenses, and we promise to either help you become acquitted or to have your charges reduced.
What is Driving Under the Influence?
You will be charged with driving under the influence if you operate a motorcycle or a vehicle when you are not in the right state of mind because you have consumed prescription medicine, hard drugs, or alcohol. Of course, if you drive while intoxicated, you may end up being careless and negligent, and even cause an accident. This accident may injure another person or destroy someone else's property. In Clover Flat, most reported cases of DUI occur because an individual has consumed some alcohol before driving. This is because alcoholic beverages are widely sold and consumed in this city, and alcohol is a favorite drink to a majority of its residents.
In the US, there are various laws that prohibit driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most states within the US have specific regulations that limit the amount of alcohol which should be present in an individual's bloodstream when he is driving. Typically, this limit is around 0.08% for grown-ups and over 0.02% for teenagers.
In the state of California, DUI is deemed to be a ‘high-risk' crime. When an individual drives while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he may put the life or property of another person in danger. Drunk driving can bring about massive destruction to both persons and property, and even harm the entire society.
How a Police Officer May Arrest You for DUI in California
A law enforcement officer may suspect you of DUI if he notices that you are driving carelessly and recklessly. This suspicion will make him flag you down. Then, he will start interrogating you to gauge if you are sober. If he finds out that you are drunk driving, he will put you under arrest.
Furthermore, there are several sobriety checkpoints in California; including Clover Flat. When you come across these checkpoints, you should stop. If you don't stop, you will have contravened California's traffic laws, and you may be arrested. The primary role of these sobriety checkpoints is to enable law enforcement officers to thoroughly evaluate and assess you to determine whether you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In case a police officer believes that you aren't sober, you may be arrested for DUI.
Sometimes, you may be asked to take the sobriety test while driving within the city of Clover Flat. Though it isn't unlawful to refuse to accept it, we advise you to go through the assessment to avoid incriminating yourself. Even if you fail it, your Clover Flat DUI attorney will come up with an excellent strategy to defend you.
Blood Alcohol Level Limits in California
The prescribed BAC limit for adults in California is 0.08%. Teenagers and past DUI convicts who are on probation shouldn't drive if their alcoholic blood content exceeds 0.01%.
If you’ve been convicted of DUI and your BAC is over 0.01%, you won’t be charged again for drunk driving, but your license will be suspended for one year. The prescribed BAC limit of commercial vehicle drivers is 0.04%.
The Punishments for DUI in California
The punishments for DUI in California vary depending on whether you have prior DUIs on your record or if you injured another person in the act of driving under the influence. Typically, DUI is classified as a misdemeanor in California, though some prosecutors may charge it as a felony.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence for the first time in California, you will face the following potential penalties:
- Summary probation for three-five years
- A county jail term of up to six months
- Payment of fines which may be between $390 - $1000
- Participation in a drug or alcohol education program which the court has approved for either three or nine months
- An order to install an ignition interlock device in your car for six months
Immediately you have been arrested for California DUI, you should request for a DMV hearing within ten days from the date of arrest. This way, you will stop the authorities from suspending your driving license, and it can even be set aside during the hearing.
The punishments for a second California DUI conviction include:
- A summary probation term of not less than three years but not exceeding five years
- A county jail prison sentence of a minimum of 96 hours to a maximum of one year
- Fines which may range from $390 - $1000
- Completing a DUI school program which has been approved by the California courts for 18 months or 30 months
- Installing an IID in your vehicle for one year
The penalties for third time California DUI are:
- Informal probation of three years to five years
- A county jail term of 120 days to one year
- Fines which may be between $390 - $1000
- Completing a DUI education program for 30 months
- Mandatory installation of an IID in your vehicle for two years
- Being designated as a ‘habitual traffic offender’ by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
From the penalties of first, second, and third time DUI; you can see that they become more severe for each successive conviction of drunk driving. This is because, in California, driving under the influence is deemed to be a priorable offense.
DUI causing injury is categorized as a wobbler in California. This means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalties for felony DUI are more grievous. For instance, the court may order you to serve a state prison sentence of up to three years, and the DMV may designate you as a habitual traffic offender.
Are There Any Aggravating Factors That Can Increase Your DUI Sentence?
There are various circumstances and facts, which if they were present when you were arrested for drunk driving, you would face more severe penalties upon conviction. Often, these facts and circumstances have the potential of increasing your DUI state prison or county jail sentence.
Some of these factors include whether your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.15%, whether you refused to submit to a BAC test if you caused an accident if you were speeding, and if you had a child who is below 14 years in your vehicle when you were drunk driving. Regardless of whether you have been convicted of first, second, or third time DUI; these factors will aggravate your situation depending on the facts of your case and your criminal history.
Alternative Sentencing Options for California DUI
You don’t have to serve a state prison or county jail sentence when you’ve been convicted of DUI in California. This is because there are various alternative sentencing options that your attorney can vouch for you if he believes that the prosecution’s case is quite strong and the court may hold you guilty.
Some of these alternative sentencing options include participating in community service or roadside work, house arrest or electronic monitoring, an order to always reside in an environment which is sober, and being incarcerated in a private jail. Attorneys who haven’t specialized in California DUI may not know that these sentencing alternatives exist, and even if they do – they lack tactics to persuade the judge or the prosecutor not to sentence you to state prison or county jail. This is why you must hire an attorney who is experienced in California DUI.
What You Should Do If a Police Officer Arrests You for DUI in Clover Flat
Don’t stay ignorant – you should know the immediate steps to take if you have been arrested for DUI in Clover Flat to avoid aggravating your situation. One of the first steps to take after you have been arrested for drunk driving is to contact a Clover Flat DUI Attorney. This attorney will start working on your case immediately by identifying various loopholes which the law enforcement officer overlooked in your case.
If a police officer has flagged you down, never make the mistake of failing to pull over. Moreover, you should pull over when you come across a sobriety checkpoint, even if you believe that you are intoxicated. If you attempt to flee from a sobriety checkpoint, the law enforcement officer in charge will automatically suspect you of DUI. Furthermore, you should treat all police officers respectfully, even if you believe that they are violating your rights. Just stay calm, polite, and courteous.
You don’t have to answer all the questions which the law enforcement officer asks you since you have a right to remain silent. After you have been arrested, you will be taken into custody; then presented to the court for the hearing of your case.
Getting in touch with a DUI Attorney will help you to jumpstart your case. Typically, an experienced Clover Flat DUI Attorney knows all the laws and procedures utilized in DUI cases within Clover Flat and the entire state of California. Such an attorney will use his skills and expertise to come up with suitable defenses that are applicable in your case.
Defenses to the Charge of Driving Under the Influence
There are various drunk driving defenses that your attorney can use; depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Some of them include:
Maybe you were arrested just because you belong to a different race, or because it is widely known that you are a non-US citizen. Recently, racial profiling has become an emerging concern for many human rights activists in the state of California. Furthermore, the federal constitution protects you from discrimination. Your attorney can use this defense if you believe that the law enforcement officer incriminated you with DUI because of his personal bias and unfounded beliefs.
- Human Rights Violations
Some police officers may violate your human rights when arresting you for drunk driving. For instance, they may harass and subject you to torture, inhuman, cruel, and degrading treatment. Or rather, they may fail to read you your Miranda rights.
In fact, the defense of human rights violations is one of the most common defenses in criminal cases. Every individual is entitled to enjoy fundamental human rights and freedoms; regardless of whether they are suspected criminals or not. If your attorney proves that your human rights were infringed upon during custody and at the time of arrest, you will be acquitted.
- Lack of Probable Cause
As per California's traffic laws, a police officer should only motion you to stop if he has probable cause. If he doesn't have a reasonable cause, you may be acquitted, and the prosecution's case may be dismissed; even if you were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Note that in all federal states, evidence which is acquired through illegal means is usually inadmissible. This is why the prosecution’s DUI case may not hold water if it is found out that the law enforcement officer who arrested you flagged you down without a probable cause.
- Faulty Testing Kits
Some BAC kits may be damaged, and they may end up producing inaccurate results. Your attorney can hire an expert to illustrate that the testing kits which were used on you to produce a high BAC level were not in good condition. This way, the court will deem the prosecution’s evidence to be insufficient; and your case may be dismissed.
- You Were Not Intoxicated
Sometimes, a law enforcement officer may wrongly perceive you to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Perhaps you were just fatigued, overexcited, or sick. Your attorney can utilize expert evidence to illustrate to the court that you were not intoxicated at the time of the arrest. This expert evidence may result in an acquittal or a dismissal of your case.
DMV Hearing for a DUI
When you are charged with the offense of DUI in a California law court, you will also have to face another distinct legal proceeding at California's Department of Motor Vehicles. This legal proceeding is usually referred to as a DMV hearing, and it will determine whether you will get back your driving license.
A police officer will immediately confiscate your license after he arrests you for drunk driving. Then, he will issue you with a suspension notice, which will be your temporary license. You should request a DMV hearing within ten days after you have gotten the suspension notice. In case you don’t do so, your driving license will be suspended immediately after thirty days.
Usually, DMV hearings take place in an informal setting, and you can participate in it through a phone call. Even though the atmosphere is quite informal, it is recommended that you retain a DUI attorney to defend you. This attorney will help you to cross-examine witnesses, challenge evidence, and examine exhibits.
If you win your DMV hearing, the authorities will stop the suspension of your license. Furthermore, winning your DMV hearing will help your attorney to negotiate effectively with the prosecution during plea bargaining; and the prosecutor may reduce your charges. Note that even if you win your DMV case, it doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed of winning your California DUI court case.
Why Should You Hire a DUI Attorney?
The primary role of a DUI criminal defense attorney is to defend you. Apart from defending you, there are other reasons why you should hire a DUI attorney if you have been arrested for drunk driving.
Immediately you retain a defense attorney; he will start working on your case. Furthermore, he will advise you on what to do and how to conduct yourself to avoid making your situation worse.
A DUI attorney will also ensure that no person violates your human rights during court sessions. He will exhaust all his resources to build for you an excellent defense strategy. He will analyze all the evidence of the prosecution, examine your witnesses, collect more evidence in your favor, and even seek the services of a private investigator.
Your defense attorney will be there for you in all court sessions until your case is concluded. He will draft any document which is required in your case, including submissions, witness statements, and defenses.
You will have a high probability of getting acquitted or having your charges reduced if you hire a DUI defense attorney. Don’t risk being punished for DUI by speaking out for yourself – hire an attorney instead.
Find a Clover Flat DUI Attorney Near Me
Though the offense of California DUI has harsh penalties, don’t panic if you have been arrested for it. This is because you can easily access any form of professional legal assistance you require at the San Diego DUI Attorney. All you need to do is to call us at 619-535-7150, and we will advise you based on the facts and circumstances of your case. We promise to help you become acquitted, or to have your charges reduced.