A DUI arrest can be a very confusing ordeal in a town like Foster and many other cities in the state of California. It is essential that you hire the services of a qualified Foster DUI attorney like the San Diego DUI Attorney on your arrest. A DUI, if not well-defended in court, could land you into serious trouble. The court can convict you of the crime, and impose hefty fines, driver's license suspension, probation, and possible jail time. Get yourself an experienced lawyer who will help you understand your rights, to be on the safe side.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest?
A DUI arrest can happen if you are pulled over by a traffic officer for either:
- Violating traffic laws like speeding.
- A problem related to the condition of your vehicle, or,
- You were involved in a road accident.
Once you are pulled over for any of the reasons mentioned above, and the officer determines that you were driving while under the influence, you will be asked to perform field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test. Based on the tests taken, you will be arrested for a DUI under California Vehicle Code 23152(a). You will then be taken to a hospital or the nearest police station for breath and blood tests. The police report will try to show that you had clear signs of intoxication. Symptoms like red-colored eyes, mumbled speech, and an intoxicated face.
Blood Alcohol Content Test
Your blood samples will be examined in a laboratory. If the outcome from your blood and breath test indicates that you had a BAC of 0.08% or higher while driving. You will also be accused of violating California Vehicle Code 23152(b). On the other hand, if the results show a BAC under 0.08%. You can be charged with DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) under VC 23152(e) VC, and you will be required to hand in a urine test. The arresting officer will then put forward a detailed report of your DUI arrest to a local prosecutor. The prosecutor might file charges or decline to file charges, after going through the details of your case.
Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test
Note that if you decline to submit to a chemical test. You risk more penalties, including one-year license suspension and two days compulsory jail time in county jail.
Hire a Foster DUI Attorney
When charged with a DUI, you can choose to brave the court process by defending yourself. This is a terrible idea since you have no experience in how the court procedure works.
You can get the services of a public defender. Going with this choice depends mainly on your finances. While public defenders are accomplished criminal attorneys, limited time and resources are a huge inconvenience. Public defenders are picked out randomly for you. Having a lawyer whom you cannot work well with, won't help your case. Note that, if your earnings are too high. You cannot be considered for a public defender.
Finally, you have the choice to secure the services of a Foster DUI attorney. When arrested for DUI in foster and its surrounding areas, in San Diego County. Be careful to look for an attorney who will:
- Work side by side with you.
- Be available anytime you need clarification concerning the progress of your case.
- Provide you with different options for an effective defense.
- Be willing to devote all the time and resources required to get the best outcome.
- Handle your case with the utmost professionalism, and
- Won't hand over your case to other unknown lawyers.
The Foster DUI attorney you hire to handle your case has a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Most public defenders are far more proficient than, some of the private attorneys in the state of California. Go for a DUI defense attorney with a proven track record of success in San Diego.
DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) Hearing.
When arrested for a DUI in California, the arresting officer will take your license and issue you with a pink form. This is to notify you that your license will be suspended in 30 days, after which the temporary license will be invalid.
You are required by law to request a DMV hearing, also known as administrative Per Se "APS" hearing within ten days from the day of your DUI arrest. Failure to do so within the given timeframe will lead to an inevitable suspension of your license, after 30 days. Requesting a DMV hearing will put off your license suspension, awaiting the hearing. If you win the DMV hearing, you will retain possession of your license. Keep in mind that, a DMV hearing outcome does not affect the court proceedings.
Also note that, if arrested for a DUI as from 2019 in the state of California. You are authorized to drive anywhere with an IID restricted license. An IID (Ignition Interlock Device) blocks a motor vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol in your system. For first-time DUI offenders, the device should be installed for six months, but for serious DUI offenders, it should remain installed for 1 to 2 years.
If you failed to request a DMV hearing and your license is suspended after 30 days. You can do the following to reinstate your driver's license:
- Join a California DUI School
- Hand in an SR-22 insurance form
- Install an IID
- Clear the reinstatement fee of $125
A reasonable DUI defense attorney in California will represent you in the DMV hearing and dispute your license suspension, making sure that the DMV hearing outcome is in your favor.
California DUI Court Process
As mentioned earlier, a DMV hearing victory or defeat does not affect the DUI court proceedings. The process starts with an arraignment then a preliminary hearing and finally a trial.
At the arraignment, the presiding judge reads to you the charges you are facing. You are required to either plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. If you enter a plea of guilty, the judge will sentence you for those charges, and the case will be closed. However, you still have to fulfill the terms of your probation.
This would be the next step if you pleaded not guilty. Your defense attorney will be permitted to look into the evidence against you. The judge will then resolve whether the prosecution’s evidence is sufficient to proceed. An experienced Foster DUI attorney will not allow your DUI case to advance beyond this stage. DUI charges in California hardly ever go to trial. Police misconduct, lack of compliance with Title 17, and faulty equipment used for BAC tests are grounds for rejection of many DUI cases.
Your lawyer can also reach an agreement for a wet reckless for a first, second, or third DUI, and have a minimized sentence compared to a DUI misdemeanor conviction. You will also get to keep your driving rights.
A trial happens if your DUI defense attorney does not succeed in making a deal during the pre-trial. Although this is an uncommon occurrence, several DUI cases find their way to this stage of the DUI court process.
A jury selection will be made first, with each side will deliver their opening statements. The prosecutor will make their case and try to show the jurors that you are guilty of the crime. Your defense attorney will rebut the prosecution's evidence to prove your innocence. After this, both sides will give their closing statements.
The twelve jurors will reach a verdict based on the evidence presented in court. If you're convicted of the DUI crime, the judge will sentence you under the state of California DUI law.
Considering the circumstances surrounding your case, going to a jury trial can be a good or bad move. An experienced Foster DUI attorney would advise you on the best way forward and let you make your own choice.
Penalties for California DUI Conviction
The penalties for a California DUI conviction differ depending on your specific case, shown below:
First DUI Offense
- A six(6) to ten(10) months driver's license suspension (You can apply for IID restricted license to continue driving)
- Attend a California DUI School for three (3) or nine (9) months.
- A fine of $390 – 1000 and,
- Do up to 6 months in county jail.
Second DUI Offense
- Eighteen or thirty-month enrollment to a California DUI school
- Two years suspension of your driver's license or installation of an IID for one year
- Do time in a county jail of 96 hours to 1 year
- Pay fines of $390-1000
Third DUI Offense
- Your license will be suspended for three years, or you install an IID in your vehicle for two years right away
- Attend a DUI school for thirty (30) months.
- Fines of up to $390-1000.
- County jail time of 120 days to 1 year
DUI causing Injury (Misdemeanor)
- Fines of $390-5000.
- Full compensation for the injured.
- One (1) to three (3) years driver's license suspension or continue driving for six months with immediate IID installation
- Attend DUI School for either three (3), eighteen (18) or thirty (30) months.
- County jail time between 6 days to 1 year
DUI with Injury (Felony)
- Recompense for injuries caused to the other party
- Pay fines of $1015-5000.
- Five (5) years driver's license suspension or instantly apply for an IID restricted license which should remain installed for 2 or 3 years.
- Do time in a California state prison for 16 months to 16 years
Felony DUI (Multiple DUIs within ten years)
- Pay a price of $390-1000 in fines.
- Four (4) years of license suspension
- Sign up for DUI School for 18 or 30 months.
- Do 16 months, two (2) or three (3) years of jail time in a California state prison.
Commercial Driver DUI
It is an offense in California to operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. Under Vehicle Code 23152(d), this stands regardless of alcohol impairment while driving.
Penalties for commercial DUI include:
- Sign up for California DUI School for three (3) to 36 months
- Complete Jail time of up to one year in county jail
- Part with $390-1000 in fines
- License suspension for one (1) year. (for a second DUI, you risk losing your commercial driver's license for life)
- Complete three (3) to Five (5) years of informal probation
Penalties are subject to increment on additional DUI convictions.
Legal Defenses for California DUI Charges
While driving in Foster in the county of San Diego and a traffic officer pulls you over and suspects you of DUI, they might subject you to different field tests. Since the allegations against you feel unassailable, you might think that there is no hope for your case and plead guilty. At this point, you need to think clearly and call an attorney.
An experienced attorney will scrutinize your case and effectively build up a defense strategy. Numerous defenses can be used in your defense. To get the prosecutor to decrease or dismiss the DUI charges. An effective argument depends on the circumstances surrounding your case.
The defenses that a California DUI attorney can use are:
No Probable Causes for DUI Stop
Before a police officer stops your car, they need to have a valid reason to do so. If your attorney can prove that there was no probable cause for your stop, the judge presiding over your case will suppress all evidence gathered as a result of that stop. This often leads to mitigated charges, or the whole case is thrown away.
Bad Driving Doesn't Mean DUI
It is a fact that even non-intoxicated drivers drive carelessly as much as impaired drivers. Getting distracted by your phone, CD player, or someone else in your car could result in negligent driving. This can be a very effective defense before a jury in a DUI case.
Field Sobriety Test was flawed
As is mostly the case, field sobriety tests are very unreliable in showing that one is under the influence. Many things could be wrong when undertaking the tests.
Maybe you are from the gym or any sports activity, and your legs can't stand the test or the type of shoes you wore made it difficult to take the test. All these and other elements could cause you to fail the test.
It would help if you worked with your attorney to ensure that FSTs results are not used as evidence in court.
Mistakes in DUI Blood Test
A blood split motion can be made by your DUI attorney. This motion allows the defense to get your blood sample tested by other agencies. If the prosecution fails to provide the blood samples as required by law, or the results from the other agencies show that:
- Your BAC is lower than the one recorded by the police
- Your blood sample was not stored correctly
- The blood is impure due to contamination
Your DUI attorney may have the blood test withdrawn from the evidence presented by the prosecutor. This has proven to be a solid DUI defense in California and could get DUI charges against you dismissed.
Note that, if you took both blood and breath test. The officer is not under any requirements by law to reserve your blood samples.
Incorrect Breath Test Results
Breath tests can be incorrect due to malfunction of the breathalyzer, police mishandling, interference from radio frequencies, and erroneous BAC calculations derived from mouth alcohol levels. Based on these facts, your DUI attorney could build up a successful defense.
Your BAC was on The Rise
This is a defense that an experienced attorney can successfully use to get you positive results. If on your arrest, your blood alcohol content was on the rise, the results from the blood and breath tests can be contested in court. For you to be charged with a DUI, your BAC must have been higher than the legal limit while driving. Alcohol takes time to get into your system. It is possible that while you were driving. Your BAC was within the legal limit.
The Officer was in Violation of Title 17
By proving a violation of any code of California Title 17, the defense can get the BAC results suppressed. This code regulates how chemical tests are supposed to be collected, stored, and analyzed. The specifications in this code are stringent. Any violation will force the court to throw away all BAC evidence. This could be a massive win for your case.
Objective Signs of Intoxication Not DUI
The officer will most certainly, report that you exhibited signs of intoxication while driving. Your attorney can rebut by arguing that. Those symptoms do not necessarily mean DUI. Issues like illness, fatigue, and allergies could cause these symptoms too.
Finding a DUI Defense Attorney Near Me
Self-incriminating statements can be a huge setback for your DUI case. You can avoid this by calling San Diego DUI Attorney at 619-535-7150. Make the call immediately on your arrest, whether in Foster or anywhere around the state of California. DUI cases are very complex, and prosecutors will intimidate you into pleading guilty, when the truth is, in most cases, they lack sufficient evidence to support the allegations against you. Having an experienced attorney throughout your DUI court process is the best decision to make.