If you are facing a DUI charge in California, you must be worried about its consequences on various aspects of your life. A DUI conviction is life-changing. It will not only take some of your time away with incarceration but also make it hard for you to get a good job after your conviction. Having a criminal record is also not a good thing, as it may affect the services you can enjoy in the state.
For many years, our DUI Attorneys have been offering excellent legal defense for people facing charges for DUI in Spring Valley. We aim at ensuring a fair trial for our clients. Our attorneys believe in second-chances, and our experienced Spring Valley DUI Attorney will do their best to oblige the court to either drop or reduce your DUI charges. Therefore, if you are worried about what will become of you after your arrest, get in touch with our team at the San Diego DUI Attorney.
Consequences of a DUI Conviction in California
One of the things that worry a lot of people after an arrest for DUI is the penalties they are likely to face if convicted of the offense. If you are familiar with California criminal laws, you will be aware that DUI is among the most severe criminal offenses in the state. For that reason, harsh penalties are usually given for those that are found guilty of the crime. These penalties may include several months or years behind bars, hefty fines, and the possibility of losing one's driving license, among others.
Therefore, if you have been arrested for DUI in California, and you are worried about the consequences of your conviction, your worry is justified. The advantage is that you can easily escape a sentence if you have an excellent DUI defense attorney on your side. A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney will aggressively defend you against your charges to make sure that you are at least relieved of all your charges, or you are getting the least penalties after a conviction. He/she might also be there to advise and support you during the difficult and complicated legal process.
The far-reaching consequences of a DUI conviction in California include:
The length of time a DUI offender is incarcerated is dependent on the nature of the offense committed. If, for instance, you are a first-time DUI offender, a California criminal court will only give you six months of imprisonment after conviction. It would be enough time to disrupt one's life, especially if you were in school, in employment, a business person, or a family person. For serious offenses such as Hit and Run DUI, the offender might get up to four years of imprisonment, especially if the Hit and Run resulted in severe injuries or property damage.
Some DUI penalties include both incarceration and monetary fines. Again, the amount of money the offender will be expected to pay in penalties will depend on the nature of the offense committed. A simple DUI crime will attract a monetary fine of between $390 and $1,000. An aggravated DUI offense can get a fine penalty of up to $10,000, which is a lot of money that not many people can afford. Getting the help of an experienced Spring Valley DUI attorney could help you avoid such a hefty penalty.
Driver’s License Suspension
In addition to the above penalties, DUI offenders are subject to a license suspension of between six months to five or more years. This, too, is based on the gravity of the DUI offense committed. A simple first-time DUI crime will attract a license suspension of six months. If you get arrested for DUI for the second time within 10 years, you might lose your driving privilege for one year. If you caused another person an injury in your DUI state, you might lose your driving license for up to three years. Other serious DUI offenses such as vehicular manslaughter may see the offender losing their driving license for life.
Probation is granted in place of imprisonment for DUI offenders who are not a risk to the members of their community. The penalty is given to allow the offender to serve part of or the entire prison term out of incarceration. While it may seem like a not-so-hefty penalty, there are probation conditions that the offender must adhere to if they want to serve their time out of jail. There are mainly two types of probation for DUI offenders in California misdemeanor and felony probation. They are also given according to the gravity of the offense committed.
If you face a misdemeanor conviction for your DUI offense, you are likely to get misdemeanor parole for not less than five years. DUI offenders who get a felony conviction are likely to get felony probation.
What Can a Spring Valley DUI Attorney Do for You?
As mentioned above, a DUI conviction in California affects almost all aspects of a person's life. It will affect your school or career life, your relationship with family and friends, as well as how easy you can get a job. Employers will be careful not to hire a person with a criminal record. That is why fighting your DUI charges is the best way out to avoid a conviction. The assistance of a qualified attorney will go a long way in ensuring that you maintain a clean record and that your life is not distracted in any way. Here are some of the areas in which a DUI attorney can help you:
Requesting a DMV Hearing
Other than defending your DUI charges in a criminal court, your attorney will help you get a DMV hearing in an attempt to save your driving license. As mentioned above, every DUI conviction comes with the possibility of losing one's driver's license to suspension. Immediately after your arrest, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license, and then give you a temporary license that you can only use for a month. If you want to save your license from suspension or revocation, you need to request a hearing with the DMV within ten days of your arrest.
Not many people are aware of this, which means that most of them may miss a chance of saving their license. If you do not request the hearing within the given period, your driving permit will be automatically suspended after the 30 days. If the DUI offense committed calls for your license suspension for two years, for instance, you will not be able to get it back until the suspension period is over. That explains why you require the assistance of an experienced legal expert on your side from the beginning.
Once the DMV grants you the hearing, you might need a legal representative that is experienced in such kinds of trials to ensure that you win. Again, the status of your driver’s license will depend on how smart you can argue your case and defend the charges you are facing. There are several arguments that your attorney can bring forth to help you in the trial, including proving that your arrest was illegal. If the arresting officer did not conduct the arrest as stipulated in the law, you might get a chance to keep your license. Note that the DMV will not rely on the outcome of your criminal hearing to make its decision.
Protecting Your Driving Privilege
Not being able to drive in a state like California is disheartening. People depend on their cars to run their errands, run their businesses, and also go to school and work. That is why a skilled Spring Valley DUI Attorney can do his/her best to ensure that your driving license is not getting suspended or revoked. The first step your attorney will take, as discussed above, is to request a hearing with the DMV on your behalf within 10 days of your arrest. He/she will also ensure that you do not lose in the hearing because the decision the DMV officer presiding over the trial will make in the end will be final.
Losing in the criminal trial is also a good reason for the DMV to suspend or revoke your driver’s permit. Your attorney can prepare a strong defense against your criminal charges to ensure that you are not getting convicted for the particular charge you were arrested. If your charges are dropped, there is no way your license will be revoked or suspended, and it means that you can go back living your life as you have always done.
If, on the other hand, you lose in the criminal trial, you could be granted probation by the criminal court. This is an excellent reason to fight for your driver's license as you will need your car for ease of movement while on probation. Your attorney could advise you to have an IID system installed in your vehicle, for instance, as a way to keep your driving license while out on probation. However, this, too, comes with certain conditions that you must meet to make sure that your parole is not suspended.
Installation of an IID System
Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device is among the penalties that are common with DUI offenses. An IID system is usually a small breathalyzer that is installed in the offender's car to ensure that they are not operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The device is designed in such a way that it will prevent a car from starting if it detects alcohol in the driver’s breath.
For it to work, the driver has to breathe into the device before they start their car, and then provide a few random samples as they continue with their journey. The driver has to give a breath that is free from alcohol for the vehicle to start. If along the way, the device detects alcohol in his/her system, it will report directly to the court. If the driver fails to provide the random breath samples required, the device will keep them as records of failed tests and send a report to the court.
There are several reasons why the judge may order you to have an IID installed in your vehicle. Some of them include:
If you have benign found guilty of driving on a suspended/revoked license
If you have been granted a restricted permit and would like to enjoy your full driving privileges
Your attorney will play a significant role in ensuring that you are getting the fairest terms with the requirement to install an IID in your car. A restricted license will, for instance, only be used for specific times and lengths in a day. With an IID installed in your vehicle, you may be able to use your car with no restrictions. Your attorney will also advise you against DUI after the installation of the IID.
He/she will also help you find a court-approved IID installer. There are a few companies that have been approved by California courts for IID installations. Your attorney will also ensure that your device is maintained correctly and is functioning well for the period the court has given you.
Lastly, your attorney will help in case you are not able to afford all the costs associated with IID installation and maintenance. Note that the offenders usually meet all the costs. If, however, you are not able to meet these costs, your attorney could petition the court to have some of the fees waived.
Avoiding a DUI Conviction
Getting a DUI conviction should be your primary worry once you are arrested for DUI in California. However, this may be your least concern if you are working with an experienced Spring Valley DUI Attorney. Your attorney's primary role will be to ensure that you are not getting convicted for the underlying charge. If, for instance, you are facing a fourth DUI charge, getting a conviction will mean that you will have a felony conviction in your record. A felony conviction comes with additional penalties that will affect you in so many ways.
You may, for instance, be required to register as a habitual traffic offender in the state for a couple of years. This is a record that will be available to the members of the public. It means that a potential business partner or employer might use that record to deny you a significant opportunity in life.
The best way your attorney can use to protect you against a DUI conviction is by use of aggressive strategies to defend your charges. The advantage is that there are several of these strategies that could be used for various types of DUI charges. Some of them are:
That your apprehension was illegally made- if that is the case then the court may drop all your charges
That the arresting officer did not have a credible reason to arrest you for DUI- with no probable cause, it means that all the evidence gathered against you will not be admissible in court
That the police mishandled evidence against you- if your BAC test results were not handled according to the provisions of Title 17, then the court could dismiss them
That the police violated the presentation of your Miranda Rights
Sealing of Arrest Records
Every arrest, whether or not it leads to a conviction, has very adverse effects on the life of a person. If you have ever been arrested, it will always appear in your criminal record, even though you never got convicted. Arrest records will also not show whether or not the judge dismissed your charges or you were acquitted. It means that people who have been wrongly accused or arrested in the state will have the arrest record in their criminal record. This is a record that is likely to haunt you for several years.
With an arrest record, potential employers, banks, landlords, and other parties might use that to judge your character and deny you essential services. A simple background check will reveal all the arrests you have faced in the past, whether or not you were a genuine offender. Sealing of arrest records is, therefore, an essential step in ensuring that your life is not getting affected by some of the issues you have encountered in the past.
When your arrest records are adequately sealed, potential employers will not be able to use your criminal record to deny you an essential opportunity in life. An experienced DUI attorney might know the right steps to take to ensure that your DUI arrest record is sealed and out of public scrutiny. An excellent attorney will also advise you on the importance of having those records destroyed.
Find a Spring Valley DUI Attorney Near Me
The highly skilled San Diego DUI Attorney is all you need to ensure that everything is moving on smoothly after your DUI arrest. Therefore, if you are facing charges for DUI in the state, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. Most of these legal processes have strict timelines within which you must act or file the required documents. For quality and timely assistance, call us at 619-535-7150 if you are charged in Spring Valley, CA.