If you face a DUI charge or you are under investigation for a charge of DUI in Winterwarm city within San Diego in California, you will need the services of an experienced and reliableWinterwarm DUI attorney. We at the San Diego DUI Attorney are highly competent and are well versed in defending DUI charges. We have in-depth familiarity with all the litigation procedures associated with the charge of DUI in Winterwarm. We can help you navigate through the tedious process of criminal litigation, and with zeal, assist you in obtaining a favorable outcome.
For a long time, we have secured the release of numerous defendants facing the charge of DUI. We can help you obtain a dismissal, an acquittal, or at the very least, a charge reduction. Be it first DUI offense, second DUI offense, commercial, or felony DUI, our attorneys have always vigorously defended such charges. Even at your DUI DMV hearing, our experienced attorneys are the best bet to help you protect your driving privileges.
The Definition of DUI
DUI simply stands for driving under the influence. You will face DUI charges in the state of California if you drive while mentally incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. The court will assume that you are driving while intoxicated if you operate a vehicle while your BAC is beyond 0.08%. All motorists in California should not exceed this limit. If you exceed this limit, you will be charged with Per Se DUI.Per Se is Latin for “without proof.” If you face a DUI Per Se charge, the prosecution will not be required to demonstrate that indeed, you were driving while under the influence of alcohol.
If you have a commercial driver's license, your BAC limit is 0.04%. Individuals who are below 21 years old and those on probation have a BAC limit of 0.01%.
The traffic rules of the State of California highlight that you can only be motioned to pull over by a police officer if the officer has probable reason to do so. If the officer notices that you are violating traffic laws or acting negligently, he/she can gesture to you to pull over.
Upon flagging you down, he/she may inspect your vehicle and also require you to produce your driving license. On suspicion that you are impaired, the officer may subject you to a field sobriety test or make you undergo a BAC breath test. Some of the situations that may trigger suspicion by the law enforcement officer include:
If he/she finds a bottle of alcohol in your car, you exude a strong alcoholic stench, you exhibit improper speech or speak incoherently, you have a flushed face, or your eyes are red
If the results of the test are positive, you will be arrested. Sometimes, you may beasked to take a BAC test while in police custody
You must also pull over in every DUI checkpoint located in Winterwarm. When you have stopped at these checkpoints, the police may request you to take a BAC chemical test or a field sobriety test. If the test results are positive, you will be arrested for DUI.
Steps to Take After You have been Arrested for DUI
After you have taken the BAC chemical test or the field sobriety test, you may still be arrested for ‘allegedly’ failing to pass the test, even if you have passed it. Sometimes you may have protested against being subjected to the test, and the law enforcement officer arrested you simply because he/she believed that you were intoxicated. You must know which legal steps to take after being arrested for DUI. The legal steps that you shouldconsider include:
After you have been arrested, you will be taken to the police station for booking. The arresting officer will record your particulars, which include your name, residential area, as well as your contact information. Then, he/she will assess your criminal record and commit you to police custody. You will, therefore, be required to post bail to secure your freedom.
Some suspects may be released without bail based on the arresting officer's discretion. You can be released on bail by either hiring a bail bond agent to pay it for you or by paying the bail amount in full. Preferably, you should use a bail bond agent to post your bail since the bail amount may be unaffordable to you at the time of your arrest.
Petition for DMV Hearing
To protect and secure your driving rights, you should request a DMV hearing. You should do this within ten days from the date of arrest. The arresting officer has the power to either suspend or revoke yourdriver's license after he/she has arrested you. He/she will issue you with a thirty-day temporary driving slip, which after expiry, you will be disallowed from driving unless a DMV hearing is convened.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Winterwarm, you will need legal representation during your DMV hearing. As such, you should reach out to a reliable and highly competent Winterwarm DUI attorney. DMV hearings are ordinarily informal, but they can bring about dire consequences. Also, the result of the DMV hearing has a direct impact on the results of the DUI court case. For instance, winning the DMV hearing can enable your attorney to convince the prosecutor to drop or reduce the charges against you.
Contact a Seasoned DUI Defense Lawyer
After you have paid bail and you have been released from custody, you need to contact an experienced DUI lawyer. Ensure that the attorney whom you retain is well versed with the court processes in the area where your case will be prosecuted. This is important because such an attorney will know the best defenses to employ. He/she will also be aware of the latest local laws that have been enacted regarding DUI offenses and the best way possible to navigate through the charges. This gives them leverage in assisting you in obtaining the best outcome. You should, for example, retain a Winterwarm DUI attorney, if you had been arrested within Winterwarm City.
Attorneys who have specialized in DUI charges continuously undergo BAC training to equip themselves with the current skills and expertise needed for them to discredit BAC and field sobriety test results. This training enables them to acquire the necessary skills useful in convincing the jury that the results of the tests were inaccurate, resulting in an acquittal or a dismissal.
Do not be fooled that you can win a DUI case without the services of an experienced and competent attorney. It is an uphill task. Your rights may be infringed during the hearing if you don't have an attorney. Upon conviction, you will also be susceptible to serve the most severe penalties of DUI.
The DUI arrest process may happen in a spur ofa moment. It's a speedy process. You may, as such, fail to know or recall how the events turned around. Therefore, you must write down every major incident that occurred, from being pulled over, tested, and placedinto custody. This will help your attorney build a watertight defense.
For instance, you need to jot down what took place the moment you were flagged down, what happened when the arresting officer motioned you to pull over, and how the officer conducted the BAC chemical test or the field sobriety test. Also, you should write down how you were committed to police custody.
It may be elusive for you to recall all these happenings, especially if you were tipsy. Always try documenting the flimsy incidents that you may remember because they will significantly help your defense attorney. These facts can be used in the DMV hearing as well as during your defense in the DUI court trial.
Preparing for Court Arraignment
After you have been arrested, you will be presented to the court if the prosecutor has filed DUI charges against you. This presentation to court for the first time is legally referred to as ‘arraignment.’ It's when you will be required to take a plea. You will only take a plea after the charge has been read to you, and the facts surrounding your offense have been elaborated to you. You can enter either the plea of not guilty or plea of guilty. However, you need to consult your defense attorney to know which plea is the best for your situation. If you enter a plea of guilty, it means you accept the charges. You will, therefore, be convicted.
If you deny the charges, a plea of not guilty will be entered, and the prosecutor will commence proving his/her case. You will, later on, be permitted to defend yourself after the prosecutor has closed his/her case. If you don't raise a valid argument to discredit the prosecution's evidence, you will be convicted and serve the penalties associated with the charge of DUI.
Generally, DUI is classified as a misdemeanor in the state of California. However, the prosecution can still prefer to charge you with felony DUI depending on the circumstances. For instance, if you have a previous record amounting to more than three commissions of DUI offenses, or if you injured someone while driving when impaired, you may be charged with felony DUI.
The severity of the penalties for DUI depends on the number of times you have committed the offense. The more the number of times you have committed the crime, the more severe the penalty.
First Time Offenders
If you are a first time DUI offender, the prescribed penalty includes a six-month jail term and a fine of $390 to $1,000. If you caused an accident, the length of the jail term might be for up to one year, and the maximum value of the fine may be worth $5,000. Also, you may be required to serve a probation term, undergo a substance abuse guiding and counseling program as well as attend DUI classes.
Subsequent offenders can be charged with eithersecond or third time DUI. The maximum penalties for subsequent DUI offenses include a three-year jail term and a fine of up to $1,000. If you caused an accident or injured another person while driving when intoxicated, the jail term may be enhancedto 16 years and a fine of up to $5,000 but not less than $1,015.
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Winterwarm, it’s prudent to retain a Winterwarm DUI attorney to be advised about the length of the jail term or the value of the fine you risk facing upon conviction. A DUI defense attorney can guide you on which plea you should take, and even convince the judge to sentence you to less severe penalties upon conviction.
Other penalties for DUI include suspension of your driver's license, installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, higher insurance costs, as well as a criminal record.
Furthermore, you may be required to sign a Watson Advisement, which may be used against you should you be subsequently charged for DUI causing death. If you are a foreign national, you may be deported. Your visa may also be revoked.
Legal Defenses to the Charge of DUI
The burden of proof in DUI cases rests with the prosecution. The degree of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. As a defendant, you need to adduce and poke holesin the evidence of the prosecutor to enlist doubt so that his/her case can fail. This is quite an easy job if you contact the right defense attorney.
By employing legal arguments, challenging the evidence of the prosecution and discrediting it, capitalizing on certain inconsistencies of the prosecution’s evidence, and raising objections to exclude some specific pieces of evidence from the prosecution's side, you can succeed in obtaining an acquittal or a dismissal. Some of the best defenses to DUI are:
The BAC Chemical Test Results was Inaccurate
The inaccuracy of the BAC chemical test results is a viable defense sufficient to discredit the prosecution's evidence. BAC results may be affected by poor calibrations of the testing device, improper use, poor maintenance, radio-frequency flaws, as well as a poor recording of the device's readings. This may cause exponential results, which may record very high inaccurate positive results. The improper procedure in the collection, storage, and maintenance of your blood sample is also another factor that can distort the prosecution's evidence. Your defense attorney can argue that indeed you did not exceed California’s BAC limits, as research has shown that mostDUI testing devices have an arithmetic error of plus or minus 0.2%blood alcohol.
If you had no choice but to drive even though you were impaired to save yourself from impending danger, you could rely on the defense of necessity. For example, while in a party, you realize that an assailant is seeking you, therefore, you stealthily escape by driving away using your car, even though you were intoxicated. In such a situation, you can use the defense of necessity to obtain an acquittal or a dismissal.
Indeed, if the harm obtained from the impending danger is more severe than the consequences of DUI, it will be a valid defense if you fled to save yourself, even though you were intoxicated. This defense is contained in California’s Criminal Jury instruction 3403. As such, you can be acquitted if you satisfy the provisions laid down in this jury instruction.
A mistake of law is not a valid defense. However, a mistake of facts is a valid defense, especially if your doctor has prescribed some medicines to you, and you are facing a charge of DUI involving drugs. In such a situation, you can explain to the jury that you didn’t know the drugs could impair your judgment, and you innocently took them to get well. Also, if you believe that you were neither intoxicated nor impaired, you can convince the jury to acquit you.
The Arresting Officer had No Probable Cause to Stop you
As per California’s traffic laws, you should only be motioned to stop by a law enforcement officer if he/she has a reasonable cause to warrant him/her to pull you over. For instance, you should have violated a traffic rule, or engaged in reckless driving.
If the police officer had no probable cause, your attorney could initiate suppression proceedings to exclude the evidence of the arresting officer. This will make theprosecution have insufficient evidence, and your charges may be dropped. Take note that this defense is not available if you were arrested at a DUI sobriety checkpoint.
Involuntary intoxication is a valid defense to DUI. However, it is only available if you were drugged without your consent, or if you took a substance which you had no reason to believe that it was capable of impairing you.
Rising Blood Alcohol
You can use the defense of rising blood alcohol if you had a normal BAC level at the point of arrest, but the testing kit showed that you exceeded the BAC limit. This defense is quite effective in circumstances where you took the BAC test at the police station and not at the point of arrest, or if you were arrested when you were almost reaching your destination.
Contact a Winterwarm DUI Attorney Near Me
You must retain a competent Winterwarm DUI attorney to avoid the harsh penalties of DUI charges. If you get in touch with the San Diego DUI Attorney, you will be sure of having dedicated, aggressive, competent, and skilled lawyers by your side until the completion of your case. We can also represent you at your DUI DMV hearing. Call us today at 619-535-7150 for a free case evaluation.