When facing a DUI charge in California, you need an experienced and qualified DUI attorney to represent your interests and ensure the best outcome for your case. Expert DUI attorneys successfully help thousands of people just like you mitigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
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1. What a DUI Means in California
A DUI in California means driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is against the law to drive a car or other motor vehicle if they are under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, drug or even the combination of any alcoholic beverage or any drug.
It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle for any person whose blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher than that, by weight. As per Section 34501.16 the percentage by weight, of a person’s blood alcohol level is calculated based on 100 milliliters of blood and how many grams of alcohol are present within, or based on 210 liters of breath and how many grams of alcohol are present within.
It is also illegal to operate a motor vehicle for any individual that is addicted to any type of drug use. The exception to this would be any person who is taking part in a narcotics treatment program that is in compliance with the Health and Safety Code.
It is illegal for any person operating a commercial motor vehicle to have 0.04 blood alcohol content, by weight.
DUI stands for driving under the influence. People commonly refer to a DUI as drunk driving, and it refers to situations involving individuals who operate motor vehicles while their blood alcohol level is above that of the legal limit. In the state of CA the legal limit is 0.08, but it is higher in other states up to 0.10.
There are other types of alcohol related laws involving motor vehicles as well. Drunk in and about a vehicle, which means the keys are not present in the ignition but the occupants of the vehicle are “drunk” is one charge; this is a misdemeanor charge commonly mistaken as a DUI. In some states, DWI and DUI are distinct charges; in California there is no difference.
2. First Time Penalties
For a first DUI offense in the state of California, there are varying penalties depending on where the incident occurred. The state does have a typical set of penalties, and they include:
2. What to Do First
In the event you are arrested or charged with DUI in the state of California, you should first immediately (ASAP) contact a qualified DUI or DWI lawyer, to help you keep from losing your driving privileges automatically. They can also schedule your hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles on your behalf; you only have ten days to do so.
Failing to meet the deadline of ten days means that you automatically forfeit your right to an initial hearing, and your license is suspended until the DUI hearing takes place. By filing for the hearing, you will not lose your license until the hearing takes place, and even then only if you lose the hearing. Hearings can be set for months later, and some people may never lose their license for even a day when they schedule a hearing, so this is of the utmost importance.
3. Why You Need a Specialist DUI Attorney
To protect yourself against the severe penalties of a DUI, you want and need the best you can get in terms of representation to obtain the optimal outcome.
With a specialist DUI attorney, you may be able to delay your suspension, or get a restricted license if need be. They may even be able to help make sure you never lose your driving privileges, if all goes well throughout the process.
A good DUI attorney will know the law inside and out, and will look for the best outcome for you, instead of simply seeking a plea deal. In some cases, a plea deal may be the best option. However, in others your case may be thrown out altogether if you rights were violated or procedural errors were made.
DUI attorneys also understand the evidence, and the fact that sometimes that evidence isn’t always as concrete as it may seem. Even something such as a 0.08 BAC reading may not be accurate depending on how the test was administered and the accuracy of the equipment used.
If and when it comes time to negotiate a plea bargain, or a deal, a DUI attorney knows what the best route to take, what to ask for, and how to help you get the best outcome and go on with your life. Things such as asking for fines that you cannot afford to be paid through community service, is one of the many things that may be significantly helpful. Alternative tasks such as picking up trash along the roadside instead of serving a mandatory jail sentence, or even helping you to keep your license are different things that they can accomplish for you in a plea deal.