In this day and age, we all know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is bad. But mistakes happen and sometimes human beings make judgment errors. You should know where to turn in Sacramento if you are charged with DUI.
Under California law, motorists are prohibited from driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more when driving a vehicle or .04% or more while driving a commercial vehicle. Motorists are also prohibited from driving under the influence of any drug, whether legal, illegal, or prescribed.
Penalties for DUI increase with each successive conviction in a 10-year period. A first offense is generally a misdemeanor DUI. Penalties include:
- An approximately $1,800 fine;
- Three to five years of DUI probation;
- California DUI school;
- A suspended driver’s license; and
- Possible jail time.
With successive DUIs penalties increase, and jail time is much more likely. A second DUI can be charged as a felony and a fourth or subsequent DUI is always a felony charge. A felony DUI conviction can be punished with:
- Up to three years in jail; and
- A fine of up to $1,000, or $5,000 if someone was injured.
An arrest for DUI will trigger two separate actions for a driver:
- A criminal prosecution for driving under the influence; and
- An optional administrative hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to determine whether or not you can keep your license.
Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer & Fight Your DUI?
If you have been arrested for DUI, it can be embarrassing and feel shameful. You may be tempted to simply take the penalty, surrender your license, and resign yourself to navigating Sacramento by Lyft or Uber. But first, you should consult an experienced DUI attorney. With even one conviction for a DUI under your belt, if you are charged with DUI again, you can be charged with a felony. This is a serious matter.
There are some medical conditions, substances, or even breathalyzer errors that can cause DUI breathalyzers to have false high readings. Blood tests used to measure blood alcohol can also be prone to errors or can become contaminated during collection or processing. Moreover, police officers in California are required to follow procedures when stopping, evaluating, and arresting someone for DUI. If procedures aren’t followed, an arrest can be made without cause. Founding attorney, Justin L. Ward, is a former criminal prosecutor and an experienced litigator. If you are arrested, you should consult our skilled professionals as soon as possible to protect your rights and obtain the best outcome. The Ward Firm can help. Call us at 916-443-2474 or Email us through our contact form by email right away.