California DWI / DUI Lawyer

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It seems that almost every day we can open up a tabloid and read about another celebrity DUI (driving under the influence) in California. What we do not read about, however, is how many other Californians, or people merely passing through California, are also convicted of a serious DUI offense. If you get arrested on a DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI charge, you need to find an attorney practiced in California driving laws. A DUI conviction can be determined in error, and no one wants a conviction as haunting as a DUI on their record. Luckily, a licensed, well-versed California attorney can prevent just that.

In California, you have just 10 days to file a challenge to a DUI case. Failure to do so will result in your driver's license being automatically suspended. A DUI charge counts as two separate cases in California: one with the courts and one with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is an extremely serious offense, one that stays on your records and negatively impacts the way people view you for years.

California has two drunk-driving laws:

1) It is considered a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

2) It is considered a misdemeanor to drive with 0.08 percent or more blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in your body.

Your California lawyer will advise you of your legal rights. These include the following:

There must have been sufficient legal facts to warrant the officer's decision to stop and arrest you.
You should be made aware that field sobriety tests and/or a portable breath-testing machine are not mandatory under California law.
Once arrested, you must be read your constitutional rights (known as the Miranda law).
You must be given a choice between a blood test or a breath test and, if you refuse, you must be told the consequences of such an action.
If the police obtain a breath test from you at the police station and not at the crime scene, that test is not saved. Therefore, you must be given the option of also taking a blood test to have analyzed at a later time by an independent analyst.

If you are convicted of a DWI or DUI in California, possible penalties include:

Jail time.
A hefty monetary fine.
Suspension or revocation of your driver's license.

Having a drunk-driving conviction on your record can cause you many problems later in your life. If you lose your driver's license, if and when you get it back, your insurance rates will increase significantly. Also, potential employment could be a problem; a potential employer could request a criminal background check and decide not to hire you on the basis of your DUI conviction. If you ever desire to become a driver for a commercial company, you may be precluded from obtaining a commercial driver's license because of your DUI conviction.

DWI and DUI defense strategies can be complicated and will require the retention of a knowledgeable California lawyer with expertise in this field of work. Tougher penalties range from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but DUI sentences have become increasingly harsher. Some of these stricter consequences include:

If you have had a prior conviction within the last 10 years, all fines automatically increase.
If you have had three convictions within 10 years, the charge would automatically become a felony, and you could face state prison time.
Much harsher sentences if your blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) is 0.15 percent or greater.
Increased jail time for refusing to submit to a chemical test at the time you are charged.
Additional fines if, along with the DUI charge, you are also charged with speeding or reckless driving.
If a child under the age of 14 was present, endangerment of a child charges will be pressed.
If there is an accident or injury, damages to property, or persons, additional fines would be accrued.

If you have been charged with a DWI or DUI offense in California, you need to find and hire a lawyer licensed and eligible to practice in California.


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