California DUI Tips
California’s DUI laws are becoming increasingly strict. Punishments for receiving DUIs can range from a suspension of your driving privileges all the way up to jail time.
The following are some tips on various aspects of California DUIs:
1. Tips on Avoiding a DUI
Obviously, the best way to avoid a DUI is to never drive if you are under the influence. Your sex, weight, any food or liquids consumed, and the speed in which you consume alcohol all greatly affect the way the body handles alcohol.
Most DUIs are discovered either because the driver was driving erratically, speeding, breaking traffic rules, or the vehicle was not in proper working order.
2. How to Proceed Once Stopped for a DUI
If you are pulled over and have been drinking, pull over safely. The police officer may wish to administer
field sobriety tests, such as having you stand on one leg or recite the alphabet. The police may also choose to ask you to take a chemical test. If you refuse to submit to the chemical test, your license will be revoked for one year, even if you are found not guilty of the DUI charge.
3. How to Choose a Los Angeles DUI Attorney
Before choosing an attorney, do your homework. Use the Internet or yellow pages and personal recommendations to compile a list of law firms who handle DUIs in your area. Call each firm and determine which individual attorney works on DUIs. Check the state bar association to see if there are any outstanding complaints against that attorney. Speak to each attorney to find out any specialized training the attorney has in DUI cases and how many cases the attorney has handled.
4. How the Legal Process Works Once Charged with a DUI
There are two separate legal actions involved with a DUI in California. One is the suspension or
revocation of your driver’s license. The second is any potential criminal charges.
Once you are arrested for driving under the influence, the DMV will conduct a review where it examines the officer’s report, the suspension or revocation order, and test results.
The second part of the DUI is the criminal case. The criminal case can precede in a variety of ways, including a guilty plea, a plea bargain, getting the charges dismissed, and proceeding to trial.
5. Civil Penalties for a DUI in California
The civil penalties for a DUI in California vary, depending on several factors. Your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked for a period of time, depending on specific circumstances, including whether it is a first or subsequent offense, and whether you took or refused to take a chemical test, and your age.
6. Criminal Penalties for a California DUI
A DUI in California is typically a misdemeanor. The penalties involved depend on whether this is your first DUI conviction. A first conviction of a misdemeanor DUI usually results in alcohol education classes, a driver’s licenses suspension, a fine, probation, and / or two days in jail. The penalties go up from there for subsequent DUI convictions within a 10 year period.
7. Whether or Not to Plead Guilty to a DUI
Many people who have been charged with a DUI in California consider pleading guilty, especially if they performed poorly on field sobriety tests or failed a chemical test measuring blood alcohol content. If you plead guilty, you are losing any right to present a defense in a criminal trial. In addition, a guilty plea can have a negative impact on your driving record or any professional license.
8. California DUI Defenses
There are numerous defenses that can be used in court to defend against a DUI charge, even if a defendant’s BAC was over the legal limit, including the legality of the police stop and the effectiveness of field sobriety and chemical tests, among others.
9. Tips for Out of State Drivers Receiving a California DUI
Many out-of-state visitors who receive DUIs in California think that because they aren’t residents of California, nothing will happen to them. However, there can be penalties from the California DMV as well as punishments from the resident’s state’s DMV.
Out of state drivers are also required to participate in any criminal proceedings, or to hire a California attorney to attend on their behalf.
10. Issues that Arise from a DUI for Certain Professionals
Some professionals need to report DUI arrests or convictions to licensing boards by law – pilots, attorneys, registered nurses, mariners, physicians, and commercial truck drivers are all required to report DUIs to their respective licensing boards.
While these tips should help you get started in further understanding the many complexities of DUI law, you may want to consult with the aggressive and knowledgeable Los Angeles defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf. Attorney Lawrence Wolf has been successfully defending the rights of individuals for over 40+ years. Call 1-800-YOU-ARE-INNOCENT today for a free consultation.
Get your questions answered - call me for your free, 20 min phone consultation (310) 277-1707.