Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal throughout the United States, and each state upholds unique laws pertaining to DUI charges. Whether you made a mistake and drove while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or you believe you were wrongfully arrested, it is essential to know your rights and legal options for defending yourself against DUI charges in Pomona, CA. An experienced Pomona DUI defense attorney is your best asset if you hope to avoid the severe penalties that typically follow a DUI conviction.
At the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores, our team provides comprehensive legal counsel to Pomona clients accused of DUI violations. Even if you are facing your first offense, the penalties for conviction can negatively impact your life in many ways for years to come. You need defense counsel you can trust to help you through your legal proceedings.
Many people wonder whether they need legal representation when they are charged with criminal offenses. The notorious high cost of attorneys’ fees can cause some to dread paying for private defense counsel, but it’s vital to know the value that an experienced Pomona DUI defense lawyer can provide, compared to self-representation or legal counsel from a public defender.
Every American citizen has the right to legal counsel when they are accused of a crime. If the accused does not wish to pay for a private defense attorney or they are unable to afford one, the court can appoint a public defender to represent them free of charge. Some might assume that sticking with a public defender is a good way to avoid expensive attorneys’ fees when they face criminal charges. While the majority of public defenders in Pomona, CA are capable of providing competent and successful DUI defense, the reality is that these attorneys must handle multiple cases at once and can’t provide much in the way of individual attention to any one client. When you invest in an experienced private Pomona DUI defense lawyer, you can expect a much higher level of legal counsel and more personalized attention from your legal team.
Self-representation is also a bad idea. If you believe you are capable of making a coherent and compelling case on your own behalf before a judge, you may be correct, but you may also lack the legal experience to interpret relevant case law, meet the court’s filing deadlines, and navigate the complex procedural requirements your case entails. Even a seemingly small error could jeopardize your defense, and you may not know how to effectively argue for reduced sentencing if conviction is likely in your situation. The average person with no professional legal experience may also overlook key evidence that could disprove the prosecution’s case and ensure dropped charges. Ultimately, you have the best chance of avoiding conviction, or at the very least reducing your sentence, when you have a reliable Pomona DUI defense attorney handling your case.
In any criminal case filed in the United States, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. This means that the Pomona criminal court prosecutors pursuing your conviction must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your Pomona DUI defense lawyer’s goal is to prevent them from meeting this burden of proof or to credibly establish exculpatory evidence that proves you did not commit the DUI offense in question.
Your attorney will likely conduct a thorough review of the police report for your arrest, determining whether the arresting officers properly established probable cause to arrest you in the first place. California police must establish probable cause to conduct a lawful arrest for DUI, meaning they must discern credible physical evidence during a traffic stop or DUI checkpoint inspection. This may include detecting the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, seeing open alcohol containers in plain view, or seeing evidence of illegal drug consumption during a stop. Once the police conduct a lawful arrest for DUI in California, they will administer a chemical test to check the suspect’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) and/or the presence of any illicit drugs in the suspect’s bloodstream. All California drivers must consent to a chemical test for DUI after they have been lawfully arrested for DUI.
A good DUI defense lawyer will carefully examine all elements of their client’s arrest. They will verify that their client’s constitutional rights were preserved throughout the entire ordeal and will carefully scrutinize the details of the chemical test used to substantiate the DUI charge. It may be possible to challenge the validity of the chemical test results if the police mishandled the testing process in any way or if the testing lab responsible for processing the test’s results has a history of regulatory violations, false positives, or questionable testing practices.
If you are concerned about the potential cost of your legal fees for DUI defense representation, it is crucial that you fully understand your attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation. Most defense attorneys charge for their services by the hour, and they will likely break their time spent on your case into ten- or fifteen-minute increments. Once you know the attorney’s hourly rate and the time they will likely need to spend working on your case, you should have a rough idea of how much your legal fees will cost.
While attorneys’ fees may be more expensive than you initially expected in some cases, it’s vital to understand the potential consequences of a DUI conviction, both immediate and future. You may think the cost of legal representation is more than you can afford but comparing this cost to the potential cost of your conviction penalties will show you that the investment in your defense team will be well worth the expense. The possible penalties for DUI conviction in California are quite severe, often causing significant financial problems that can impact your life for years.
California uses a BAC measurement system to determine whether a driver was under the influence of alcohol after an arrest. The legal limit for BAC is .08%. Any amount over .08%, even .081%, qualifies as a DUI. An individual can also face a DUI conviction if a chemical test shows they were under the influence of an illicit drug at the time of arrest, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or even some prescription drugs that may interfere with the ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Marijuana lingers in a legal grey area in California due to the state’s legislative measures over the past several years that have legalized recreational marijuana consumption for adults. Marijuana can impair driving for several hours following consumption, but it is detectable in the bloodstream for much longer, even after the effects have worn off completely. For daily users, marijuana will show up on a chemical test for 28 days or longer after cessation. While marijuana consumption is legal for adults over 21 in California, it remains illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. If you are accused of DUI for marijuana in California, it is crucial to hire a Pomona DUI attorney who can help you disprove the results of the chemical test used to justify your charges.
A first-time misdemeanor conviction for DUI in California can include several penalties. The defendant can face up to six months in county jail, driver’s license suspension for up to ten months, $390 to $1,000 in fines, additional penalty assessments, and three or nine months of mandatory DUI school at the defendant’s expense. These penalties can fluctuate in many ways. For example, the defendant may be permitted to drive again immediately as long as they have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed on their vehicle for one year. DUI penalties increase with subsequent convictions within ten years:
DUI is a “wobbler” offense in California, meaning it’s possible to face misdemeanor or felony charges based on the unique details of the case. At the felony level, DUI carries a penalty of 16 months or two to three years in California state prison, up to $1,000 in fines, driver’s license suspension of up to five years, and 18 or 30 months of DUI school. For a felony DUI that causes injury, the penalties increase to 16 months to 16 years in California state prison, up to $5,000 in fines, restitution to the victim, driver’s license suspension for a minimum of one year, and 18 or 30 months of DUI school.
If you face any of these penalties, it is crucial to secure legal counsel you can trust to help you navigate your case proceedings and determine your best available defenses. The Law Office of Daniel P. Flores can provide the defense representation you need in the face of a DUI conviction in Pomona, CA.
Hiring an experienced Pomona DUI defense attorney is the best way to fight the DUI charges you face. While your situation may seem hopeless, there are several possible defenses your attorney could use to help you fight your charges and secure a case dismissal:
Ultimately, there are several possible ways for an experienced Pomona DUI attorney to assist you with your case. After a DUI arrest in Pomona, CA, it is crucial to obtain legal counsel swiftly for the best chance of defeating the prosecution’s charges. The team at the Law Office of Daniel P. Flores can provide the comprehensive defense counsel you need in this difficult situation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a reliable Pomona DUI defense lawyer and find out how we can help you.
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