Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious criminal offense in California, and prosecutors tend to aggressively pursue convictions and argue for the maximum possible penalties available under the law. Shortened to DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated), this type of conviction can result in various penalties. These could include incarceration in county jail or state prison, probation, hefty fines, driver’s license suspension, and mandatory DUI education courses, as well as victim restitution if someone was harmed in a car accident caused by the DUI.
Even after you satisfy the requirements of your sentence, a DUI on your criminal record can negatively impact your life in many ways for years to come. Background checks are conducted by landlords, employers, and higher education institutions, and a misdemeanor or felony DUI on your record can prevent you from securing affordable housing, finding a job, enrolling in college, qualifying for scholarships, or being approved for financial aid.
Considering how significantly a DUI conviction can affect your future opportunities, it is crucial that you contact a San Dimas DUI attorney right away if you are arrested for a DUI. Learn more about DUI charges in California below, then contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Flores immediately after your arrest to achieve the optimal outcome in your case.
Every American citizen charged with a criminal offense has the constitutional right to seek legal counsel. If you cannot afford a private criminal defense attorney, the state will assign a public defender to handle your case. Although many public defenders are hardworking professionals, they typically handle multiple cases at a time, making it impossible for them to devote the level of time and attention you need for your case. Hiring a San Dimas DUI attorney is the only way to ensure you receive the highest quality of legal representation and have the best chance of avoiding a conviction, reducing possible penalties, or having your case dismissed altogether.
When you choose the Law of Offices of Daniel P. Flores to manage your DUI or DWI case, he will begin investigating the details of your arrest and booking right away to determine whether the arresting officers had probable cause to stop you, upheld your rights, and adhered to the laws of due process. If your arrest was made lawfully, he will work with you to decide on the best defense strategy.
After an arrest, you have ten days to request a hearing from the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. This postpones the suspension of your driver’s license until the hearing is resolved and can sometimes allow you to avoid license suspension altogether. Hiring Daniel Flores immediately after your arrest means he can request this DMV hearing on your behalf, help you prepare, and represent you at the hearing.
Another important advantage of hiring an attorney who specializes in DUI cases is their knowledge of sentencing alternatives that can help you avoid county jail or state prison time. These alternatives may include roadside work, community service, house arrest, residence in a sober living environment, or incarceration in a private or city jail. Daniel Flores can explore these options with you, explain how they may apply to your case, and create an effective argument that convinces the prosecutor or judge to approve them.
The state of California has three main DUI laws for drivers aged 21 years and older:
Law enforcement officers must establish probable cause to pull you over for a DUI, meaning they must witness unambiguous evidence that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. California’s implied consent laws require you to submit to chemical testing for a DUI following a lawful arrest, and refusal to do so will result in mandatory driver’s license suspension regardless of the test outcome.
If you are found to be driving drunk, this refusal can also increase the penalties of your DUI sentence. However, you are not legally obligated to perform a field sobriety test or submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (breath test) before an arrest. Additionally, police officers must obtain a warrant to take a blood sample after your arrest unless you are under suspicion of a felony DUI or driving under the influence of drugs.
DUI offenses in California are priorable, meaning the criminal penalties of a DUI conviction will become more severe with each successive DUI conviction that occurs within ten years. This includes “wet reckless” convictions as well as out-of-state convictions that would constitute a DUI if committed in California. Most DUI crimes are prosecuted as misdemeanor level offenses unless you have four or more DUI convictions on your record or injure someone in a car accident caused by your drunk driving. DUI with injury is considered a wobbler, meaning it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on your criminal background and the specific circumstances of the offense.
The criminal and administrative penalties for a DUI conviction can vary based on the specific offense and can be increased in the presence of aggravating factors, but typically include the following:
The circumstances of your arrest and your existing criminal record may increase your county jail or state prison sentence, regardless of how many times you have been convicted for prior DUI charges. These aggravating factors include:
Along with the criminal penalties described above, any DUI sentence with probation will include the following conditions:
In some cases, DUI probation may also involve:
A DUI conviction can haunt your life for years to come, even after your imprisonment term ends and your fines are paid. If you are arrested for a DUI offense, you need a San Dimas DUI attorney with the legal knowledge, litigation skills, and resources to protect your rights and mount a strategic defense against your charges.
Criminal defense attorney Daniel P. Flores is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association, has defended hundreds of clients in DUI cases, and conducted multiple DUI jury trials in Southern California. His experience and dedication to his clients have made him one of the most respected and sought-after DWI attorneys in the area, and he is ready to help you face the criminal justice system with expert representation and legal counsel. Contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Flores today to discuss your case.
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