California DUI: Drunk driving is one of the most common criminal charges in California. Drivers who are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding .08 percent can be charged with driving under the influence, more commonly known as DUI.
After an arrest, it is very important for that person to contact an attorney for representation due to serious consequences that are time sensitive. For example, drivers have only 10 days to request an administrative hearing from the DMV, otherwise they face a possibility of loss of their driving privileges for up to a year for their first offense. Any additional DUI offenses can lead to more stringent punishment.
When arrested for a DUI there are two common charges that a prosecutor files against a defendant:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a).
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b).
Punishment for DUI offenses in California may depend on prior DUI offenses. That means you will face tougher penalties if you already have prior DUIs on your record. For this purpose, any DUI in the last 10 years will count against you. Here are the specific penalties for a first, second, third or fourth (or subsequent) DUI within a 10 year periods:
Taxi / limo / ride-share drivers, such as Uber/Lyft, are now subjected to arrest for DUI if their BAC is 0.04%, the same goes for commercial drivers under VC 23152(d).
Also keep in mind that it is unlawful in the state of California to drive any vehicle while addicted to drugs or being under the influence of any drug or drugs, stand alone or combined.
Most California DUI arrests begin with a traffic stop or a checkpoint. The officer asks you to perform a series of field sobriety tests and to blow twice into a handheld breathalyzer. After the arrest, the cop usually will ask you to take a blood or breath test at the police station, jail or hospital (you’re required by law to take this test, refusing the chemical test may result in tougher California DUI penalties and a one-year drivers license suspension).
There Are many types of DUI crimes but for most misdemeanor DUI arrests, the police will release you within few hours, but the case is not the same for felony DUI or a DUI that led up to an accident especially if it causes the death of somebody else, in those cases you may have to post bail. The following list includes most DUI related cases happen all the time in California:
Upon release after an arrest – in case it was a short one – you should be given two documents: a citation to appear in court, and a pink temporary license. The cops will usually take your California driver’s license and mail it to the DMV. If you’re from out of state and get a California DUI, the police here can’t take your physical license.
SHOULD I SPEAK TO A LAWYER?
Drunk driving can have a significant adverse impact on the future of the defendant and his loved ones. However, with the help of skilled criminal defense attorney it is possible to beat a California misdemeanor or felony DUI charge.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Los Angeles, defending yourself can be terrifying and complicated, especially with the long-lasting penalties associated with a DUI conviction. You could go to jail, incur significant fines, have an ignition interlock device installed in your car, lose your license or have your driving privileges restricted, or be required to participate in a DUI treatment or education program.
When facing DUI charges in California, it is important that you speak to a Los Angeles criminal attorney who has experience handling California DUI cases, so you can understand your rights under the law and determine the DUI defense strategy with the highest chance of success. Consult our legal team at LACD today. Reach out to us to determine how to best proceed with your case.