San Francisco DUI Effects
A California DUI is usually charged differently based on whether it is your first offense. In California, you may suffer a driver’s license suspension even before you go to court. You only have 10 days to request an administrative hearing at that point if you want to keep your driving privileges so that you can continue to go to work and take care of your family while you are waiting for your case to get through the California criminal justice system. Keep the phone number of your DUI defense attorney on you at all times in case you have a question.
DUI License Suspension
If you are 21 years old and fail a chemical test by having your blood alcohol test .08 or above, California will impose an automatic suspension on your driver’s license. If you have been convicted before within the past 10 years, your minimum suspension will be 1 year. This counts DUI cases you may have gotten in other states, as they will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles and will appear on your record. When you have a new suspension, the officer sends the information immediately to the Department of Motor Vehicles so that your suspension will go into effect. If you refuse to take the chemical test, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and up to three years for the next offenses provided the driving under the influence happened with the last 10 years.
You may be able to get a restricted license even if the original license suspension for driving under the influence is found to be valid. Speak to your DUI attorney so you can start the process of getting back your ability to drive to necessary places, such as work, daycare, and the grocery.
Other DUI Punishments
The potential penalties and punishments for a DUI depend on whether or not you have been convicted of drunk driving before. However, your criminal defense attorney may be able to help you mitigate the charges, if not get the case dismissed altogether. That is why you should only speak with attorneys who understand this area of criminal law and exactly what the State has to prove to convict you. DUI lawyers should not be afraid to litigate the case when necessary.
For first-time DUI cases, defendants can expect that the punishment will be relatively mild. Even so, a California DUI can affect every area of your life. Besides driver’s license suspension, you may also be subject to fines, probation, community service, a class, and even jail time, depending on the circumstances of your case for driving under the influence. That is one of the reasons you should start working on your DUI defense as soon as possible.
A first offense DUI case where there is no bodily injury is punishable by up to a year of license suspension, $2,000 in fines, 48 hours in jail, and a 3-month class regarding alcohol education. By the time you have committed 3 DUI offenses within 10 years, that potential punishment is up to $18,000 in fines, 18 months in prison, and 30 months of treatment for alcoholism or substance abuse.
Evidence in a DUI Case
In order to prove a drunk driving case against you, the prosecutor will try to introduce evidence that you were operating a motor vehicle with certain substances in your system that caused you to be unsafe while driving. The evidence may include a combination of different kinds of factors, because the State will need to prove probable cause for the traffic stop and that you were intoxicated while driving. They are required to provide all of their evidence to you and your criminal defense attorney so that you have plenty of time to prepare your DUI defense before going to trial.
Evidence might include dangerous driving, such as speeding or crossing the middle yellow line or being in an accident. The officer who investigates the scene will look at everything, such as whether you smelled of alcohol or had open alcoholic beverages in the vehicle. Even the way you present your driver’s license may provide clues that you are intoxicated. If there is probable cause, the officer may perform field sobriety tests on you.
Any officer who gives a chemical test or performs field sobriety tests must be trained and certified, because there are strict standards as to how those tests are performed. If your Bay Area lawyer can prove there is no probable cause for the stop, none of that evidence will be admitted into court. If the officer performed the tests incorrectly, the Court may deem them invalid. An experienced DUI attorney knows that sometimes even the most professional officers make mistakes.
Before you make any decisions after you get arrested for DUI, get legal advice from a San Francisco Bay Area attorney who has the kind of experience to make a difference in your case. A DUI arrest can have repercussions on your reputation and livelihood before you are even formally charged and follow you for years. Don’t let one mistake of driving under the influence affect the rest of your life.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, don’t wait to call a defense attorney who can immediately start working on your case. Our firm of attorneys has 20 years of experience evaluating and litigating these kinds of cases and is a Super Lawyers top-rated law firm. We are ready to do what it takes to help you get the best possible result on your case. We vigorously present your DUI defense knowing how important it may be for you and your family. Call our law office at this phone number today for a free consultation!