Criminal Charges We Defend

We specialize in DUI Defense, focusing on this specific niche allows us to fortify our skills and represent our clients the way they deserve to be represented. Whether this is your First or Fifth DUI, do not hesitate to call us so we can discuss your case. 

Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions:

The two most common charges you will face are:

  1. Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) – which makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle “under the influence” of alcohol. This means that you were physically or mentally impaired to the extent that you could no longer drive or operate a motor vehicle like a sober person would. You can be prosecuted even if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) was below a .08%
  2. Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) – which is typically referred to as the “per se” definition of a DUI. This means your BAC was at or above the 0.08% limit.

These are both typically misdemeanor offenses. 

If you have been charged with your first DUI, the most common penalties that we see are the following:

  1. Potential 2 days in Jail – or alternatively community service.
  2. If refusing a Breath or Chemical Test then there may be additional Jail Time days added. 
  3. Fines from $300 – $2,000 (including additional court costs and fees)
  4. Summary probation for up to 3 years (informal probation)
  5. 3 month DUI program (more depending on BAC)
  6. Loss of license for 6 months – 1 year
  7. Restricted License availability (typically with an SR-22 Certificate) 

If you have been charged with your second DUI, the most common penalties that we see are the following:

  1. More than 3 days of county jail – potential for house arrest or community service
  2. If refusing a Breath or Chemical Test then there may be additional Jail Time days added. 
  3. Fines from $300 – $2,000 (including additional court costs and fees)
  4. Summary probation for up to 3-5 years (informal probation)
  5. 9-18 month DUI program (more depending on BAC)
  6. Enrollment in MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and/or HAM (Hospital and Morgue) program 
  7. Loss of license for 6 months – 1 year
  8. Restricted License availability (typically with an SR-22 Certificate) 
  9. Potential requirement to install IID (Ignition Interlock System in vehicle)
  10. DNA or Blood Sample to be provided for database

If you have been charged with your third DUI, the most common penalties that we see are the following:

  1. Mandatory minim of up to 120 days in county jail – potential for house arrest or community service
  2. If refusing a Breath or Chemical Test then there may be additional Jail Time days added. 
  3. Fines from $300 – $2,000 (including additional court costs and fees)
  4. Summary probation for up to 3-5 years (informal probation)
  5. 9-18 month DUI program (more depending on BAC)
  6. Enrollment in MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and/or HAM (Hospital and Morgue) program 
  7. Loss of license for 6 months – 1 year
  8. Typically no restricted license allowed for up to a year – Restricted License availability (typically with an SR-22 Certificate) 
  9. Potential requirement to install IID (Ignition Interlock System in vehicle)
  10. DNA or Blood Sample to be provided for database

Just about everyone knows that if you get pulled over for a DUI, then you are in some murky waters when it comes to legal punishments. However, when there is an injury involved, the process becomes a lot more complicated and the punishments become much more substantial. Throughout this article we will take a look at the differences between having a regular DUI and a felony DUI with injury to show how serious this crime is and what aid can be offered by a DUI attorney. 
What Is A Felony DUI With Injury?
In the most basic sense of the term, a felony DUI with injury is when you are driving under the effects of alcohol, drugs, or medication and injure a person. While small injuries such as bumps and bruises may not garner the felony charges, any injury that places an individual in the hospital will become a felony. The fact that the crime is a felony lessens your chances of getting leniency in the court system and makes it more difficult for an attorney, no matter how capable, to have charges lessened or mitigated. 

The Charges Will Be Different
The first thing that you will notice when you get a felony DUI with injury is that the charges will be very different in the case. If there is an injury involved in the case, no matter if it is moderate or severe; the chances are that you will be bumped up into a felony category. This means that the charges will be somewhat different, but the punishments will be more diverse and dependent upon your individual actions while participating in the crime. 

The Punishments Will Likely Be More Severe
Another important aspect about the felony DUI with injury is that the punishments have to be more severe. The fact that it is a felony dictates that there are minimum punishments in many of the cases involving this degree of crime. 

 A first sentence for a felony DUI with injury will likely result in jail time, not to exceed three years, a license suspension of at least one year, and fines that will total at least $2,000. Of course, there will be payments of restitution that must be made to the individuals that are injured in the accident. 

A second sentence for a felony DUI with injury is exponentially more severe than the initial sentence. The punishments will result in several years’ imprisonment and can also be made more severe by the fact that an individual has committed a crime before. The judge will typically take into account the time frame in which these different charges have occurred. It is important to note that if you acquire three misdemeanor offenses for a DUI with injury, then it is automatically considered to be a felony. 

Due to the relative ease of obtaining marijuana in the state of California, it is more and more common that individuals find themselves in the position of getting marijuana DUIs. One of the most important steps that you can take to mitigate the financial and legal damages of marijuana DUIs is to hire a DUI Defense Lawyer. These individuals can help navigate the legal process and see that you do not suffer too many problems throughout. We will examine some of the more pertinent information about marijuana DUIs in California throughout this article. 

What Do Marijuana DUIs Entail?
In order for you to be charged with marijuana DUIs, there has to be some basic criteria that are met. For example, the prosecutor will have to prove that you were driving a motor vehicle, you were under the influence of marijuana at the time, and that the marijuana impaired your abilities to drive so much that you were unable to exercise the caution of a person that is sober under the law. 

While the first part of this law is rather obvious and difficult to dispute, the other two parts can generally be disputed by a DUI attorney. Since the concept of marijuana DUIs tends to depend on a bit of subjectivity in regards to being sober, there are many ways that you can challenge the findings of a police officer and a Drug Recognition Evaluator. 

What Happens When I Am Pulled Over For Marijuana DUIs?
Generally speaking, unless you have been caught by an officer smoking marijuana while driving, they will have to defer to other methods to prove that you were not sober while driving. This involves the use of another specialized officer called the Drug Recognition Officer. They will come to the scene of marijuana DUIs and put you through tests to determine if you are sober. 

Most of the tests are in regards to seeing if your pupils are dilated, if there is an odor of marijuana present at the scene, and memory impairment. Moreover, they will request that a blood sample is taken at the scene so that it can be processed to determine how much THC is in your system. This is a crucial part of marijuana DUIs because the findings of the DRO play a large role into the facts surrounding the case.

Under the law, you must submit to these tests and it would benefit you greatly if you are to do so. After you are pulled over for marijuana DUIs, it is a good time to contact your attorney so that you can begin the process of fighting the charges. 

What Penalties Can I Face?
There are a variety of penalties for marijuana DUIs that you can face if it is found that you were, in fact, not sober while operating a motor vehicle. The first time that you are convicted of marijuana DUIs, you can face penalties including three to five years of probation that includes drug tests, up to a year in prison, community service, up to $2,000 in fines, as well as a six month suspension of your California license. 

Keep in mind a second marijuana DUIs offense will bring about more serious charges including jail time, much higher fines, as well as suspension of your license for longer periods. 

There are some instances were the court may impose additional penalties, and they typically come into play when:

  • Excessive speeding 
  • Having a BAC of at least 0.15% or more
  • Having a passenger in the car – typically a minor
  • Refusing a chemical or breath test
  • Causing property damage
  • Causing serious injury 
  • Fleeing the scene of the accident
  • Driving in school or construction zones 

Charges stemming from a DUI are very troublesome and time consuming on their own. However, when you add the consideration of prior convictions into the process there are many other things that you need to know. Of course, you can expect that having a DUI with a prior will make it easier for a judge to convict you and may certainly work against you. Yet, with the right DUI attorney, you stand a fighting chance at getting real justice. 

It Can Be A Felony 
The first thing that you need to understand about getting a DUI with a prior is that there is a higher chance that it can be bumped up into the felony bracket. If you have had three convictions prior, then you will automatically have the crime charged as a felony. Not only do mandatory sentences and fines come into play, but there is no precedent for leniency for DUIs with that many convictions. Of course, felonies can limit your life in ways such as barring you from voting and even joining the military. 

No Leniency 
The second facet of getting DUI with a prior is that there will be no leniency from a judge when it comes to your sentence. If you have only had a single DUI conviction or even no priors, your attorney will most likely be able to work with the prosecutor to get you a favorable outcome that will result in fewer fines and less time behind bars. With so many convictions, though, prosecutors will likely be unwilling to cut you a deal and any judge will be more willing to put you behind bars or suspend your license for a longer duration. 

What Penalties Can I Face? 
If you have a DUI with a prior charge in your records, the chances are that you will face the upper level of the prescribed punishments. For example, the jail time that is recommended for a DUI is between 16 months and 48 months in jail. Since you have repeatedly broken the same law, you will most likely be subjected to the four years in jail, especially if you have injured people in the course of your DUI. 

Another common punishment that you can face for a DUI with a prior is having your license suspended for upwards of four years. Aside from this, you will have additional court fees and possible restitution. Even when you are facing these seemingly insurmountable odds, there is one thing that you can do. You can call a DUI attorney so that they can work with you through the DUI with a prior charge. While they may not be able to argue for leniency on your case, they can make sure that every precaution is taken through the justice system to ensure that you receive a punishment that is fair and just. A DUI Lawyer will place all parts of the conviction process under intense scrutiny to be sure that all procedures were followed in the course of your settlement and trial. 

When you are suspected of a DUI and pulled over, you will typically be subjected to a battery of tests and questions that are meant to determine if you have been driving under the influence. Many times you will be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine how much alcohol you have consumed. 

Breathalyzer Laws
The first concept that you need to understand about DUI and breath tests is that they are legally enforced in some degrees. The roadside Breathalyzer test does not have to be taken by any non- willing participant unless they are under the age of 21 or they are currently on probation for a DUI charge. Under California state law, the Breathalyzer test that is completed at the police station, with a different apparatus, has to be taken by anyone arrested on suspicion of a DUI. 

 If you refuse to take the test, then you are legally admitting to some fault and are not abiding by the paperwork you signed to get your license. Therefore your license can be suspended for a minimum of a year and the penalties that you suffer in the court system will be more heavy- handed. 

Are The DUI Breath Tests Subject To Scrutiny?
Many drivers worry that the DUI and breath tests that they are forced to take could come back faulty for any number of reasons ranging from using mouthwash to smoking a cigarette. That is why there are several rules imposed about collecting samples for a DUI and breath test. Some of the most commonly understood rules are that the individual has to be watched for a period of fifteen minutes in which they cannot eat, drink, or smoke anything. The test can also be held up if the individual vomits. 

Other rules include the proper training of the person that is administering the test to the driver. Also, two tests have to be taken in rapid succession and the difference between them should not have a great difference than 0.02. Though it goes without saying, it is important to understand that all of these breath test takes have to be properly maintained or else they can face additional scrutiny during a case. 

Are The DUI And Breath Tests Infallible? 
There are many precedents for the Breathalyzer tests to be wrong from time to time, and it is important to have a DUI attorney who knows what to look for on your side. They can examine the device and collection procedures to make sure that you were not the victim of an improper test. For example, several cases have been dismissed for error on the part of the operator, poor record keeping, not taking into consideration certain medical conditions, and environmental contamination. Any one of these conditions can result in a DUI and Breath test being dismissed or to have the judgment considered more closely. For all of these reasons, it is crucial to have a proper  DUI attorney on your side.

There are many different ways that police officers fail to provide fair circumstances for the individual that is accused. That is why we systematically and carefully go through all the evidence we gather on each case to help prepare DUI defenses for our clients. Since there are so many different factors that go into DUIs, it is important to remember that each case is unique and will be evaluated by the courts as such.

Below the Limit at the Time of Driving:

If a client’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level was at or just above the per se limit of 0.08% then there could be a good argument made that at the time you were driving your BAC level was below the limit. This is usually referred to as the “rising defense” and could be very favorable in the outcome of your case if presented correctly.

Mechanical Error

One of the most popular DUI defenses that are used in criminal courts in California is claiming mechanical error on the part of the breathalyzer equipment. If you were tested using a breathalyzer, then we will often times subpoena the evidence to get the latest date that the machine was calibrated. We will also check to see if there were any contaminating factors during the test, such as the presence of mouthwash, food, or drink within 15 minutes of taking the test.

Probable Cause for Initial Traffic Stop

Another one of the most successful DUI defenses that we use to help your case will be examining your constitutional rights. In order for a police officer to pull you over, they need to have a probable cause that you were engaged in a criminal activity or violated some type of law. Generally a police officer will pull someone over for reckless driving, speeding, expired registration, no license plate, etc… If their reason for pulling you over was based on intuition or did not have to do with a criminal act, then we may be able to have all evidence collected thrown out – even admissions of drinking, blood and breath tests.

Innocent Explanations Of Symptoms

You know the routine- a police officer will say in their complaint that you had red eyes, a flushed face, and did not walk correctly. They will use this information against you, saying that it is indicative that you were under the influence of alcohol. However, common defenses against this type of evidence are that there are several perfectly legal explanations for each of these symptoms. For example, allergies can cause red eyes and prior injuries or fatigue can result in you walking in a way that is not considered perfectly normal. We use any and all information you provide us to be able to combat and defend against an officers claims against you.

The Sober Driver Defense

One of the most common DUI defenses that are used to discredit police officers who are being cross-examined during your hearing is referred to the Sober Driver defense. In essence, we would ask the police officer about the different driving conditions that they observed while you were driving. If you made a single mistake that caused you to get pulled over- not signaling for example- but you were still driving the speed limit and not swerving, the attorney would say that your driving was not actually affected by your blood alcohol. After all, the majority of driving offenses are committed by sober people, who usually only make a single mistake, like failing to signal.

These are just some of the DUI defenses that we can use to help you during your DUI case.

The DMV is going to want to suspend your license and you only typically have 10 days to schedule or request your hearing after your arrest date. A good DUI Defense attorney will subpoena the DMV for all available evidence and utilize any of their findings to try and get you the best possible outcome during your DMV hearing in order to save your license. In most cases we are able to get you a restricted license which would allow you to drive to court, DUI classes and work. 

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Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyers Serving the greater San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles Counties.