The Different Types of Charges You Can Face in DUI Charges

California law has two code sections for drunk driving. One is charged under CVC Section 23152(a) for driving unlawfully while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under this offense, the arresting officer can arrest you for DUI based on observations of your driving conduct, responses to questions, physical appearance and performance on coordination tests known as field sobriety tests or FSTs. If you blew into a portable breath test or PBT and the results indicated a BAC of 0.08%, you can be arrested based on this alone. If you do take a test of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) by breathalyzer or blood and it indicates a result of at least 0.08%, you can be charged under CVC Section 23152(b) since it is illegal to drive with a BAC at this level. A BAC of 0.08% means you are legally presumed impaired regardless of any other evidence of impairment. For drivers under 21, you may not drive with any percentage of alcohol in your body. Commercial drivers are not allowed to drive with a BAC of 0.04%.  If you caused an accident with serious injuries or death, you could be charged with felony DUI along with assault with a deadly weapon or vehicular manslaughter.

If you face these charges, you need the legal services of one of our highly experienced Encino DUI attorneys. Call us at  (888) 754-9860 to schedule a Free consultation at your earliest convenience!

The Long and Dreadful Process of Dealing with a DUI Case

After your arrest, you will be asked to take a breath or blood test. If you refuse, you face a mandatory one-year license suspension unless you can show your refusal was reasonable under the circumstances of your case. If your BAC is 0.08%, you will be given a 30-day temporary license and court date for your criminal arraignment.

You also are notified that you have only 10 days to request a Per Se Administrative hearing before the DMV to challenge your license suspension. Call the Encino DUI Attorney Group to speak to one of our Encino DUI lawyers about the hearing. This is only to determine if your BAC level was 0.08% and if your refusal was unreasonable. Other issues are whether the officer had reasonable cause to believe you were driving under the influence and if you were lawfully arrested. Our Encino DUI attorneys can represent you at this hearing; cross-examine the arresting officer breathalyzer or lab technicians, and present evidence in your behalf. In numerous hearings, we have succeeded in having our client retain their regular driving privileges.

Your criminal proceeding is distinct from the DMV one, though if you prevail at the DMV hearing, this is strong leverage for getting your charges dismissed or greatly reduced. Otherwise, we will represent you at your arraignment and all subsequent court appearances.

The Penalties of First, Second and Third DUI Charges

A DUI is generally charged as a misdemeanor unless it is your third offense in 10 years or you caused a serious injury or fatality. In these cases, you face likely felony charges. A first DUI offense in Encino typically includes the following consequences:

– Likely 6- 10 days of jail or work release or up to 6 months based on any aggravating factors – 3-5 years of summary probation – Loss of driver license for 6 months or one year if your refused BAC testing – Mandatory 3-9 month attendance at DUI education class – Fines and court costs of $390 to over $2000 – Insurance termination requiring SR-22 insurance and greatly increased premiums

A second DUI conviction could result in a minimum jail sentence of 120 days and loss of your license for 2 years. Subsequent DUI convictions could mean a felony charge and an indefinite loss of your license.  There are also aggravating circumstances, even for first offenders, that can result in jail time and increased fines. These include refusing testing, having a BAC of 0.15%, driving with a child 14 or under or at least 20 mph over the speed limit.

Proven Defense Tactics from the DUI Experts in Encino

A DUI lawyer from the Encino Attorney Group can present any number of defenses to a DUI charge, including but not limited to:

–  The officer lacked reasonable cause to believe you were driving under the influence – You were not lawfully arrested – The officer failed to properly advise you of your rights – Your poor performance on the FSTs was not drug or alcohol-influenced – The breathalyzer was not properly calibrated or serviced – The high results of the breathalyzer was affected by external factors or your peculiar medical condition – Your BAC test was given at a time too remote from your arrest or driving – A blood test, if given, was contaminated or the technician did not follow protocol – Testimony from other witnesses regarding your appearance, activities and demeanor shortly before driving

There are other defenses available based on the individual facts of your case.  You have rights and the opportunity to present defenses that one of our DUI lawyers from the Encino DUI Attorney Group can discuss with you.

Call us immediately at  (888) 794-9860 if you have been arrested for a DUI in Encino or Los Angeles County.