DUI DefenseOver 20 Years Fighting Injustice
Long Beach DUI Attorneys
What to do if you're Arrested for DUI in California?
The State of California ranks high on the number of arrests for drinking and driving each year, with nearly 200,000 cases of it reported annually. Law enforcement has been on the lookout for any signs of intoxication while driving and will pull cars over if they suspect any form of illegal activity.
Our lead Long Beach DUI lawyer, Anthony Falangetti, has been included in the list of California Super Lawyers® for 2012-2014, denoting his hard work and achievement in the field of criminal defense. It is the goal of our firm that each and every client is treated with respect and dignity throughout the DUI legal process. Dealing with charges for driving under the influence can cause significant fear and stress. Get in touch with our competent and aggressive Long Beach DUI lawyers to better understand how we can assist you during this difficult time.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
Driving after consuming a few alcoholic beverages may not seem dangerous, but studies have shown even trace amounts of alcohol can impair a driver. Men who weigh about an average of 160 pounds only need two drinks before they will start feeling the effects and experience impairment. For women who are generally much smaller, it only takes typically one, maybe two drinks before putting themselves at risk on the road.
The higher up the BAC spectrum you go, you become less aware of the speed you may be traveling at in your vehicle and your concentration is debilitated. People may not be aware that all of these changes are occurring within their nervous system when setting out on the road and that while they feel fine they may actually be intoxicated.
Legally, the blood alcohol content (BAC) level limit is 0.08 percent for the State of California. While this may be the level at which you can be arrested for a DUI, lower levels of BAC can still affect your driving.
At 0.01% to 0.02%:
- Reaction time is lowered
- Attention span is shortened
- Steering may become sloppy.
At 0.03% to 0.05%:
- Standing becomes more difficult
- Response time to emergency situations is dampened
- Coordination is challenging
- The time it takes to process basic information is significantly altered.
Any percentage above 0.08 is considered illegal and can result in a DUI charge.
California Implied Consent Law
Under California's implied consent law, any driver who has been lawfully arrested, meaning the arresting officer had probable cause, is required to submit to a chemical test of their blood or breath to determine their BAC. If the driver refuses to submit to testing, they could face having their license suspended for a year, as well as stricter penalties if they are later convicted of driving under the influence.
These laws not only affect California residents, but any motorist in the state of California is subject to the law and could be held responsible if they refuse to submit to testing. It is important to note that you do not have the right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether to take the blood or breath test. It is therefore vital to your defense to contact a Long Beach DUI attorney as soon as possible if you refused to submit to testing.
DUI Penalties in California
Even a first-time charge for drunk driving can result in serious ramifications. When there are multiple offenses for DUI on a driver's record, the consequences can increase exponentially. In the event that anyone was hurt or killed by a DUI accident, felony charges may apply that could land the driver in prison for years.
The following is a list of the basic penalties for a conviction of driving while intoxicated:
First Time DUI
- Jail time from 4 days to 6 months
- Fines from $1400-$2,600
- License suspension for 30 days to 10 months
- Possibility of Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle
- Jail time from 10 days to 1 year
- Fines from $1,800-$2,800
- License suspension for 2 years, with a possibility of reducing the time to 1 year
- Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle
- Jail time from 120 days to 1 year
- Fines from $1,800-$18,000
- License suspension for 3 years
- Ignition Interlock Device installed in vehicle
DUI Defense Strategies
Questioning Proper Protocol
There is a certain protocol that law officers must follow when pulling over and arresting someone with a charge of driving drunk. They must have reasonable evidence to prove why they stopped the driver in the first place.
If at any point this protocol is not properly followed, the subsequent evidence against you could become inadmissible in court.
Questioning Testing Results
When performing any breath and blood tests, the arresting officer must wait at least 15 minutes and observe the driver before administering the test. During this time, the individual is not supposed to eat, drink, vomit, smoke, or burp because these can significantly affect the results of a breathalyzer test. These different actions all bring the alcohol up to the driver's mouth and breath, altering the BAC percentage rate.
The outcome can also be altered by certain health factors and illnesses such as:
- Being on certain diets
- Reflux diseases
Different chemical compounds within the human body as a result of these different issues can play a part in making it look as if the driver's BAC level is higher than it actually is.
It is essential that if you are facing charges for driving under the influence, that you hire a Long Beach DUI attorney that is knowledgeable on various prosecutor tactics and common ways to defend against these types of accusations.
Restricted License and Ignition Interlock
If you are charged with a DUI, you may face driver’s license suspension. However, you may be able to receive a restricted license. A restricted license will allow for limited driving to places such as work or school during part of your license suspension. If you have a restricted license, you will also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID).
Possible ignition interlock requirements:
- First offense – 6-month IID requirement following license reinstatement or a 12-month restricted license
- Second offense – 12-month IID requirement
- Third offense – 24-month IID requirement
The requirements for IIDs can be following your license being reinstated or they can be part of the restricted driver’s license.
Is it Possible to Reduce a DUI Charge in California?
Under some circumstances it is possible to plea bargain for a lesser charge called “wet reckless” if you are charged with DUI in California. A wet reckless charge reduces a DUI to a reckless driving charge.
The possible penalties for a “wet reckless” charge include:
- $145 to $1,000 in fines
- 90 days in jail
- Alcohol and drug awareness program
Obtaining the Legal Help You Deserve
As a former prosecutor, our team is well-acquainted with handling cases of drunk driving from the other side. This has enabled them to learn invaluable information on what the judge is looking for and how to defend against faulty sobriety tests.
Arrested for DUI? Contact our office today to learn about how our Long Beach DUI Attorney can best protect your rights.
At West Coast Defense, we know and have what it takes to win a defense case. That explains why we have such a solid history of success in the courtroom. Through the level of diligence, hard work, and personalized attention put towards every case, we have won many victories on behalf of our past clients.
- Case DISMISSED Charged with Battery
- Misdemeanors were dismissed. Carrying a Concealed Knife
- Case Dismissed Assault and battery
- ALL ALLEGATIONS WERE DROPPED Arrested for Violation of Probation
- All felony charges DISMISSED Arrested for Felony Arson
- CASE DISMISSED Arrested for Domestic Violence
- Case was dropped Arrested for Domestic Violence
- DRUG CHARGES DISMISSED Arrested for a Felony possession
- Case Dismissed Accused of sexual assault
- CASE DISMISSED Accused of Child Molestation