In California, getting a DUI is an extremely serious matter. In addition to fines and criminal penalties, there is also the impact on your driver’s license, the increased costs, and the potential damage to your job or reputation. When considering whether you need legal help in defending yourself against these charges, it is important to consider these ramifications. The following outlines what to expect based on whether you have any prior DUIs on your driving record, along with some of the defenses our San Jose DUI defense attorneys may be able to raise in your case.
Could You Be Facing a Jail Sentence for a DUI?
Under California law, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater. Law enforcement officials have the authority to pull you over, detain you, and press criminal charges in the matter if they have a reasonable suspicion you are operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance.
As drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and injuries throughout the state, California takes a strong stand against suspected DUI drivers. Penalties you face depend on whether you have previously been convicted on a DUI offense or whether anyone was injured as the result of your actions. These penalties include:
- First DUI offense: Fines up to $1,000, up to a ten month driver’s license suspension, and up to six months in jail.
- Second or third DUI offense: Fines up to $1,000, between two and three year driver’s license suspension, and up to one year in jail.
- For a DUI related accident resulting in injury: Fines up to $5,000, payment of restitution to victims, up to 16 years in jail, and a five year license suspension.
The lookback period for a DUI in California is 10 years. In addition to fines and other penalties, if convicted you will also be required to attend and pay for drug and alcohol education classes for a period of several months to multiple years.
Possible DUI Defenses
Under state law and California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) guidelines, there are certain procedures which must be followed both during the traffic stop and once you are placed under arrest. Failure to follow them could result in your charged being dismissed. Possible defenses to DUI which may apply in your case include:
- Improper traffic stop and police conduct;
- Improper testing procedures;
- Faulty DUI testing equipment and ‘false positive’ results;
- Problems with the evidence chain of command, which could have allowed for tampering;
- Failure to read you your rights when placing you under arrest;
- Failure to follow procedures in terms of allowing you a phone call, access to an attorney, and scheduling hearings.
Contact Our San Jose, CA Lawyers Today
With so much on the line in a DUI case, you the Jachimowicz Law Group on your side. To discuss your particular situation and how we can help, reach out and contact our passionate San Jose, CA DUI defense attorneys at 408-246-5500 today for a free consultation on your case.