In the United States, driving under the influence is the most common felony. A DUI refers to driving while intoxicated by alcohol, whereas a DUID refers to driving while intoxicated by drugs. Even though these are distinct offenses, California law treats them equally in terms of fines and court proceedings. Both of these offenses are typically classified as misdemeanors under California law for first-time offenders, but it does not diminish the gravity of the charges.

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Find a Criminal Defense Attorney for a DUI

Drunk driving is a major issue in California, and it can result in car accidents and even death. As a result, the California Penal Code punishes DUI very harshly.

Following a DUI conviction, you can face a driver's license revocation by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, on top of fines and jail time (DMV). In DUI refusal situations, which happen when a suspect refuses to take a breathalyzer test, have special considerations.

DUI for the First Time in California

The first time you found yourself in a bad situation when you got behind the wheel of your car after getting one too many drinks at a restaurant, bar, or nightclub could be disastrous. A first-time DUI arrest is undoubtedly the first time you have ever been arrested, spent time in prison, waited to post bail and be released, and recovered from what is likely the worst night of your adult life. It's embarrassing and overwhelming, and law enforcement, to be honest, wants it to be that way. They want first-time offenders to remember it clearly and stop repeating the mistake in the future at all costs.

Some aspects of the poor experience for first-time DUI offenders are oriented toward justice system avoidance activity as well. You'll have to pay fines, fees, and expenses for attending lessons, as well as getting equipment installed in your vehicle so you can drive.

The following are some examples of possible penalties:

  • Due to penalties, costs, and other factors, fines will reach four times the original quoted amount.
  • In certain cases, 48 hours in prison could lead to a six-month sentence.
  • Suspension of your driver's license for four months
  • An alcohol recovery program that lasts anywhere from 4 to 9 months in most cases.

This is just the beginning. The legal system will have plenty in store for you, and you'll also have to deal with the personal chaos that a first-time DUI will bring. Problems in your relationship with your significant other, mounting debt, and the potential for a negative effect on your career are just some of the consequences of a first-time DUI.

MultiplDUI Convictions

What happens if you're arrested for a second or third DUI in California? In California, a second DUI charge is no laughing matter. A third DUI conviction is, of course, more severe. If you've ever been arrested for a DUI, you know how it feels to be taken to prison and then waits to be released so you can do the next thing that would be the most helpful. Multiple DUI convictions will forever alter the life and way of life for at least the next year and a half. Following a first-time crime, any DUI/DWI arrest will result in harsher fines and punishments, and things will only get worse.

If you are convicted of a second DUI, you can face the following penalties:

  • Up to a year in prison, with a likely minimum of 90 days.
  • Fines may be imposed.
  • A driver's license suspension that will stay on the record for up to two years
  • A prescription and/or alcohol treatment facility for up to 30 months.

If you get a third DUI, you may face the following penalties:

  • Up to a year in prison, with a likely minimum of 120 days.
  • Additional fines can be imposed.
  • You'll get your driver's license revoked for up to three years.
  • Another 30-month opioid and alcohol treatment program

If you get a fourth DUI, you'll face the following penalties:

  • A maximum of 16 months in prison is possible, with a minimum of 180 days.
  • A new collection of fines will be imposed.
  • Your driver's license has been revoked for a period of four years.

Possibility of a fourth arrest being upgraded to felony DUI, resulting in further limitations, fines, and penalties that may have a serious effect on your life.

If you've been charged with several DUIs, the first step should be to contact your highly trained and highly regarded DUI Criminal Defense Attorney. You'll never know or understand all that goes into determining whether a charge will be prosecuted or dismissed. However, your Criminal Defense Attorney will. They will examine all available facts as well as the State's attorney's proposed strategy before advising you on the next steps.

Is It Possible ForDUI To Become A Felony?

Many people who have been charged with DUI do not consider it to be a serious offense. In fact, when asked if they have ever been accused or convicted of a crime, many people do not share this information. DUI is, unfortunately, a felony. Most of the time, it's just an offense, which means the defendant would have to pay fines, potentially spend up to 48 hours in prison, and possibly even attend traffic school to complete the sentence part of the conviction. Furthermore, most DUI offenders who are charged with a misdemeanor DUI will be required to complete a probationary term. However, under certain circumstances, DUI is a felony as well as a crime.

In a few different cases, a DUI may be categorized as a crime. For example, causing an injury to another person while driving under the influence is a crime, and you would need the help of a DUI Defense Lawyer. Furthermore, if you have been charged with and convicted of three DUI crimes prior to the current charge, you may face felony charges. However, the prosecutor will decide whether to file criminal charges against you rather than misdemeanor charges in this case.

What Happens When You Have A DMV Hearing?

When you're arrested and charged with DUI in California, you'll almost certainly be asked to "blow" into a breathalyzer to determine your current blood alcohol content. If you refuse to do that, or if you take the exam and fail, or if you refuse to go to the hospital for a blood test, the arresting officer can fill out paperwork and send it to get your driver's license revoked, rendering you unable to legally drive at all.

If this happens, you only have a few days to appeal the suspension and have it overturned or rescinded in California. You only have ten days. If you skip this window for whatever reason, you will be out of luck and have no recourse. For most people who need to get to work and go about their everyday lives, this can be quite a hassle.

When you are arrested, the most important thing you can do is hire a great Criminal Defense Attorney – preferably one who is familiar with DUIs and has a track record in the legal system for obtaining results for their clients. And the reason for this is that there is a slew of ways for a DUI case to go wrong for the prosecution – especially when you appear before the DMV Admin for a suspension hearing – and there's a good chance you won't know what to look for or listen for in order to take a ng out of calibration, the arresting office and likely the District Attorney hope you don't "lawyer up" and try to represent yourself.

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Despite the fact that the DMV hearing on your suspended license is more or less informal, there are always rules and procedures to follow. If you don't know these, you risk accidentally walking into a hornet's nest that you won't be able to escape, or you risk missing out on crucial chances to support your case. The arresting officer must be present at this hearing, which is important because there are a number of ways to question the facts surrounding the arrest that you might not be aware of.

  • You will most likely think to question the breathalyzer's calibration as an example of this. And that's a shame because if the calibration wasn't performed in a timely manner when it was last serviced, the entire arrest goes down the drain, and their case is over – you're free and clear.
  • Criminal Defense Attorney, on the other hand, will know to look at it to see if it was a model in good working order with good records – if something is wrong with the machine, they have a fair concern about the arrest. The same can be said about other aspects of the arrest – they'd check and see whether the arresting officer's justification for pulling you over in the first place was adequate and accurate – if it wasn't, that's an open door they can use to get your case dismissed altogether. They will even look at the officer's advice to you on taking the test and whether it was given correctly.

You see how this is going – if there is something a Criminal Defense Attorney can hang their hat on with a DUI, they can, and you might be walking away without the penalty, or with a much less serious problem than you had before if they can't get it to go away completely. None of this is likely, though, if you attempt to avoid hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney and represent yourself in front of the DMV Administrator, only to end up in front of a judge in court.

What Happens During DMV Hearings

DMV decisions may have a long-term negative effect on your life, lasting years or even decades. A second, third, or fourth DUI/DWI will result in your driver's license being revoked for the rest of your life. A suspended CDL license can mean the difference between working and not working for commercial drivers. A suspended driving license can be life-changing for ordinary people who don't drive for a living because everyday activities, such as driving to the supermarket or picking up children from school, become more difficult. If a person is caught driving when their license is revoked, they can face a misdemeanor or felony charge.

DUI Law in California and Commercial Driver's Licenses

If your blood alcohol content is.04 percent or higher, you are guilty of DUI in California. If you have a commercial license and are convicted of DUI, your license can be revoked for up to a year, which is a huge setback for someone who relies on it for a living. Even if you were not driving a commercial vehicle when you were arrested and checked, the penalty could be applied.

It is critical to have a Criminal Defense Attorney with the experience to offer useful advice in navigating through the barbs in this sea of legal. Attorneys are critical to the protection of legal rights. One of the most valuable rights that any person may have is the right to counsel. Indeed, the United States Constitution has procedural provisions to ensure that anyone accused of a crime or convicted for one is given the opportunity to confront their accusers in a court of law. DUI defendants need legal counsel who can offer the kind of aggressive protection that every person is entitled to.

  • You can not give up if you have a commercial driver's license and are charged with a DUI. There's far too much on the line for that to happen. The prosecutor is responsible for proving the case against you. And it is your responsibility to cast doubt on their situation. You should present your defense with the aid of a DUI Defense Lawyer who has seen DUI cases before. Proving that the DUI checks used on you were unreliable or that the police did not use the proper procedures when stopping and arresting you will help you defeat the penalty.
  • Your rights and integrity are on the line if you've been charged with a DUI. A DUI Defense Lawyer will give you the guidance and advice you need to successfully defend your case in court. Awareness, expertise, and presence of mind are all important assets in litigation. Indeed, you can hire a Criminal Defense Attorney who not only has a track record of success but also has built relationships with judges and prosecutors. With this kind of background, the DUI Defense Lawyer you partner with would be able to help you get out of your jam.

You should not risk your life unnecessarily. Because of the severity of California's commercial DUI laws, you can lose your current job and have no chance of finding a new one. Many that have been charged with a DUI crime are vigorously prosecuted by the State. If you do not contest your detention, there would be no relief.

If you have been charged with a DUI, you can seek legal advice as soon as possible and begin planning your defense. It's your only chance to save your life and your job.

In California, refusing to take a breathalyzer is illegal.

When it comes to DUI stops and convictions, it's not unusual for cops and prosecutors to make mistakes. The law governing DUI and refusals to take a breather can be very complicated. It's important to know the truth while navigating this maze of law enforcement privilege and individual legal rights.

  • You have the right to reject a breathalyzer if you've been pulled over for a suspected DUI. This is an option in California for drivers over 21 who are not on probation for a previous DUI violation.
  • A breathalyzer is not the same as a blood alcohol test. By actually driving a car, you agree to the above. If you refuse to take a blood alcohol test after driving while intoxicated, you will face an extra penalty known as "refusal enhancement."
  • If you do not blow into the breathalyzer hard enough or are unable to give consent due to unconsciousness, you could be charged with an implicit refusal. It's important to note that if the officer on the scene performed the test improperly or the breathalyzer didn't function, you won't be charged with implied refusal.

You will be prosecuted if you fail to take a breathalyzer test. If you deny a breathalyzer but agree to another examination, you should not be arrested and definitely not charged. You were on the verge of being arrested from the moment you were pulled over. It could be possible to contest the fee depending on the circumstances surrounding your rejection.

In the following situations, hiring an experienced DUI Defense Lawyer will help you get the case dismissed:

  1. You should not have been stopped in the first place by the cop. Individuals are covered by the Fourth Amendment from illegal searches and seizures. If it is determined that the reason for pulling you over was inadequate, the case will be dismissed.
  2. You were not informed of your rights about the breathalyzer test by the officer. You are not required to take a breathalyzer test. If the cop who stopped you insisted otherwise, there might be grounds for charges to be dropped or the case dismissed.

As you can see, the law about DUI and DUI refusals is not so straightforward. There are several built-in safeguards for human rights, as well as ample opportunities to challenge a false charge. You will advocate for a better result if you hire the right DUI Defense Lawyer.

DUI as a felony in California.

If you have consumed alcohol in excess of the legal limit and then driven your vehicle, it is likely that you will be stopped by law enforcement and arrested for DUI at some point. It happens all the time – in fact, it happens all the time. It's very likely to be guilty of this even though you don't want to violate the law because the legal limit is hardly more than what you'd get from one beer (depending on your body size and composition).

If you have the unfortunate misfortune to be involved in an accident that causes physical harm or death to another human being while drinking and driving, you are immediately facing felony DUI and a whole new experience that could change the course of your life forever. While a regular DUI can be detrimental to your health and well-being, resulting in debt, damaged relationships, negative effects on your jobs, a restricted driver's license, and additional expenses from having a breathalyzer in your car, among other things, after you have gone through these things in about a year, you have a chance of returning to "normal" and not having a lingering shadow harmed your life.

Felony's DUI, on the other hand, is a different matter. The following are some of the consequences of a DUI:

  • Sentences range from 16 months to four years in prison.
  • Following a jail sentence, parole is granted for an unknown period of time and is subject to adjustment depending on the crime and conduct.

Additional monetary penalties

  • Your driver's license will be suspended for at least four years and possibly longer, depending on the circumstances.
  • completing a recovery program for alcoholism that lasts 18 to 30 months

And these are only the numbers that are identified. Other fines may be imposed, depending on the circumstances. A felony DUI conviction will also remain on the record for a long time – normally at least 10 years. A felony DUI conviction could result in a permanent mark on your record. You may forfeit basic civil rights granted to most residents of the United States, not to mention the other consequences of felony DUI.

You are likely to have a negative effect on your personal relationships and jobs, and you will have difficulty finding new work as a result of your conviction. Your credit will suffer as a result, and you may find it difficult to apply for and obtain housing where you want to live since housing is based in part on reputation.

In the event that you are convicted of felony DUI, the only thing that can support you is a knowledgeable DUI Defense Lawyer – someone who knows the legal system in your area and who knows who all the players are in order to get the best possible outcome for you.

Defenses to a DUI

When you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you can feel as though you have no other choice. However, if you find yourself in that situation, you might be able to use one of several defensive tactics.

The prosecutor can argue that you were driving with a dangerously high blood alcohol level or that you caused an accident while inebriated. A field sobriety test could also fail you. It's possible that these claims are valid, but it's also possible that they aren't. Even if they are correct, you can always fight for your rights and try to achieve the best possible results. This may include pleading guilty to a lesser crime or even getting the charges dismissed entirely.

Here are just a few of the many choices you have to battle your DUI case:

  • The cops had no reason to stop you.
  • Even though your car was stopped when the cops arrived, you were arrested.
  • And though you weren't in your car when the cops approached you, you were arrested.
  • Even though you were sleeping in your car when the cops approached, you were arrested.
  • You claimed to be at the scene to protect someone else, despite the fact that you were not the driver.
  • Despite your refusal to take field sobriety tests, you were convicted.
  • Despite the fact that you showed no signs of intoxication, you were detained.
  • You were subjected to illegal sobriety checks by the cops.
  • Owing to a health condition that made it more complicated, the field sobriety test was unreliable.
  • Because of your age, your field sobriety test was unreliable, making it more difficult.
  • Since your clothes or shoes made it more difficult, your field sobriety test was unreliable.
  • When the cops come into touch with you, they were biased.
  • You actually drank alcohol after driving but before being stopped by the cops.
  • You consumed alcohol shortly before getting behind the wheel, but it was absorbed into your bloodstream after you had completed your journey.
  • Your breath sample was not taken by the police within three hours of when you started driving.
  • Because you rinsed with mouthwash, the blood alcohol test was inaccurate.
  • Since you have diabetes, the blood alcohol test was inaccurate.
  • Because of bronchitis or asthma, the blood alcohol test was inaccurate.
  • Since you have stomach problems like GERD or acid reflux, the blood alcohol test was inaccurate.

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  • If you had vomited or burped prior to the exam, the blood alcohol test was inaccurate.
  • If you have residual traces of alcohol in your teeth from dentures or other dental procedures, the blood alcohol test was inaccurate.
  • Contaminants from the environment, such as poisonous fumes, oil, ethanol, or paint, had an effect on the performance.
  • The police could not observe proper protocols, such as waiting 15 minutes before administering the test or administering two tests no more than two minutes apart.
  • The results of your breath test were within the scientific margin of error.
  • The calibration and maintenance of the measuring system were both inadequate.
  • A blood test was given to you, but the technician did not properly shake the vial.
  • You had a blood test, but the technician used an alcohol swab to prepare the skin for the test, contaminating the findings.
  • A blood test was given to you, but the police did not follow the proper chain of custody procedures.
  • You were given a blood test, but the police could not obtain a warrant or obtain your consent legally.
  • The findings of your blood test were not held for at least a year, preventing you from having it retested.
  • The breath monitoring system used by the cops was not shielded from electromagnetic waves or other electrical interference.
  • The temperature, air pressure, and altitude, all of which can affect the results, were not taken into account by the officer who conducted your breath test.

Don't give up if you've been hit with a DUI. As you can see, there are a variety of defenses you can use in order to obtain a favorable outcome and potentially prevent losing your license or serving time in prison. Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your Cal Bar Attorney Search.

How to Deal with DUI in Another State

It occurs more often than you would believe. When driving in California, a driver with an out-of-state license is charged with a DUI. After receiving a DUI in California, a driver decides to leave the State. In this case, an out-of-state driver may need a Criminal Defense Attorney to represent them in their California case, or a driver may have already been convicted, which may entail fines, probation, and a license suspension. In the latter, a driver may complete all of the probationary requirements, their suspension period ends, and they complete a DUI rehabilitation program, while in the other State, a driver may complete all of the probationary requirements, their suspension period ends, and they complete a DUI rehabilitation program. However, when they apply for a new license, whether in California or elsewhere, they are denied. Have you ever experienced anything similar? If this is the case, you should be aware that you do have choices.

  • Option 1: You return to California to complete the DUI classes required by the court or the DMV. Then you'll be eligible to apply for a driver's license in the other State where you live or choose to get one. They would not consider completion of DUI classes in another state to lift the limitations because you were tried and convicted in California.
  • Option 2: You can apply for a new driver's license if you live in another state, but you will forfeit your driving privileges in California. If you've already returned to California, you'll need to fulfill the court and/or DMV provisions to reclaim your driver's license. This may include completing a DUI program, paying court and/or DMV fines, obtaining SR-22 insurance, and, if the DMV allows it, installing an interlock ignition system.

If you want to live outside of California, you can submit a "1650 waiver package" from the Mandatory Actions Unit of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

As a result, you'll need to provide evidence of residencies, such as a government-issued identification card or a utility bill. If you have a valid driver's license in your new State, the waiver will allow you to drive in California. If you decide to return to California, you will have to wait three years after receiving the waiver from applying for a California license. If you decide to return to California during that three-year period, you will be required to meet the criteria outlined in Option 2 above in order to obtain a new California driver's license.

DUI Laws in California for Minors

Driving under the influence (DUI) can result in serious penalties for California drivers under the age of 21. When it comes to underage DUI , the State has a strict zero-tolerance policy. If a driver under the age of 21 is arrested for a DUI in California, their driver's license is automatically disqualified or suspended. For a driver under the age of 21, the legal limit for a DUI is just 0.01 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). And if a minor refuses to take a chemical test, their driver's license will be immediately revoked.

DUI and Teen Drivers

Teenage drivers in and around Fresno are classified as having a special California state license. They're referred to as "provisional licensees." As a provisional licensee, a teen driver is subject to a range of laws that are not applicable to older drivers. This includes when they are permitted to drive, who can accompany them in the vehicle, and what BAC amount may result in a DUI arrest.

DUI Penalties for Drivers Under the Age of 21

Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or higher is illegal for drivers under the age of 21. Drivers in Fresno and the rest of California are subject to this zero-tolerance policy. If the police or highway patrol suspects you of driving under the influence, you will be arrested and subjected to chemical tests to assess your blood alcohol content (BAC).

If this is your first DUI violation, your license will be automatically revoked for one year if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is greater than 0.01 percent or if you fail to take the BAC chemical test or do not complete the breath or blood test.

Additional punishments can include required registration and participation in an alcohol and drug educational program, fines and fees, prison time (or a job alternative), and the installation of an ignition interlock system (IID) in your vehicle.

Even if a driver under the age of 21 is not under the influence, they can face penalties if alcohol is discovered in their car. It is illegal for a driver under the age of 21 to have alcohol in their car unless the bottle is complete, sealed, and has never been opened, and they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. A fine of up to $1,000, a one-year suspension of your driver's license, and thirty (30) days of vehicle impoundment are all possible penalties for breaking this rule.

What Do I Do If My Child Is Arrested foDUI?

No parent ever expects to get a call or a visit from the cops telling them that their child has been arrested for drunk driving (DUI). Although teen DUI charges are often the result of a lapse of judgment, this one-time error can have long-term repercussions, so it's critical that you move quickly to secure their future and freedom.

If your child has been charged with DUI, make sure to take these steps:

  1. Understand California DUI law: The first step in protecting your child is to familiarize yourself with the penalties that they can face under California law. Drivers of legal drinking age who are found driving while intoxicated face much tougher penalties than underage defendants. In California, there is a "Zero Tolerance" standard, which means that if an underage driver has any detectable amount of alcohol in their bloodstream, they will be charged with DUI. A simple underage DUI charge will result in a one-year driver's license suspension, costly fines, up to five years of DUI probation, and a prison term of two days to six months. Repeat offenders could face harsher punishments, as well as additional penalties if anyone was hurt or killed as a result of their intoxication.
  2. Recognize the long-term ramifications: No parent wants to see their child go to prison or face hefty penalties. The truth is that these are often the least of a child's concerns, with the effect that a criminal record may have on their potential prospects posing much more serious danger. A DUI conviction can lead to financial aid denial, rejection from some schools, skyrocketing insurance premiums, and significant trouble finding work.
  3. Make contact with a strong lawyer: An experienced DUI lawyer will be able to defend your child in court and use their negotiating skills to secure a charge reduction or dismissal with the prosecution. A council would be able to improve our child's chances of achieving a favorable verdict for their case – oftentimes long before a trial even starts – by contesting the reliability of breath and blood test reports and custom tailoring arguments to the mindset of the judge hearing their case.

Find a Pre-Screened DUI Defense Lawyer in California is a California Bar Association Certified Free Attorney Referral Service that can refer you to the best Criminal Defense Attorney fit to handle your unique case. Contact us through our 24/7 live chat (or fulfill our case submission form) for a free online consultation.