Frequently Asked Questions about DUI
Our Lancaster Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains
What is a Calfornia DUI?
A DUI is issued when someone is caught Driving Under the Influence of
alcohol or drugs. In California, the requirement for a DUI charge is met
when someone has a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of at least 0.08%.
For drivers younger than 21, a BAC of 0.01% is enough to warrant a conviction.
What are the penalties for DUI?
The penalties for DUI vary depending on the offense. In general, though,
a first offense will result in 4 days to 6 months of jail time, a license
suspension of up to 10 months, and fines of up to $2,600. A second offense
can result in 1 year of jail time, 1 to 2 years of license suspension,
and $2800 in fines; and a third offense may lead to as much as 1 year
in jail, 3 years of license suspension, and $18,000 in fines. In addition,
the first and second offenses require the installation of an ignition
interlock device (IID) in your car.
What is an IID?
An IID (ignition interlock device) is installed in your car upon multiple
DUI offenses. Like a breathalyzer, it reads your BAC and will not allow
you to start your car if you exceed the legal limit.
Can I refuse a breath test?
Refusal to take any chemical test will result in a minimum license suspension
of 1 year. The length of the suspension increases for each consecutive
offense. Refusing to take a chemical test may also be used to convict
you in a court hearing. Under some circumstances, you may receive jail
time for refusing a test.
Why should I schedule a DMV hearing?
The purpose of a DMV hearing is to determine if your license will be suspended.
It is important to keep in mind that this is separate from your court
hearing. The only way to reverse a failed DMV hearing is to win your court
hearing — meaning a full dismissal of your charges. You should attend
the DMV hearing so you can attempt to retain your driving privileges in
the event that your charges are reduced or dismissed in court. If you
fail to schedule this hearing within ten days of receiving you arrest,
you will face an automatic license suspension.
Can I drive to work?
In most cases, you cannot drive to work after having been convicted of
DUI. This means that you will have to use public transportation or ride
with a friend or family. If, under certain conditions, you are granted
a business or hardship license, you will be able to transport yourself
to work and back.
How can I fight a DUI?
In the case that you have been charged with drinking and driving, it is
best to hire an experienced attorney. Our criminal defense lawyer can
defend you in a number of ways. For example, if we can demonstrate that
your chemical test was inaccurate, that particular evidence can be dismissed
from a trial. Other means of defense include proving that your rights
were violated during the arrest process, or giving evidence that your
BAC was lower at the time you were behind the wheel. In any case, we can
help you work toward a better outcome.