For a first offense, they are:
Having a child under 14 in the car, speeding 20 mph on surface streets or 30 mph on highways, refusing to take a chemical test, or having one or more prior convictions within the previous 10 years will increase the penalties.
However, if your blood-alcohol level is below .15 and there are none of the enhancements listed immediately above, then you stand a good chance of avoiding jail time.
Each county in California has different sentencing policies and plea dispositions for DUI offenses. For example, one county may impose no jail or trash pickup time for a first-offense DUI, but never offer a reckless driving disposition. Another county may demand two days of jail time, but routinely wipe it out with two days credit for time served.
Within each county, plea and sentencing practices can vary from courtroom to courtroom, depending on the judge or the deputy district attorney assigned to the case.
The reality of sentencing statutes, and the judicial imposition of them, is that they are forever becoming more and more punitive. Some of the enhancements make sense, while others (e.g., 48-hour vehicle impound) offer little in the way of deterrence but instead are appeasement to victims’ rights groups.
Understand that the future potential consequences are severe if you are arrested and charged again with driving under the influence. That look-back period is forever increasing (legislation in 2005 increased the 7-year look-back time period to 10 years).
If you have been arrested two or more times for DUI, the court will look more favorably on you if you take immediate steps to address your drinking problem (e.g., daily attendance at AA meetings, outpatient or residential treatment with proof of it for the court).
The internet is the easiest and surest way to quickly compare the experience and focus of several local drunk-driving attorneys. Go to the About Me page and look for answers to these questions:
You can also obtain referrals from courthouse personnel, other attorneys, and people who have retained a drunk-driving attorney.
To avoid financial misunderstandings, when you meet with the attorney be sure to ask:
At your first meeting you should also discuss any relevant items on this handy Checklist of Important Facts and Legal Issues.
Yes, but no one familiar with the drunk-driving legal process would advise it. A few of dozens of reasons are: (1) the prosecutor will have no incentive to offer you a reasonable deal, (2) you will be unable to competently represent yourself in court, (3) your lack of experience is likely to make a bad situation worse, and (4) you will be unable to recognize when you have a valid defense.
No. However, if the officer failed to give Miranda warnings or provided them at the wrong time, some or all of your more damaging statements may be suppressed. The prosecutor will argue that the questioning was part of a preliminary investigation, conducted before you had been placed in custody, and thus Miranda warnings were not yet needed.
1. Getting a head start on community service work and enrolling in a drunk-driving school per your attorney’s instructions can demonstrate to the judge that you serious about straightening out your life. You might also end up with more pleasant community service duty than if the judge makes the assignment.
2. Keep a copy of all the papers related to your case in one place.
3. Obtain and give to your attorney full contact information for all fact witnesses. This includes full name, cell phone number, e-mail address, and name and contact information for a close friend or relative of the fact witness. Typical fact witnesses include: people you were with before being stopped, passengers in your car, and people you may have called from your car after the stop or from the police station
This look at the opposition’s playbook will give you greater insight into a drunk-driving trial than almost anything else you
This handy sheet explains what to do and mistakes to avoid for common driving incidents like traffic tickets, auto accidents,