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DUI Lawyer in Poway, California
Being pulled over for a DUI in California can be frightening and even life-changing. Depending on the circumstance of your arrest, you could potentially face thousands of dollars worth of fees or incarceration. While it can seem overwhelming to deal with a DUI in Poway, California, an experienced lawyer can help you fight the case and defend your rights.
Don’t let a DUI charge ruin your life. Attorney Dod of Dod Law is a trusted criminal defense lawyer in California with over 17 years of experience in successfully handling serious cases, including DUIs and other traffic-related accidents, who will work with you to develop a defense for your California DUI case. Regardless of your charge, your defense is in good hands with Dod Law.
What Happens After I Receive a DUI in California?
It is especially daunting to think about defending your DUI case alone in court. Luckily, you don’t have to fight for your rights by yourself. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the process of being charged with a DUI in California, which includes the following:
- After pulling you over, an officer will measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC is over .08%, you will be arrested. You may be released on bail or a written promise to appear in court after processing, or they may keep you in a holding cell for several hours, depending on your intoxication level.
- A report from the officer regarding the incident will be sent to a local prosecuting agency to be reviewed, where they will choose whether to file formal charges against you.
- Your driver’s license will be confiscated and suspended thirty days after the incident. You will be issued a temporary license after your actual license is claimed by an officer, which will remain valid until the suspension begins.
- Your confiscated driver’s license is sent to the California DMV, which will automatically suspend it unless you request a DMV hearing within ten days of the arrest.
- Requesting a DMV hearing in the ten days after the arrest will delay the suspension until your hearing is complete and a sentence is determined.
- You will attend a DMV hearing where an officer will ask three questions before deciding whether to suspend your license:
- Did the officer reasonably believe that you were driving under the influence?
- Were you lawfully arrested?
- Was your BAC at 0.08% or above?
- The DMV hearing is separate from your DUI court case, but you still retain the right to legal representation, which can help increase the strength of your defense.
- Losing your DMV hearing will cause your license suspension to go into effect for anywhere from four months to three years, depending on your prior DUIs.
- The actual California DUI court process will start with arraignment and end with an acquittal of your charge or sentencing. If convicted, your DUI case remains open until the end of your probationary period or until court-ordered obligations have been completed.
- You will receive an offer from the prosecutor during your DUI arraignment. Your case will be closed if you plead guilty, and the court will then sentence you. If you plead not guilty, you will be able to review or challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution.
- When the case enters pre-trial, your lawyer will use their resources to investigate your case and build your defense.
- Many cases of DUIs in California settle before going to trial, though you may need to attend a jury trial if the case is not closed during pre-trial.
The process for being taken to court in California over a DUI can take months, depending on the length of the pre-trial phase. Experienced criminal defense lawyers will be able to help you make sense of the situation and work with you to develop a strong legal defense that protects your rights and freedoms.
Is a DUI a Criminal Offense in California?
Although it may not seem like it, a DUI is considered a criminal offense in the State of California. Even a first offense will be viewed as a criminal one, regardless of whether or not anyone was hurt during the accident or if any serious property damage occurred.
In some circumstances, a DUI might be considered a misdemeanor offense, but many are felonies. However, provided that a defendant has not caused any serious injuries or damages, the first three DUI charges are viewed as misdemeanors if they occur within the same ten-year period.
What Are the Punishments for a DUI in California?
The consequences of a California DUI vary depending on the number of offenses and prior DUI convictions on your record from the past ten years, as well as whether anyone was hurt due to your driving. Certain penalties are in place for those who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, including:
- First-time offenders: A maximum of 6 months in county jail, up to $1,000 in fines, suspension of driver’s license up to 10 months, and up to 9 months of DUI school.
- Second-offense misdemeanors: 96 hours to one year in county jail, up to $1,000 in fines, suspension of driver’s license for 2 years, and 18 to 30 months of DUI school.
- Third-offense misdemeanors: 120 days to one year in county jail, up to $1,000 in fines, suspension of driver’s license for 3 years, and 30 months of DUI school.
- DUI misdemeanors with injury: 5 days to one year in county jail, up to $5,000 in fines, financial restitution for injured parties, suspension of driver’s license for up to 3 years, and up to 30 months of DUI school.
- DUI felony with injury: 16 months to 17 years in state prison, fines up to $5,000, financial restitution for injured parties, suspension of driver’s license for 5 years, and up to 30 months of DUI school.
- DUI felony with three or more prior DUIs within 10 years: 16 months to 3 years in state prison, fines up to $1,000, suspension of driver’s license for 4 years, and up to 30 months of DUI school.
If you are looking at the list of potential ramifications for being convicted of a DUI and feel nervous, your best option will be to work with a trusted DUI lawyer who can help you avoid the serious consequences of being charged with a DUI in California.
Work with a Respected DUI Lawyer in Poway, CA
You don’t have to fight your California DUI in court alone. Attorney Dod of Dod Law will represent you and work to help you avoid a serious conviction. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side who can help you build a strong case and defend your rights.
Don’t wait to start building your defense with an experienced DUI lawyer. You can reach out online for a free consultation or give us a call at 619-814-5110 to learn how Attorney Dod can help you today.