DUI Lawyer in San Marcos, California
If you have been arrested in San Marcos, California, for DUI, the last thing you want to do is hire the wrong legal representation. If the court convicts you of the charge, it can result in fines, jail time, and even a suspension or loss of your driver’s license. As your criminal defense lawyer will tell you, there are options for you to avoid these negative consequences. As one of California’s foremost DUI law firms, Dod Law specializes in helping those accused of drunk driving charges.
Being charged with a DUI is a serious matter that can negatively impact your career and home life. The experienced team of DUI lawyers at Dod Law will ensure that your rights are protected as we defend your case.
Defining DUI in California
Drunk driving offenses are classified as “DUI,” which is an abbreviation for “driving under the influence.” Although this can refer to any person who was operating a vehicle after consuming drugs and/or alcohol, drunk driving is the largest contributor to DUI offenses.
In the State of California, existing DUI laws prohibit motorists from driving any kind of vehicle (including a scooter or bicycle) while they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The sobriety level of a driver is determined through a breathalyzer, which can analyze blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Any individual caught operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more is immediately classified as driving under the influence.
It can be more challenging for law enforcement to analyze whether an individual is driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol, as there is not an equivalent device to a breathalyzer that can detect drugs in a driver’s system. As a result, many officers will ask for the defendant to participate in a field sobriety test to determine their capability as a sober driver.
Laws for drunk driving vary based on the type of driver behind the wheel. For commercial drivers, a BAC of .04% or more can lead to their arrest. The laws become more rigid for minors, as California has “zero tolerance” laws that make it illegal for underage drivers to operate an automobile with a BAC of .01% or more.
Penalties in San Marcos for a DUI
Being arrested can follow you for years, appearing on background checks and affecting new employment opportunities. Arrests can even lead to serious fines and long-term punishment, especially if anyone else was injured in the accident due to your actions. DUI convictions also create significantly higher car insurance rates. The endless list of penalties for a DUI charge proves how crucial it is to get legal help to build your defense strategy.
Punishments for DUI charges in San Marcos vary based on whether it was a first, second, or third offense and can include:
- First offense: Required attendance at an alcohol or drug program; a fine of $390–$1,000; 48 hours to 6 months in jail; license suspension or driving restrictions for 6 months
- Second offense (within 10 years): Mandatory attendance for 18–30 months in an alcohol or drug program; a fine of $390–$1,000; 96 hours to 1 year in jail; possible ignition interlock (IID) installation for up to 3 years; 2-year license suspension and potential license restrictions
- Third offense (within 10 years): 120 days to 1 year in jail; a fine of $390–$1,000; a 3-year license revocation; participation in an 18-month alcohol/drug program if you have not completed one after prior offenses
- Fourth or subsequent offense (within 10 years): 120 days to 1 year in jail; a fine of $390–$1,000; license revocation for 4 years; enrollment in an 18-month alcohol/drug program if one has not already been completed during previous charges; 2 to 3 years in state prison or on probation
The criminal justice system can be complicated to navigate for anyone, especially when you are at risk of being convicted of a serious crime. Don’t let the court or insurance companies prevent you from leveraging your rights to defend yourself.
DUI Defense Strategies in California
Being arrested on a DUI charge can make it feel as though your world is ending. The penalties for DUI charges can be intimidating and frightening. No one wants to spend time in jail if they can avoid it. When you work with an experienced DUI lawyer, they can work with you to build a strong defense that can get you a reduced sentence. Notable strategies for defending a DUI case in San Marcos, California include:
- Faulty field sobriety tests: When you are pulled over for a DUI, the officer on the scene may ask you to perform a test to determine if you are intoxicated. There are a variety of different tests, some of them being more valid than others. If an officer uses a nonstandard sobriety test, such as asking a person to count backward or place their finger on their nose, the results can be considered inconclusive and your criminal defense lawyer can use this information to change the outcome of your case.
- Faulty breathalyzer test: Similar to a faulty field sobriety test, a faulty breathalyzer can turn your case around. If the device used to check your BAC is not operating at the correct capacity or if it has not been recently tested and calibrated, the test can be considered faulty.
- Improper police conduct: If your defense lawyer can prove that the officer who arrested you or was present at the scene acted improperly or mishandled evidence, they can use their misconduct to build a defense.
Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer how they are going to approach the defense for your case. When you hire a DUI lawyer, it is important to remember that they are working for you. Together, you can structure your defense in a way that best suits your case and lands you a successful verdict.
Talk with an Experienced DUI Lawyer in San Marcos
If you are being charged with a DUI, don’t walk into the criminal process unarmed. Contact a trusted DUI criminal defense lawyer who can help you get your charges dismissed or reduced. For over 17 years, Dod Law has successfully helped hundreds of clients in the San Marcos area. Nationally renowned and committed to helping you, Attorney Dod is prepared to fight for you and your rights in a court of law.