California is one of the toughest states in sentencing driving under the influence (DUI) cases in the nation. Being arrested and receiving a DUI case is a terrifying ordeal. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the best thing you can do is educate yourself by contacting an experienced DUI lawyer. We will work hard to get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed against you.
Contrary to popular belief, DUI cases are not simple. DUI charges are serious offenses and the courts take them seriously, and so should you.
Driving under the influence is commonly called "drunk driving". A person does not have to be “drunk” in order to be charged with a DUI. Driving skills, especially judgment, are impaired in most people long before they show signs of being drunk.
It is more accurate to refer to driving under the influence as "alcohol-impaired" driving because you do not have to be "drunk" to be impaired in your ability to drive a car.
A person can be charged with a DUI because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including prescription medication. In 2014, California created new statutory classifications for DUI offenses.
Now, there are additional charges that a prosecutor can file against someone that is under the influence of a drug or narcotic. The term drugs include both illegal and legal narcotics, stimulants, over-the-counter drugs, as well as legal prescriptions.
California Vehicle Code Section 23152(c) makes it illegal for a drug addict to drive a vehicle. The prosecutor can argue that a person is an addict if he or she claims that the drug in their system was consumed at an earlier date to still be charged with DUI.
California Vehicle Code Section 23152(e) states it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle. This count is dealing with prescription narcotics. While the prescribed medications are aimed to help, most people do not realize the danger in taking a prescription as directed and driving. Many physicians do not explain the problems that can arise when someone is driving while using medication such as California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f) states “it is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle”.
California Vehicle Code Section 312 defines a “drug” as any substance or combination of substances, other than alcohol, which could affect the nervous system, brain, or muscles of a person as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to drive a vehicle in the manner that an ordinarily prudent and cautious man, in full possession of his faculties, using reasonable care, would drive a similar vehicle under like conditions.
If alcohol is a factor in the arrest, the driver’s license is in jeopardy of being suspended or revoked. DMV will conduct an administrative action to determine if the suspension should go into effect. The administrative actions are independent of any criminal penalties imposed in court and it is important to discuss your DMV matter with a DUI lawyer immediately, including the requirement of installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle after a drunk driving arrest.
You must contact DMV within 10 days. This means that within the first ten days of your arrest you must request an administrative hearing with the California DMV, or your license will most likely be suspended or revoked. In most cases, even if you have a great defense, you will lose your license if you fail to request an administrative hearing. If you are unable to contact an attorney within 10 days, please see our Request for DMV Hearing form.
All DUI cases are different and every sentence is unique because each situation is different. For most first time misdemeanor DUI cases that do not have any other charges or enhancements, the Court will require:
Many people are unfamiliar with the court system and are likely not to understand the DMV process at all. When our clients are facing serious DUI charges for the first time, our DUI lawyer takes the time to explain the entire process. At your free consultation, we will tell you ALL the facts and will give you the best indication of what will occur in your particular case.
DUI charges are serious and you should discuss your case with a DUI lawyer that knows the best steps to take to avoid a DUI conviction. If you just received your DUI, make sure to contact DMV within 10 days to avoid your driver’s license being suspended.
If you are facing a first time DUI, contact the Law Offices of Tina M. Barberi, P.C. to receive a free and confidential consultation to discuss your first DUI case. You may contact us and we will request a DMV hearing for you at no charge and no commitments.