DUI Punishments in California

When a driver in California is charged with a DUI, they are being charged with the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol. Since there is such a high potential for damage to the charged driver, other people that the driver may be around and property that could potentially be harmed by a drunk driver, the penalties for being convicted of this crime are swift, detailed and expensive. They are in fact life-altering but can be avoided if the conviction is avoided or if the case is dismissed based on some technical detail that the average citizen may not be aware of.

Those who are convicted of a DUI can serve anywhere from 96 hours to 6 months in jail for the punishment for first DUI in California. They can also look forward to a minimum of a mandatory 6 months of driver’s license suspension as the state of California takes the stance that driving is a privilege, not a right and as such, must be done responsibly. To avoid conviction, the driver will have to prove that they are a responsible driver an innocent of all charges, something that is often a daunting task.

To be sure that the driver understands his or her responsibilities as a driver and the impact that a DUI has, the driver will also be required to complete a DUI program. If they do manage to get a restricted license that enables them to drive to and from work, something that is entirely dependent on the will of the judge overseeing the case, it’s quite likely that the driver will need to install an Ignition Interlock Device. This device will prevent the vehicle from starting should the driver have alcohol on their breath. DUI under 21 California punishment is totally different from the one we are talking about.

Even in the judge is feeling generous enough to allow the driver to have a restricted license and even if the driver can afford to have the Ignition Interlock Device installed on their vehicle after they pay to have the vehicle released from impound, there is still the matter of insurance. Any driver who has been convicted of a DUI in the state of California must carry California SR-22 insurance. This is a high-risk form of insurance that is quite costly.

While all of the above DUI punishments in California and expenses are dealt with, the driver will still have to pay a $1,000-$1,600 fine. Keep in mind that the California DUI punishments listed above only apply to first offenders. Also, keep in mind that first offenders may do well to provide the proper evidence that will convince a judge that they have been an ideal citizen up until the arrest and possibly point out any flaws in the procedure of the arrest.

Subsequent offenders will find that the fines, incarceration time and license suspension times will all increase with each offense. Of course, convicted drivers may be successful enough in their legal pleas to be granted a suspended sentence. This only means that the driver must avoid arrest for any other charge, pay the fines and meet all of the other requirements. Failure to do so will result in the implementation of the full length of the original sentence.

DUI Charge in San Diego: Jail Sentence Alternatives

So you’ve been charged with drunk driving in San Diego, and it looks like the court might order you to go to jail. However, did you know that there are alternatives to going to jail? Depending on your previous DUI or criminal record, your San Diego DUI lawyer may be able to work it out so that you may not have to spend consecutive days and nights in jail. Here are just some of the jail sentence alternatives available in San Diego:

1. Go to jail on the weekends only – This is known as, of course, “Weekend Jail.” It’s also known as “City Jail,” and some police departments offer this type of program in which participants check themselves in and stay in jail during the weekend. This makes it easy for the offender to go to work during the week.

2. Alcohol or drug rehabilitation – As we’ve seen time and time again, jail does not fix the problem for many drunk driving offenders – especially those who are repeat offenders. Attending an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program can help to address those underlying psychological or emotional issues related to their addictions.

3. House Arrest – The offender is ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device such as an ankle bracelet to ensure that they remain in the vicinity of their residence. Sometimes the wearer can attend school or go to work. However, they must be back home at a particular time.

4. Sober Living Home – This is a type of living situation where everyone assigned to live in the home has to work on combating their problems with alcoholism or drug addiction. Most of the time the residents in a sober living home have to take 12-step classes or have one-and-one time with a rehab counselor.

5. Work Release – The offender works at a site chosen by the Probation Department or the court. They work there during the day but can go home at night to sleep.

6. Work Furlough – The offender works their regular job during the day, but they have to go to a dormitory-type facility to sleep at night.

Make sure to hire an experienced DUI lawyer in San Diego who is familiar with these types of programs. Your lawyer can assess which jail alternative would probably be the optimal choice for your particular case. The laws are different for every state, so it’s best to consult with your lawyer.

DUI Attorney San Diego: Preserving Your Freedom

You’ve been arrested for drunk driving and now need a DUI attorney. San Diego is not unlike other United States cities, in which drunk driving is not only socially abhorrent but carries stiff legal consequences. It is now too late to change the past, but protecting your rights and future is important. You could lose your ability to drive cars, secure employment or housing, pay expensive fines, and even spend time in jail if convicted of driving while intoxicated.
There are many reasons to find a DUI attorney. San Diego has a number of choices available, even if you do not have the cash to hire your own lawyer. Unlike most other crimes, driving while intoxicated is pretty easy to prove since the defendant virtually always has a breathalyzer, urine test, or blood test performed on his person. This shows with almost 100 percent certainty that the accused did commit the crime driving under the influence of alcohol.

The next step is to use one of the many resources available to locate the right DUI attorney. San Diego citizens can look on Craigslist for a criminal defense attorney, or even in the phone book. It is important to find a lawyer that has experience with DUI cases and can try to keep it out of the courtroom whenever possible. A good attorney can help you find resources such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and counseling to use long before the case ever goes to trial. This is a good way to prove to the judge and prosecuting attorneys that you made a mistake, but are trying to get help and should not have the rest of your life ruined by a criminal conviction because of it.

If you are a repeat offender or hurt someone in an accident, you need the most experienced DUI attorney. San Diego has little tolerance for people who continually break drunk driving laws, and a lawyer with many years of experience and a proven track record is essential to alleviate the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

Courts can also appoint a DUI attorney. San Diego, like other cities, has a public defender program for those who cannot afford to hire their own legal representation. You can still get quality help with a court-appointed lawyer but may need to take more initiative on presenting your case. Even if you are not an alcoholic, going to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous can go a long way toward convincing the state of California’s justice system to give you a one-time break.

DUI Attorney: Why Should I Hire One?

In 2018, it was estimated that over 10,000 lives were lost due to drunk driving. Alcohol-impaired driving crashes contributed up to 32% of all traffic deaths nationwide. Every 50 minutes, one more death occurs due to the drinking and driving. In the same year, Washington State alone lost 206 lives due to alcohol-impaired driving. The amount of injuries and deaths involved has stressed the importance of the active measures and penalties for DUI charges.

What are Possible DUI Penalties?

In Washington, a DUI charge is usually categorized as a gross misdemeanor. For such charges, the maximum DUI penalties that could be imposed upon someone are up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $5000. The degree of the punishment depends on an individual’s criminal history and the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). DUI penalties may include jail time or Electronic Home Monitoring (EMC), fines and fees, loss of license, probation, alcohol/drug assessment, and the ignition interlock device (a device that prevents the ignition of a vehicle if the driver’s BAC is over .025). Felony charges and more severe DUI penalties might be given under certain circumstances.

What Can a DUI Attorney Do For Me?

Not everyone knows a lot about law, especially state DUI laws. First, DUI lawyers can give you more information about your case. Second, experienced DUI lawyers may be able to get your case dismissed. Third, they make sure the procedures involved with your DUI charges are correctly executed. Any mistakes or errors found can be used to help you win your case. Fourth, since DUI attorneys have developed unique relationships with courts and the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), they can reduce DUI penalties or make the penalties more tolerable by suggesting penalty alternatives. For example, work service instead of jail time. Finally, a DUI lawyer can help you with more complicated cases. If you committed a DUI related vehicular assault or homicide, it is highly recommended that you hire a DUI attorney.

How Much Does a DUI Attorney Charge?

Most DUI attorneys do not charge for the first consultation. During this first consultation, you can ask for the overall cost of representation. Make sure to set aside an extra amount of money, in case additional fees occur during the hearing. Even if you are uncertain whether or not you wish to hire a DUI attorney, it would still be beneficial to gain some insights on your charge from an expert.

If you are considering hiring a lawyer, there are two types of payments: flat rate fees or hourly billing. Most people prefer the flat rate because they know the exact amount of fees they need to set aside. However, if your case does not go to trial, you are paying the same amount as others who are going to trial. For first time offenders who intend to plead guilty, the flat rate fees are between $500-1200 or more. Repeated offenders should expect $1500-$5000 flat rates. There is also an option of “Tiered Flat Fees” or flat fees that are divided flat fees into different stages.

Hourly billing allows you to pay precisely for the service you get, but you have much less control over the total cost. Hourly billing varies between $100-$300 per hour.

If your case goes to trial, the total cost can vary from $2000-$25000, either flat rate or hourly.

If you are concerned financially, discuss with your DUI attorney about financing options. Some would offer credit payments or discounts. You can also ask the court to provide you with an attorney at the government expense. You can also try getting a private DUI attorney to work on the case for free, but such opportunities are hard to come by.

Driving Under the Influence – a Serious Legal Matter In Seattle

Operating an automobile safely is tough enough under optimal conditions. Now add in the mind-altering effects of alcohol, and driving becomes nearly impossible. Driving while intoxicated is one of the most dangerous and deadly crimes committed throughout the United States today. A Seattle DUI involves driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, even under the influence of a prescription drug.
Driving while intoxicated occurs when a driver is mentally impaired; therefore their motor skills are weakened. Reflexes are diminished to the point where your reaction time is no longer sufficient to make smart, fundamental decisions in a short period. Knowing this, it is easy to see why driving under the influence is so dangerous.

A DUI arrest means consequences in the form of jail time, hefty fines and penalties such as the loss of your driver’s license. Fines range into the thousands of dollars to be paid to the state, country or township. The loss of the driver’s license is anywhere from 30 days to many years.

The blood alcohol content limit across all states is 0.08. If you were involved in an accident and the police suspect you of being under the influence, they can issue you a breathalyzer test which will determine the blood alcohol content of the driver. The police can also order a blood test to get a more accurate reading of your blood alcohol content if they wish. Failure to comply with a check is an automatic arrest. It is best to seek the counsel of a Seattle DUI attorney immediately.

Many states have a progressive DUI policy. This means a first-time offender may not receive the maximum penalty allowed under the law. Sometimes the judge will use some discretion when sentencing those convicted of DUI, especially if the accused pleads guilty and demonstrates remorse for their actions. A Seattle DUI lawyer can explain this more clearly and as it relates to your particular arrest.

Generally speaking, a first time DUI conviction could lead to a suspended driver’s license for up to a year, a hefty fine and community service depending on how high your blood alcohol content was at the time of arrest. Once your driving rights are eventually restored, several points are added as well as an increase in your car insurance premiums. Severe Seattle DUI penalties include jail time, court-ordered alcohol rehabilitation courses and even a lifetime suspension of your driver’s license. It is best to speak with a Seattle DUI lawyer no matter what your blood alcohol content was.

2nd DWI Offense In Texas

The law in Texas lists DWI 2nd offenders as those who have been arrested for driving with an alcohol content of 0.15 or more on at least two occasions in the previous 10 years. Texas has a very high DWI offender rates in the country, so the repeat offender problem is treated harshly in the state. This article will describe what you should expect if you or someone you know has received a 2nd DWI offense in Texas.

Evaluation for an alcohol or drug dependency needs to be allowed by the person as soon as the conviction. All those people with DWI in Texas 2nd offense convictions, regardless of their test, have to complete 36 hours of drivers education on the topic of the danger of driving while drunk, and alcohol or drug use in general. Lowering the rate of drunk driving is the aim of this program, on top of helping people with substance abuse trouble. Accepting individual responsibility, building self-esteem and learning productive behaviors is the primary goal of the course. This program is offered in many different areas, by various groups and charities who have been permitted to do so by the state.

If the person is found as having trouble with substance dependence or abuse, they may be given one of two options by the judge: facing jail time, or going to a rehab program. Those who have already had 2nd DWI offense convictions in Texas could look at the chance to go to a rehabilitation program a good option since the 3rd DWI offense in Texas is a felony.

How To Find a Qualified Seattle DUI Attorney

If you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence, then it is essential you seek the advice of a reputable Seattle DUI lawyer. Law enforcement officials take drunk driving very seriously. Laws concerning DUIs are not only severe punishment-wise, but they are also subject to increasingly open interpretation by the courts.

The penalties for a DUI conviction range from hefty fines to prison sentences. Some people have mandatory ignition interlock devices placed in their vehicles. This device requires you to blow into it to start the engine, and again every ten minutes while the vehicle is running. There are so many different negative implications associated with a DUI. Some can cause a great deal of shame, and many can be severely damaging to your career, family, and personal freedom.

Your first order of business is to find a qualified and experienced Washington DUI attorney to help you deal with the pending court proceedings. They will be able to assist you through the confusing mess commonly known as the DUI Process. It seems like finding a Seattle DUI attorney would simple; grab the phone book and find a lawyer who handles DUI cases. This is absolutely the wrong way of finding an attorney.

Don’t feel intimidated by a Washington DUI attorney. They are there to help you and are ordinary people just like you. The only difference between you and them is they are experts in the area of DUI law and can help you during your time of trouble.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when interviewing a potential Seattle DUI lawyer:

• Does the lawyer focus only on DUI defense or do they also handle other areas of criminal law? Just hire someone that focuses on and succeeds in DUI defense.
• Are items such as your court hearing, blood work, and expert fees included in their overall cost?
• If the lawyer guarantees they can win your DUI case, contact another attorney. No qualified DUI attorney makes any guarantees.
• Ask for a written contract to record all the expenses.
• Are they board certified by the American Bar Association?
• Are they a member of and certified by the National Association of Criminal        Defense Lawyers.

When interviewing a particular Seattle DUI attorney, choose someone whom you feel like you can work with, and make sure your needs and concerns are critical to them. If you don’t get that impression, contact another attorney until you find the right one.

How To Beat A DUI In Arizona

Arizona has some of the toughest DUI laws in the USA. Over the last ten years, the required sentencing and jail conditions have created a situation that many consider inhumane and harsh. If you live in Arizona or are planning to travel through you should be aware of this and have a plan should you get pulled over for a DUI?

How to beat a DUI in AZ

1. Don’t Drink and Drive – The most obvious and simple idea is not to drink and drive to begin with. Not only does it put you at risk for getting a DUI but it endangers you, your passengers, other drivers and passengers, and pedestrians. If you are going to drink alcohol, you should either have a designated driver, a taxi companies number or be able to walk home.

2. Know your rights – If you do get pulled over on suspicion of having a DUI, you should understand your reasons. You do not have to agree to a roadside sobriety test or blood test. You do have to give the officer your identification, registration, and proof of insurance. You can request the right to speak with your attorney.

3. Get qualified and experienced Arizona DUI Attorney – The laws in Arizona are continually updated, having an attorney who knows the rules well is going to be critical. It will also help if they see the court that you are appearing in and have some rapport with the prosecutor and judge.

4. Try to get your sentencing to happen after summer – If you get a DUI in Arizona, that means you are going to Tent City. Sheriff Joe has made a name for himself by being very hard on criminals. In fact, he has racked up a few hundred million dollars in fines for his department and Maricopa County for being America’s toughest sheriff. If you are going to go to Tent City, then you want to go in winter time ideally. The worst time is summer when temperatures reach well over 100 degrees, and there is no air conditioning. The food is famously known to be horrendous, and most inmates bring quarters along so they can get food from the vending machines.

5. Do not Repeat – If you do get a DUI and get through it be sure not to do it again. Arizona does not treat repeat offenders kindly, and you will get guaranteed jail time if you repeat your offence. After enough offence, you may find yourself in Prison which might have some A/C but will make you wish you were still in the Tents.

Overall I would suggest that you focus on the first suggestion the most when in Arizona. After that be sure to understand your rights and have a number for a reasonable attorney if you do get pulled over. From there on its just damage control and hoping you don’t lose your job.

Celebrities and DUIs: A Bad Example to Follow

It seems that almost every day you hear another story about some celebrity caught drinking and driving. From Paris Hilton to Ty Pennington they all seem to be in a rush to see who will be next to get a DUI. However, driving under the influence (DUI) also sometimes called driving while intoxicated (DWI) is no laughing matter. In fact, it is severe and will have a disastrously adverse effect on your life.
Now, it may seem as though I am a little melodramatic. Most celebrities charged with DUIs recently, have had seemingly light sentences. I think that there are several reasons for this that I will outline below.

The most important Factor in the relatively light changes and sentences given to Celebrities’ DUI cases are the fact that no one was injured or even Worse killed. This is by far the most critical consideration any a police force or judge will look at when charging and sentencing
people for DUI related crimes.

A second important factor is that celebrities can afford high priced experienced DUI attorneys for their cases. These lawyers will know exactly how to minimize the charges against their clients. This also helps result in seemingly light sentences and costs.
Finally, I think that there is a degree of celebrities getting lesser charges and lighter sentences from the simple fact that they are celebrities. Famous and rich people are often able to get there way in life, even if it does not seem fair. However, I think that this is the least important of the three factors.

However, if you are not a celebrity or at least rich, these last two factors will probably not help you. The most important thing will remain the circumstances surrounding your choice to drink and drive. Be advised though that any DUI charges you may receive will most likely be severed.

At an absolute minimum, you will have your driver’s license suspended for a period and probably have to pay a fine. For more severe offenses and repeat offense, you can expect jail time. Moreover, it won’t be a few weeks like Paris Hilton but more likely months or even years. I think that the leniency shown to celebrities in their DUI cases is also having a very negative consequence on the public attitude towards drinking and driving.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that continuing lenient sentences given to celebrities in DUI cases risks undermining the achievement by groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in reducing the number of DUI related fatalities in North America.

Therefore do yourself a favor don’t drink and drive. Even though celebrities get away with a light slap on the wrist, you probably won’t. This goes double if you have injured or killed someone. In these cases, even a high priced DUI attorney and the star power of Tom Cruise would be enough to get you out of that situation.

California DUI Penalties and Information

California does not take driving under the influence lightly, and throughout the past several years this state has created numerous Assembly Bills to make the punishment for driving while drunk severe. You will be arrested and charged with a DUI if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher; however, if you’re under 21, you will be charged if your BAC is 0.01% or higher. Below you will find all of the current information regarding California DUI penalties.

California DUI First Offense:

If you are charged and convicted of a DUI, and it is your first one, then you can expect to spend a minimum of 96 hours in jail and maximum jail time of six months. You can also plan your driver’s license to be suspended for a period of at least six months, and you may also be required to pay a fine ranging from $1,000 to $1,600.

Convicted of a DUI for the first time also required you to complete a DUI Program and you will also be required to apply for a California SR22 Insurance once your driver’s license is reinstated. It is important to note, that the judge may order an Ignition Interlock Device to be installed in your vehicle following your license suspension.

California DUI Second Offense:

Being charged for a DUI a second time may require you to spend up to one year in jail, or a minimum of 90 days. You will also be required to pay a fine that may range from $1,000 to $1,900, and your driver’s license may be suspended for a period of two years. You will also be required to obtain individual California SR22 Insurance once you can drive again, and the judge may need you to register with a Restricted Driver License.

California DUI Third Offense:

Having a third DUI conviction on your record is a serious offense. The state of California requires those who have three DUI’s on their album to spend 120 days to one year in jail and have your license suspended for three years. You will also face a fine that ranges from $1,000 to $2,000, and you will be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your vehicle.

Perhaps one of the worst penalties associated with a third DUI offense is the Designation of a Habitual Offender, which does not look well on background checks for employment or apartments.

California DUI Fourth Offense:

Having a fourth DUI offense in California requires you to spend 180 days to one year in jail and have your license suspended for four years. You will also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device within your vehicle once your driving privileges are restored. You must also pay a fine that ranges from $1,000 to $3,000, and you must also complete a DUI program, which is assigned by the courts.