DUI Charges in California
In California, it’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If you’re pulled over by law enforcement and they suspect that you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they can administer a breathalyzer or blood test to measure your BAC. If your BAC is 0.08% or higher, you can be charged with a DUI.
In addition to alcohol, it’s also illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, including prescription drugs and marijuana. If you’re suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, law enforcement may administer a drug test to determine if you have any controlled substances in your system.
Consequences of DUI Charges
The consequences of DUI charges in California can be severe and can include fines, license suspension, mandatory attendance at a DUI school, probation, and even jail time. The specific penalties you may face will depend on the circumstances of your case and whether you have any prior DUI convictions.
For a first-time DUI offense in California, you can face up to six months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, and a license suspension of up to six months. In addition to these penalties, you’ll also be required to attend a DUI school, which can range from 12 hours to 30 months depending on the severity of your offense.
If you have prior DUI convictions, the penalties can be even more severe. For example, a second DUI offense within ten years of your first offense can result in a license suspension of up to two years, fines of up to $2,000, and up to one year in jail.
Defending Against DUI Charges in California
If you’re facing DUI charges in California, it’s essential to work with an experienced DUI lawyer in California who can help you understand your legal options and defend you in court. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your DUI lawyer in California may be able to negotiate a plea bargain, find a legal loophole, or cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. Call the Hallinan Law Firm at (415) 837-3449 you may also email me at email@example.com
Is DUI a Misdemeanor or Felony in California?
In California, a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific circumstances of the offense.
Typically, a first or second DUI offense in California is charged as a misdemeanor. However, certain factors can elevate a DUI charge to a felony, including:
- Prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years
- Causing injury or death to another person while driving under the influence
- Driving under the influence with a suspended or revoked license due to a prior DUI conviction
- A first-time DUI offense without any aggravating factors is usually charged as a misdemeanor.
The penalties for a misdemeanor DUI conviction can include fines, license suspension, probation, and up to six months in jail. However, a second or third DUI offense within ten years of the prior conviction can result in increased penalties.
If a DUI offense results in injury or death to another person, the charge will likely be elevated to a felony. A DUI-causing injury conviction can result in up to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000. A DUI-causing death conviction can result in up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to the legal consequences, a DUI conviction can have a significant impact on your personal and professional life, including your ability to obtain employment, housing, and credit.
What is the difference between DUI and DWI?
DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) are both terms used to describe operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The primary difference between the two terms is the jurisdiction in which they’re used.
DUI is a term typically used in California and other states to describe the act of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In California, a DUI charge applies when a person is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
DWI, on the other hand, is a term commonly used in other states such as Texas, New York, and Louisiana. It typically refers to the act of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. In some states, a DWI charge may apply even if a person’s BAC is below the legal limit of 0.08%.
It’s important to note that the specific definitions of DUI and DWI can vary depending on the state or jurisdiction. Some states may use both terms interchangeably, while others may have separate definitions and penalties for each.
Regardless of the terminology used, a DUI or DWI conviction can have serious consequences, including fines, license suspension, probation, and even jail time. If you’re facing a DUI or DWI charge, it’s important to work with an experienced DUI lawyer who can help you understand your legal options and defend your rights.
DUI Lawyer California
Don’t face a DUI/DWI charge in California alone. Trust the experienced legal team at Hallinan Law Firm, led by attorney Neil Hallinan. Contact us today at (415) 837-3449 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation and to start building your defense.