Palo Alto DUI Law Firms
Driving under the influence (DUI), in California, includes driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DUI arrest can result in suspension of your driver’s license, even if you are not convicted of the charge. You should never plead guilty to DUI without talking to a DUI defense attorney first. The consequences go far beyond the criminal penalties, and you will be setting yourself up for much stiffer penalties in the event of subsequent DUI’s.
California DUI and Your Driver’s License
In addition to the criminal penalties, such as fines and jail time, which come with a DUI conviction, there are several ways in which a DUI charge can result in suspension of your driver’s license.
If you are arrested for DUI, your driver’s license will be confiscated and you will receive a temporary license. Although this temporary license allows you to drive for 30 days, you only have 10 days to request a hearing the prevent suspension of your license. The police officer sends a notice of suspension of your driver’s license the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you have no prior DUI convictions and you consented to a chemical test, the DMV reviews the evidence and may suspend your license for up to four months. If you did not submit to a chemical test, and it was your first refusal, your driver’s license can be suspended for one year. This suspension is an automatic administrative action and is not related to the criminal side of your case.
If you are convicted of DUI, there is a mandatory driver’s license suspension of six months for your first conviction. The six months begins on the day that your automatic suspension began.
You may be eligible for a restricted license, while your driver’s license is suspended. A restricted license allows you to drive to and from work.
To get you license back, you must pay $125 reissue fee, have SR-22 certified insurance, complete a DUI program, and you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle at your expense.
Fighting DUI Charges
There a numerous ways to fight DUI charges in California. Never assume that you will be convicted, even if the evidence seems to be stacked against you. Examples of defenses which may be used in your case include:
- Improper police stop – lack of probable cause
- Improper breath test
- Breathalyzer was not calibrated according to California regulations
- Improper blood draw, storage, or transport
- Health conditions or diet which can affect BAC readings