5 Questions You May Have About DUIs in California
Every state has driving under the influence (DUI) laws and enforces blood alcohol content (BAC) limits. In California the legal BAC limit is 0.08. If you were arrested for drunk driving in California, you need objective and accurate information about California’s DUI statutes and legal process. If you rely on information from family and friends, or even the internet, you may not fully understand your rights and the potential consequences.
If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a DUI, contact an Oakland DUI lawyer at Silver Law Firm to learn about your options. Call us today at (510) 995-0000.
Questions You May Have About DUIs
If you have recently been arrested for a DUI and are figuring out what to do next, here are five things you need to know:
Can I be charged with a DUI after taking medication?
Most people are under the impression you can only be arrested for a DUI if you have been drinking alcohol and driving. However, this is not true. You can be charged with a DUI if you are found impaired due to the effects of a controlled substance, a prescription medication, or even an over-the-counter product. For some of these drugs, you might be able to argue you took the drug legally because you had a prescription or it was over-the-counter. We can use a toxicologist to prove that your physical and cognitive abilities were not negatively impacted and you were safely driving.
Are BAC tests reliable?
Police officers and prosecutors would have you believe breath, urine, and blood BAC tests are highly accurate, and therefore reliable evidence. They want you to think that if your BAC registers at 0.08 percent or higher, this is strong evidence against you and a conviction is likely. However, BAC tests are far from accurate. Many factors can influence the outcome of a breath, blood, or urine test, including medical conditions, medications, mouthwash, and other legal substances and foods. You have the right to work with a lawyer who can properly challenge these results in court.
Will my driver’s license be suspended if I’m arrested for DUI?
Most of the time, if you are arrested for a DUI, the police will confiscate your physical driver’s license. You will receive a temporary license along with notice of an administrative license suspension. This is an administrative consequence of having a BAC above the legal limit or for refusing to submit to a BAC test. You must ask for an administrative hearing to stay the automatic suspension within 10 days of the arrest. You also face an additional driver’s license suspension as a criminal punishment if convicted.
Can I get a restricted license to drive to work or school?
There are different levels of a driver’s license suspension. A hard suspension completely takes away your right to drive. You cannot operate a vehicle without facing additional criminal charges. However, usually after a certain period of a hard suspension, you have the right to ask for a restricted driver’s license. This would give you the ability to drive to and from important functions like work, school, court, and medical appointments. If you were just arrested and given notice of a suspension, call us today.
If convicted, you must take and pay for DUI classes.
The potential penalties for a California DUI vary depending on whether you are charged with a first or a subsequent offense, whether you have a particularly high BAC, and whether any other aggravating factors are present. However, no matter all of these issues, if you are convicted of a DUI offense, you will be required to take a DUI education program. The higher your offense, the longer the program and greater the cost. The program after a wet reckless conviction is typically 12 hours long and costs less than $500. However, if you are convicted of a second DUI, you may have to take an 18-month class that could cost up to $2,000.
Let Our Oakland DUI Lawyers Help You
If you were charged with a DUI, you are facing more than an inconvenience. A DUI conviction leads to harsh consequences, including a permanent criminal record, spending time in jail, probation, paying thousands of dollars in court costs and fines, losing your license for more than a year, and having to take DUI classes. However, all of these penalties and more might be avoided if you work with an experienced DUI lawyer from Silver Law Firm.
We will carefully review your case to determine the strongest defense. This includes determining whether your rights were upheld. If the police violated your rights, we will challenge the initial traffic stop or arrest and seek to have the charges dropped. If an unlawful search or seizure led to evidence against you, we will file motions to have that evidence suppressed. We will also challenge the results of any BAC or field sobriety tests you submitted to.
To learn more about California law and how to defend against a DUI, call us now at (510) 995-0000.