Martinez DUI Lawyer
Being charged with driving under the influence can be damaging to your job, family, and reputation. Fortunately, a Martinez DUI lawyer could be vital to your efforts to successfully defend yourself against these charges.
A DUI charge could result in the loss of your license, financial security, and freedom. With these significant rights at stake, you cannot afford to handle these criminal proceedings on your own. Enlisting the help of a skilled criminal attorney can be crucial to protecting your future.
Driving Under the Influence Charge
Under California Vehicle Code § 23152(a), individuals may not drive while under the influence of alcohol. Under § 23152(b), people may not drive when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures .08 percent or more.
Violating either of the code sections related to driving under the influence can result in both criminal charges and administrative license suspension proceedings by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In addition to license suspension, individuals may face mandatory jail time, fines, alcohol education courses, vehicle impoundment, and ignition interlock device installation. A qualified attorney in Martinez can be crucial in building a strong defense against DUI charges.
What are the Consequences for a First-Time DUI Offense?
State law distinguishes the charges and penalties for first-time DUI convictions and subsequent convictions. Any DUI conviction that individuals had within the past ten years counts as a previous conviction, but if it occurred more than ten years ago, it does not count as a prior conviction.
A first-time DUI charge is a misdemeanor offense, but the penalties still may be severe. Individuals may face a jail sentence ranging from two days to six months. State law requires a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours, which is waivable if individuals submit to an additional 90 days of license suspension.
This period of license suspension is in addition to the minimum four-month license suspension that first-time DUI offenders already will receive. A court also may order individuals to pay significant fines and costs, as well as complete a three-month alcohol treatment program out-of-pocket. Other costs and requirements may include the impoundment of vehicles for 30 days and the mandatory installation and maintenance of ignition interlock devices on their vehicles for some time. An attorney in Martinez could help someone facing a DUI charge minimize the potential penalties.
Subsequent DUI Charges and Penalties
The charges and penalties increase for subsequent DUI offenses, including minimum periods of incarceration. For instance, a second DUI conviction can result in a minimum 96-hour jail sentence, and a third offense can result in a minimum of 120 days in jail. Individuals are also likely to face increased license suspension periods and restricted driving privileges. This type of driving privileges allows people to drive back and forth to work and necessary alcohol treatment or counseling.
Subsequent DUI convictions often require a lengthier term of alcohol treatment, with some programs running for 18 or 30 months. Mandatory participation in these programs can be both costly and time-consuming. With this level of conviction, installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device also are mandatory once individuals regain driving privileges.
Other penalties that may result from subsequent DUI charges can include probation, impoundment of vehicles, or even forfeiture of the vehicle. The sanctions for a felony DUI conviction can result in years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines as well as permanent loss of driving privileges. Getting counsel from an attorney in Martinez when facing driving under the influence charges can be critical to a positive resolution.
Reach Out to a Martinez DUI Attorney for Guidance
Driving under the influence cases can move quickly through administrative DMV proceedings and the criminal justice system. As a result, you cannot hesitate to seek legal advice from a Martinez DUI lawyer. By contacting an experienced attorney right away, you may put yourself in a better position to resolve your case in your favor and preserve your driving privileges.
Every DUI case is different, and various factors can impact the charges and penalties that you are facing. You may be able to develop a more effective defense strategy with a legal advocate on your side.