Richmond DUI Lawyer
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offenses are crimes in California, and are prosecuted harshly by the California criminal justice system. A DUI conviction could result in large fines, jail time, and a driver’s license suspension. The consequences can be even more severe if you have prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years, or you had any “aggravating factors.”
At The Nieves Law Firm, our goal is to take the “criminal” out of criminal defense. We understand that a simple mistake like driving home after a few too many drinks can lead to serious problems. If you are charged with driving under the influence, our Richmond DUI lawyers are dedicated to helping our clients find a legal solution to help them understand the DUI process.
What Constitutes a DUI in Richmond?
In California, it is not illegal to drink and drive but it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to Vehicle Code §23152. A person is legally “under the influence” of alcohol if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 percent or when the drug or alcohol causes them to drive in a manner that is not consistent with how a sober person would drive. If the individual is operating a commercial motor vehicle, they are considered “under the influence” of alcohol with a BAC over .04 percent.
What about driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs? The Vehicle Code listed above also explains that it is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle. This includes driving a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. If you were charged with a DUI as a result of marijuana use, or even prescription drug use, a Richmond DUI lawyer could work with you to determine the best course of action in your case.
What are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Richmond?
The penalties for a DUI conviction in California are based on several factors. The number of prior DUI offenses the individual has and whether or not you had any aggravating factors like excessive speeds, collisions, high blood alcohol levels, or minors in the vehicle.
- A first offense DUI without any aggravating factors is punishable by a fine up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, an ignition interlock device, a 3-month DUI school, and a driver’s license suspension.
- The penalties for a second DUI conviction include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, an ignition interlock device (IID), an 18-month DUI school, and imposition of a driver’s license suspension that can last up to two years.
- A third offense DUI is punishable by a fine up to $1,000, a minimum jail sentence of 120 days up to one year, an IID, a 30-month DUI school and a 3-year driver’s license suspension.
- A fourth DUI can be charged as a felony and can include penalties such as a minimum of 180 days to up to three years in jail, a 30-month DUI school, designation as a habitual traffic offender, and revocation of driving privileges.
If you are unsure about the penalties you are facing, you should contact a DUI lawyer in Richmond as soon as possible. It is important to note that your punishment may be different depending on whether you had any mitigating or aggravating factors in your case, the age of any prior offenses, and even the length of DUI school completed in the past. A DUI lawyer could help you determine the penalties you are facing and work to build a defense to your charges.
Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases
Aggravating factors are specific details of the crime that increase the severity of the criminal act and can lead to more severe punishments if convicted. Some of the most common aggravating factors are:
- Prior DUI(s) A prior DUI conviction in the last 10 years will result in more severe penalties.
- Causing Injuries or Death Any person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs could face substantially harsher penalties if they cause serious bodily injury or death while driving under the influence.
- BAC Over .15 percent – If your BAC at the time of your arrest is over .15 percent you an enhancement can be added for the high blood alcohol which can result in longer DUI schools or additional penalties
- Minor Passengers – Driving with a minor in your vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in additional jail time pursuant to Vehicle Code §23572 and other terms of probation such as parenting classes.
DUI’s in Richmond, as standalone offenses, can result in many hardships and penalties – installing and maintaining an IID, loss of driving privileges, probation, increased insurance costs, fines and fees, and jail time are just the tip of the iceberg. If a person is in violation of any aggravating factor, these penalties can increase significantly. A Richmond DUI lawyer at The Nieves Law Firm could look at the details of your case and help you build a defense to your DUI charges and mitigate your exposure. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
Contact The Nieves Law Firm
At The Nieves Law Firm, we have experience handling DUI cases and we understand just how severe their penalties can be. These penalties can have significant long term effects on the lives of our clients and we take them just as seriously as they do. A Richmond DUI attorney at The Nieves Law Firm can consider the details of your case, your goals, and the evidence available to build a defense strategy that is tailored to you. Contact The Nieves Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation.