Experienced Rancho Cucamonga Lawyers Assist Clients Charged with DUI
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a crime that is prosecuted aggressively in California and elsewhere in the United States. The penalties for even a first offense of DUI in California can be harsh: mandatory periods of incarceration, hundreds of dollars in fines, restrictions on your driving privileges, and costs and fees associated with probation are just a few of the consequences of a DUI conviction. If you obtain multiple DUI convictions within a ten-year period, these penalties can be enhanced even further.
A DUI conviction can negatively affect your lifestyle and, more importantly, your livelihood. If you drive a vehicle for a living (a commercial driver or taxicab driver, for instance) you may find it impossible to continue with your employment after a DUI conviction. The fines and related costs of a conviction can impact your family’s budget and your ability to meet your daily expenses. The Rancho Cucamonga DUI lawyers of Schwartzberg | Luther, APC are available and ready to help you defend yourself against your DUI charges.
DUI Penalties in California
Driving under the influence is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense in the State of California. However, if the driver has accumulated at least three DUI convictions within a ten-year period and he or she is convicted of a fourth DUI offense within that same ten-year period, the driver may be charged with a felony offense. In addition, if the driver is convicted of driving under the influence and causing a car accident that results in an injury or death to another person, the driver may face felony charges. A person can be considered DUI if:
- His or her breath alcohol concentration is 0.08 or greater; or
- He or she is determined to be under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two that renders him or her unable to safely drive a vehicle.
The precise penalties you will face for a DUI conviction will depend in large part on the number of previous DUI convictions you have accumulated in the last ten years (referred to as the “lookback period”):
- No prior convictions: Up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines;
- One prior conviction: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines;
- Two prior convictions: Up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines;
- Three or more prior convictions, or felony DUI: Up to sixteen months in prison and $1,000 in fines;
- DUI resulting in death to another: Possible life imprisonment and a “strike” pursuant to the “Three Strikes Law” in California.
The above-enumerated penalties do not include other penalties or collateral consequences of a DUI conviction in California. For example, you can expect to be placed on probation for a period of time and have your driving privileges suspended or revoked.
Defending Yourself Against DUI Charges
Despite the scientific-sounding evidence available to the prosecution in a DUI case (blood or breath tests, standardized field sobriety tests, etc.), an experienced DUI defense attorney can help you attack the prosecution’s evidence. For example, you may be successful in your DUI case if it is shown that:
- The officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over;
- The officer did not have probable cause to arrest you for DUI;
- The breath testing machine was malfunctioning or produced an unreliable reading;
- The blood sample collected from you was not properly collected or tested.
Contact Schwartzberg | Luther, APC right away if you have been arrested or charged with DUI in California. They will move swiftly to protect your driving privileges and work to obtain a favorable resolution to your DUI charges. Contact their office at (909) 457-4270 today to schedule your free consultation with one of our seasoned California DUI defense attorneys.