Do You Need To Talk To A DUI Lawyer In California?

It is imperative that you seek legal counsel from the best DUI lawyer in your area after being charged with driving under the influence in the state of California. A top lawyer knows the ins and outs of the DUI laws in the state and will represent you to the fullest ability. Don’t get stuck having to pay exorbitant fines, having your license revoked or undergoing community service; the expert DUI lawyer you choose from our network will ensure that your charges are dropped or dismissed. Call today to get your DWI claim underway.

Dealing with a driving under the influence charge in California is not easy. Even first time offenders don’t get off very easily and are hit with severe penalties. The most difficult aspect about incurring a DUI in the state is that DWI laws can vary greatly from city to city. However, California as a whole is tightening the reins on DWI punishments.

As of this year, motorists will have larger penalties when it comes to driver’s license suspension and revocation. The state also has employed a “no tolerance” policy for anyone who is caught driving under the influence under the age of 18 and for repeat drunk driving offenders. If you have incurred a DUI in California, the best thing to do would be to hire an elite team of Los Angeles DUI lawyers to help you fight your charges, and we are here to ensure you partner up with your ideal paralegal.

General Laws in California

The state of California has very strict penalties for DUI offenders that are minors, offenders under 21 years of age and for repeat offenders. Laws in California state that a motorist may be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if any of the following circumstances are present:

• If you are under the age of 21 and are operating a vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages. Persons under 21 may not have any alcoholic substances in their vehicle when driving alone. (Exceptions may be made for work-related driving).
• If you are under the age of 21 and your BAC level is .01 percent or higher.
• If you are under the age of 21 and are driving after having consumed alcohol in any form. This includes prescription drugs and over the counter medications.
• If you are over the age of 21 and your BAC level is .08 percent or higher.
• If you are a commercial driver with a BAC level of .04 percent or higher
• If you are under the age of 18 and have ANY measurable blood alcohol concentration.
• If you are a repeat offender and your BAC level is at .01 percent or higher.

How DUI Offenders are Penalized in California

If you have incurred a DUI in California and are found guilty, the following are the punishments that you may be issued:

1st Conviction

• Imprisonment from 96 hours to 6 months
• Fines from $1,000 to $1,600
• Driver’s license suspension for 6 months
• Mandatory completion of DUI Program
• Possible court order to install ignition interlock device
• California SR-22 Insurance required for restricted license

2nd Conviction

• Imprisonment from 90 days to 1 year
• Fines from $1,000 to $1,900
• Driver’s license suspension for 2 years
• Mandatory completion of DUI Program
• May be eligible to apply for interlock ignition device (IDD) restricted driving
• California SR-22 Certificate required for restricted license

3rd Conviction

• Will be designated Habitual Offender
• Imprisonment from 120 days to 1 year
• Fines from $1,000 to $2,000
• Driver’s license suspension for 3 years
• Mandatory completion of DUI Program
• Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device
• May apply for restricted driver’s license after 1 year
• California SR-22 Certificate required for restricted license

4th Conviction

• Imprisonment from 180 days to 1 year
• Fines from $1,000 to $3,000
• Driver’s license suspension for 4 years
• Mandatory completion of DUI Program
• Mandatory installation of ignition interlock device
• May apply for restricted driver’s license after 1 year
• California SR-22 Certificate required for restricted license

Repeat Offenders

California has a zero tolerance police for repeat DUI offenders. As such, the maximum possible penalty for driving under the influence may be issued to motorists who are convicted. Repeat Los Angeles DUI offenders may be denied application for a restricted license as well. The state of California takes all previous charges into account when issuing penalties for a new one. This may lead to a motorist being charged with a misdemeanor or felony DWI. All repeat DUI punishments are also affected by where the driver was issued the charge as well as the driver’s BAC level at the time of arrest.

Recent Amendments to California DUI Laws

As of 2011, California DWI laws have expanded the number of categories by which the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) can immediately suspend driving privileges when the motorist is suspected of driving under the influence.

As of 2010, California law requires the mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices. The state also shortened the time period in which driving penalties are restricted, including those for repeat offenders. In order for the penalty period to be shortened, motorists must pay all required fees and file an SR-22 insurance form.

California Assembly Bill 91 – Requires that ignition interlock device manufacturers provide information to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Also requires the DMV to establish a pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare that requires a driver to install an interlock ignition device and to participate in alcohol and drug assessment programs.

California Assembly Bill 1165 (Zero Tolerance Law For Repeat Offenders) – Makes it unlawful for a motorist under probation for a violation to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of .01 percent or higher.

California Senate Bill 1190 (Ignition Interlock Devices) – Lowers the minimum BAC level at the time of arrest to allow a motorist to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle as well as prohibits said motorist from operating the vehicle without the device.

California Senate Bill 1388 (Interlock Devices) – Effective July 2009, requires motorists to install an ignition interlock device immediately on their vehicles following conviction of violating DUI provisions as well as driving under a suspended/revoked license due to DUI-related convictions. The number of violations will determine the time period in which the device must remain installed.

California Assembly Bill 2802 (Reckless Driving) – Court must order DWI convict to participate in a program related to DUI education and treatment. Probation will be revoked if motorist does not enroll in the program.

California SR-22 Insurance  – Click here for SR-22 Insurance

If you have been convicted of drunk driving in California, you may be required to obtain a California SR-22 insurance policy. Also known as a ” California Proof of Insurance Certificate,” the SR-22 form is not a type of insurance, but a form of proof that you have certain types of insurance. It is filed by the driver’s insurance company to the state DMV stating that auto liability insurance is in effect for the motorist. It is typically required after a motorist has been charged with DWI, a number of other traffic offices, or an accident in Los Angeles, San Diego or San Francisco.

In California, if your license is suspended you are allowed to obtain a restricted license by the court, for which an SR-22 form may be required. If your auto insurance is cancelled, you will need to file for a new insurance plan within 45 days.

Seek Legal Help Immediately if You Were Charged with California DWI

If you have been charged with DUI, time is of the essence to fight your charges. Since penalties in the state are so severe, you need a top drunk driving lawyer to help you contest your charges. We are here to provide you with connections to the best and most sought-after attorneys in California who will take on your case and ensure the best possible resolution for it.

When you work with one of our elite Los Angeles, California DUI lawyers, you can rest assured that your charges will either be significantly reduced or even wiped out altogether. For superior legal counsel that you can rely on, turn to one of our esteemed California DUI attorneys today to discuss your options and file a case.

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