If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, it is very important that you make contact with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The process of going through the California criminal courts and working towards a favorable outcome after a DUI is a complicated and overwhelming experience, especially if your legal counsel is inexperienced or does not have a successful history representing cases similar to your own. The best way to show up to your court dates confident in your case is by hiring an attorney that you trust, and that has a proven track record
Read more below to learn a bit about what the team at Perlmutter & Pourshalimi, Attorneys At Law can do for you during this stressful time in your life, as well as learning more about some general information regarding DUI charges in California and answers to some frequently asked questions. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation, where we will be able to speak directly about your specific situation, offer advice, and give you a better idea of how our history and experience will benefit you through this criminal case.
Fighting a DUI Charge
The criminal justice system in California would like for you to believe that it is a lost cause to fight a DUI charge and hope that instead of hiring a private DUI attorney, that you arrive at your initial hearing, plead guilty, and accept the penalties that they hand to you. This is never the appropriate response. There are so many individual details that go into each unique DUI case, starting with the traffic stop that led to the arrest, the field tests and breath tests that the officer requested the driver to submit to, the arrest procedure, and more. During each of these steps, there is an opportunity for a misstep on behalf of the arresting officers, which we will focus heavily on while working on your case.
Your rights must be upheld every step of the way, and if there was evidence gathered in a way that violated your rights, we will fight to have them suppressed. In some cases, it may be found that the premise for the traffic stop itself was a violation of your rights or a result of improper procedures, and we may be able to ask that all of the charges are thrown out as a result. While this is not a common outcome, the point is that you will not be certain that every detail is considered unless you are working with an experienced DUI attorney who has a deep understanding of California DUI law.
Penalties For DUI Convictions
If you are convicted of a DUI, there are sentencing guidelines that the judge will reference when determining the penalties that you will need to face. The following are an example of the guidelines for a first DUI conviction:
- Fines of up to $1000
- County jail for up to a year (no mandatory minimum)
- License suspension for 6 months (ordered by the DMV)
- Attend an alcohol education course
However, there are many different steps that we can take to attempt to reduce these penalties or eliminate them entirely. For example, if we are able to have your charge of a DUI reduced to reckless driving or some other similar charge, then the DMV will not suspend your license at all.
In addition, while there is a maximum of one year in jail that you may have to face for a conviction, there are many ways that we can work with a judge to avoid any jail time at all. We may be able to opt for a plea deal in some cases that will result in required alcohol education programs or a DUI course, paying fines, installing an IID for a period of time, or any other number of alternatives that will net a significantly more favorable ruling and sentencing.
Frequently Asked Questions about DUI in California
The following are just a few of the frequent questions that we get during our initial calls with clients. Whether or not you see your questions answered in the following section, the best way to get specific advice about your situation is to contact us as soon as possible.
Can I Get a DUI If I Pass a Breath Test?
If you are under the influence of mind-altering substances other than alcohol, they will not register on a breathalyzer test. However, if an officer suspects that you are impaired while operating your vehicle, there are a variety of other ways that they can determine if you are intoxicated or not, including urine and blood tests. You can also be charged with a DUID, which is specifically for a charge of driving under the influence of drugs, not alcohol.
Am I Legally Required To Submit To a Field Sobriety Test?
If an officer asks you to perform a series of field sobriety tests to determine whether or not you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are under no legal obligations to submit to their request and will suffer no additional penalties by declining. These tests are very subjective and rely entirely on the officer’s judgment to determine whether or not you “passed” or “failed,” meaning that they can be wildly inaccurate and fail to account for many variables. You can count on the investigating officer video recording your field sobriety exercises for courtroom presentation if you choose to submit to them.
Can I Refuse a Breath Test?
You are legally allowed to refuse a breath test during a traffic stop, but there will be consequences if you refuse a breath test or blood test after you have been arrested and taken to the police station. When you receive your driver’s license from the California DMV, you enter an agreement known as “implied consent,” which says you agree to take a breath test at any time. If you refuse the test, the DMV will suspend your driving privileges, and it is very unlikely that you will still be arrested for DUI. Unless you believe that your BAC is so high that it will cause serious complications for your case, it is a good idea to take the test.
Will My License Automatically Be Suspended After a DUI Arrest?
While there is something called an “administrative suspension” that the DMV will put into effect after you are arrested for DUI, you are able to file for an appeal within 10 days of the arrest. This is very time-sensitive, and therefore important that you act quickly. We will be able to help you develop a strategy for this hearing to increase your chances of being allowed to keep your license while awaiting the outcome of your case.
Contact Us Today
The sooner you contact us for your initial consultation, the sooner we will be able to build a comprehensive defense and identify all possible options to pursue. During your call, we will be able to discuss our history of outcomes for similar cases to your own, answer any pressing questions that you have, and get a better understanding of how we will be able to work together throughout your case.