THE INFORMATION ON THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN BY AN ATTORNEY LICENSED IN CALIFORNIA. The validity of information outside of California has not been verified. THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT MEANT TO CREATE A LEGAL RELATIONSHIP. David Nitka will only acknowledge an attorney-client relationship with those persons who have a signed retainer agreement with David Nitka or his law office.

Friday, December 17, 2010

LIFE AFTER A DUI - What you can expect and why you need a Lawyer.

Once a DUI driver is released from jail, it’s critical to address the legal issues that stem from a drunk driving arrest as quickly as possible. A California DUI arrest actually generates two separate cases – a Department of Motor Vehicles Case and court case.

An individual facing a driving while intoxicated charge has only only 10 days from the date of arrest– including weekends and holidays – to request a DMV hearing or risk having his or her license automatically suspended.

A California drunk driving court case begins with arraignment. The driver will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Every experienced DUI attorney will advise his or her client to plead not guilty at arraignment until the facts of the case can be examined and an appropriate defense strategy established.

There are many proven defense strategies available to effectively fight a drinking and driving charge, and many good reasons to fight a drunk driving charge in court. Some drivers fear that a DUI arrest means an automatic conviction, but that’s simply not true. It’s possible to fight and win a drunk driving case with the help of experienced legal counsel.

It’s possible to win both in court and at the DMV hearing to determine driver’s license status, but these procedures are extremely complex, and the cost of losing is high. An experienced Attorney can minimize the damage from the DUI court action and the DMV Action.

DMV Penalties
These penalties relate to persons over 21 years of age, who were not operating a commercial vehicle.

1. First Offense: Where a chemical test was performed, and the results show a BAC of .08 or more, the DMV will suspend the driver’s license for four months.
Where a chemical test is refused, the DMV will suspend for one year. In a first time DUI case where a chemical test is taken, a restricted license may be obtained. Please consult for details on obtaining a restricted license.

2. Second Offense: (within 10 years of prior offense): Where the chemical test is performed, and results are .08 or greater, DMV will suspend for one year. Where chemical test refused, two-year revocation.

3. Third Offense: (within 10 years of prior offenses): With chemical test resulting in .08 or greater, two-year revocation; with refusal, three-year revocation.

4. Fourth Offense (within 10 years of prior offenses): The punishment is the same, whether a chemical test is taken or not. In either case, there is a four-year revocation of driving privileges.
Take note: these license suspensions/revocations are separate and apart from any action taken by the court. These are only the California DMV Punishments. The courts have no problem imposing double punishment in the field of DUI law; that is, both the court and the DMV are taking the person’s driver’s license in separate processes related to the same event.

In any other area of the law, this would be considered double jeopardy. With DUI’s the court considers the court’s suspension to be punishment, but the DMV’s suspension to merely be an administrative sanction. Also, be aware that any suspension or revocation imposed by the court does not usually start to run until after the DMV suspension is over with. That means that these suspensions run consecutively, not concurrently.

As you can see, there are very harsh penalties imposed against those found guilty of a DUI, make sure to hire an attorney to help reduce penalties you face due to a DUI.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog, thanks for sharing the information. I will come to look for update. Keep up the good work.

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