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San Francisco Bay Area DUI Defense Attorney

A DUI arrest is a harrowing experience in the State of California. An individual arrested for a DUI offense faces criminal penalties and DMV repercussion. Per California’s driving under the influence (DUI) laws, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol content (BAC) percentages:

  • 0.08% or higher―21 years old or older operating a regular passenger vehicle.
  • 0.04% or higher―operating a commercial vehicle.
  • 0.01% or higher―younger than 21 years old.

California law mandates that it is unlawful to drive if you’ve consumed illegal drugs, excessive amounts of drugs with alcohol in them, and prescription medication. If you are under the influence of drugs and you operate a motor vehicle, you could be arrested and charged with a DUI. The immediate action taken against any DUI suspect upon arrest is the revocation or suspension of driving privileges. With that in mind, here is an outline of what penalty and punishment to expect for first, second, third, and younger than 21 DUI conviction, and refusing BAC testing from the DMV and the criminal side.

First DUI Offense

In all states, first-offense DUI or DWI is classified as a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to six months in jail. Though individuals may be charged with a felony DUI if aggravating factors exist. The criminal penalties for a first time DUI offense in part depend on the facts of the case, criminal history, and prior criminal history. Nonetheless, the following generally takes place:

  • 48 hour jail time requirement (it is possible to have this converted to community service or work service).
  • 3 to 5 years of court probation; typically, the defendant does not have to report to a probation officer.
  • DUI School (the length varies depending on factors like your BAC at the time of arrest).
  • Up to $1,000 in fines. Keep in mind additional penalty fines and legal fees may be applied;
  • Immediate license suspension for at least 4 months; and
  • SR-22 filing.

An SR-22 is a form filed by your insurance company demonstrating that you meet certain insurance requirements. Is is an expensive auto insurance policy designed for DUI offenders and other high-risk drivers. Generally, you must have this type of insurance for three years after your driving privileges are restored, and only an insurance company can provide the SR-22.

As of July 2010, all first time offenders and repeat DUI offenders convicted in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare Counties are required to install and maintain, for a specific period of time, an installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles they own and operate and pay a $45 administrative fee to reinstate their driving privileges. The DMV describes an IID as “a small gadget wired to your vehicle’s ignition that requires breath samples before you can start your vehicle, as well as periodically throughout your drive. If an IID detects alcohol on your breath, the vehicle won’t start.”

Contact San Leandro DUI Attorney John T. Bell for Consultation

Have been arrested and charged with a DUI? Contact Bay Area DUI lawyer at The Law Offices of John T. Bell for free consultation. Protect your rights, call us today.

Second DUI Offense

California law classifies any person who has been convicted of driving under the influence within a ten-year period as a repeat DUI offender. If you have been charged with a second DUI before the 10 year mark from your first DUI arrest, you are classified as a repeat offender. The second DUI offense results in increased penalties.

The following generally takes place:

  • Immediate two-year license suspension or a revocation of up to four years.
  • You must agree to complete the prescribed DUI program; usually 18 month program.
  • Install an IID on your vehicle;
  • File an SR-22;
  • 3 to 5 years of court probation; typically, the defendant does not have to report to a probation officer.
  • Required to pay a fine including court fees and legal fees, and
  • Mandatory jail time.

A second DUI has serious consequences, consult with an experienced Bay Area DUI attorney at The Law Offices of John T. Bell.

Contact San Leandro DUI Attorney John T. Bell for Consultation

Have been arrested and charged with a DUI? Contact Bay Area DUI lawyer at The Law Offices of John T. Bell for free consultation. Protect your rights, call us today.

Third DUI Offense

If this is your third time being arrested for failing a chemical test, a third conviction carries much more severe and stiffer penalties. The time offender are typically subjected to:

  • 3 to 5 years of court probation; formal or information. Informal means the defendant does not have to report to a probation officer whereas the reverse is true for formal probation.
  • Required to pay a fine, court fees, and other legal fees. This may amount to several thousands of dollars.
  • Immediate license suspension; a minimum of 3 years up to 10 years.
  • File an SR-22;
  • Mandatory jail time of 120 days, 210 days, or up to 1 year depending on the county; and
  • You must agree to complete the prescribed DUI program; usually 18 month program.

What Must the DA Prove to Convict You of a DUI

The prosecuting attorney must satisfy three types of criteria before convicting you of a DUI.

  1. Probable cause. The officer who arrested must have had probable cause to stop you. For example, you ran a red light, you were speeding, or you violated some other traffic law.
  2. Your BAC was above the legal limit. You must have violated the California’s DUI law by driving with an illegal BAC, or you refused to perform a chemical test.
  3. Your arrest was lawful.

If all of the criteria above is not satisfied, the charges against you should be dismissed. Contact our firm today to speak with an experienced Bay Area DUI defense attorney that can help you.

Contact San Leandro DUI Attorney John T. Bell for Consultation

Have been arrested and charged with a DUI? Contact Bay Area DUI lawyer at The Law Offices of John T. Bell for free consultation. Protect your rights, call us today.

(510) 895-4077

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Have you been arrested and charged with a DUI/DWI or drunk driving offense? Contact Bay Area DUI attorney John T. Bell for expert legal advice needed to solve your problem with the court and with the DMV.

Contact us using this form or call (510) 895-4044 and speak with an aggressive advocate who knows how to protect your rights in the court system.