The short and long-term effects of a DUI charge in California often include legal penalties as well as personal and professional consequences. Many of the consequences can alter your life long after the conditions of the penalties have been met. For this reason, it is important to consult a DUI attorney to fight the charge.
An attorney can help you explore options for defense. In addition, your attorney will explore all of the facts of your case to try to establish your innocence or find discrepancies in how the case was handled. Even if you are guilty, your lawyer can request a plea bargain or a case dismissal based on whether your arresting officer followed legal procedure to the letter.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL PENALTIES OF A DUI CONVICTION?
The penalties for a DUI in California vary depending on the circumstances of your arrest, as well as any special circumstances. For instance, factors such as your criminal history, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), whether any injuries or fatalies resulted from your alleged drunk driving, and whether you were driving with a minor could all impact the outcome of your case.
In general, here is what you can expect if you are convicted of a DUI in Redlands, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, Banning, or the Southern California area:
- Jail time of six months to 16 years
- A fine of $390 to $5,000
- License suspension of six months to five years
- Mandatory ignition interlock device
- Mandatory alcohol addiction treatment program
- Probation or community service
By working with your DUI attorney in Redlands, California, you may be able to reduce your charge to reckless driving or public intoxication so that a DUI does not show up on your record. You may not be given the same options if you work with a public defender or stand before the judge on your own.
WHAT ARE THE PROFESSIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF A DUI CONVICTION?
Beyond the legal penalties, there are numerous consequences that you may face if you are convicted of a DUI. Some of the consequences include:
- Increase in insurance rates and SR22 requirements
- Loss of professional license or CDL
- Loss of voting privileges or ability to carry a firearm
- Inability to continue your education or get a student loan
- Loss of child custody rights
- Inability to get a job or find a place to live
In addition, you may arouse suspicion every time a company or organization performs a background check. Plus, you may have to sign a Watson advisement that will be used against you in any future DUI accident. If you are a non-citizen, you must explain your DUI conviction when you apply for a green card, change of status, or a visa.
WHY YOU NEED A DUI ATTORNEY
After your DUI arrest, you may be tempted to allow the court to assign you a public defender. While public defenders are good at what they do, they rarely have time to give your case the full attention it deserves. Since public defenders take on high workloads and several cases per day, they’re likely to enter a quick plea bargain or a plea of “no contest” to expedite the case and move on.
A private DUI lawyer has a legal team, resources, and the experience necessary to focus on your case and help you get the best possible outcome. Your attorney can explore the evidence, look at all documents, and determine if your rights were violated in any way during your arrest. They may also question the accuracy of the breathalyzer or the tactics used when arresting and booking you.
FIGHT YOUR DUI CHARGE WITH A SKILLED ATTORNEY IN REDLANDS, CA
Kassel and Kassel have represented hundreds of clients in DUI cases across Southern California. We can listen to your story, formulate a strong legal defense, and fight to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Call our law firm today for a free case assessment at our office in Redlands, California. We also handle cases in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, and Banning.