CALIFORNIA DUI LAW: An Overview
Your drunk driving arrest has thrown a wrench into your life. You have never been arrested before. This is your first DUI. Will your license be suspended? Will you end up in jail? A Los Angeles criminal attorney can answer your questions regarding California’s complex DUI laws and help you through the legal process, often delaying or even preventing the suspension of your driver’s license and avoiding jail time. For multiple offenders or those with a case involving and accident and/or injury (VC 23153), the need for a lawyer is even more critical. The penalties for DUI in California are increasing every year.
California has two basic DUI laws, found in Vehicle Code section 23152, sections (a) and (b):
● 23152(a): It is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
● 23152(b): It is a misdemeanor to drive with .08% or more of alcohol in your blood
Although there is only one act, the law states that a defendant charged with a DUI can be convicted of BOTH offenses, but can only be punished for one.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important to immediately seek legal representation. You only have 10 days from the date of arrest to request a DUI DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing with the California DMV in order to prevent the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. It is important to note that you should request this hearing even if you do not hold a California license. Your Los Angeles criminal attorney will set a hearing date and properly represent you in order to preserve your driving privileges and allow you to continue to legally drive pending the outcome of the APS DMV hearing.
Punishments & Penalties
Punishments for a DUI arrest should not be taken lightly because there are severe penalties involved. When charged with violating California DUI laws, you will face proceedings in the criminal justice system and a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. You may be subjected to both criminal and civil penalties. Most drunk driving charges are misdemeanors but if other factors are present, such as injury, accident or three prior convictions, felony DUI charges are laid.
Understanding the California DUI laws for both proceedings is not simple. These laws are purposely drafted in a vague and complex manner. Because of the complexity of these laws, it is in your best interest to hire a Los Angeles criminal attorney as soon as possible. Conviction is not inevitable and a knowledgeable attorney will be able to either avoid or reduce the impact of the penalties.
We Can Help
At the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher, we know how stressful a drunk driving arrest can be. We are here to help. Mr. Gallagher has been handling DUI matters for over 12 years and our highly experienced attorneys and staff are prepared to guide you through this ordeal. For a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles criminal attorney, please contact the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher at (800) 797-8406.