Quite a few people make the mistake of believing that a DUI is simple, and nothing important. A DUI, even a first DUI, may be open to challenge based on the facts and it is exceedingly important to fight if you do have a case, since DUI’s are priorable (meaning that if you have one and get another within 10 years, the penalties are increased. If you get two more they are significantly increased and it may be charged as a felony. After three in ten years, they will be felonies. Also, even after a first DUI, if you are later driving a car and have alcohol in your system and someone is injured in an accident as a result of your actions, you may be charged with murder. Employers tend to view DUI’s very negatively, especially if you have to drive a company vehicle because it may increase their insurance and liability. A conviction for driving under the influence will result in your California driver’s license being suspended or revoked, impacting your ability to get to work or run daily errands. You need to have an attorney from the earliest possible moment in the development of your case, including the DMV hearing as this may be used as a record to impeach you at a subsequent trial, if your testimony differs at all between the two proceedings.
DUI law is incredibly complex and fact specific. It is one of the only areas of law in which the jury may be instructed that they may presume you were guilty if your chemical tests are reported as .08 or above. There is also a second charge in which the people only have to prove (still beyond a reasonable doubt) that because of alcohol, you were unable to operate your vehicle with the same care and caution as a sober person.
You absolutely need an attorney, although you have the right to represent yourself. You will want to find someone well versed in DUI law, who is familiar with and able to spot available defenses, take the mystique from the “expert” witness that the prosecution will have testify against you, an attorney who understands how to challenge the chemical test, and who is adept at cross examining the police officer. Police officers testify quite often, especially in DUI trials, so they have quite a bit of experience and training in dealing with the jury.
We believe strongly in a team approach in building a defense against accusations of driving under the influence. You will be an important member of that team, and will be respected as such. Every client is an individual and every client has something to say. Many people who are accused of these offenses have never had any exposure to the criminal justice system and can feel quite intimidated and/or embarrassed. It is our goal to work with you for the best possible outcome.
Contact us for a free consultation today.