If you’re facing a DUI charge in Cypress, you could be looking at losing your driver’s license, hefty fines, and even jail time. Plus, a DUI conviction can affect your current and future career while impacting other factors in your life. But we believe one poor mistake does not make you a bad person. You shouldn’t have to pay for that bad situation for the rest of your life. And in order to defend yourself and possibly improve your outlook, you need a good Cypress DUI lawyer on your side.
Having the right lawyer can make a huge difference in your case. Many DUI defendants assume all hope is lost after their arrest, but that’s often far from the case. With experienced legal representation, you may be able to lessen your penalties, get your charge reduced, or even, in some cases, walk away free. But you won’t know until you reach out to an actual DUI lawyer. To get connected with a DUI attorney in your area for FREE, contact us at (310) 862-0199 or fill out the Free Case Evaluation form to the right today.
Is It Illegal to Refuse the Breathalyzer Test?
In Cypress and the rest of California, police officers can request you take a breathalyzer test either:
- During a traffic stop, before they arrest you.
- After the arrest.
If they ask you to take a breath test before arresting you, that test is known as the “preliminary roadside screening,” or PAS, test. This test is optional, and you can legally refuse to take it.
However, if you are asked to take a test after being arrested as police are processing you, refusing it can have consequences. This breath test is required by law. If you refuse to take the test at this point, you can face extra penalties (along with the DUI penalties you may already face) like a longer license suspension or extra jail time. This can range from 48 extra jail hours and one year of license suspension (for a first offense) to 18 extra days in all and three years of license revocation (for a fourth or more offense).
Because of the consequences, it’s in your best interests to comply with a breath test after your arrest. However, if you do refuse the test, it doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. But you should reach out to a DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to talk about your options. A DUI lawyer will know how to defend charges related to test refusal.
I’ve Been Offered a Plea Bargain. Should I Take It?
The plea bargain is a deal offered to you in exchange for pleading guilty to DUI. Chances are the prosecutor will visit you after your DUI arrest and try to offer you a plea bargain. In most cases, this initial offer is not actually a good deal—even if the prosecutor tries to make it seem that way. They may be using this plea bargain as a way to see whether or not you’re willing to plead guilty.
Some plea bargains can be very favorable to you, but that’s usually only after working with an experienced DUI lawyer who can fight for your best outcome. You should contact a DUI lawyer for a free consultation before accepting a plea bargain from the prosecution.
In successful plea bargains, you may be able to:
- Get your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving
- Reduce your sentence, such as dropping mandatory jail time
- Decrease your charge to a normal DUI in more serious charges, such as if your accident resulted in someone getting hurt
While plea bargains can be good for your case, it’s important to remember that winning your case completely is more favorable to you. Plea bargains are only the best option if you don’t have a chance of winning your case in court.
Prosecutors and even police officers will want to make it seem like a plea bargain is the absolute best chance, but they aren’t on your side. That’s why you need the opinion of a DUI lawyer who can look at the full situation and determine your best course of action.
What are the Penalties for a DUI in Cypress?
DUI penalties for Cypress residents are steep because the State of California has increased the consequences in recent years. If you are 21 years old or over, the severity of your penalties depends on whether this is your first offense or not, as well as whether your refused a chemical test.
All DUIs carry the following penalties at different severities:
- Admin per se license suspension, which goes into effect 30 days after your arrest
- Fines and fees, including court assessment fees
- Jail time
- Mandatory educational programs through DUI school
You may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, which is a machine that prevents your car from starting if you’ve been drinking. There are some “unofficial” penalties you may face too, such as higher insurance costs after a DUI.
Thankfully, you can fight the driver’s license suspension if you contact the California DMV within 10 days of your arrest date to request an administrative hearing. During this hearing, you can try to get your license back. A DUI lawyer can help you do this.
If you already have priors DUIs on your record within the last 10 years, another DUI will count against you and raise your penalties. But whether this is your first DUI offense or a subsequent offense, you need a good DUI lawyer on your side to fight for your rights. They will investigate your case and look for weak spots that move you toward the most favorable outcome.
Speak With a Cypress DUI Lawyer Today
Don’t let a DUI charge completely derail your life. One bad mistake doesn’t define you, and a DUI lawyer can help you fight for lighter penalties, lesser charges, or winning your case completely so you can move on with your life. To speak with a Cypress DUI lawyer and get a FREE consultation, call us today at (310) 862-0199, or fill out the form to the right. You’ll get a free case evaluation where you can discuss your situation with a top DUI defense lawyer in your area. Call today to get started.