Getting a DUI in San Marcos will disrupt almost every part of your life. A DUI conviction can result in you paying thousands of dollars for the fines, court assessment fees, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and mandatory DUI school. In addition, you can lose your license and spend time in jail.
If you’ve been arrested on a drunk driving charge, you should know that you are entitled to due process and can contest the facts of the charge. Getting help from an attorney who specializes in DUI cases can help you save thousands in penalties and possibly even keep you out of jail. Call us today at (310) 862-0199 to schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable DUI attorneys.
Getting a DUI Conviction in San Marcos Is a Big Deal
You may believe that a DUI conviction isn’t a big deal. After all, it is “only” a misdemeanor charge.
However, even as a misdemeanor, a conviction for a first time DUI can result in:
- Paying over a $1,000 in fines and additional court assessment fees
- Attending 3 months of mandatory DUI school (paid for by you)
- Installing an ignition interlock device in every vehicle you regularly operate (also out of your own pocket)
- Up to five years of probation
- Suspension of your license for up to a year (which could overlap with the DMV’s administrative suspension)
- Between two days and a month in a local jail
This assumes that you have no prior drunk driving offenses on your record and no aggravating factors happened during the incident. Prior offenses and certain aggravating factors can transform a DUI charge from a misdemeanor to a felony. In addition to more severe versions of the misdemeanor penalties, a felony DUI will result in:
- Going to state prison instead of a local jail
- The inability to vote for the duration of your prison sentence
- Losing the right to possess any firearm for the rest of your life
The prison sentence for a felony DUI will be substantially longer than the jail sentence for a misdemeanor DUI. You can face a minimum of 16 months in prison for a felony DUI. If someone was injured or killed, you could be facing 10 or more years in state prison.
You Need a Proper Drunk Driving Defense
After you’ve been arrested, a prosecutor might approach you with a plea deal. They could tell you that the evidence against you is strong and that it would be easier for you to take the deal. They might even say that the deal is less harsh than what you would get from a trial.
However, no case is unwinnable on its face, and the initial plea deal may not be as generous as the prosecutor suggests. Prosecutors and police officers in California make mistakes throughout the process. If you have a accept a plea bargain without a proper evaluation of the evidence, you may be agreeing to a much harsher penalty than is fair.
What a Proper Drunk Driving Defense Entails
A skilled DUI attorney knows how to examine the evidence and poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Any weakness in the charges against you means that you can face lesser punishment. In some cases, errors on the prosecution’s side may result in the case against you being dismissed.
Your DUI attorney will examine the fact pattern of evidence to determine what problems exist in the prosecution’s case. Your DUI attorney will look if:
- The officer had probable cause to initiate the stop
- The breathalyzer the officer used had been properly maintained
- If the lab that analyzed your blood sample followed the right procedures to ensure there was no contamination
- If there are alternate explanations for a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading, such as mouthwash, diet, or a medical condition
- The breathalyzer was administered well after the stop was initiated
These factors can all affect the prosecutor’s ability to get a conviction. Problems with these aspects of the case against you can result in evidence being suppressed. The suppression of evidence is a strong bargaining tool for a much more favorable plea bargain and could even result in the dismissal of the charges against you.
Speak with a DUI Lawyer in San Marcos Now!
Poking holes in a prosecutor’s case can be incredibly difficult. Even highly competent criminal defense lawyers can have trouble handling a DUI case if they don’t specialize in the field. Building a strong drunk driving defense requires skills that come from working on cases just like yours.
If you’re ready to learn how a DUI attorney in San Marcos can help you, simply fill out the form on this website or call (310) 906-4831. We will help you arrange a free consultation with a leading DUI attorney who can help you better understand the charges against you and let you know what sort of defense options are available.
The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can focus on building the drunk driving defense you deserve!