If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Stanton, you may be worried about the penalties you may soon face. California punishes people severely for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, with thousands of dollars in fines, long stretches of probation and DUI education requirements, and sometimes jail sentences. Even before your conviction, the California DMV can automatically suspend your license.
Fortunately, you have several options that you can use to get your DUI charges reduced in California. While you’ll ultimately have to make some tough choices for yourself, a Stanton DUI attorney can help you understand your options. If you’d like to learn more and get connected with a skilled DUI attorney for free, you may fill out the information on the side of this page.
Sentence Reduction in California
A DUI charge in California comes with hefty punishments. A DUI conviction alone can lead to imprisonment for up to six months for a first offense and upwards of a year for subsequent DUI infractions. You may face a maximum of five years of probation for a DUI, and upwards of 30 months of mandatory DUI education classes.
However, California law does allow judges some discretion in sentencing. A judge may sentence you to as little as two days in jail for a first time DUI offense. The judge may waive a jail sentence entirely in exchange for probation and 12 hours of DUI education classes for certain defendants.
A sentence reduction is something that your DUI lawyer can negotiate on your behalf. In exchange for a guilty plea, you may skip a costly trial and receive a guaranteed, lower penalty. A leading Stanton DUI lawyer can evaluate the evidence against you and let you know if this is your best option.
Charge Reduction in California
Instead of a sentence reduction, you may instead be able to plea to a lesser charge. This is known as a charge reduction and may only be available in certain circumstances. Your prior criminal history, particularly in relation to DUI charges, plays a big factor in your ability to successfully seek a charge reduction.
In California, there are two general charge reductions you might seek: a wet reckless driving charge or a dry reckless driving charge.
Wet Reckless Driving
Under certain circumstances, you can plea to a “wet reckless” driving charge instead of a DUI. This charge is not one an officer will use to arrest you but is available at the prosecutor’s discretion. If you feel like you’d certainly be convicted of a DUI, a wet reckless charge may be a far better option.
A wet reckless charge can come with a fee that’s a third of the one you would pay if convicted of a DUI. Likewise, there’s a 90-day maximum jail sentence for a wet reckless charge, as opposed to the one year maximum for repeated DUI offenses. In addition, there is no criminal license suspension for a wet reckless charge.
While a wet reckless charge can be considered a lesser offense due to its decreased punishments, it is similar enough to a DUI charge that you may not want to jump on the offer. If you are arrested for a DUI in the next ten years, a wet reckless charge will count as a prior DUI offense for purposes of determining your potential penalties.
Dry Reckless Driving
A dry reckless driving charge may be offered to some people who were arrested for a DUI but had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) less than the legal limit of 0.08%. Sometimes, this offer may only be presented to drivers with no prior DUI history.
A dry reckless driving charge, unlike its “wet” counterpart, will not count against you if you face DUI charges within 10 years of your initial arrest. Likewise, it entails a lower range of fines, less time on probation, and both jail and DUI education programs are off the table.
You will still face a minimum fine of $145 dollars and you will also receive two points on your license. Even with an otherwise clean record, a dry reckless charge can still affect your insurance rates.
Beating a Stanton DUI
While getting your DUI charges reduced may sometimes be your best option, you may feel that you were wrongly arrested. In this case, accepting any plea deal could feel like a slap in the face. Instead of reducing your penalty, you might prefer to beat the DUI charge entirely.
With the help of the right Stanton DUI attorney, you may be able to mount a successful defense against a DUI charge. In general, a DUI attorney will evaluate your case for potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Your attorney may look for weaknesses such as:
- Not informing you about refusing chemical testing – Did the officer inform you that it was a crime to refuse a chemical test after you had been arrested? Did the officer inform you that a chemical test before being arrested was voluntary?
- Not having a solid justification for arresting you – An officer requires probable cause to make an arrest. Any arrest made without probable cause can be successfully challenged
- Inconsistencies in the officer’s report or testimony – Did the officer mistake who was driving the vehicle? Did the officer testify to a BAC of 0.08% but his report stated a 0.06% BAC?
The answers to these questions may lead to a prosecutor dropping the charges entirely. However, these are not the only potential defense you may be able to mount against a DUI charge. A trained DUI attorney will be able to examine the unique facts of your case and devise the best defense to the charges.
Call an Experienced Stanton DUI Attorney Today!
If you’d like to get your DUI charges reduced in California or possibly dismissed entirely, your best chance could likely come from hiring the right DUI attorney. The DUI lawyers at our firm have years of experience negotiating plea deals on behalf of clients just like you and may be able to help you get your DUI charges dismissed. If you’d prefer, you may make your free appointment by using the form on the side of this website.
Don’t let the stress of fighting a DUI charge alone get you down – contact us today!