A DUI charge is serious and comes with severe penalties. You can face a driver’s license suspension, heavy fines and fees, jail time, and more. But you have the option to defend yourself and fight your charges. An experienced Midway City DUI attorney can help you.
An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to navigate the DUI legal process, investigate your case, and look for weak spots that can get you a more favorable outcome. With a good attorney, you may be able to get a fair deal, have your charge reduced, or, in some cases, get your case dropped entirely.
Why Do I Need a Midway City DUI Lawyer?
A good DUI lawyer will have years of training and experience in winning DUI cases. They are on your side, and their goal is to win your case – allowing you to walk away free. But, even if that isn’t possible, they’ll work to negotiate a plea deal that’s actually fair to you.
You may be able to get your charge reduced to something less severe, get an alternative to jail time, or some other outcome that’s way better than pleading guilty.
There are a number of ways your lawyer will use to help you win your case, including:
- Investigating the evidence against you and pointing out inaccuracies
- Questioning the arrest process – whether police followed all required procedures and informed you of your rights
- Comparing the arresting officer’s police report with their testimony to look for inconsistencies
- Showing the prosecution your case will be hard to win and getting you a plea deal, such as a lesser offense, reduced charge, or dropped charges
If your DUI lawyer in Midway City pokes enough holes in the incriminating evidence, they can get key parts of it (or even all of it) thrown out. This will greatly weaken the prosecution’s case and leave you much better off.
What Penalties Can I Face for a DUI Conviction in Midway City?
DUI penalties vary according to several factors, such as:
- How many prior DUI offenses you have
- How severe your DUI offense is
- How intoxicated you were behind the wheel
- If you caused death, injury, or significant property damages
For first-time offenses, DUI penalties usually consist of a license suspension, jail time, a fine, and mandatory DUI school. While these may not sound that bad, they can often result in other repercussions.
Whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor, a DUI charge on your permanent record can impact your life negatively. It can be hard to get a job, apply for the military, or go to school. You could even lose your job if you drive commercial vehicles.
Should I Just Plead Guilty and Get on With My Life?
We know how stressful the DUI process can be. You might be tempted, and even feel pressured, to just plead guilty and not try fighting the charge. But in most cases, this is not a good idea. Here’s why.
Soon after your arrest, you’ll likely come under pressure from the prosecutor to plead guilty. The prosecutor may identify him or herself as being from the District Attorney’s office and act sympathetic or friendly towards you. Be prepared for them to also offer you a “deal” at some point, describing how bad a “regular” DUI is and claiming they can make you a better offer.
But it’s important to remember this person is not on your side. They are working against you, and any “deal” they offer is not as good as they make it seem. Therefore, you should never take a plea deal from the prosecution without consulting a Midway City DUI attorney first.
Is Pleading Out Worse for My Situation?
A guilty plea might seem like the easy way out, but it means you’ll be stuck with the state’s unfair DUI penalties and have no chance of getting a better outcome. By pleading not guilty with the help of a DUI lawyer, you may be able to get your charge reduced, suffer fewer penalties, or even win your case entirely and walk away free.
Even if the other side makes your case appear hopeless, remember this: they are hoping you will give in so they can win this case. The only person who has your best interests in mind is a DUI defense lawyer, and they can always see opportunities in a case that an untrained eye would miss.
What Happens If I’m Charged With a DUI As a Minor?
Under the California Vehicle Code (CVC) § 23136, California has a zero-tolerance policy for minors driving while intoxicated. Any trace of alcohol is grounds for an arrest and DUI charge in addition to other penalties.
For adults, the law only considers a BAC of .08% or higher as a DUI under CVC § 23152. For minors and people under 21, a BAC of .01% is enough to get you into serious trouble. Even for the first offense, the penalties associated with DUI charges are steep. Getting solid legal representation is extremely important when it comes to minors charged with DUI.
How Long Will I Have to Go to Jail for a DUI in Midway City?
All DUI sentences in Midway City and the State of California include a degree of jail (or prison) time, even if it’s a first offense. But this time varies greatly depending on your circumstances, and in some cases, a DUI lawyer in Midway City can fight for an alternative to jail or a reduced sentence.
Can I Refuse to Take the Breath Test?
There are two times when Midway City police officers are allowed to ask you to take a breath test:
- During the DUI traffic stop, before they arrest you
- After your arrest, as you’re getting processed
The difference between these two circumstances is vital to know.
The first situation is known as the PAS, or “preliminary roadside screening,” test. This test uses a breathalyzer or other similar device to detect the amount of alcohol on your breath, and it is optional. There are a couple of exceptions to this, however. First, if you are under the age of 21 or on probation, you cannot refuse the PAS test.
The second test is a formal breath test, and you are legally required to submit to it. If you refuse a breath test after being arrested, you can get charged with a “refusal” offense on top of your DUI charge. This can mean extra penalties like a longer license suspension or more jail time.
However, even if you get charged with refusing the test, it still doesn’t mean you will definitely be convicted. Even the most extreme cases deserve proper defense, and chances are your case has more options than you think. Consult with a DUI lawyer first to find out for sure.
What Kind of Defenses Can I Use to Fight Against DUI Charges in Midway City?
There are various ways you can fight against your DUI charges. You could:
- Prove that your rights were violated
- Prove that law enforcement had no probable cause to pull you over or conduct any tests
- Show that the tests conducted on you were inaccurate
- Prove that you weren’t behind the wheel or that you only drank after driving
- Use the rising BAC or mouth alcohol defense
- Request a retest of your blood sample by splitting it
As you can see, DUI cases aren’t hopeless to fight against. While there are some instances where you can get a good plea bargain, you should always try to prove your innocence completely by challenging the prosecution’s claims. To do this, you absolutely need to get a strong Midway City DUI attorney on your side to assist you.
Speak With a Midway City DUI Lawyer for Free Today
A DUI arrest is just the beginning. We know the legal process is stressful and complicated. Don’t face the judge and fight for your innocence alone. If you don’t know how to get started defending yourself from your charges, contact us today. Set up an appointment to meet our Midway City DUI lawyers today.