- Plea Bargains
- Felony DUI
- DUI Penalties
- DUI Pre-Trial Motions
- Marijuana DUI
- DUI Laws
- Drivers License
- Prescription Medication DUI
- Under 21 DUI
DUI Frequently Asked Questions
DUI is a very serious topic of discussion, especially if you were arrested in the state of California. Over the years we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and answered each of them in this resource section. However, if you have a question that has not been addressed, please complete the form to the right and one of our attorneys will get in contact with you to discuss.
Dealing with Law Enforcement
In most cases, you can refuse the Breathalyzer as a passenger. DUI laws only apply to the person who is driving, and if you were not in control of the vehicle then police should not even ask you for a breath test. If they do, and you have not been arrested for DUI, you have the right to refuse.
Driver’s License and Insurance
California’s DUI laws are complicated, because there are two different ways to lose your license. Technically, all license suspensions are handled by the DMV, but they can go ahead and suspend your license on their own (known as administrative suspension or per se license suspension), or they can wait until the courts convict you.
DUI Penalties in California
Drinking and driving is not uncommon—many people get behind the wheel thinking they’re perfectly safe to drive. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t always agree. And even one DUI arrest can have serious consequences.
Getting a Lawyer
The US Constitution guarantees every citizen the right to an attorney. In theory, this means you can get a lawyer for free in a criminal case. But in the reality of the Los Angeles criminal justice system, many drivers charged with DUI do not qualify for a free lawyer.
How to Fight a DUI
Under California law, there are two ways to lose your driver’s license if you’re arrested for DUI. One is to be convicted of the DUI charge in court. But the other way can happen whether you are convicted or not—in fact, it often happens before you’ve even had your day in court. This is the “admin per se” license suspension, or administrative suspension, handled by the state DMV.
Living with a DUI
One of the most dreaded penalties of a DUI conviction is having your driver’s license suspended. It’s almost impossible to get around the Los Angeles area without driving. We use our cars to go to and from work, errands, and important appointments like doctor visits, seeing family and going to school. A single DUI conviction can take all of that away.
DUI Legal Glossary Definitions
Penalties and Codes
California DUI Penalties
DUIs carry a variety of penalties depending on the specifics of what happened, whether you refused a chemical test, and your age. But if you are 21+ and are accused of DUI only, the penalties follow a predictable—if severe—pattern.
California Vehicle Codes
California has a complicated set of driving laws known as the state Vehicle Code.
- CA Vehicle Code 21200.5 – Cycling Under the Influence
- CA Vehicle Code 23152 (d) – Commercial Vehicle DUI
- VC 14601.1 (a) – Driving With a Suspended License
- VC 14601.2 – Driving with a license suspended for DUI
- VC 20001 (a) – Felony Hit and Run Involving Injury or Death
- VC 20002 (a) – Misdemeanor Hit and Run
- VC 22350 – Basic Speed Law
- VC 23103 – Reckless Driving
- VC 23103.5 – Wet Reckless Driving
- VC 23109 (c) – Exhibition of Speed
- VC 23152 (a) – Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
- VC 23152 (b) – Driving with a blood alcohol of .08% or greater
- VC 23152 (e) – Driving under the influence of drugs
- VC 23153 – Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Causing Injury
- VC23221 – Drinking in a Vehicle
- VC23222 (a) – Open Containers
- VC23222 (b) – Marijuana in a Vehicle
- VC23224 – Underage Posession of Alcohol in a Vehicle
- VC 23540 – DUI Second Offense within 10 Years
- VC 23578 – Excessive Blood Alcohol or Refusal to Take the Chemical Test
California Penal Codes
- CA Penal Code 21A – “Attempted DUI” and Other Attempted Crimes
- CA Penal Code 1018 – Withdrawing a Plea
- CA Penal Code 1203.4 – Expunction
- PC 187 – Murder
- PC 191.5 (a) – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
- PC 191.5 (b) – Negligent Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
- PC 192 – Vehicular Manslaughter
- PC 273 (a) – Child Endangerment
- PC 647 (f) – Public Intoxication
- PC 995 – Motion to Dismiss
- PC 1203 – Probation and Probation Violations
- PC 1538.5 – Motion to Suppress Evidence
- PC 13519.4 – Racial Profiling
When you face a DUI charge, you need a competent Los Angeles DUI attorney to defend you. Our site exists to help connect you with an attorney who will come up with the best defense stagey based on the specific details of your case. Read more about us.
Giving Back to the Community
A friend of mine got arrested for a DUI in Arcadia and I came to court to support her. Her attorney, Steve, seemed to be very experienced and zealous on her behalf. Honestly, I didn’t think she had much of a chance, but he really pulled out the big guns and secured her a victory. If I ever got into a situation like that, I would want a DUI attorney like Steve.
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