Have you recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI)? Whether you are a first-time or habitual offender, you can expect to face the consequences if you are found guilty.
Working with a reputable Sun Valley DUI lawyer may be the only way to avoid some of the more devastating implications of a conviction. You can further discuss your defense options and potential consequences when you contact our office to schedule a confidential case review.
How a Sun Valley DUI Attorney Can Help
Having a DUI lawyer in Sun Valley working on your case could be one of the best decisions you make when facing criminal charges. You can take advantage of a stronger defense when you hire an attorney who understands the intricacies of California DUI laws.
It is essential to have a criminal defender who is not afraid to pick apart the evidence obtained to determine which defense is most likely to result in your acquittal. You should also look for a legal advocate who has existing relationships with court officials. This way, the court may be more willing to work with you to obtain a plea agreement, enter a pretrial diversion program, or reduce or dismiss the charges against you.
DUI Laws in California
Under California Penal Code 23152, you can be charged with drunk driving if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in control of a motor vehicle. Generally, police will only need probable cause that you are under the influence to arrest you. This might occur if the police stop you for swerving, smell alcohol on your breath, you are slurring your words, or there are other signs of intoxication present.
You can expect to face DUI charges when your blood alcohol concentration BAC levels reach .08% or more. You can expect additional penalties if your BAC levels are .15% or greater. However, even if your BAC levels are not up to .08%, you could still face DUI charges depending on the specific details of your case.
The Prosecutor Must Meet the Elements of the Offense
The district attorney does not need to prove that you were actively driving a vehicle for a DUI conviction to stand. Instead, they will need to show that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in control of a motor vehicle. This means that even if you were pulled over at the side of the road and sleeping, but under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the state could opt to move forward with DUI charges.
However, your DUI attorney in Sun Valley, CA, will work tirelessly to determine whether the elements of the offense have been met at all. If you were not in control of the vehicle or impaired through drugs or alcohol, we may be able to get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Sun Valley DUIs Are Wobbler Offenses
DUIs in Sun Valley can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Offenses that can be charged at either level are known as wobbler offenses. Here, you may be more likely to face misdemeanor DUI charges if:
- You are a first-time offender.
- Your BAC levels were at .08% but less than .15%.
- No one was seriously injured or killed.
- There was no severe property damage.
However, you may be more likely to face felony-level DUI charges if:
- You have previously been convicted of a DUI.
- You are accused of causing severe bodily injury or death.
- You are accused of causing extensive property damage.
- Your BAC levels were at .15% or more.
Your Sun Valley, CA, DUI attorney will need to evaluate your stop carefully and the evidence obtained against you to determine whether you should expect misdemeanor or felony-level charges. We will be prepared to work with the state to get your felony-level charges reduced to a misdemeanor or dismissed where applicable.
What to Expect After a Suspected DUI in Sun Valley
When you are suspected of drunk driving, you may be scared and worried about what will happen next. Once you understand how the process works, you can rest easier knowing your DUI lawyer is here to handle your defense.
What Happens After the Police Stop
After your police stop, you will likely be asked to complete a field sobriety test or blow into a breathalyzer. California operates under implied consent laws, so you must agree to chemical testing, or your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of one year. Even if you are ultimately acquitted of the DUI allegations against you, a violation of California implied consent laws carries a mandatory license suspension.
You should refrain from taking steps to resolve the matter with law enforcement. Anything you say to the police can be used against you at trial. For this reason, as soon as you have a reason to believe police suspect a DUI, you should inform law enforcement that you would like to exercise your right to remain silent. Then, say nothing until you get your criminal defense lawyer on the phone.
What Happens After Your Arrest
After being arrested for a DUI, you will be taken to the police station or county jail for booking. You will remain in police custody until you are arraigned and bail is determined. You can sometimes get out of jail before arraignment by prearranging bail.
Once you have been officially arraigned on the DUI charges against you and bail has been set, you can then prepare to work with your attorney to figure out how to approach your case.
In some instances, it may be more appropriate to work with the state to enter a pretrial diversion program. You may also decide to file a motion asking that the DUI charges against you be dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute. In other cases, preparing a powerful defense strategy to present at trial will be necessary.
Reach Out to a Respected DUI Lawyer in Sun Valley for Help Today
If you are found guilty of a DUI, your entire life will likely be changed. If you hope to protect your future, you must take action to defend yourself.
Meet with an experienced Sun Valley DUI lawyer today to further discuss your prior criminal record, the consequences you are facing, and your opportunities to defend yourself. You can reach us through our online contact form or phone to schedule your no-obligation consultation as soon as today.