California DUI Attorneys
At the Law Offices Of Taylor & Taylor, we understand that facing a DUI charge can be a complex and overwhelming experience.
Our dedicated attorneys can provide you with the guidance and support you need during this challenging time. With a deep understanding of California’s DUI laws and a proven track record of successfully representing clients, we are committed to assisting you in understanding your rights and options. We are focused on making sure that you have the information necessary to make informed decisions as you navigate the intricacies of DUI cases.
When you’re ready to discuss your case, contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Rest assured, your matter will be handled with the utmost care and consideration throughout every step of the legal process.
What Constitutes DUI in California?
In California, a person is considered to be driving under the influence if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This limit is lower for commercial drivers, at 0.04%, and 0.01% for drivers under 21 years old.
Furthermore, DUI isn’t limited to alcohol consumption. It also includes impairment due to illicit, prescription, or over-the-counter drugs.
The consequences of a DUI charge can be severe, including immediate license suspension, fines, and potential jail time. Understanding the laws and your rights is essential if you’re facing a DUI charge.
To get started, call our team at (562) 330-4173 today.
With an average of 32 years of experience, a top A-V rating, and a listing in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, the firm continues to be widely recognized as California’s premier DUI defense attorney's and has twice been recognized in the American Bar Association Journal for its specialization and unique technical support staff of former law enforcement, blood-alcohol and DMV experts.
Interrogation by an Officer
If you’re pulled over on suspicion of DUI in California, a law enforcement officer will question you at the scene. They may ask about your recent activities, particularly if you’ve consumed alcohol or drugs.
Although you are legally required to provide your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance, you are not obligated to answer questions that could potentially incriminate you. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects you from self-incrimination, giving you the right to refuse to answer such questions.
We mention this because law enforcement officers are not obligated to provide a Miranda warning before you are arrested and taken into police custody; however, you are still entitled to these rights when being questioned at the scene of the alleged crime.
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You should never drink and drive anywhere, but especially don't do it in la Jolla! Cops down here have nothing better to do ...Steven K.
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Breath, Blood, and Field Sobriety Tests
After pulling you over, law enforcement officers may administer certain tests to assess potential intoxication. These often include breath, blood, and field sobriety tests.
You are not legally obligated to submit to these tests unless arrested. Once arrested, however, you are legally bound to submit to a breath or blood test.
If you refuse to submit to these tests once in police custody, your license can (and likely will be) automatically suspended for up to one year. Mandatory jail time will also probably be added to your sentence if you are subsequently convicted of DUI.
The breath test, frequently administered using a device known as a breathalyzer, is a standard method to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The person under examination blows into the device, which then uses infrared spectroscopic analysis to estimate the BAC.
While breath tests are less invasive than blood tests, their results can vary based on factors such as body temperature, respiratory rate, and even the device’s calibration. If your BAC is over the allowed level, your license will be taken away, and you will be issued a “Notice of Suspension.”
Blood tests are considered the most accurate method of determining BAC or detecting the presence of drugs in a person’s system. A sample of the person’s blood is collected and sent to a laboratory for analysis. However, factors such as time delay in analysis, improper storage, and contamination can lead to inaccurate results.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are a series of physical and cognitive tasks performed at the scene to assess a person’s coordination, balance, and cognitive function. These can include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test. It’s important to note that FSTs are very subjective, relying on the officer’s interpretation of performance. Many external factors can affect the results, as well.
Understand that the results of these tests, whether administered on the scene or in police custody, can be challenged in court, given the potential inaccuracies and biases inherent to the process. Our California DUI attorneys at The Law Offices Of Taylor & Taylor are equipped to review these tests, how they were administered, whether you were coerced or misled into taking them, and their accuracy.
2nd Offense DUI At High Speed
Ventura - 1-year jail, fine, loss of license.
Felony DUI w/ Injury
Rancho Cucamonga - 18 months prison, loss of license.
Reduced to Misdemeanor DUI (fine, no jail)
Drunk Driving w/ Drugs
Glendale - 6 months jail, fine, license suspension.
DUI & Hit-And-Run (.30%)
Vista - 1-year jail, fine, license suspension.
DUI Dismissed, Plea to Hit-and-Run (Fine)
Los Angeles - 6 months jail, fine, license suspension
Reduced to Exhibition of Speed (fine)
First DUI Offense
- Fines: These can range between $390 and $1,000, but with additional penalty assessments, the total can reach upwards of $3,600.
- Jail time: A first-time offender can face up to 6 months in county jail.
- Informal DUI probation: A 3 to 5-year probation period is mandated, during which time any additional DUI offenses will carry harsher penalties.
- License suspension: Your license may be suspended for up to 6 months, with the possibility of obtaining a restricted license to travel to and from work or DUI school.
- DUI school: Attendance of an alcohol education program lasting 3-6 months is usually required.
Second DUI Offense
- Fines: Fines for a second DUI are similar to the first offense, ranging from $390 to $1,000, with total costs reaching $4,000 when including penalty assessments.
- Jail time: You will serve between 96 hours and 1 year in county jail.
- Informal DUI probation: 3 to 5 years probation is typical.
- License suspension: Your license will be suspended for up to 2 years.
- DUI school: An 18 to 30-month alcohol education program may be required.
Third DUI Offense
- Fines: Ranging from $390 to $1,000, with total costs reaching $18,000 when penalty assessments are included.
- Jail time: You will serve a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail with a maximum sentence of 1 year.
- Informal DUI probation: You will be put on probation for a period of 3 to 5 years.
- License suspension: Your license may be suspended for up to 3 years.
- DUI school: A 30-month alcohol education program is typically mandated.
Fourth DUI Offense
A fourth DUI in 10 years is considered a “wobbler,” meaning it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the offense; however, it will often be charged as a felony, which includes additional and severe penalties.
The penalties for a fourth conviction can include the following:
- Fines: These can range from $390 to $1,000, but with penalty assessments, the total cost can be more than $18,000.
- Jail or prison time: You will serve up to 180 days in jail for a misdemeanor. If convicted of a felony, you must serve at least 16 months and up to 3 years in state prison.
- Probation: If convicted of a fourth offense, you will be put on probation for up to 5 years.
- License suspension: Your license may be revoked for up to 4 years.
- DUI school: A 30-month alcohol education program is typically required.
- Habitual traffic offender (HTO) designation: The state can deem
License Suspensions and Hearings
The immediate suspension of your license is determined and imposed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You will be provided with a temporary permit, effective for 30 days from the date of the arrest. It is critical to understand that you have just 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DMV to contest your license suspension.
The DMV suspension is separate from any suspension the court may impose upon a DUI conviction. These suspensions can run concurrently, meaning both the DMV and court suspensions could be in effect simultaneously. However, the length of the suspension imposed by the DMV may be credited towards any subsequent court-imposed suspension.
The DMV hearing is an administrative proceeding to examine the evidence against you. At these hearings, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. Our lawyers at The Law Offices Of Taylor & Taylor can represent you during this process.
This DMV hearing is your chance to fight the suspension of your license. It is not the time to plead guilty or accept the charges without a fight. With proper legal representation, it is possible to challenge the suspension and get you back on the road.
The Law Offices Of Taylor & Taylor Is Here to Help
Facing a DUI charge is undoubtedly a challenging and distressing experience. The legal proceedings can be complex and daunting, especially when you’re grappling with the potential consequences. However, you don’t have to navigate this journey alone.
At The Law Offices Of Taylor & Taylor, we’re committed to standing beside you, providing legal counsel, and fiercely advocating for your rights at every step of the process. Our team of skilled attorneys has decades of experience handling DUI cases, a deep understanding of the nuances of California DUI law, and a track record of successful outcomes.
We believe in giving each case our undivided attention, treating you with respect and compassion, and working tirelessly to fight for you.