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Overview of California DUI Charges

Guidance from a Los Angeles DUI Attorney

Our law firm is experienced with defending driving under the influence charges and has the knowledge of the law as it relates to drunk driving. This knowledge and experience have made representation by our defense attorney invaluable. We have included some important information about DUI as it relates to California law and, most importantly, to you.

DUI Laws in California

DUI (driving under the influence), also sometimes referred to as drunk driving, is the act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In California, there are two basic drunk driving laws, listed in Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) and (b):

  • 23152(a) It is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • 23152(b) It is a misdemeanor to drive with .08% or more of alcohol in your blood.

Most often, a person charged with driving under the influence will be charged with both offenses. Penalties, however, will typically only be applied for one of the crimes, rather than for both.

What do these offenses mean to you? First, even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit, you may still be charged with driving under the influence - if your abilities were impaired. Second, if your BAC is .08% or above, you can be charged with DUI regardless of whether your abilities were impaired at all. This is often referred to as a DUI "per se."

Regardless of the specific charges you face, Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer David Diamond may be able to help. His experience in this area and his dedication to his clients gives him an edge both in and out of court, helping you gain the advantage in your case.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in LA

In California, most DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors, where the maximum penalty is 12 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1000. Certain DUI-related crimes, however, are charged as felony offenses where the minimum penalty is 1 year in state prison. Specific charges will be dependent upon your blood alcohol concentration, whether you have prior offenses, and whether anyone was injured.

Some specific penalties for DUI include:

  • First DUI offense: (misdemeanor) up to 6 months in county jail; fine of up to $1000.
  • DUI causing injury: (felony) up to 3 or 6 years in state prison; possibly a "strike" on criminal record.
  • Fourth DUI offense: (felony) up to 3 years in state prison; fine of up to $1000.

To avoid these penalties and others, including license suspension, probation, community service and substance abuse classes, be sure to consult a skilled DUI attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to protect your rights and help you avoid these harsh penalties.

License Suspension and DUI

If you are arrested for DUI, the officer will confiscate your driver's license and give you "notice of suspension" - a temporary license. After your arrest, you have 10 days to contact the DMV and schedule a hearing regarding the suspension of your license. If you fail to do this important step, your license will be automatically suspended - regardless of the outcome of your DUI case.

Your lawyer can represent you at your DMV hearing, helping you keep your license. Your lawyer can also schedule this hearing for you, handling it as he or she will handle every aspect of your case. Our Los Angeles DUI defense law firm is qualified to help you with your DMV hearing and all other aspects of your case. We have the knowledge and resources to be effective and will not stop until we have helped you secure the best outcome possible for your case.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer at the firm today for a free overview of your DUI case.

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