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California DUI Attorney – Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC

My Rights Law’s Drunk Driving Attorney Specializes In Reducing Or Dismissing DUI Charges VC 23152(a)

A DUI conviction in California can bring about disastrous consequences for you, including fines, jail time, and a loss of driving privileges. Knowing what to do or whom to turn to may be challenging when charged with a DUI offense. Nevertheless, even in these circumstances, it is essential to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. The skilled DUI lawyers at My Rights Law are here to protect your rights and defend you against the charges. Our aim is to do everything in our power to put you in the best possible situation given your circumstances to get your charges dismissed or reduced. If you or a loved one was arrested for drunk driving, contact us as soon as possible for a free strategy session to discuss your case with an experienced DUI attorney. Call (888) 702-8882 or leave a message on our secure web form and our lawyer will promptly call you back.

Driving Under The Influence (DUI) – VC 23152(a)

DUI, or driving under the influence, is using a substance or intoxicant while operating a motor vehicle that impairs your ability to operate your vehicle. You are considered “under the influence” if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or greater or if you are under the influence of drugs. In California, motor vehicles include other vehicles like planes or boats. The DUI process is complex and has many hearings, requirements, and other procedures that must be followed. Even when those processes are followed, you could face various penalties and consequences depending on the nature of your DUI offense.

DUI Penalties

The kinds of penalties you might face will vary depending on the number of occurrences, the severity of DUI, and the type of DUI.

1st DUI

A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor. Punishment could include up to five years of probation, $390 to $1000 in fines, DUI school, penalty assessments, a 6-month driver’s license suspension, and an ignition interlock device (IID) installation requirement.

2nd DUI

For a second DUI, the consequences are case-dependent. Common penalties include 3 to 5 years of misdemeanor probation, a fine of $390, plus penalty assessments. Second Offender DUI school class is 18-30 months in length, plus 1-year Installation Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle, and a 96-hour mandatory minimum in the county jail, up to a year maximum.

3rd DUI

With a third DUI conviction, you could face 3 to 5 years of informal probation, from 120 days up to a year in county jail, $2,500 to $3,000 in fines and penalty assessments, IID in your vehicle for two years, 30-month court-approved DUI education program, and a three-year California driver’s license revocation with the possibility of receiving a restricted license after 18 months.

A judge may issue a DUI warrant if you violate any of the terms of your probation or if there is reasonable cause to believe that you have committed a DUI. The warrant places an alert in law enforcement databases to seek your arrest.

4th DUI + (Multiple DUI) & DUI Accident

Your fourth DUI or multiple DUIs can be charged as a felony due to the number of your prior DUI convictions, whether you caused great bodily harm due to driving under the influence, or one of your previous DUI convictions was a felony. Penalties for felony DUI include 180 days to 3 years in prison, fines of $390 to $1,000, 30 months of DUI School for 30 months, and four years of license revocation. To qualify as a felony, four DUIs must be committed within ten years regardless of where they occurred; out-of-state DUIs count toward the total.

DUI Probation Violations

You will likely avoid prison time if you are given probation for a DUI offense. However, suppose you violate the terms of your probation. In that case, you could face harsh consequences, including being sent to jail for the original sentence, facing a higher jail sentence, having your probation extended, and having addiction or treatment counseling added to your probation terms. You can violate your probation in many ways, such as driving with any amount of alcohol in your system, refusing breath, blood, or urine tests, failing to appear for court appearances, and more.

DUI Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors can lead to additional charges or penalties if committed during your DUI offense or while completing other court-ordered penalties.

Leaving The Scene Of A DUI Accident

Fleeing the scene of a DUI accident can result in additional severe penalties. If convicted, you can face additional penalties, including up to $10,000 in fines, two to four years in state prison if you caused great bodily injury (the sentence may be reduced to one year if the accident caused minor injury), or up to $1,000 in fines or six months in county jail if you caused property damage, but not bodily harm.

DUI Great Bodily Harm

Regarding DUI, great bodily harm is causing injuries like broken bones or brain injuries to another person due to a DUI accident. Suppose you harm someone in the commission of the DUI. In that case, you face a felony conviction with a minimum of two years in state prison, three to six more years for causing one person great bodily injury, and an additional year for each person who has suffered great bodily injury, up to three people.

Types Of DUI

DUI Manslaughter

DUI manslaughter is the negligent killing of another person in a DUI accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. DUI manslaughter is a felony that may be punished with up to 10 years in prison and driver’s license suspension.

DUI With A Commercial License – Vehicle Code 23152(d) VC

DUI with a commercial license is when you have a blood-alcohol level of .04% or higher or are under the influence of drugs while operating a commercial vehicle. Commercial vehicles are generally semi-trucks or any other vehicle used for commercial purposes. If convicted, you could face informal probation, up to one year in county jail, fines up to $1000, and up to 36 months of DUI school for your first offense. You may lose your CDL—commercial driver’s license—if you are convicted of a second commercial DUI.

Underage DUI

Underage DUI is when you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are under the age of 21. If the charges involve you having driven with at least a .01% blood alcohol and are under 21, your license will be suspended for one year. However, you will face more significant penalties if your BAC is higher. If it’s.05%, you may be fined $100 and placed in a court-ordered alcohol education program. If you have a .08% BAC, you face the same consequences above as if an adult was convicted of a DUI.

The same applies if you have a .08% BAC and you harm or kill someone while driving under the influence. Underage possession of alcohol in a vehicle will result in a one-year driver’s license suspension, up to $1000 in fines, and vehicle impoundment for 30 days. Open marijuana container violations are penalized with a $100 fine.

Boating Under The Influence (BUI)

Boating under the influence (BUI) is operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can be charged if you have a BAC of at least .08% at the time of arrest and are operating a vessel. If you are driving a commercial vessel, the standards are lower, requiring only a .04% BAC for conviction. BUIs can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on whether you injure someone while operating under the influence. If charged as a misdemeanor, you face up to a year in county jail and up to a $1,000 fine. You could face up to three years in jail if you injure another while boating under the influence.

DUI Process

Field Sobriety Test

When stopped by the police, they may request that you undergo a series of tests to determine if you are under the influence. These are known as field sobriety tests. These tasks can include walking a line, balancing on one leg, or other tests to identify intoxication.

Refusing Field Sobriety Test

In California, you may refuse to perform field sobriety tests without penalty should you be arrested and charged with DUI. An officer may attempt to force compliance with the tests by saying that they might arrest you or convince you that you have nothing to hide if you are not drunk; however, you are allowed to refuse the tests.

Breath & Blood Tests

If you are arrested for a DUI in California, law enforcement will attempt to collect evidence of your intoxication via a breath test, blood test, or both. These tests will measure the degree of intoxication for use as evidence in your conviction.

Refusing Breathalyzer Or Blood Sample

You cannot refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test in California without penalty. The tests are mandatory. If you choose to decline, you will be subject to additional penalties under California implied consent law. California’s implied consent law means that when you apply for a driver’s license, you give your consent to be tested if you are arrested for a DUI. The penalties increase with the number of DUI incidents. For example, if you refuse a breathalyzer test on your first DUI, you could face an additional two days in jail, a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, and a further six months of DUI school. However, on your fourth or more DUI, you face an additional 18 days in jail and a three-year revocation of your driver’s license.

Concerning blood tests, you cannot be forced to provide blood for the test. Generally, a warrant will be required to take blood for a blood test. However, while you cannot be forced to provide blood, you may receive the above penalties if you refuse the breathalyzer or other chemical tests.

Alternative DUI Requirements And Programs

DMV Hearing

Following a DUI arrest, the Department of Motor Vehicles receives a copy of a notice of suspension or revocation of your license and the examination results if you took a breathalyzer or blood test. The information is reviewed, and potential action is taken on your license. Within ten days of the DMV receiving the driver’s license revocation or suspension notice, you may request a hearing; this is the 10-Day Rule. Should the DMV determine that there is no basis for suspension or revocation, the notice will be set aside.

Driver’s License Restoration

If you lose your license due to a DUI conviction, you may have your license reinstated in a few ways. You can have your license reinstated by:

  • Completing the license suspension period
  • Serving jail or prison sentence
  • Completing DUI school instruction
  • Applying for specific car insurance and an SR-22 form
  • Applying for reinstatement

DUI Diversion / Veterans Diversion

Depending on the circumstance of your DUI, a judge may order you to complete a diversion program instead of criminal prosecution. Diversion programs provide offenders with drug and alcohol education treatment and support programs designed to prevent future offenses. With the help of your attorney, you will present evidence to suggest that criminal prosecution is not the appropriate means of punishing or preventing future DUI incidents. If the judge orders diversion and you complete the program, you will not be convicted of the DUI, and the offense will not be on your record.

Call My Rights Law Today

When you need DUI representation, experience really matters. Choosing the best DUI lawyer requires identifying those with excellent track records of success with DUI defense and representation. My Rights Law have long-running experience and success with DUI representation in the local justice system and know how to beat a DUI. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, call (888) 702-8882 or contact us through our secure form today.

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