The state of California has two driving under the influence laws, per Vehicle Code section 23152. One states that it is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of drugs and the other states it is a misdemeanor to drive with a BAC of 0.8% or higher. Both of those charges are generally part of a DUI offense. The law also states that while both can be charged, you can only be punished for one. While both are misdemeanor charges, if an injury results from the drunk driving, it becomes a felony.
This is very serious and you need to contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You still have rights and you cannot rely on the police to let you know what those rights are. A skilled Los Angeles DUI lawyer can make sure that your rights are not violated. Did the police have a reason to pull you over, were you advised that you did not have to take a field sobriety test or portable field breath test, were you advised of your Miranda rights, and were you given the choice of blood or breath testing?
The laws in California for DUI are very complex as there are a number of factors that are considered before sentences are determined. The courts may consider the following factors prior to sentencing:
- Do you have a prior conviction within ten years?
- Were you speeding 20 mph over the limit?
- Did you have a child under 14 in the car?
- Was your blood-alcohol reading over .15%?
- Did you refuse to submit to chemical testing?
Penalties immediately become more stringent when you’re arrested a second time for DUI. If you are arrested for driving under the influence, and have a prior DUI conviction on your record, then you can expect penalties to become even stiffer. You could lose your license for a period of up to one year for a repeat DUI offense. Besides, you will be required to take up an alcohol treatment program and will be required to pay for the cost of the treatment.
Another immediate consequence of a second DUI conviction is a more expensive insurance policy that is typically required for high-risk motorists in California. These auto insurance policies, also known as SR22 insurance policies, are mandated for persons who have been convicted a second time for DUI. You will be required to maintain these insurance policies with their higher premiums for three years after your driving license is reinstated. Remember, it isn’t just fines, penalties and jail time that will leave you financially distressed after a second DUI conviction, but also higher insurance premium costs that you can expect as well as other penalties.
All of these things must be considered. An experienced DUI lawyer that will advocate on your behalf is essential. Call the Miranda Rights Law Firm as soon as possible. Los Angeles DUI attorney Douglas Miranda has years of experience and will fight aggressively for your best outcome. Call 213-255-5838 for your free consultation in southern California.