DUI Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Really Need a DUI Lawyer?
It all depends, but generally the answer is, "Yes.", especially if it is a aggravated DUI like a high blood alcohol content or a repeat DUI. However, I understand that there are some people who just want to plead guilty and get it over with - even if this is not the best decision.
However, I would like to share with you a few thoughts to consider. First, even if you believe that you're guilty, you're still legally presumed innocent. A good DUI attorney can evaluate the strength of the proof against you in ways that you cannot do yourself. Continued...
Should I Hire a DUI Attorney to Represent Me ?
First, even if you believe that you're guilty, you're still legally presumed innocent. A good DUI attorney can evaluate the strength of the proof against you in ways that you cannot do yourself.
Second, a major issue in every case is whether the police overstepped their bounds and unlawfully stopped, arrested, tested, and charged you. A good lawyer will evaluate whether you were treated properly. If your rights were violated, there may be no case against you.
Finally, the help of a good DUI attorney is critical in limiting the damage that a DUI case can have on your family, your life, and your livelihood. Impaired driving law (alcohol or drugs) is one of the most politically sensitive areas of the American legal system. Although most DUI cases are misdemeanor offenses, the consequences for a conviction can often parallel or exceed some felony punishment, so handling one of these cases without legal counsel can be a life-changing mistake. Continued...
Will I Go To Jail?
"Mandatory Jail" isn't mandatory, Penal Code sec 2900.5 (d) states:
If a defendant serves time in a camp, work furlough facility, halfway house, rehabilitation facility, hospital, juvenile detention facility, similar residential facility, or home detention program in lieu of imprisonment in a county jail, and the statute under which the defendant is sentenced requires a mandatory minimum period of time in jail, the time spent in these facilities or programs shall qualify as mandatory time in jail.
How Long Will A DUI Case Take to Resolve?
That’s a good question: Mostly, you want your case resolved as quickly as possible to resolve the anxiety and "put the matter behind you". However, the reason you are considering hiring an attorney in the first place is to make sure that there is a complete and fair investigation of the facts and "no stone is left un-turned". So while we are mindful of moving the case along, our focus is providing a complete and thorough DUI defense.
What is The Punishment for a DUI?
1st Conviction Penalties
Probation: 3 Years of Court or Summary Probation
Court Probation means no probation officer to report to, but absolutely no drinking and driving during that time period.
Fines & Fees: Including fees and costs of $2,000 to $2,500
This can be paid over time for an additional charge, or in full within 45 days. In some courts people can work off part of the fine through community service.
License Issues: 6 month loss of California Driver License
After 30 days of no legal driving a person may apply for a restricted license with proof of high risk insurance and enrollment in the DUI class. A restriction license allows driving to and from work or school.
This will be for 3 months. If the BAC is higher than .20 a 9 month class is required. The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs maintains a list of DUI Schools
Jail: Mandatory Jail Time
There is a required 48 hours of jail time on a first offense DUI. It is possible to have this time converted to some alternative such as home arrest, rehab or some combination of these.
What will happen to my license?
This information on this page applies to normal Class C license. If you have another class license or special permit additional rules will apply and it is best to consult with a qualified DUI Attorney.
In most DUI arrest your license to drive is immediately confiscated (unless you have an out-of-state license) and you are given a pink sheet of paper.
This paper serves as a formal notice of an immediate suspension, a temporary license good for 30 days and a brief explanation of the laws and procedures involved. IMPORTANT: you only have 10 days from your arrest to call the Department of Motor Vehicles to schedule a hearing to contest the suspension. On the 11th calendar day the DMV will refuse to provide a hearing and the suspension (at least 4 months) will automatically take effect in 30 days.
I Have An Out of State Drivers License...What Next ?
Drivers arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Nevada County or Placer County with out-of-state driver's licenses should be aware of specific rules and pitfalls that may complicate their cases.
A California DUI arrest may jeopardize the driver's privileges in the state that issued the license. An experienced California DUI attorney who concentrates on drunk-driving defense will work to protect an individual's driving privileges both here in California and in the state that issued the license.
DUI and Pilot's License
Being stopped for DUI can have serious repercussions if you also hold a pilot's license. Here is information that you need to know if you are an airman and you have a DUI or alcohol issue facing you. First, let's look at the specific regulations that govern the actions taken against airmen who are arrested for suspicion of drunk driving.
I Am a Commercial Truck Driver, What Next ?
Basically, California Vehicle Code section 23152(d) prohibits commercial license holders from driving with a blood alcohol level of .04% or higher.
The commercial license holder faces a 1-year suspension of the commercial license for a first offense, in addition to the other DUI penalties. The hazardous materials transport commercial license suspension is 3 years. For second or subsequent offenses, there is a LIFETIME BAN on each type of commercial license. Such license holders may be able to obtain basic drivers licenses within the shorter period applicable to other drivers license holders.
DUI and Professional Licenses
In addition to driving license issues, individuals with professional licenses, whether they be doctors, teachers or realtors just to name a few, have to be extra careful when charged with a DUI. Each licensing agency has its own requirements both when an individual must report and what the consequences may be. Generally, the licensing boards are concerned with public safety and whether the DUI arrest will effect job performance. It is vital that you speak with a DUI attorney who is familiar with representing professionals before making any decision on how to proceed. Mr. Phillips with over 25 years of DUI defense, has represented professionals from just about every career. Feel free to call today and he will be glad to discuss your concerns in more detail. He can be reached at 530-265-0186.
How Long Will This Take to Resolve?
That’s a good question: At first, you want the case resolved as quickly as possible to resolve the anxiety and "put the matter behind you". However, the reason you are considering hiring an attorney in the first place is to make sure that there is a complete and fair investigation of the facts and "no stone is left un-turned". So while we are mindful of moving the case along, our focus is providing a complete and thorough DUI defense. Unfortunately, a lot of lawyers try to do it "on the cheap" and try and get their clients to plead guilty early. That’s not we are about. We try to never lose sight of the importance of guiding our clients through the process with compassion and respect, striving to bringing unparalleled service to each case. Generally, a DUI involving the breath machine will take approximately 3-4 months while a blood DUI may take longer in the range of 4-5 months. If the case proceeds to trail, that would take a little longer. Keep in mind that every case is unique and this is just an average, but after our initial consult and we have a little more detail about your case, we would be glad to specifically answer that question for you.