Drunk Driving Defense

California Drunk Driving Punishment

If you are a professional, such as doctor, lawyer, nurse or other licensed healthcare provider and are stopped for a DUI, you need a lawyer.  In addition to the criminal prosecution and administrative proceeding before the Department of Motor Vehicles concerning you driving privileges, there may be professional licensing ramifications as well.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, (commonly called drunk driving, DUI or DWI ) you have undergone a very confusing and upsetting experience. This page is to help you understand some of the issues involved in DUI cases, and to assure you that although you are charged with a criminal offense, you do have options and defenses available.

DUI is a serious criminal charge, and we recommend that no one represent themselves in such a matter. Often, the DUI defendant need never appear in court if represented by an experienced Criminal Attorney; this includes out of State and International drivers. Should you decide against retaining our services for your drunk driving matter, we still strongly suggest you seek legal counsel experienced in criminal defense for advice.

Under the California DUI law, a person is presumed to be under the influence of alcohol for driving a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol test shows a level of .08% or greater. This blood alcohol level for most people is not an indication they were drunk. Whether or not you personally are impaired at this level is not material to proving the charge.

Proving a driving under the influence case, on the surface, is not a difficult one for the prosecuting attorney. A prosecuting attorney must prove (1) you were driving a motor vehicle, and (2) your blood alcohol level was at .08% or greater, or, (3) that you were impaired. A qualified defense attorney can utilize his or her experience to review all of the evidence to determine whether the prosecution can prove each and every element of the offense, beyond a reasonable doubt.

For instance:

Did the officer have probable cause to stop your vehicle?

Did the officer have the right to order you out of the vehicle to administer field sobriety test?

What is the significance of the field sobriety tests?

How much times elapsed between the vehicle stop and blood alcohol test?

Which blood alcohol test was administered?

Was the blood alcohol test lawfully administered?

Are the blood alcohol results accurate?

There are two separate and distinct issues presented when you are arrested for driving under the influence. First, there is the issue of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the suspension of your drivers license. This is separate and distinct from the second issue, your criminal prosecution and the possibility of jail, fines, a period of probation and first offender program.

There are a lot of questions about potential DUI defenses that are raised in each and every case. Each case is different and requires a different analysis.  For more general information about DMV and the criminal process, follow the links below.