Serving Clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Surrounding Areas
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a DUI or driving under the influence, it can be a life-altering experience. The flashing lights in the rearview mirror, the sound of a siren, and the subsequent legal proceedings can leave individuals overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. In this challenging moment, understanding the intricacies of DUI law becomes crucial.
Whether you’re seeking guidance for yourself or someone you know, Attorney of Counsel, Melissa Fair at The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel, can offer valuable insights and essential information to navigate this complex situation. Remember, the decisions you make now can shape the outcome of your case and impact your future for years to come.
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) refers to the criminal act of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Your level of impairment is typically measured by blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Understanding the elements constituting a DUI/DWI offense is crucial to navigating the legal landscape effectively.
California DUI laws apply to both alcohol and drugs. This can include legally prescribed medications if they keep you from driving safely.
Law enforcement uses BAC to determine how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. If you are at least 21 years old, the legal limit is 0.08%. If you are under 21, any amount of alcohol in your system would constitute a DUI.
When you drive in California, you automatically give consent for a chemical test if you’re arrested for DUI. That’s not the same as the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) or breathalyzer test given on the side of the road. You are not required to comply with a pre-arrest PAS unless you’re under 21 or on DUI probation.
Following a DUI arrest, your license will typically be taken by the police officer and sent to the DMV. You will need a temporary license to continue to drive until your case is settled with the DMV. It’s critical to request a DMV hearing timely (within ten days), or you may lose the right to a hearing and have your license suspended. If you have an attorney, they can request a hearing for you.
DUI charges are typically misdemeanor crimes handled in court, separate from the administrative DMV hearing. Having legal representation in court is crucial, as the penalties for DUI charges can be severe, and you could end up with a permanent criminal record.
For a first offense, you could be facing three years of probation, fines, mandatory drug and alcohol programs, and a 6-month license suspension. For subsequent DUI charges, you could face hefty fines, extended probation or license restrictions, and 1-2 years of jail time.
Protect Your Future With The Right California DWI/DUI Criminal Defense Attorney
Given the severe consequences associated with California DUI/DWI offenses, seeking legal representation is paramount. A skilled criminal defense attorney will assess the circumstances surrounding your arrest, challenge the legality of evidence, and explore potential defenses.
Having the right Torrance defense attorney can minimize the impact of a DUI charge on your life. If you or someone you know is dealing with a DUI case, contact Attorney of Counsel, Melissa Fair at The Law Offices of Bruce A. Mandel to explore the best strategies for your case and secure a favorable outcome.