For even a first-time driving under the influence charge in California, it is considered a criminal offense that can carry high penalties, fines, and costs.
Not only does it come with a hefty fine, there could also be substantial jail time included. A first DUI offense in California can be tricky. It is in your best interest to remain calm and try not to do or say anything that would implicate you when you’re being pulled over by the police for suspicion of DUI or driving while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance in CA.
Having an experienced and highly skilled DUI Defense Lawyer on Your Side To Help Fight the Charges is Imperative
It is in your best interest to have a Northern California DUI attorney on your side to help you with fighting a first DUI charge.
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we will help you understand what to expect with your first DUI offense in California as it applies to your particular DUI case.
A first offense charge in California for DUI can result in a suspended license for at least one year, fines in some cases of over $2,400 and installation of an ignition interlock device for a period of time, and the installation and monthly charges for this device.
Other penalties that may occur with a first DUI drunk driving charge in California include having your auto insurance increased or being dropped altogether from an auto insurance company, the denial of entry into certain countries because of a criminal record that is now stamped on your permanent (passport) record, as well as possible job loss or loss of future employment due to the criminal record in background checks.
First-time California DUI charges can be successfully defended when it can be shown that technicalities may have occurred, or when the police gathered their evidence improperly according to procedure or protocol. This demonstrates that a driver may not have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
After an arrest for a DUI, the arresting officer is required to immediately forward to the DMV a copy of the notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver license. If the suspension or revocation is upheld during the DMV’s administrative review, you will have your driver’s license reinstated.
You must request the hearing from the DMV within 10 days of receipt of the suspension or revocation order, which you will likely receive upon your arrest date. If the review at the DMV shows that there is no basis for the suspension or revocation, the action will be set aside and your driving privileges will be reinstated. The DMV will notify you in writing only if the suspension of revocation is set aside following the administrative review.
In California, a person arrested for a first offense DUI potentially faces both administrative and criminal penalties. The severity on the penalties is determined by whether or not you took a chemical test, other aggravating factors, and case-specific details.
In criminal court, the prosecution has to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer had (1) probable cause to pull you over, (2) your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit, and (3) that you were driving at the time your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeded the legal limit.
Having a highly skilled attorney knowledgeable in DUI traffic law from the beginning of your case is important in establishing a solid defense in your DUI case.
The state of California has implemented some of our nation’s harshest and punative DUI laws, even for a first time offender. It is important to find a knowledgeable DUI attorney who can assist you in reducing the charges from a DUI to a lesser offense or striving for an outright dismissal. The penalties and consequences of a DUI on your record are severe and long lasting. An attorney can help reduce these penalties and create defenses on your behalf to reduce the charges or have them dismissed altogether!
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC our experienced DUI attorneys can help you with questions you might have about the entire DUI process and penalties for a first offender.
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.