Being arrested for driving under the influence can have serious consequences. The prosecution will charge you in most cases with two distinct offenses, driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence. This gives the prosecution two charges on which to seek a conviction. You will also be facing a DMV hearing and loss of your license to drive. In a DUI case you can expect to be facing a possible jail sentence, a fine, and probation.
There are many enhancements that can be charged in DUI cases, including refusal enhancements, if you refused to take a chemical test. There are also enhancements associated with the level of your blood alcohol level. Some counties require the installation of an ignition interlock device on any car you drive if you are convicted of a DUI. If you have been arrested for a DUI involving an accident, or any injuries, even on a first DUI, the charges can carry substantial jail time and restitution for any injuries.
Our office has over a decade of experience defending DUI cases. DUI blood testing involves trace quantitative analysis and gas chromatography. There are multiple ways in which testing errors can lead to falsely elevated results. If you did refuse a chemical test and the police obtained a DUI blood draw warrant you may need to file a motion to challenge that blood draw warrant. Our office has filed numerous motions challenging DUI blood draw warrants and has extensive experience litigating these issues. You also may have grounds to challenge your car stop. This could include issues related to the basis for the stop or if you were stopped at a sobriety checkpoint-challenging whether or not the DUI checkpoint was set up consistent with the requirements for a valid checkpoint. Our office has won motions to suppress in DUI cases resulting in dismissal of the case.
Mr. Sullivan has gone to trial on behalf of clients in many DUI cases. He has won acquittals or hung juries in complex and difficult DUI cases on behalf of his clients. In some of the cases that ended with a hung jury, the prosecution decided to dismiss the case. In other cases, he has negotiated substantial reductions and favorable plea bargains. Some counties will negotiate a first DUI down to a Wet Reckless or even a Dry Reckless in cases with the appropriate facts. A reduction of the charge from DUI to Reckless Driving is usually difficult to obtain, and will require facts like a low blood alcohol level, mitigation issues, or strong evidence of faulty chemical testing.
Additionally, Mr. Sullivan has handled many DUI with accident cases, and has worked with accident reconstruction experts, medical doctors, and nurses, to analyze DUI cases and claims of injury. In cases involving allegations of accident or injury, you may also be facing a civil lawsuit or claims against your insurance. Our office has experience assisting clients in working through these types of issues with their insurance company.
There are many things that can be done to mitigate a DUI arrest even if you think you may be guilty of the offense. In a second, third, or fourth DUI, the prosecution may be seeking lengthy jail or prison time. To try and avoid that we may encourage you to get into a treatment program while your case is pending. Sometimes our clients voluntarily go to inpatient treatment, alcohol counseling, or move into a sober living facility. Our office has experience, even in cases where the client is facing substantial jail time, in working out alternative sentencing options to avoid jail, which allows clients to continue working and avoid loss of their job.Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction
First DUI: A fine of approximately $2000.00 total (fines and fees), likely between 2-15 days jail sentence, you may be eligible to serve the jail sentence with the Sheriff's Work Program, up to 3 years court probation, a DUI School, between 15 weeks and 9 months. If your blood alcohol content is above a .20 the prosecutor will likely seek a 9 month DUI school. Any collision or blood alcohol level above a .20 could result in an increased jail sanction. License Suspension: Up to 6 months, 30 days in which you will not be able to drive. May include court ordered AA meetings. Possible IID (ignition interlock device) requirement.
Second DUI: A fine of approximately $2000.00 (fines and fees), 96 hours or more in county jail (many counties regularly seek at least 15 days or more jail time on a second DUI offense), some portion of which you may be eligible to serve on the Sheriff's Work Program, probation, an 18 month DUI school, the California DMV will also suspend your driving privilege for 2 years as a result of your conviction. You may be able to apply for a restricted driving privilege after 90 days with an ignition interlock installation. If there is a collision there may be an additional jail sanction. If the BAC is .20% or higher, there may be an additional jail sanction.
Third DUI: A fine of approximately $2000.00 (fines and fees), a minimum of 120 days in jail, this can potentially be served on home detention if the Sheriff approves you for home detention, multi-year driver's license suspension, multiple offender DUI program, treatment, and extended probation. Alcohol treatment likely required. It may also be possible to serve the minimum 120 days jail in a sober living house or alcohol treatment center. An accident or high blood alcohol level or refusal can lead to enhanced penalties.
Fourth DUI: This will be charged as a felony and the consequences will be much more serious and will be dependent on your prior record, specifically, prior DUI record. A felony DUI requires 3 prior DUIs within 10 years.
DUI w/Injury: Can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Whether it is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor is dependent on the extent of injury to the other party.
Call our office today at (415) 770-0146 or contact us through the online contact form to set up a confidential consultation regarding your DUI or DMV matter.