Contra Costa County First Time DUI Lawyer
Helping Clients Through Their First DUI in California
Contra Costa County DUI attorney Anthony Blalock aims to keep our clients informed and armed with everything they need to understand about their DUI cases. For example, many DUI clients arrested for the first time don't know that they must request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of their arrest, or their license will be automatically suspended.
What to do if you are stopped for a DUI
Suppose you've been pulled over by an officer who suspects you've been drinking. In that case, you can do things to ensure that your rights are protected and that you aren't inadvertently giving the officer any self-incriminating information.
During a DUI stop, you should do the following:
- Politely refuse to take a field sobriety test
- Provide only basic information, such as name, age, and address
- Remain silent when asked questions regarding how much you've had to drink
- Contact an attorney if the stop leads to an arrest
Do You Lose Your License For Your First DUI in California?
You will automatically lose your license for your first DUI in California. A Judge, however, does not impose this suspension. Instead, upon your conviction, the court notifies the DMV, and the DMV imposes the suspension. Significantly, if you get the DUI charge reduced to reckless driving or an offense other than driving under the influence, there is no court-triggered license suspension. The California DMV usually allows defendants to continue driving anywhere during their license suspension if they agree to install an ignition interlock device in their cars. In the event you decide to take your DUI case to trial, and it results in a mistrial, hung jury, or "not guilty" verdict, then no court-triggered license suspension will take place.
What is the DMV-Triggered License Suspension?
Immediately after being arrested on a first-time DUI offense, you will be given just ten days in which to request a DMV hearing from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and therefore, put a temporary hold/stay on the suspension of your license. However, if no hearing is requested, the DMV may then be able to proceed with the suspension of your driver's license automatically. Significantly, only individuals arrested for DUI with a BAC of .08 or higher face such an administrative driver's license suspension.
How Likely is Jail Time for First DUI in California?
In California, a first-time DUI conviction often results in probation and fines, but not necessarily jail time. In most cases, the judge will issue a sentence of three to five years of probation with fines and/or community service. The court may also order you to attend an alcohol awareness course or complete other requirements, such as installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
If you fail to comply with any of these conditions, however, the court can impose additional penalties, including incarceration. Furthermore, if there are aggravating circumstances, such as high blood alcohol content or reckless driving, the court could choose to incarcerate you for up to six months. Ultimately, each case is unique, and it's best to speak with a knowledgeable local attorney about your situation.
Overall, there is a chance of jail time for a first-time DUI conviction in California, but it's not likely unless the court believes that harsher measures are necessary. It's important to proceed with caution and have a skilled DUI defense attorney help you obtain a sentence without having to serve any time behind bars.
Don't Know Where to Start? Begin Here.
At your free initial consultation, we'll put your mind at ease and offer to fax the DMV Hearing Request for free. We know your head is probably spinning with anxiety, confusion, and unease, and we enjoy being able to lift this burden from our clients, as it gives you the first step forward.
After we've faxed the DMV, we'll form a plan as to how we will navigate your charges. We'll evaluate the following:
- The circumstances leading up to your arrest. Did the officer have reasonable suspicion to initially detain you and the probable cause to arrest you legally? What was your actual BAC when driving (not later when tested)? Were you taking any medications that might conflict with that reading?
- Whether or not anyone was injured as a result of your alleged DUI. The court will also want to know if you allegedly put anyone else immediately in danger as passengers.
- Your actual charges and the court's demands on you, including court dates, fines, and future hearings. Most first-time DUI offenders are placed on years of probation, paid $2,000+ in fines, required to attend months of DUI classes, sentenced to jail time, and possibly install an Ignition Interlock Device. However, each case is unique in its resolution.
Contact The Blalock Law Firm, PC, today for a FREE initial consultation!
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I hired Anthony to defend me for 2 DUIs and in the meantime I got a third. It looked bleak with an expected sentence behind ...- Anonymous
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Anthony represented my father in a DUI case. He was able to get the sentence reduced to a Wet Reckless! Anthony made us feel ...- Anonymous