Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs is a Serious Charge Requiring an Intelligent and Vigorous Defense
If your blood alcohol level is above 0 .07% of alcohol or if you are under the influence of drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs, you will be arrested. Even if your alcohol level is slightly lower, if you were driving erratically, you can be charged.
A conviction can lead to loss of driving privileges, time in jail, embarrassment, higher insurance premiums, costs of getting a car out of impound, and general misery. If you are required to install an expensive monitor in your car, into which you must blow a breath of air before the car will start, you will pay a monthly bill for the privilege. This Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, is not only expensive, but the potential embarrassment is a factor you would have to deal with. First time DUI convictions are bad enough.
The penalties just keep getting worse. As a second or third or more convictions occur, jail time becomes mandatory. When stopped in California, you must take a breath or blood test (the choice is yours) or you will automatically lose your license for at least one year just for refusing.
You do not have to take the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (small hand held instrument) Test (PAS) at the scene if offered unless you are under 21. We recommend you do not take it unless you truly had only one or maybe two drinks. It is evidence that will be presented against you in court.
When arrested, you have ten (10) days to demand a separate DMV hearing to determine whether you should have your license revoked regardless of whether you are convicted. Then, there are the court proceedings to attend. Coastal Legal Center’s attorneys handle both the DMV and the court hearings for our clients. Your presence may be required at the DMV hearing if we think your testimony will help. Otherwise you need not attend.
In DUI charges where there was no other person injured, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. We handle most appearances without our client present. For felonies (injured person) you generally must attend court appearances.
Lead Attorney Jerrold Bodow will file technical legal motions regarding the legality of your stop, or irregularities in the breath or blood test. We often use expert forensic scientists to testify on your behalf. We also negotiate a plea bargain for you. You will decide whether you want to take the case to trial or accept the negotiated plea. Often we are able to get a dismissal of the DUI charges if the client pleads guilty to reckless driving, a much lower offense if the blood alcohol level was not too high.
The bottom line: You want Coastal Legal Center on your side if you are charged with DUI.