*Please call for an update on the 2019 IID laws allowing drivers to avoid license suspensions.
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, call an experienced legal team that knows how to defend you. A Sacramento drunk driving attorney from Crowell Law Offices is ready to build a winning defense for you.
California laws are tough on those charged with drunk driving, but a conviction can cause you to suffer a lot more than just legal penalties. A conviction can alter your life in a variety of ways, such as costing you your job or making finding a good job difficult. It could also cause embarrassment and financial hardship for you and your family.
Hiring a Sacramento DUI lawyer right away can help you avoid a conviction or make it possible to work out a more favorable plea deal with the prosecution. Don’t be fooled, tricked, or bullied into believing there are no defenses against a DUI conviction. The right attorney can significantly soften the impact of your drunk driving charges.
Legal Penalties for Sacramento Drunk Driving Convictions
See the table below for the legal penalties you may suffer, depending on the circumstances of your case:
DUI Offenses Maximum Penalties First-Offense DUI (Misdemeanor) Up to 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, substance abuse treatment for three or nine months Second-Offense DUI (Misdemeanor) Up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, substance abuse treatment for eighteen or thirty months Third-Offense DUI (Misdemeanor) Up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, substance abuse treatment for thirty months Felony DUI Sixteen months, two years, or three years in county jail prison, fines, substance abuse treatment DUI with Injury (Misdemeanor) Up to one year in jail, up to $5,000 in fines, restitution to the victim, substance abuse treatment DUI with Injury (Felony) Prison, thousands in fines, restitution to the victim, substance abuse treatment
The table above is a basic breakdown of penalties, but many aggravating factors can increase the penalties for even a first-time DUI in Sacramento. For example, beginning July 1, 2018, Uber and Lyft drivers can be arrested for a DUI when they’re only at a .04 blood alcohol concentration.
If you’ve injured someone, if your blood alcohol concentration was extreme, or if you had a minor in the vehicle at the time you were allegedly driving drunk, you could face even more severe penalties for your DUI conviction.
Defending You from a Sacramento DUI Conviction
Many people who have been charged with driving under the influence are convinced they have no way to avoid a conviction. They will sign the first plea deal the prosecutor offers and think they’ve gotten off easy. The problem is that the first plea deal is usually not the best offer they can get. Prosecutors make deals for a variety of reasons:
- They’re overworked and need to get cases off their desks.
- They know the evidence against you is weak, so they hope to avoid a trial they might lose.
- They recognize that police or lab errors have been made in your case.
- Your criminal history is limited, meaning convicting you of a serious charge might not be in the interest of justice or the community.
These reasons can make getting you a better deal far more likely. A good Sacramento DUI defense attorney may also be able to get your charges dismissed completely. The following are some successful defenses the attorneys at the Crowell Law Offices can use to make our clients’ DUI charges a thing of the past:
- The sobriety tests used on you were flawed.
- The police or lab made procedural or analytical errors.
- You weren’t drinking and driving at all.
- There was some question as to whether you were driving the vehicle.
- Your identity was stolen.
- You had been drinking, but you weren’t over the legal limit.
Sobriety Test Errors Are Common
Sobriety tests are designed to be used as evidence against you when you’ve been charged with a DUI. The police testify to the administration of these tests and how well you performed on them. Police make mistakes all the time.
For example, the officer could have misread the results of your breath test, or the device might not have been calibrated recently, meaning it didn’t provide an accurate reading.
There could be numerous explanations as to why you performed poorly on the sobriety tests you were administered.
To give you another example, many people who take the walk-and-turn test can’t walk in a perfectly straight line when they’re completely sober. The police could also have made assumptions about your behavior. They might have believed you were impaired by alcohol when you were actually suffering from a reaction to medication.
Other Ways a Sacramento DUI Conviction Could Impact Your Life
After you’ve been arrested on a drunk driving charge in Sacramento, you will begin thinking about the possible legal penalties you could suffer. You will likely be preoccupied with how much time you’ll spend in jail or prison, and you may not think much about the other consequences.
The truth of the matter is that jail or prison time is temporary, while the other consequences of a DUI could last a lifetime. You could suffer the following non-legal repercussions of your drunk driving charge:
- Your family life could be impacted.
- Your finances could suffer due to heavy fines and surcharges.
- Job prospects could be limited, or you could be fired from your job.
- Depending on the nature of your charge, you could lose some of your constitutional rights.
- Child Protective Services could become involved in your family’s life.
- Your criminal history might affect which housing areas you can live in.
- Some government programs will be closed to you.
Sacramento DUI FAQ
Feel free to call a DUI attorney at our Sacramento office any time to discuss your case during a free consultation. In the meantime, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions below.
What if I can’t afford a DUI attorney?
Many people believe they can’t afford an attorney, so they attempt to handle their charges without representation or use a public defender. Attorneys with our office can work with you to make a payment plan that can fit your budget.
Will I have to go to court for my DUI?
Not necessarily. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a favorable plea agreement could be reached pretrial. Your attorney could also get your charges dismissed by showing the prosecutor that the case against you is weak, for example.
What if I’m completely innocent of the DUI charges against me?
Your Sacramento DUI defense attorney can fight for you in court. We’ll do whatever we can to prove your case and get you the best outcome possible.
Call a Sacramento DUI Attorney
A DUI conviction has the potential to poison all areas of your life—from your home life to your financial future. Don’t gamble with your happiness and freedom by proceeding without speaking with legal counsel.
A Sacramento DUI lawyer from Crowell Law Offices can make sure you get the best outcome possible for your case. To get started on your defense today, call our office at 916-303-2800. You can also complete the form below, and we’ll contact you to discuss your case as soon as possible.