I Just Got My First DUI – Santa Rosa DUI Attorney Blog
I just got my first DUI. You may know someone who has faced charges of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Depending how close you are to that person, a DUI happening to other people may or may not seem to be a huge deal. Our years of experience as DUI attorneys have shown that when it’s YOU facing those DUI charges there is no question as to if it’s a big deal or not. Getting a DUI can be a frightening and stressful experience. If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI for the first time, you likely have many questions. The following is some basic information regarding first-time DUIs in California.
Do not ignore the situation
After an arrest for DUI, some people choose to ignore the situation or pretend like it never happened. This is the worst course of action, and can likely lead to additional penalties, missed court dates, or even additional violations if you continue to drive on a suspended license or while under the influence.
What those people do not know is that license suspensions can often be delayed by requesting an administrative hearing from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. However, this request must be filed within 10 days of your arrest, therefore you cannot put this task off. Furthermore, you will want to contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to walk you through the process and represent you in your DMV hearing. You will also want an attorney present at your first court date because court involves specific paperwork and procedures with which you will not be familiar.
Can I get DUI charges reduced?
In some circumstances, California law allows you to plead guilty to the lesser offense of “wet reckless.” The wet reckless offense largely serves as an inducement for defendants facing DUI charges to enter into a plea agreement. In exchange for a guilty plea to wet reckless, you will face lesser fines, avoid jail time, and possibly have less requirements for alcohol-related classes. However, a wet reckless guilty plea still results in an alcohol-related conviction on your record. A DUI attorney knows how to negotiate with prosecutors to get you the opportunity to agree to a wet reckless and face lesser consequences.
What penalties do I face?
The penalties for a first-time California DUI may vary depending on the circumstances of your individual case. For example, the consequences will be greater the higher your blood alcohol content (BAC) results are. Someone with a 0.20 percent BAC will face more stringent consequences than someone who was just over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Furthermore, you may face more serious consequences if your charges are enhanced by other factors, such as speeding, causing an accident with injuries, or having children in the car. Overall, however, you should expect to face possible license suspension, fines, 48 hours of jail time or community service, probation, and requirements for DUI school. You DUI attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor to try to reduce the possible consequences as much as possible.
Facing a first-time DUI in California can be a scary experience. Remember that you should stay calm and that you should always contact an experienced DUI attorney at Beck Law P.C. as soon as possible to help you with every aspect of your case and hopefully reduce the consequences of your DUI.