When you are arrested for a DUI, you have many questions you want to ask to ease your confusion and frustration. Here are the most frequently asked DUI questions:"
You commit a DUI offense in California if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration higher than 0.8% for regular drivers and 0.4% for commercial drivers.
You could also be charged with a DUI offense if you drive while intoxicated with drugs (DUID). DUI offenses in California attract serious penalties and a prolonged criminal record. California is also intolerant of underage drunk driving (by drivers under 21 years).
A DUI charge is a serious charge in California due to the grave impact drunk driving has on road safety. Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of injuries and fatalities on California roads, making it a vigorously prosecuted offense.
While DUI offenses are typically misdemeanors, defendants risk spending some time in jail, even if they secure a probation sentence.
Courts can impose jail time even for first-time offenders, particularly when their case has aggravating factors such as a high BAC content, chemical test refusals, and causing injuries or death.
Some DUI offenses are felonies, particularly if you have accumulated three prior offenses on your record, meaning that you are more likely to receive a harsher sentence, including some incarceration.
Yes. Most people facing criminal charges delay hiring a defense attorney, which is one of the mistakes that cost them a lot in their defense.
The constitution gives you a right to have legal representation, and the court will provide you a public defender if you cannot afford a private attorney.
You go to an attorney when facing criminal charges, in the same way, you visit a dentist when you have a dental problem. Attorneys have the education and experience that allows them to defend your rights and fight the charges you are facing.
Working with an attorney on your DUI case makes it easier to navigate the court system, which is a complicated procedure.
In addition, statistics show that people with an attorney representing them have better chances of a favorable outcome than those who represent themselves.
Now that you understand why you need an attorney, the next logical question is how and where to find the right DUI attorney for your case.
Hiring an attorney can sometimes become a chore by itself, especially when you do not know what to look for or where to look.
An excellent place to start looking for an attorney is through recommendations from your friends, relatives, and co-workers who have worked with attorneys before. You could also ask another attorney you have worked with for a recommendation.
You can also search online for DUI attorneys in Bakersfield to find listed law firms near you. Check their reviews and recommendations from former clients and other attorneys who know the law firm's reputation.
A good idea is to have a list of attorneys you would love to work with, then approaching each law firm.
It is never a good idea to settle on the first business you meet. Therefore, take time to evaluate each attorney through an in-person visit. Visit their offices, examine their customer service, and experience in handling DUI matters similar to yours.
While you might find several DUI law firms offering the same services, you need to ensure that you choose a law firm you can see yourself working with for the next several months.
Other considerations to make before hiring a DUI attorney include:
A DUI in California is a costly affair. The costs related to DUI offenses begin accumulating from the time you are arrested. The first costs you pay are usually to bail you out of custody before your arraignment, or your criminal case begins.
The bail cost will depend on whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony, and they typically start at $2500 and can go as high as $100,000.
If you are convicted, you have to pay fines, which could be as high as $5,000 for a felony offense. The court also requires you to pay restitution to people who could have been injured or their property damaged due to an accident you cause while driving drunk.
You might have to pay victim restitution costs because of a civil lawsuit for injuring or killing another person. The amount you pay will depend on the extent of damage the victim suffers. The court also imposes a 10% annual interest fee on restitution amounts you fail to pay.
If the court orders you to attend a DUI class, you have additional costs to cover to pay for these classes. The costs for a DUI class could range from $270 to $3000 depending on the duration of the classes.
Other DUI-related fees include license reinstatement fees, DUI insurance fees, and legal fees if you hire an attorney to represent you. In addition, if you lose your driving privileges, you have to organize for alternative transportation or install an IID (which requires regular maintenance fees).
Your auto insurance company is also likely to raise your insurance premiums when your policy comes up for renewal since they will consider you a high-risk client.