A San Diego DUI Defense Lawyer can get you out of the mess you are in
If you have been charged with a DUI it is imperative that you take action immediately if you want to keep your license. Give us a call to discuss your options and work toward keeping your driving privilege and avoiding a court ordered ignition interlock (breathalyzer) installation. Get to know of all the nitty-gritty of such matters from our San Diego DUI Defense Lawyer.
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Driving Under the Influence is classified under Vehicle Code section 23152 and is broken down into two primary distinctions: section (a) and section (b), which read as follows:
(a): It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle;
(b): It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
Most people are familiar with section (b) and know that .08 is the legal blood alcohol limit. However, the .08 benchmark is not always required for a DUI conviction, especially when the DUI is not based on alcohol. Convictions under section (b) are usually based on a breathalyzer or blood test reading. These tests, however, are not always entirely accurate and often represent a range, not a specific score. One of the primary ways these tests can give an inaccurate reading is when the arresting officer allows a significant amount of time to pass between the arrest and the test. Blood alcohol tends to rise for several hours after consumption, which means that in the time between being pulled over and the actual administration of the test, a person’s blood alcohol content could increase from a lawful level to an unlawful level. If this is proven, the reading may be discounted all-together, resulting in the charge being reduced to a “wet reckless” or a complete acquittal.
While section (b) is more commonly known and contains the widely cited .08 “legal limit”, it is not the only basis for a conviction of driving under the influence. If it is determined that a person’s driving has been influenced, to a dangerous level, by drugs or alcohol, a DUI conviction can be sustained.
This is an especially important distinction when it comes to driving under the influence of drugs, for which there is no “legal limit.” With the laws tending to treat marijuana more and more like alcohol, section (a) will likely become the focus of greater scrutiny in the future. As of present, there is no commonly used device for quantifying the influence of marijuana on a person at a given moment. For that reason, drug based DUIs are subject to a significant gray area under the more vague 23152(a).
If you have or a loved one has been charged with DUI – for alcohol or drugs – do not hesitate to contact an attorney. An experienced DUI attorney will scrutinize the police report, the timing of the arrest and any tests given, the officer’s experience in analyzing performance of field sobriety tests and administration of preliminary alcohol screenings, and will know precisely where to attack the prosecution’s case to achieve the best results.
Driving on a suspended license, is classified under Vehicle Code section 14601 and its subsections. A charge for driving on a suspended license usually arises after driving privilege is revoked due to a DUI, reckless driving, or accumulating excessive points on one’s DMV record.
Although charged as a misdemeanor, courts are often lenient with first time driving on suspended license offenses and may be willing to reduce the charge to an infraction unless there is good reason to enforce the original misdemeanor penalty.
A first offense for driving on a suspended license carries a mandatory $300-$1000 fine and a possible jail sentence of up to six months. Subsequent offenses within five years will result in fines of between $500-2000 and a possible jail sentence of up to one year.