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Ventura DUI Lawyer
Aggressive Defense Against DUI Charges in Ventura County
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a common offense in California and the laws are getting stricter to try to stem the growing tide of impaired drivers. Unfortunately, harsh laws designed to prevent crimes are far from perfect and can significantly impact the people charged with these offenses. The prosecution will want to make an example out of whoever is charged by imposing the strictest penalties possible, but you have a right to fair proceedings.
California DUI Laws
In California, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. It is also illegal for minors (under the age of 21) to have any detectable level of alcohol in their system while operating a motor vehicle.
If you have been accused of drunk driving, it is vital that you contact a Ventura DUI lawyer as soon as possible to start building your defense.
What Are The Penalties For a DUI in California?
California has some fairly strict laws when it comes to DUI offenses, including those related to sentencing and license suspensions. Those convicted of a first-time DUI in California will face:
- Up to $1000 in fines
- Additional penalty assessment fees
- Up to 6-months in jail
- 6-month license suspension
- 3 to 5-year probation
- Mandatory DUI school
The severity of your charges will depend on your defense strategy and the circumstances of your arrest. You could also face an additional automatic administrative license suspension if you refused a field sobriety test. Scott Bentley has represented many defendants facing these charges as a DUI attorney in Ventura. He can help you understand the penalties you could be facing and what legal strategies can be used to defend you.
Is a DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor in California?
In California, the majority of DUI cases are treated as misdemeanors. However, in certain situations, a DUI can be classified as a felony offense - for example, if someone has been convicted of three DUIs within the past ten years or if an individual causes serious bodily injury due to an alcohol-related accident.
Common DUI Defense Strategies
There are many circumstances that can influence a DUI case. If your rights were violated during the time of arrest, such as not being read your Miranda Rights or being subjected to an illegal traffic stop, then it may be possible to have the charges dropped entirely.
Common DUI defense strategies include:
- Lack of Probable Cause: In order for law enforcement to lawfully arrest you for driving under the influence, they must first have probable cause to make the traffic stop. Probable cause can include things like speeding, swerving, failing to stop at a stop sign, etc. If the police lacked probable cause, then any subsequent evidence could be found to be inadmissible in court.
- Faulty BAC Test Results: A vital piece of evidence in any DUI case revolves around the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A driver's BAC level is generally found during a breathalyzer test, however, these tests can have inaccurate or faulty results due to a lack of maintenance, improper calibration, or even valid explanations such as the recent use of mouthwash.
- Valid Explanation for Behavior: It is possible that there could be a perfectly valid and legal explanation for a driver's behavior or a failed field sobriety test. For example, if a person has a pre-existing medical condition or has had a lack of sleep recently, this could explain such behaviors as slow or slurred speech, irritated eyes, or a lack of balance.
Contact Our Ventura DUI Attorney Today
It is important to understand that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in California and can have long-term repercussions if convicted. Those charged with DUI must contact an experienced Ventura DUI lawyer as soon as possible to ensure their rights are protected throughout their case. A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can help you understand the laws and regulations surrounding drunk driving and guide you through the process as efficiently as possible.
Contact Bentley Law today to schedule a FREE consultation with our DUI lawyer in Ventura!