In many ways, getting arrested for DUI in the state of California is similar to being charged with other crimes, but there are additional penalties that are unique to DUI arrests. One of those is that your driver’s license can be suspended prior to conviction. In fact, if you’re arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, the police will confiscate your license at the station and issue you a 30-day temporary license.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, it’s important that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as early as possible. In addition to beginning your criminal defense, your attorney can schedule you for a DMV administrative hearing to fight for your driving privileges.
Unless there are aggravating circumstances in the incident leading up to your arrest, such as severe injuries or death to another individual, a first, second, or third DUI in the state of California is charged as a misdemeanor crime. As was previously mentioned, if you have a valid driver’s license, it will be confiscated and the DMV will begin proceedings to suspend or revoke your license.
You have the right to a DMV hearing, but you or your attorney must request it within 10 days of your arrest. This is not the same as your criminal trial. The DMV officer will review the facts of your case and determine whether your driving privileges should be suspended pending trial.
This administrative suspension can last up to four months for a first DUI and the time that you serve the administrative suspension should be deducted from your sentenced suspension (if you should receive one). So if you are sentenced to a six-month suspension for a first DUI, but you’ve already served a four-month administrative suspension, your license will be suspended for two additional months.
For a first offense, if you provide a breath test and it registers a BAC of .08 or higher, the DMV will suspend your license for four months. If you refuse to provide a breath test, your license will be suspended for one year. You may receive a six-month suspension if you’re found guilty of DUI.
For a second DUI within 10 years, your license can be administratively suspended for one year if you provided a breath test and revoked for two years if you refused to submit to BAC testing. For a second DUI conviction, the maximum revocation is two years.
For a third DUI arrest in ten years with two prior convictions, your administrative exposure is a three-year license revocation if you fail the breath test or you refuse to provide one. The maximum revocation period upon conviction is also three years.
It’s important to keep in mind that DUI convictions are only stacked when they occur within a 10-year period. Consequently, if you were convicted of a DUI more than ten years prior to your current one, this will be considered a first offense. The courts may also consider a DUI conviction from another state when determining whether to charge you under enhanced penalties.
A DUI conviction can have a major impact on your life. Call C. Robert Brooks, Attorney at Law for a free initial consultation.Contact Us
Under California’s implied consent law, you agree to provide a breath test to law enforcement upon request. Law enforcement officers will remind you of the implied consent law after they’ve determined that you were driving drunk. If you refuse to take the breath test, the period of administrative suspension for a first and second DUI is longer than if you agree. This does, however, deprive prosecutors of a crucial piece of evidence that can be used against you in a court of law: your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
It might be tempting to request the services of a public defender, but many of the attorneys who work in the LA County Public Defender’s office are inexperienced and overworked. Consequently, they don’t have the time to dedicate to your case and may push for an unfavorable plea deal. Private attorneys are able to manage their own caseloads without external pressure. In addition, they can represent you in your DMV administrative hearing and help you get your license back.
A DUI conviction can have a major impact on your life. Call C. Robert Brooks, Attorney at Law for a free initial consultation.