California is inundated with “mill” and “1-800” DUI law firms. Quantity prevails where quality should. When you are facing a DUI charge – when your rights are at stake – you need a skilled California DUI attorney that will be personally involved with your case. A DUI conviction can result in fines, jail time, loss of privileges, and reputational damage. With such serious consequences possible and with numerous important deadlines and procedural requirements to comply with, you need an experienced attorney with a strong track record.
DUI Depends on Blood Alcohol Level
DUI stands for driving under the influence. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152-23229.1, it is illegal for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a car, truck, or other vehicle. In California as elsewhere, influence is measured in terms of blood alcohol concentration (BAC). BAC is most commonly gauged via breathalyzer. The threshold between permissible and impermissible influence of alcohol is 0.08%. In other words, driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is grounds for DUI regardless of whether or not the influence resulted in any impairment. One might think, “What right does the state have to submit me to blood, breath, or urine tests?” A reasonable inquiry, surely. In the eyes of California law, you may be surprised to learn that you implicitly consented to such testing the moment you got behind the wheel. As such, a decision to revoke this implied consent may result in a loss of driving privileges. Depending on whether a DUI offense is one’s first, second, third, or more, refusal of testing may result in a driver’s license suspension of 1 – 2 years. Jail time, fines, court-ordered alcohol and substance education, and the installation of an ignition interlock devices are all distinct possibilities, as well.
The Difference Between DUI and “Wet Reckless”
In some DUI-related circumstances, it might be possible to reach a plea bargain agreement with the state’s prosecutor for a conviction of the lesser charge of “wet reckless.” This plea bargain downgrades the charge from drunk driving to reckless driving in exchange for a guilty plea. However, such a deal is contingent upon the absence of aggravating factors. Specifically, a “wet reckless” plea bargain may only be accepted by the state when the BAC is borderline (very close to 0.08%), there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior DUI convictions. The bargain may be unmade by a DUI conviction for a separate incident within 10 years of the “wet reckless” plea. Negotiating a plea bargain for the reduced charge of “wet reckless” requires the skill and expertise of a California DUI attorney.
If you have been charged with DUI in the San Diego area, reach out to an aggressive, affordable, and skilled DUI lawyer. It is in your interest to mount the strongest defense possible, as well as exploring the possibility of a reduced plea. Time is of the essence with regard to a DUI charge, so do not delay in the protection of your rights.