How to Fight a DUI Charge if You Are a Commercial Driver

As a commercial driver in California, getting a DUI charge may be devastating to both your personal and professional life. The consequences of a DUI conviction may include the loss of your commercial driver’s license (CDL), hefty fines, and even jail time. However, with the right strategy and the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Santa Barbara, CA, you may fight a DUI charge and protect your livelihood.

If you work as a commercial driver in California and you are facing a DUI charge, it is crucial to take immediate action to protect your CDL and your livelihood. An Aron Law Firm criminal defense attorney may provide you with the legal representation you need. Do not let a DUI charge jeopardize your future as a commercial driver—with our help, we may challenge the evidence against you, negotiate a plea bargain, or fight your case in court.

What Commercial Drivers in California Should Know About Vehicle Code Section 23152

Under California law, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard regarding DUIs. The criminal code section that addresses DUIs for commercial drivers in California is Vehicle Code Section 23152.

This section states that it is illegal for a person who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or who is operating a commercial vehicle to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher. This is a lower BAC limit than the 0.08% limit that applies to non-commercial drivers.

In addition to fines, probation, and possible jail time, a commercial driver convicted of a DUI in California may lose their CDL and the ability to work as a commercial driver. If you are a commercial driver facing a DUI charge, it is essential to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney who may help fight the charge and protect your livelihood.

How Lawyers Help Commercial Drivers Fight DUI Charges in California

The first and most important step in fighting a DUI charge is to consult a criminal defense attorney with experience with DUI cases involving commercial drivers. An experienced attorney may help you by:

  • Reviewing the evidence against you: such as the results of the field sobriety test, breathalyzer, and blood test.
  • Identifying any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case: For example, if the breathalyzer or blood test was not administered properly or if the equipment used was not calibrated correctly, the results may be inaccurate.
  • Advising you on your legal options: In some cases, seeking a plea bargain may be in your best interest. A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecution to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. This may be a viable option if the evidence against you is strong and a conviction is likely.
  • Challenging the evidence against you: If the arresting officer did not follow the proper procedures during the field sobriety test or did not have probable cause to stop you, the evidence collected may be inadmissible in court.
  • Getting you into a DUI program: If you are convicted of a DUI as a commercial driver, you may be required to attend a DUI program as part of your sentence. However, attending a DUI program voluntarily before your trial may show the court that you are taking responsibility for your actions and may result in a reduced sentence or dismissal of your case.
  • Representing you in court: If your case goes to trial, a lawyer may represent you in court, presenting your defense and arguing your case to a judge or jury.
  • Helping with DMV hearings: In addition to criminal proceedings, commercial drivers facing a DUI charge in California may also face administrative hearings with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A lawyer may represent you at these hearings to potentially help you keep your CDL.

While you may technically represent yourself, you risk losing what could be a successful defense due to a lack of knowledge while facing an experienced prosecutor. Retain a proven Santa Barbara DUI lawyer for the best chance of success. 

California Attorney Defending Commercial Drivers Arrested for Drinking and Driving

After getting arrested for drinking and driving, do not hesitate to take action. With the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney and a strategic defense, it is possible to protect your livelihood and future.

If you were accused of drinking and driving as a commercial driver, contact an Aron Law Firm criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your legal options and how to fight your DUI charge. Call (805) 618-1768 or contact us online.