DUI laws in California are enforced by law enforcement’s routine traffic stops, DUI checkpoints, and arrests when suspecting someone driving while intoxicated. Field sobriety tests and an officer’s judgment play a significant role in justifying an arrest. However, without sufficient evidence, drivers may be wrongfully arrested and accused of a DUI. Other times, defending an offender with prior or aggressive DUI charges is more challenging.
When a driver is arrested for intoxicated driving, it is essential for them to understand their rights and how a skilled Ventura DUI lawyer may be able to defend them and help them understand their rights. At Aron Law Firm, regardless of the circumstances leading up to your arrest, our seasoned DUI lawyer may review your case and help guide you towards the best outcome.
Understanding a DUI in California
DUI cases may look different for every individual, depending on the circumstances that led to an arrest and any prior convictions with drug or alcohol use while driving. Despite the circumstances surrounding a DUI arrest, an experienced lawyer specializing in traffic-related criminal offenses may best help any driver facing the consequences of this offense.
California vehicle code 23152 defines a DUI:
“It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle…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.”
Every driver has to act safely and with caution for surrounding drivers and property. Driving while intoxicated creates specific dangers for the safety of others, and law enforcement conducts traffic stops and DUI checkpoints on the basis of getting risks off the road. If you have been arrested for a DUI, seeking legal aid from your Ventura criminal defense attorney helps you avoid delays and errors in resolving your charges with the court and reinstating your license once eligible with the DMV.
Implied Consent for Field Sobriety Testing
In DUI cases, many individuals are not aware of field sobriety testing and their rights surrounding these standard tests in a drunk driving traffic stop. Every driver in California has a right to refuse field sobriety testing, but not in the case of a breathalyzer test after an arrest. This law is enforced under implied consent when accepting a driving license.
The court may impose penalties if a driver refuses a breath test after an arrest. For habitual offenders or subsequent DUI instances, additional time in jail and a license suspension may result. Hiring a dedicated DUI lawyer in California helps you address your charges with the law and gain support in a license reinstatement.
How Field Sobriety Tests Affect a DUI Case
During a traffic stop, a police officer may conduct a breath test to confirm their suspicion of a driver’s sobriety while behind the wheel. Any BAC reading above 0.08% generally gives probable cause and reason for an arrest. Additionally, any information the driver relays during questioning or other testing may add evidence to a DUI case and influence the penalties one may face.
In addition to conducting a breathalyzer, you may have been subject to standard field sobriety tests such as:
- A walk and turn test
- One leg stand
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
If you took a breath test or failed a sobriety assessment during a traffic stop, you may be wondering what the future holds and how your case is affected by this apparent evidence. The prosecution may press the numerical and subjective evidence in a courtroom to cause a guilty verdict. Still, with a defense attorney, you may feel at ease and confident throughout the process.
Challenging Field Sobriety Tests in California
Field sobriety tests are not entirely conclusive in a guilty verdict and are subject to the scrutiny of their efficacy or proper use. Since the decision to arrest during a traffic stop is left to an officer’s judgment and other resources for enforcing the law, there is often room for error. At Aron Law Firm, our DUI defense attorney is a former prosecutor that offers valuable legal advice and representation in DUI cases. With an experienced attorney on your side, you may secure a better outcome for your future.
What Are the Penalties of a DUI in Ventura?
Traffic-related criminal offenses, especially in the case of DUI, often result in jail time, a license suspension, probation, and a court-appointment treatment course. Those convicted of drunk driving, or more severely, an aggressive DUI where another is injured or killed, may experience consequences that affect varying aspects of their life.
Consequences for DUI offenses in California include:
- First offense: Up to six months jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, and a 6-month license suspension.
- Second offense: Up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a two-year license suspension.
- Third offense: Up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a three-year license suspension.
- Four or more offenses: Up to a three-year prison sentence, $1,000 in fines, and a four-year license suspension.
In addition to jail or prison time, fines, and a license suspension, the court may order additional consequences for those convicted. An ignition interlock device and drug or alcohol treatment course may be a part of the process to regain driving privileges and restore their record. A seasoned Ventura DUI defense lawyer with ample experience in defending clients and negotiating with the prosecution may secure a better outcome in a case to limit the penalties and jail time the court may impose.
Considerations for Underage Drinking
DUI cases do not lead to the same results for every case. Underage drinkers can expect the prosecution to impose the same consequences as an adult conviction. Although, being convicted of a DUI while under 21 in California may also impact your education, employment, and financial support opportunities. Our attorney at Aron Law Firm may be able to defend you and advocate for the best outcome in an underage DUI case. We work diligently to limit convictions and negotiate penalties for all clients in their unique circumstances.
Call a Skilled Ventura DUI Attorney at Aron Law Firm to Defend You in a California Case
At Aron Law Firm, our client-centered approach and skilled representation have helped thousands of clients facing the challenges of a DUI arrest in the Ventura community. If you are arrested for a DUI in California, it is essential to understand your rights and the vital legal support an experienced DUI lawyer in Ventura may bring to your defense.
With an assertive and professional delivery in a courtroom, our Ventura DUI lawyer may help you resolve any pending charges and avoid severe penalties for criminal convictions. To put your best foot forward and partner with an understanding DUI lawyer, complete a contact form or give us a call at (805) 618-1768 to schedule a consultation.