Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous for the intoxicated driver, their passengers, and everyone around them on the roads in Riverside, CA. DUI is illegal in every state, and each state enforces different statutes and penalties for DUI offenses. Due to the dangerous nature of this offense, the penalties often extend far beyond those assigned to minor traffic offenses. Defendants face fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and various personal and professional consequences they may not expect.
If you are arrested for DUI in Riverside, it’s easy to feel isolated, as though the entire criminal justice system is working against you. California enforces strict DUI laws, and the police must follow proper procedures when conducting traffic stops for suspected DUI and arrests for drivers they decide are intoxicated. Navigating any DUI case requires defense representation you can trust. The right Riverside DUI defense lawyer can have a tremendous positive impact on the outcome of your case.
Everyone must take full advantage of their constitutional rights when arrested for DUI or any other criminal offense.
When it comes to flexibility and responsiveness to handle each client’s unique concerns, a private Riverside DUI defense lawyer can offer more personalized legal counsel. When you choose the Najera Law Group, P.C. to handle your defense, you can expect close communication with our team through every stage of your case.
The law of due process requires a prosecutor in a criminal case to prove the defendant is guilty of the charges in question beyond a reasonable doubt. Meeting this burden of proof requires careful leveraging of evidence and available witness testimony. The defense attorney’s goal is to prevent the prosecution from meeting their burden of proof. However, while this burden of proof rests on the prosecution, the defendant should be proactive in their defense. An experienced Riverside DUI defense lawyer can help their client identify and capitalize on every available defense in their case.
California adheres to a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement system to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol, and state law enforcement agencies use different testing methods when they believe a driver is under the influence of drugs other than alcohol. The BAC limit for DUI in California is .08% for most drivers and .04% for commercial drivers. In addition, it is illegal for any driver under 21 to drive with any detectable level of alcohol under California’s Zero Tolerance policy for underage DUI.
It’s important to note that marijuana lies in a complex gray area regarding DUI in California. The state was one of the first US states to decriminalize recreational marijuana for adults over 21, making it legal for California residents who meet applicable requirements to purchase, possess, and consume cannabis products. However, they must not violate state laws in doing so, and it remains illegal for anyone to drive a vehicle under the influence of marijuana.
When it comes to proving that a driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of their arrest, this is often difficult because of how slowly cannabis metabolizes in the body. The inebriating effects can wear off quickly, while a drug test will show marijuana for several days or even weeks after its last use. As a result, anyone charged with DUI for marijuana must secure defense representation from an attorney experienced in handling these cases.
Another important statute concerning DUI arrests is California’s implied consent law. This law upholds that all licensed California drivers provide their implied consent to chemical testing for DUI after a lawful arrest. Unfortunately, many drivers mistakenly believe this means they must agree to a preliminary alcohol screening during a traffic stop for suspected DUI, but this is not the case.
If the police request a driver take a preliminary screening, they could use the positive result to justify a DUI arrest. The implied consent law applies chemical testing to confirm DUI after a lawful arrest. If the suspect refuses this test, they face an administrative suspension of their driver’s license from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and harsher sentencing if convicted of DUI.
In California, the penalties for DUI hinge on several factors, particularly the defendant’s past DUI convictions, if any, and the nature of the events that led to their arrest. A standard, first-time DUI offense that resulted in no injury or property damage to others will face a minimum penalty of a fine from $390 to $1,000. The defendant also faces penalty assessments assigned by the court that can increase the financial impact of the conviction. First-time DUI offenders also face 48 hours to six months in jail, but judges are often willing to set conditional probation instead of jail time for some defendants.
First-time DUI will also result in a six-month suspension of the driver’s license. They may apply for a restricted license if they meet specific eligibility requirements, which would allow them to drive to and from work and for emergencies. Penalties for DUI increase when a defendant has a prior DUI conviction on their record. Fines, penalty assessments, jail time, and driver’s license suspension increase, and judges often assign further penalties for repeat DUI offenders. Defendants may be required to complete extensive probation, attend driver safety courses at their own expense, or complete substance abuse treatment programs.
When defendants are charged with causing an accident due to DUI, they face harsher criminal penalties alongside civil liability for victims’ damages. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, it is crucial to speak with an experienced Riverside DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Najera Law Group, P.C. can provide the defense representation you need for a DUI case, so contact us today to schedule your consultation with our team.