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What to Expect When Facing First-Time DUI Charges in California

California’s Vehicle Code Section 23152 makes it unlawful for any person to drive a vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. In a majority of cases, being charged with driving under the influence can result in a misdemeanor, but it also carries other legal ramifications.

The following is a quick snapshot of what you can expect when facing a DUI charge for the first time in the State of California.

The Consequences of a First-Time DUI Charge

Depending on whether this was your first or second offence, the consequences you face will differ. When facing a first-time DUI charge in the State of California, you can expect the following actions taken against you:

  • Your driver’s license can be suspended for 30 days following your arrest. You can, however, request a DMV hearing in order to stop it.
  • A criminal proceeding will commence, beginning with an arraignment. Here, you can enter a plea and possibly continue to a trial. Obtaining an attorney can help you negotiate the matter and possibly avoid going to trial. In the event that the case does proceed to a trial, a jury will decide the outcome.
  • When convicted of a DUI, the penalties can include imprisonment, serious fines and other court costs, educational programs or treatment requirements, limited driving privileges, suspended driver’s license, or revoked driver’s license.

The consequences of a DUI can vary, but for the most part, the consequences will be more drastic when there was personal injury of another involved.

Different Types of DUI Charges

Generally, a first time DUI offense will have less serious implications than repeat offenses. As a result, there are separate categories of penalties for first-time offenders, second-time offenders, and offenders with three or more DUI offenses, thus making a DUI case very complex. When it comes to DUI defense, it is common to find two DUI cases with the same exact blood alcohol content face different DUI charges.

Winning Your Case is Possible

A first-time DUI case can be challenging, but it is certainly winnable. Even if your case cannot be completely successful, there may be opportunities to reduce the charges you are facing, which could lead to lessened penalties. The following circumstances can favorably affect your case:

  • Your charges were dropped or your case was dismissed;
  • You have been acquitted, or found to be not guilty of the charges; or
  • Your charges have been reduced.

When defending a DUI case, it is essential to understand the evidence being held against you. In many cases, it may be possible to negotiate DUI charges and possibly obtain a lessened charge, such as reckless driving. In an ideal situation, it may be possible to have the charges dropped.

Consult the Support of a Well-Qualified Law Firm

A first-time DUI charge can have serious implications on your life, and without a solid defense, you run the risk of going to jail, paying hefty fines, and paying thousands of dollars in court fines. Additionally, you also run the risk of having your driver’s license suspended or permanently revoked.

Fortunately, you have the legal right to seek the support of a qualified attorney who can advocate on your behalf. The laws surrounding a DUI defense can be very complex, and a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can be highly beneficial.

Milligan, Beswick, Levine, & Knox, LLP are highly skilled attorneys who have many years of experience handling some of the most complicated DUI cases in California. With an established reputation of perceptive strategizing, the law firm has successfully defended hundreds of DUI cases throughout California. Consider contacting the attorneys at Milligan, Beswick, Levine, & Knox, LLP, today.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.