Although the criminal penalties for first time DUI are determined in a criminal courtroom—after a prosecutor has proven you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt—the administrative, or civil, penalties will begin immediately. In fact, the moment you are arrested, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will revoke your driving privileges by issuing a license suspension. While you have the opportunity to challenge this penalty by requesting an administrative hearing, you must submit an official request within ten days after your arrest in order for the proceeding to take place. Otherwise, your suspension will remain in effect until your case is tried in criminal court.
In addition to the administrative penalties imposed by the DMV, you will also face criminal punishment for your actions. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, a first-time DUI conviction carries up to $1,000 in fines, a six-month jail sentence, an additional four-month license suspension, and probation time. You will also be required to complete an 18- to 30-month alcohol awareness program and maintain SR22 insurance (an expensive auto insurance policy designed for DUI offenders and other high-risk drivers) for three years after your driving privileges are restored.
However, before you can be convicted of drunk driving, the prosecution must establish three things: first, that the officer who arrested you had probable cause to stop you (such as speeding or running a red light, for example);second, that you violated the state’s DUI laws by driving with an illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) or refused to perform a chemical test; and lastly, that your arrest was lawful. If all three of these requirements are not met, the charges against you should be dismissed.
To improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome for both your administrative and criminal DUI hearings, you must present a strong argument that supports your defense in court—and using the wrong strategy can lead to devastating results.
Because we always try to handle all the DUI cases from the beginning we can formulate a winning strategy. We will keep you informed about the case and will try to use even smallest details to turn the case in your favor. Call us at (559) 779-2315 and we can get started on your case right away.