Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney in Central California Protects Your Rights
Representing those accused of DUI in Hollister, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, and Monterey County
When you face drunk driving charges, your reputation, future, and freedom are on the line. You face fines, the suspension or revocation of your license, confiscation of your vehicle, installation of an ignition interlock device, and even a prison sentence. That’s why you need an experienced, skilled California DUI defense lawyer from Giuliano Law on your side. We have more than two decades of experience successfully protecting the rights of those accused of drunk driving.
Tough California DUI law and penalties
California has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country – and with good reason. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous practice that leads to many injuries and deaths every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving caused 1,059 fatalities in California in 2016 alone – second only to Texas.
California law defines driving under the influence as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher. For drivers under 21 years of age, the “zero tolerance” legal limit is .01 percent.
First-time offenders convicted of a California DUI can potentially:
- Face up to six months in jail
- Pay a fine up to $1,000
- Lose their licenses for up to six months
- Be required to install ignition interlock devices on their car for 5 months
Second-time offenders face the following:
- Up to one year in jail
- Two-year license suspension
- One year ignition interlock device
Penalties increase substantially for those who commit repeat offenses within a 10-year period, up to a felony conviction and three-year prison sentence for a fourth offense. As is the case with other traffic offenses, the law is also stricter for commercial drivers.
In addition, as of July 1, 2018, it is illegal in California to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle. This means that Uber, Lyft, taxi drivers, etc., are held to a higher standard of safety while transporting people. A conviction will result in both a license suspension and a disqualification for commercial driver license holders.
Fighting a DUI charge
An effective DUI criminal defense in California results in either a dismissal or reduction of charges. Such a defense can involve any or all of the following:
- Exclusion of unreliable or wrongfully obtained evidence from use at a trial. This might include the reasonableness of the traffic stop and the flawed reliability of chemical testing.
- A reduction from DUI to a “wet reckless” charge.
- Mitigating factors that reduce the culpability of the accused, such as the use of a lawfully prescribed medication.
With the help of a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney from Giuliano Law, you can get your life back on track.