Knowledgeable DUI Defense Attorney in Monterey and Hollister 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.
What to Do if You Have Been Charged with a DUI in Monterey
We all know that driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and irresponsible. Yet every year thousands of Americans are injured or killed because of drunk drivers. In an effort to deter drunk driving, most states issue harsh penalties for drivers caught operating a vehicle under the influence. California is no exception.
Penalties for a first time DUI offenders in Monterey
In California, if you are caught driving with a Blood Alcohol level of .08 percent or above, you will be charged with DUI. While the penalties for a DUI charge can vary, especially if someone was injured because of your negligence, here’s what you can expect for a first offense:
- Fines up to $1000.
- License suspension for up to six months.
- The installation of an ignition interlock device in your car for up to 6 months and payment of the fees associated with this device.
- Probation for 3-5 years and mandatory DUI classes for six to nine months.
- Jail. It’s possible for first-time offenders to receive 48 hours to six months of jail time.
- Misdemeanor. If it is your first offense and no one was seriously injured or killed, you can expect a misdemeanor charge to remain on your record for ten years or longer.
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. Furthermore, if you’ve been charged with a DUI, expect your car insurance rates to go up drastically.
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.
What to do?
Because the consequences of a DUI can be so severe, it’s important to know what to do after you have been charged. Listed below are three steps to take after being charged with a DUI in California:
- Schedule a hearing with the DMV. Within 10 days of the suspension or revocation order of your license, you will have to schedule a DMV hearing to determine if you will be allowed to keep your license.
- Prepare for your arraignment. This is where you enter your plea, guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will not get a jury trial and you will not have the chance to challenge the merits of the case.
- Consult with an experienced attorney. Before making any concrete decisions, it’s important to speak with an attorney to decide your best path forward.
Having a DUI on your record can severely impact your life. That’s why if you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you should contact a Monterey DUI attorney who can help you dismiss or reduce the charges.
Contact a knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Monterey
At Giuliano Law, we have over two decades of successful experience helping people fight DUI charges. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Hollister, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey County, give us a call today at (831) 372-4003 or contact us online.
Difference Between a Misdemeanor DUI and Felony DUI
Being charged with a DUI in California is a serious offense. If you are convicted, you can expect heavy fines, the suspension of your license, probation, an ignition lock installed in your car and skyrocketing insurance rates.
But while all DUI’s in California carry criminal charges, there’s a big difference between being charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI. If you are charged with a felony, the punishments will be harsher and have a greater effect on your criminal record and future.
DUI’s in the state of California
Most DUI’s in the state of California are charged as misdemeanors. However, there are three factors that can make a DUI a felony. Those three factors include:
- Severe bodily harm to another individual. If you caused an accident that severely injured or killed another person, you can expect to be charged with a felony. However, if the accident only caused minor bumps and bruises, your DUI charge will likely remain a misdemeanor.
- Fourth DUI. If this is your fourth DUI in a period of 10 years, then you will be charged with a felony.
- Prior felony. If you already have a felony on your record, even if this is your first DUI, you will be charged with a felony DUI.
All other DUI’s are charged as misdemeanors in the state of California. While misdemeanor DUI’s are not taken lightly, they’re not nearly as serious as a felony charge.
What determines the punishment?
Several factors can affect the punishment of a DUI case. In cases where people were injured, the severity and number of victims play an important role in determining the punishment. The age of the party at fault and the nature of previous DUI cases are also important.
Depending on what you are charged with, the range of punishments can involve lengthy jail sentences, hefty fines and the loss of your license. That’s why it’s important to have someone on your side defending you.
The consequences of a felony DUI charge are life-altering. That’s why if you’ve been charged, it’s important to contact a DUI attorney in Hollister who will fight on your behalf and help you dismiss or reduce the charges.
Contact an experienced DUI attorney in California
At Giuliano Law, we have over two decades of experience helping people fight DUI charges. If you’ve been charged with a DUI in California, give us a call today at (831) 372-4003 or contact us online. We serve clients in Hollister, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey County.
Fighting a DUI charge in Monterey
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.