DUI, or driving under the influence, is a serious charge that comes with harsh punishments if convicted. The day you get arrested for DUI may be one of the worst days of your life. Unfortunately, many people think that they cannot fight these types of charges and therefore they simply plead guilty and accept the consequences. The consequences, however, can be serious and may impact your life and the lives of your loved ones for many years to come. Some people wonder why it is important to fight DUI charges in Ventura County. Here, we tell you four good reasons.
Understanding the Penalties for a DUI Conviction
In order to realize the importance of fighting California DUI charges it is helpful to know the potential penalties that may come with a conviction. DUI penalties in California depend on whether the charges are misdemeanor or felony with factors such as whether this is your first DUI conviction and if someone was injured as a result of driving under the influence.
- Jail sentence
- Driver’s license suspension
- Community service
- Attending an alcohol education program
- Ignition interlock device
A first offense misdemeanor DUI could result in up to six months in jail, fines of up to $1,000, driver’s license suspension, and the requirement to attend DUI school. The penalties increase with subsequent DUI convictions as well as with the severity of the offense.
Reason No. 1: You Set Yourself Up for Subsequent DUI Charges
In California, DUI convictions have much stronger penalties when you have more than one. A prior DUI conviction on your record will immediately increase the consequences for a new conviction. There is a 10-year lookback period, during which subsequent DUI convictions will garner increased penalties. The 10-year review period also includes most DUI plea deals as well as DUI convictions from out of state. It is critical to fight a DUI charge, especially the first one. If you get convicted of DUI, the next conviction will most likely result in serious jail time and other penalties.
Reason No. 2: How a DUI Affects Your Driver’s License
A DUI conviction will cause you to lose your driver’s license for a period of time. Your first misdemeanor DUI conviction may result in a six-month suspension, while a first felony DUI will lose your license for a year. Subsequent DUI convictions extend the length of driving privilege suspension and you could lose your license for up to five years. In addition, when you get your privileges back you may be required to install an ignition interlock device, IID, The IID requires you to test your BAC before you can start your car. If you lose your driver’s license for any period of time, it will be more than just an inconvenience. You could have trouble getting to work, school, shopping, and more, and this could wreck your career.
Reason No. 3: A DUI Conviction Gives You a Permanent Record
A DUI conviction is more than just a blemish to your record. Employers, schools, landlords, and more review conduct background checks. A DUI conviction might keep you from getting a job, especially if you work in a field that requires driving. If you have a professional license, you might be subject to disciplinary action or you might not be able to obtain a license in your field. This could prevent you from working, even if you have education and experience in the industry. A DUI conviction can cause you and your family strife for many years in the future. You may be better off trying to fight DUI charges rather than accept the serious consequences the judge will impose upon a guilty plea.
Reason No. 4: Fighting DUI Charges in Ventura County Can Be Successful
It is possible to successfully fight DUI charges in Ventura County. It is almost always better to fight the charges than to accept a guilty plea. There are various ways that your attorney may defend a DUI. The officer may not have followed the proper procedures, the test may be incorrect, or you might not have been impaired. If law enforcement did something wrong, some of the evidence may not be used in the case. When the prosecutor does not have enough evidence to ensure a guilty verdict, they may offer a plea deal for a lesser charge. There are many variables and each case has a unique set of circumstances. An experienced DUI attorney in Ventura County will review the details and evidence in your case and provide a vigorous defense.
Trusted DUI Defense Attorney in Ventura CA
If you were charged with DUI, do not delay. Get the legal help you need from our skilled legal team. Contact David Lehr Law online or by phone at (805) 477-0070 for a free initial case evaluation.