The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers anyone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more to be alcohol-impaired. More importantly, states such as California have strict laws against alcohol-impaired driving, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). Possible penalties for flouting these laws include hefty fines or serving time in jail. Still, a DUI charge is nothing more than an allegation that must be proven in court. As such, if you or your loved one has been charged with a DUI offense, you should hire a Sacramento DUI lawyer immediately.
Your lawyer will be able to assist you in the following ways:
Review the Events Surrounding Your Arrest
In some instances, the events surrounding a DUI charge may be unclear, leading to disputes that require legal expertise to resolve. For instance, police officers in Sacramento must prepare and submit a sworn report to the DMV that contains a copy of the defendant’s driver’s license notice of suspension or revocation as well as the defendant’s driver’s license (if confiscated by law enforcement officer). It is also worth noting that the arresting officer must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving a vehicle at the time of arrest.
At the same time, the arresting police officer must prove that the defendant’s ability to drive was compromised by an alcoholic beverage, an inebriating drug, or a combination of the two.The manner of arrest is also another aspect that can be highly contentious. For example, it is illegal for the arresting officer to use excessive force. A qualified DUI attorney would be particularly handy if the police acted violently, maliciously or illegally while arresting you for a DUI offense.
Prevent Introduction of Illegally Obtained DUI Evidence
A Sacramento DUI lawyer can fight the introduction of new evidence that was obtained illegally. For instance, if you were subjected to a sobriety or chemical test without your consent, such evidence would be contentious and possibly inadmissible in court. The same is true for evidence acquired via illegal surveillance including tapping of communication devices such as mobile devices. Introduction of illegal evidence could have a negative impact on your case, especially if you are categorized as a repeat offender.
It is important to note that penalties for repeat offenders are typically more severe than penalties for first-time offenders. For example, a repeat offender cannot operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.01% or higher.
Expose Infringement of Your Rights
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, people taking anticoagulant medications to manage existing heart conditions or hemophiliacs cannot be subjected to a blood test. Instead, such people should take a urine test. It is also worth noting that a police officer cannot forcefully compel you to take a DUI test that is not your preferred choice. For example, if you are injured and taken to a hospital where breathalyzers are not available, you should be allowed to undergo any other relevant test available at the health facility.
This means your lawyer could successfully fight a DUI charge if law enforcement officers risk your health in pursuit of a specific test. Still, you must consent to undergo the available blood or urine test.
Challenge Accuracy of Testing Device
In Sacramento, devices used to test alcohol content in human breath must be re-calibrated after performing 100 tests or every ten days, whichever occurs first. What’s more, the Sacramento police department must keep proper and up to date records showing the frequency of testing-device calibration. This is in addition to documenting identities of people who calibrate these devices because they may be required to appear in court.
This means you could instruct an experienced Sacramento truck accident lawyer to review evidence related to charges and mount robust defense if you doubt the accuracy of the testing device.
Negotiate A Plea Bargain
A DUI attorney can negotiate a plea bargain instead of pursuing a trial in open court. In this case, the defendant pleads to lesser charges in exchange for a lesser penalty/conviction such as reduced fine. In most cases, plea bargains or sentence bargaining takes place in the presiding judge’s chambers where both sides (prosecutor and defense) state their positions during “pre-trial conference”. It can also take place at the prosecutor’s office or even over the phone. During this conference, the presiding judge also informs the parties involved the reduced sentence that he/she intends to impose on the guilty party. Unfortunately, plea-bargaining is a legally taxing process that requires extensive domain expertise, meaning it is wise to hire a Sacramento car accident lawyer to represent you.
What’s more, a prosecutor may also be unwilling to enter into a plea bargain with an unrepresented defendant to avoid being accused of taking advantage of a vulnerable person in the future.
Fight Driving License Revocation under Sacramento DUI Laws
A DUI lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past can successfully fight confiscation and revocation of driving license enabling you to continue working if your job entails driving vehicles. Your lawyer can achieve this goal in several ways. To start with, he/she can challenge non-issuance of a temporary license since the California DMV allows issuance of such a document (usually valid for 30 days). In addition, your attorney can challenge non-issuance of a valid Order/Notice of Suspension, which must state clearly the timeframe for requesting an administrative hearing.
Alternatively, your lawyer may advise you to wait to challenge the suspension of driving license during administrative hearing. Since these aspects involve legalese unfathomable by those outside the legal field, it is advisable to hire an experienced Sacramento lawyer.
People charged with alcohol-impaired driving in Sacramento are subject to California’s strict DUI laws, which prescribe fines of up to $18,000 and four years in jail. For this reason, you should engage a Sacramento DUI lawyer to handle your DUI case.
Depending on the specific charges, your lawyer may fight the revocation of your driver’s license, review events surrounding your arrest, challenge accuracy of testing device, negotiate plea bargain, prevent introduction of illegal evidence and expose violation of your rights by the arresting officer.