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and your Freedom

DUI Defense Lawyers in Upland, CA

Exploring Defense Options for DUI Charges

When you’re charged with drunk driving, your focus instantly goes to the potential legal consequences and what you can do to defend yourself against these charges. Even first-offense DUIs can be serious and result in loss of driving privileges and other major consequences. A criminal defense law attorney can help you understand what you’ve been charged with, the possible penalties if you’re convicted, and what defense options you have.

DUI charges are serious, and you shouldn’t attempt to navigate the aftermath alone. Contact the law office of Patrick Silva, Attorneys at Law, to speak with a DUI attorney who can provide information about your charges and be your advocate in court.

What Is the Legal Limit in California?

Like most states, the legal limit for blood alcohol content in California is 0.08 percent. However, this only applies to noncommercial drivers who are of legal drinking age. The legal limit for commercial drivers is 0.04. The state has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, which means drivers under the age of 21 can face DUI charges if they have a BAC of higher than 0.01 percent.

It’s important to note that you can also be charged with a DUI if you are under the influence of impairing substances other than alcohol, such as marijuana or other prescription or nonprescription substances.

What Are the Potential Consequences for a DUI Conviction?

If you’re convicted of a DUI, you could be sentenced to jail time and have to pay significant fines. You’ll also have your license suspended, which can impact your ability to get to work or transport your children to school and other activities. How much the fine could be and how long your sentence is depends on whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony and whether you have any priors.

First, second, and third offenses are generally charged as misdemeanors unless there are extenuating circumstances. A first offense can result in up to 6 months in jail and a 6-month license suspension, and you could pay up to $1,000 in fines. If it’s your second offense in 10 years, the possible jail time goes up to 1 year, the suspension increases to 2 years, and the fine stays the same at $1,000. A third offense in 10 years can result in up to 1 year in jail, a license suspension of up to 3 years, and a fine of up to $1,800.

You can be charged with a felony DUI if you were involved in an accident that injured or killed someone else or if you were driving under the influence with someone under the age of 18 in the car. A felony DUI can also result if you have at least three prior convictions in the past 10 years. If you are facing felony charges, you need to speak to a DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your potential defense strategies.

Can a DUI Count Against the Three Strikes Rule?

Many people think that if they don’t have any prior DUI convictions that they don’t need a DUI lawyer because it’s “just” a misdemeanor charge. But if you have any future offenses, they can quickly add up to a felony, and it’s possible for this to count as a strike under California’s three strikes rule. The three strikes rule drastically increases your potential sentence if you have two previous felony convictions. Generally, serious felonies count against the three-strikes rule, such as violent crimes. But felony aggravated DUI or felony vehicular manslaughter can count as strikes.

If you have aggravating circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest or have previous felony convictions, it’s important to understand how the three strikes rule could impact your sentencing if you’re convicted. Get legal counsel from one of our Upland DUI lawyers when you call Patrick Silva, Attorneys at Law, today.

Do You Have to Consent to a Breathalyzer or Field Sobriety Test?

Prior to a DUI arrest, an officer is likely to ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test, and it’s important to know your rights when it comes to refusing and how doing so could affect your case. In California, there is an implied consent law, which means that all drivers with a California driver’s license are implied to have consented to a chemical sobriety test if an officer suspects them of drunk driving.

The most common chemical test is a Breathalyzer, but you can also take a blood test. A urine test may be ordered if the suspected DUI is related to a substance other than alcohol. While you can refuse a field sobriety test that uses physical exercises to test your impairment, you cannot refuse a chemical test without penalties. In general, a chemical test refusal means that your license will be automatically suspended, and it can count as a failed test for purposes of your DUI charges.

DUI attorneys can help you even if you fail a chemical test. Be honest with your attorney about what happened and whether you had been drinking so that they can determine the best defense options for you.

At Patrick Silva, Attorneys at Law, our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience helping clients fight DUI charges. We offer new clients a free consultation so that they can understand what they’re up against and how our criminal defense lawyers can help. If you need a DUI defense lawyer in Upland or the surrounding area, call our law offices at 909-500-4819. We can act quickly to help you fight your charges and protect your freedom.