If you have been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you probably already know that this is a serious crime with significant penalties if you are convicted. You will not only face potential jail time, but you may also be required to pay a fine or take a class.
For these reasons, it is important to hire an experienced drunk driving defense attorney to handle your case. California drunk driving defense attorney Johann Hall has successfully handled many cases involving DUI charges for his clients. He knows what it takes to put on the best defense possible to help you fight back against these charges. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case so attorney Johann Hall can get started assisting you with your defense to the charges you are facing.
Penalties for Drunk Driving
If you are convicted of your first offense of driving under the influence, and no one was injured or killed as a result, you may face a fine of up to $1,000, along with up to six months in jail. Generally, the first offense of driving under the influence is charged as a misdemeanor when no one has been injured or killed. For first offenses, judges may order a period of probation rather than sentencing you to jail time. As a condition of probation, you may be required to take a driving class or complete a certain amount of community service hours.
For any additional DUI convictions, you may also be required to pay a fine. Additionally, you may also be sentenced to a longer period of time in jail. If someone is injured or killed as a result of you driving under the influence, you may face much harsher penalties. These penalties vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your case, including any prior criminal record. Depending on the severity of injury to others, you may be facing felony charges rather than misdemeanor charges.
Defenses to Drunk Driving
If you are facing a charge of driving under the influence, you should be aware that there are actually several defenses available that may allow you to negotiate a plea bargain for a lesser charge, or even have the charges against you dropped. The defenses available to you depend on the facts of your case, so it is important to have an experienced attorney evaluate your case to determine if any of these defenses apply to your case.
Defense # 1 – You Were Not Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
This may seem obvious, but the prosecutor will need to present evidence that demonstrates that you were, in fact, under the influence of alcohol when the officer pulled you over. While you can be charged with driving under the influence without a positive breathalyzer test if the officer believes you are under the influence due to objective signs that indicate impairment, they still need to prove this at trial. If, for example, the officer mistook symptoms of another medical condition for impairment, your attorney can introduce supporting evidence of your medical condition that may result in charges being dropped or a finding of not guilty.
Defense #2 – You Were Not Operating the Vehicle
In order to be convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, you must have either been driving a motor vehicle at the time of the occurrence, or you were in control of the vehicle in some way. If someone else was actually driving the car, your lawyer could put evidence on to show that was the case which can help you get a verdict of not guilty.
Defense #3 – The Breathalyzer Results Were Inaccurate
There are a number of reasons Breathalyzer test results may not be completely accurate. One way your attorney can challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test is if the officer did not follow proper procedure in administering the test. Additionally, if you have a medical condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, acid reflux, or a hiatal hernia, it may impact the results of the Breathalyzer test by showing a high false positive result. If you are on a strict low-carb diet, such as the Keto diet, and your body is in ketosis, this may also cause a false result on a Breathalyzer test since your ketones that have converted into isopropyl alcohol may register as ethyl alcohol and give a false positive result.
If you are facing charges for driving under the influence, it is important to have an attorney on your side who understands the facts of your case and what defenses may be available to you. Contact drunk driving defense attorney Johann Hall today at (707) 360-8717 or fill out our online contact form to get started defending the charges against you.