Every state has different laws when it comes to driving under the influence, so it is a good idea to become familiar with the specifics. The maximum blood alcohol content, or BAC, is .08% across the United States, but there are exceptions to this rule in various states. In California you can be charged with a DUI if you are a commercial driver and your BAC is just .04%, and if you are under 21 years of age you can be charged if the content is just .01%. This strict law is called "Zero Tolerance." For these reasons it is important to know your local laws and the penalties that are tied to them.
If you have been charged with your first, second or third DUI, you will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor. This can be changed to a felony if there are aggravating circumstances. These factors include a DUI with bodily injury, with a minor in the vehicle, with an accident, with prior convictions, or with a BAC over .15%.
While it is a good idea to find yourself a DUI attorney no matter what you are accused of, it is especially important if you are charged with a felony. The penalties, even for a first offense, can be harsh. These often include up to $2,000 in fines and court fees, 3 to 5 year probation, a special ignition device installed on your vehicle, and DUI School for up to 45 hours. Our DUI lawyer will be able to expertly examine the facts involved in your case, possibly getting these penalties reduced or even eliminated. Without council you can expect the maximum penalties and fines, and the marks on your record could affect your life and insurance rates for years to come.
Getting a DUI in California can be a difficult situation because the laws are fairly strict compared to some other states, but with the proper council on your side you can get through it with as little difficulty as possible.