If you are convicted of driving under the influence, you could face severe consequences that will haunt you long into the future. Though just considered a misdemeanor, state courts still enforce steep penalties for a conviction, especially for repeated offenses. You may receive heavy fines, a suspension of your driver’s license, and a stain on your criminal record that could affect future job opportunities. Because of the grave consequences that this type of offense could impose, it is vital that you speak to an experienced Rancho Cucamonga DUI lawyer. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Scott Henry know exactly how to craft a strong defense strategy that could potentially reduce or dismiss your charges.

Penalties for DUI in Rancho Cucamonga

With each offense of DUI, the penalties only increase. You may face the following penalties if you are convicted of drinking and driving:

First-Time DUI Offense

Assuming that nobody is killed or injured as a result of your offense, first-time DUI conviction could result in:

  • Up to six months of jail time;
  • At least one year suspension of your driver’s license;
  • Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling;
  • Ignition interlock system installed in your car; and,
  • Fees and fines worth thousands of dollars.

Second DUI Offense

A second conviction for DUI could bring the following penalties:

  • Up to one year of jail time;
  • A two year driver’s license suspension, plus two years of a restricted license;
  • Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling for as much as 30 months;
  • Ignition interlock system installed in your car; and,
  • Fees and fines worth thousands of dollars.

Third Drinking and Driving Offense or More

Three or more drunk driving offenses will carry the harshest penalties yet, which can include the following:

  • Felony conviction;
  • Spending over one year in jail;
  • Driver’s license revocation for as much as four years;
  • Total repossession of your car;
  • Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling for 30 months;
  • Fees and fines worth tens of thousands of dollars; and
  • Submitting to a probationary period with strict rules that could land you back in jail if violated.

Regardless of your number of offenses, your penalties may increase depending upon how intoxicated you were at the time of the arrest. Also, if you kill or injure another person during your offense, then you will face more severe penalties.

Furthermore, consequences for DUI conviction carry beyond immediate penalties. Such a conviction could result in a stain on your criminal record for at least ten years. If you are convicted, you may face steep premiums for car insurance, a much harder time landing stable employment, and decreased credit. Our dedicated attorneys could help you minimize the potential consequences of your DUI offense.

Court Process for Drunk Driving Cases

After you are pulled over and arrested for DUI in California, you can expect to be taken to the police station where law enforcement will book you and make you submit to a chemical blood-alcohol test. In addition, you will need to hand over your driver’s license and obtain a 30-day temporary one instead.

It is important to avoid speaking to law enforcement without first talking to your lawyer. Remember, anything that you may say can and will be used against you. You do not want to harm your case by accidentally saying anything damaging. Do what’s best, ask to speak to your lawyer immediately.

Additionally, while you may use a public defender, hiring an experienced Rancho Cucamonga lawyer may be more beneficial to your DUI case. Your attorney can devote their entire time to your case. In addition, a lawyer that specializes in DUI will know exactly how to handle your changes and help you determine what you can expect to happen.

You must request a DMV administrative hearing within ten days of your arrest in order to challenge your driver’s license revocation. Hiring an effective lawyer will help you meet that important deadline. Then, you and your lawyer will meet the judge and prosecutor at your very first arraignment hearing. During this hearing, you will plead either not guilty or guilty before the court.

Before you even go to trial, your lawyer may attempt to negotiate with the prosecution in order to obtain an acceptable plea bargain. This plea bargain could greatly reduce your charges if your lawyer knows what they are doing. If you obtain a plea bargain that you agree with, then you will avoid even going to trial. If your lawyer cannot obtain an agreeable plea bargain, then you must go to trial. Here your Rancho Cucamonga DUI lawyer may present your case in an attempt to challenge the evidence against you.

Whether you receive a plea bargain or get convicted you will need to attend a sentencing hearing. Here the judge will state all the penalties that you face. However, before and during your hearing, your lawyer can attempt to reduce any of those penalties.

How an Attorney Could Help

Because field sobriety tests and chemical tests are notoriously unreliable, any DUI lawyer worth their salt can challenge the results. Our team of lawyers in Rancho Cucamonga could use their experience to demonstrate the inaccuracies of a particular drunk driving test. We can also call to question the arresting officer’s credibility. Furthermore, we will also help you appeal your revoked driver’s license.

Contact a Rancho Cucamonga DUI Attorney

Do not give up if you are arrested for driving under the influence, though you do need to act quickly. Get an experienced Rancho Cucamonga DUI lawyer on your side by contacting The Law Offices of Scott Henry today.

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