California DUI Laws

California DUI laws are a complex area of law.  California DUI lawyers handle complex legal issues for drivers charged with driving under the influence in both criminal court and administrative hearings through the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

When a driver is stopped for DUI in California, they will usually have their license confiscated at the scene under California’s “stop and snatch” or Admin per Se laws. Under California DUI laws, upon release from custody, California drivers are left holding a pink piece of paper which serves as a 30 day temporary license, however that is a false sense of security.   They are also given a citation or other notice to appear in court to face criminal prosecution. Anyone facing the potential penalties of California DUI laws needs to contact an experienced DUI lawyer immediately.

California DUI Laws: Court and DMV

Many people make the mistake of waiting for the their California court date to deal with a DUI charge and sadly at this point it is often too late. The problem is that in order to challenge the suspension of your license under the Admin per Se law you must request a hearing within 10 days of the date of arrest.  If you fail to request the hearing you automatically lose.

So don’t make the mistake of believing that you have 30 days or wait until your court date arrives which is sometimes 4-6 weeks out. You also don’t want to wait until your blood test results come back.  Get out of denial, start learning about California DUI laws, and get to work finding a lawyer who can properly defend your case.

If you fail to request a DMV hearing within the 10 day window or if you request the hearing and later lose the hearing you will face a period of suspension. This penalty is completely independent of any penalty you later face in court. The period of suspension will vary greatly based on the circumstances of the offense.

Avoiding a suspension, or minimizing the period of suspension and returning to restricted or full driving privileges is a complex process. Many people convicted of DUI in California do not regain their driving privilege for years after receiving a DUI. To successfully avoid or minimize the period of suspension you need the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer.

California DUI Laws: Types of Charges

DUI cases include cases for under 21 drivers, commercial drivers, and regular class C license holders. They also include cases brought against out of state residents or out of state license holders and these cases present special challenges. Depending on the facts of the case, the same conduct of driving under the influence could result in a misdemeanor or a felony.

Common enhancements which can increase the potential sentence include any injuries sustained by anyone other than the person receiving the DUI, excessive speed, unlicensed driver,  suspended license driver, hit and run, accident with property damage, and high blood alcohol level.  Serious injuries can lead to vehicular manslaughter charges or even murder under the Watson rule.

Under California DUI laws, drivers facing DUI charges in California can be first time offenders or multiple offenders. Current sentencing law allows the prosecutor to allege a previous conviction as a prior if it occurred within a 10 year window.

Common plea bargains for DUI include reduced sentences such as reckless driving under VC 23103.5, commonly known as a “wet reckless”, a dry reckless per VC 23103, speed exhibitions, or moving violations.

Finding a California DUI Lawyer

california dui laws

If you are facing a DUI charge in California and you would like to learn more about California DUI laws from a California lawyer who could help you with your case, check out our blog on California DUI Laws. It won’t cost you a penny and you will learn a great deal from lawyers who deal with these issues in the California Court system. We also recommend checking out DUI attorney Mark A. Gallagher’s blogposts as well as his website and personal blog.

Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher

Why do we ask for your Date of Birth and Driver's License Number?

When contacting the Law Offices of Mark A. Gallagher, we ask you for your D.O.B. and DL# to look up your traffic violation(s) information. With this information, we’ll be able to give you accurate details about your case and how we’re able to help you when we contact you.