According to the most recent California DMV DUI reports, there were over 1,100 alcohol-related crash fatalities and almost 800 drug-related crash fatalities in 2019 alone. These fatalities account for over half of the total crash fatalities in the state. With tragic statistics like these, it is unsurprising that California has taken a harsh position against those who choose to operate a vehicle while impaired. Although this strong reaction is understandable, it can sometimes result in overzealous police officers violating the accused’s rights and determined prosecutors overcharging for the crime that was committed.
If you are arrested for a DUI in Ventura, CA, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away. The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein has over 20 years of legal experience, representing clients from all walks of life. We can examine your case and determine the most favorable outcome, then diligently work to reach that outcome. Our staff takes considerable pride in protecting the rights of our clients and can create a strong legal strategy without judging your circumstances.
California DUI laws apply to circumstances of impaired driving as a result of alcohol and/or drugs. It is against the law to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug, including legal prescription or over-the-counter drugs, that lowers your ability to drive safely. It is important to read the information provided with the mediation to understand the potential effects that it can have, as ignorance of a clearly stated side effect is not generally an effective defense.
There are two main DUI laws that affect California drivers. Even though these two statutes are different crimes, and can both be charged during a single DUI event, it will only count as a single DUI conviction on your record:
It is also against the law to carry with you or consume alcohol or cannabis products in a vehicle, either as a driver or a passenger. If you are transporting these substances, it is vital that they are in a sealed and unopened container or in the trunk away from passengers. Exceptions to this law include being a passenger in a taxi, bus, camper, or motorhome. A DUI attorney can help you understand the charges that have been brought against you and the most effective methods for fighting them.
First-time DUI convictions are treated less severely than subsequent DUI convictions, with the potential penalties increasing with the number of DUIs on your record. The prosecution will also be much less lenient as your number of DUI arrests and convictions increases.
The time period for prior convictions to count for these sentencing increases is ten years, meaning that a DUI arrest that happened five years ago would count as a prior DUI, but an arrest from 12 years ago would not. There are also increased penalties if you refuse to submit to a chemical test after your arrest and/or if an injury or death occurs as a result of your impaired driving. Regardless of the circumstances of your DUI arrest, it is important that you speak with an experienced DUI attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that the penalties are reasonable.
There are three main ways that DUI arrests arise: a routine traffic stop, a DUI checkpoint, and an accident. Therefore, one of the leading ways to set yourself up for success in fighting a DUI charge is by understanding your rights during a traffic stop and what actions police officers can take.
Provide minimal information, and avoid saying anything that could harm you during a traffic stop. It is important to be polite to the police officer and follow their instructions during the stop, but it is also vital to remember that their intent with the traffic stop never aligns with your interests. Protect your rights as well as you can in the moment, then speak with an attorney after the traffic stop or arrest if you believe that your rights were violated.
Successfully fighting a DUI charge almost always requires working with a skilled Ventura DUI attorney. Although the penalties may not seem severe at the time, it is difficult to anticipate exactly how having a DUI on your record may affect your life. The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein is adept at representing clients in criminal court. We are ready to examine your case and determine your most effective route for a successful life after your DUI arrest. To speak with our experienced team regarding a DUI, contact us today.