The state of California is one of the strictest in terms of enforcement of driving under the influence (DUI) laws. Of course, California also has some of the most crowded roads and highways in the nation, and several of the state’s large metro areas are home to millions of drivers and millions of cars. The strict enforcement of California’s DUI laws is primarily for public safety and to deter DUIs, but these laws can also mean significant consequences for anyone who is ever suspected of driving under the influence in California.
With automobiles so prevalent in the lives of just about every Californian, DUI laws are something that affect just about everyone, which is why everyone with a car or who knows a loved one with a car should learn the basics of DUI laws – for example, the rights of anyone who is ever suspected of driving under the influence and the law on implied consent and chemical testing. A person suspected of driving under the influence has the right to remain silent (as long as they make an obvious indication that the right is being exercised) and the right to an attorney (except during the collection of a blood, breath, or urine sample for chemical testing).
A professional DUI attorney, someone with experience defending those accused of driving under the influence in California, will be a DUI suspect’s best friend after a prosecutor’s office files charges. The attorney will be able to speak on behalf of the suspect and will help the suspect through every step of the legal process. When questions are asked of the suspect, they can be directed to the attorney for screening, and so that the attorney has an opportunity to explain to the suspect the implications of answering the question.
Without this kind of legal support, suspects might think that they could handle their own defense, but this rarely turns out good for the suspect. Many people have a misunderstanding of the role that attorneys play in a court room, and trying to take on this role on their own, without any trial experience or legal knowledge, can be the quickest way for suspects to shoot themselves in the foot, so to speak.
It is not a defense attorney’s job to convince the judge not to send a suspect to jail, it is the defense attorney’s job to defend against specific charges by arguing specific points, not by reiterating a sob story. So many suspects of so many crimes inadvertently hammer the nails in their own coffins by trying to explain to a judge their side of the story, only to say something incriminating and which makes the prosecution’s case.
California DUI Penalties
The penalties that suspects of driving under the influence charges face in California range from a few days in jail to over two decades. The fines range from the hundreds to the thousands. The facts of each specific case will determine exactly what type of penalty a DUI suspect should face, with those who cause an accident which results in serious injury or death usually receiving the most severe sentences.