If you or a loved one is facing Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Illegal Substance (DUI) charges, do not take them lightly. Do not think that you will receive a slap on the wrist, even if it is your first offense.
The Auto Club of Southern California estimated that a DUI conviction will cost you more than $15,000. Yes, that is $15,000 even for a first-time offender. This eye-popping number is primarily due to the insurance rate hike of over $10,000 that will likely take place over the subsequent decade, according to LA Weekly. This is on top of a minimum fine of $2,000.
The financial website WalletHub ranked the strictest and most lenient states for a DUI conviction, and California was ranked No. 1 for the average auto insurance rate increase resulting from a first-time DUI conviction. You also are subjected to the inconvenience of a standard administrative license suspension of at least 120 days. That means you will be unable to drive for four months post-conviction.
In addition to steep financial ramifications and an inability to operate a vehicle, a DUI conviction on your record will be a factor for “enhancing” your punishment if you get arrested for a second offense within 10 years. According to WalletHub, that makes California the sixth toughest state for using a DUI conviction in subsequent offenses. California had other top-10 rankings including No. 8 for minimum jail time for a DUI conviction (two days for a first-time offender) and No. 10 for the aforementioned minimum fine.
Fighting the DUI Charge
As you can see, a DUI charge is no small matter. It can ruin you financially and have lasting repercussions on you personally and professionally. This is why you need to fight the charges by retaining an experienced Beverly Hill DUI defense lawyer. An attorney can help level the playing field when investigating the circumstances surrounding the charges.
Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. The burden is on the state to prove that you were legally intoxicated when charged. If there is reasonable doubt and you were not truly intoxicated, you can have the DUI charge dismissed.
If, for example, a police officer administered a field sobriety test, much of the testing procedures that are currently used can be inaccurate and challenged in court. For example, the often-used walk-and-turn test is not a good strategy to determining intoxication. In fact, the accuracy rate is less than 70% for the walk-and-turn test. If you were suffering from a medical condition, an injury, or were even wearing certain types of footwear, those exigent circumstances could have caused you to fail this test.
Along with field sobriety tests, Breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. In fact, a Breathalyzer test can be inaccurate by up to 12.5%. That is an unreasonably high margin for error to be considered sufficient to convict someone and put their livelihood in peril.
Now is the Time to Speak to a DUI Defense Lawyer
The Law Office of Peter Berlin is comprised of dedicated legal professionals providing premier DUI defense representation. We have the experience it takes to assess what we need to provide in a given case in order to serve our clients.