I plead guilty to a dui (from prescription medication) six years ago. I am now being charged with a 2nd dui (also from prescription medication) with an accident. The cop did not take my license and the DMV did not suspend bcz of the 2nd dui. The judge is offering a deal where I plead guilty to dui but I am NOT required to attend dui alcohol school since I don't drink & the dui did not involve alcohol.
If I accept the deal will the DMV suspend my license? If so, can I wait out the entire 12 month suspension to avoid attending a dui school? Any way to avoid attending an 18 month alcohol program since I don't drink and neither dui was as a result of alcohol?
A drug DUI can be more difficult to prove than an alcohol DUI. You should consult with an attorney before considering the deal, discussing the details of your case, the blood results, the "bad" driving, lawfulness of the stop, etc. Just because you were stopped and arrested, doesnt automatically make it legal.
As for DMV, yes, your license will be suspended for a DUI conviction, even if it is just drugs. However, the suspension for a 2d DUI is NOT 12 months. It is 2 years. You can get a restricted license after 90 days, however, that means enrolling in the appropriate DUI program - even if its not a condition of probation - along with getting SR22 filed, and paying the reinstatement fee.
If you don't have an attorney, you should really consider getting one - even if its the Public Defender. You want to make sure you know if you have a good case for a reduction or dismissal of charges. Don't just take the DUI because its the easiest thing to do right now.
If you are convicted of a DUI (VC 23152), there will be a license suspension from the DMV whether or not the underlying issue is alcohol or drugs, or prescription medication. The DMV sees the VC 23152 conviction and suspends the license. You should speak about this issue further with your DUI attorney that is handling your case. He/she can best advise you as to the situation in your case. If you can get the DUI reduced to a Wet Reckless or lesser charge, then there is no automatic suspension from the DMV.
If you plead guilty or no contest to a violation of VC 23152(a), you have to make sure that the provision of the "alcohol" is stricken. Otherwise the DMV will suspend your license. You should discuss your case with your attorney as there maybe nuances that members on this board, which may affect your case to which we are not privy.
You need the advice and expertise of someone who knows the difference between an alcohol related DUI and a DUI that's non-alcohol related. There is a difference. I have never had a client have a license suspended due to a non-alcohol related DUI. Many reputable attorneys offer free consultation. You should meet with many.
Michael K. Cernyar, Esq.
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