I received my first DUI about a month ago. I just received my BAC results of .19. I am under the age of 21 and unfortunately got into a car accident. I was the only person involved in the accident. I requested a DMV hearing and was able to extend my license until the hearing date. However, I'm curious as to how difficult it will be to be able to obtain a restricted license to and from work? I'm currently living on my own and working to pay for my college tuition. Also, what are the other likely consequences and fines I'll be facing?
Estate Planning Attorney
You're certainly in a tough spot. You did a good job requesting a hearing. I hope you've continued that by looking for an attorney to represent you, at least for the DMV portion. Being under 21, you are up against a zero tolerance policy with the state of California as far as alcohol is concerned. What this means is that if you have ANY alcohol, or are convicted of ANY alcohol related offense, you are looking at a minimum of a 1 year license suspension without eligibility for a restricted license (although you can apply for a Critical Need Restriction). The reason you should be seriously looking at getting an attorney is that DUI's are not simply a matter of BAC level. A lawful arrest must be proven. A lawful contact must be proven. Chemical test results must comply with California's Title 17 standards. There are several things that must be done correctly.
This isnt something you want to do on your own. If you can afford it, hire someone, at least for the DMV hearing. Investigation is key in DUI cases so make sure you hire the right attorney, not just the cheapest.
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DUI / DWI Attorney
If there were no injuries, the DA's office would likely want you to earn at least 10 days of jail credit. In that case, you could apply to do the time on a jail alternative such as SWAP (i.e., clean up crew). If there were injuries to others and/or if you have a prior criminal/DUI history, then they would want you earn considerably more and possibly state prison. If the injuries were even a little bit serious, you would be facing felonies, not misdemeanors. Probation terms of 3 years are typical and the fine totals are at least $2,000. It seems odd that you weren't offered a stay on the license suspension if you made your request within 10 days after the event. There are many other direct and indirect consequences of a DUI conviction that you should be made aware of before you go to court. You have not been convicted yet. You should avoid discussing your case in a public forum any further and take advantage of a free and confidential consultation with a qualified DUI lawyer right away. There may be one or more latent defenses that a lawyer experienced in DUI defense could help you identify. Regardless, here are many ways such a lawyer could bring you advantage in the process. In fact, you might be able to keep your license or, if nothing else, gain a significant number of driving days.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Being under 21 you can qualify for a critical need/restricted license, but this is under very particular circumstances. Because you are under 21 and there was an accident and your BAC was so high, the court is going to want to make an example of you, possibly even make you pay with jail time. You need a very good attorney. Under the direction of an attorney there are things you can do, even now, to save your license and lessen your penalties. My recommendation is to call an attorney now.
DUI / DWI Attorney
Without injuries, the DA's office will want you toserve the equivilant of at least 10 days of jail . You could apply to do the time on a jail alternative such as SWAP (i.e., clean up crew). With injuries to others and/or if you have a prior criminal/DUI history, then the DA will want you serve considerably more jail time and possibly even state prison. If the injuries were even a little bit serious, you would be facing felonies, not misdemeanors. Probation is typically for 3 years and the fine totals are at least $2,000. You should have been offered a stay on the license suspension if you made your request within 10 days after the event. There are many other consequences of a DUI conviction that you should be made aware of before you enter a plea in court. You have not been convicted yet. You should avoid discussing your case in a public forum any further and take advantage of a free and confidential consultation with a qualified DUI lawyer right away. There may be defenses that an experienced DUI defense lawyer could point out. There are many ways a lawyer might give you a significant advantage in Couirt and at the DMV. You may be able to keep your license or, at least, gain a significant number of driving days before you lose it.
Personal Injury Lawyer
In Santa Barbara assuming you are convicted (and even with high blood alcohol and accident there may be defenses available to you, but it does sound bleak in that regard) you will do some jail time, but it can be served picking up trash and with community service as long as nobody was hurt. If someone was hurt this could go from a misdemeanor to a felony and could have much more serious consequences. If convicted you will lose your license for at least one year, be put on probation, and pay fines and fees plus restitution for any damage your accident caused. Good Luck Ron Bamieh
Criminal Defense Attorney
You, and the other attorneys, are presuming you are provably guilty. I start with a presumption of innocense in my analysis [silly me!] and I fight these things. The fact somebody said you were .19 does not mean it's provably so, especially at the time of the driving. There are real DUI lawyers [most crim. lawyers are not!]who can and do fight these things [among whose numbers am I, but this is too far for me]; so don't cave in so soon.