Are you facing Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges in Fresno, Madera, Hanford or Visalia, California? If so, here are some important things that you need to know.
Don't tell the officers how much you drank. If they ask you how much you drank, tell them that you're not sure. Anything that you say can and will be used against you in court. If you lie about how much you drank, and a chemical test proves that you were above the legal limit of .08%, you're going to ruin your credibility in court. Similarly, don't tell anyone that you had several drinks because that won't help you either. Exercise your right to remain silent.
Don't choose just any attorney. The DUI laws are complex so don't hire an attorney that does not specialize in DUI defense.
Do you get a public defender? If you meet California's requirements for a public defender, you can get a defense attorney free of charge, however, you must have a very low income, and little to no assets to qualify. You may have to prove that you cannot afford the fees for a private defense lawyer.
Public defenders are usually overburdened with large caseloads and don't have the same amount of time to devote to their cases as private attorneys do.
Typically, a DUI is a misdemeanor. In most cases, first-time DUI without an accident with injuries is a misdemeanor offense. However, if someone was injured or killed, it's usually a felony DUI, which means higher fines, a prison sentence, and other consequences. If you are facing felony DUI charges, it's extremely important that you have a good defense lawyer.
A DUI can damage your career. If you're a driver, or if you're in a position of trust; for example, a teacher, a doctor, a police officer, a nurse, a CPA, or someone else with a professional license, a DUI can cause you to lose your job, or your professional license.
A DUI can affect child custody. If you're in the middle of a child custody battle, a DUI will not be viewed favorably by a family law judge. The concern is what's in the best interests of the children and if a judge believes that you have a drinking problem, or that you might put the children in danger, the judge could award custody to the other parent. If you had a drug-related DUI, this poses a problem as well.
Contact our office to arrange a free consultation.