Driving under the influence is a crime in all fifty states, but some of the penalties and complications of the crime vary. Nonetheless, DUI has one thing in common in all fifty states: you only need an alcohol concentration of 0.08% while driving in order to be charged with driving under the influence. This means that it’s not necessary for anyone to be completely intoxicated while driving to be considering DUI either. As a result, hiring a DUI lawyer may be a good idea, but it’s also a deeply personal decision.
- DUI Penalties
- The penalties for driving under the influence are much harsher than what many people think they are. They vary by state and also by case, as there are different factors in each case, such as the age of the people involved, whether or not anyone was killed or injured, the level of alcohol concentration in the blood, etc.
- In the state of California, there are three primary levels of DUI offenses: first, second, and subsequent. In order to be charged with a second or subsequent DUI offense, your previous DUI must have occurred within the past ten years.
- A first DUI offense could land you no more than six months in prison, fines totaling no less than one thousand dollars, a suspension of your driver’s license of up to four months, and/or a requirement that you join a driving under the influence program for a specified amount of time. These penalties are much harsher for second and subsequent offenses: up to a year in prison, fines totally no less than three thousand dollars, a driver’s license suspension of up to a year, and an increased time required to be spent at a driving under the influence program.
Why You Need a DUI Lawyer
As we have mentioned, the decision on whether or not you need to hire a DUI lawyer is very personal. If anyone was killed or injured as a result of the accident or if you have had a history of driving under the influence in the past means that hiring a DUI lawyer is a good idea. There are also other considerations you should take into account, such as if you have a job that requires you to have a driver’s license, if you can’t afford to pay the fines and fees, or if you are under the age of twenty one.
But you don’t need just any DUI lawyer. You need to make sure that you hire a good DUI lawyer, meaning one who will defend your rights aggressively and who clearly understands both sides of the law. Hopefully, you’ll also be able to find a DUI lawyer who’s experienced and who has worked on DUI cases throughout California, but there are good lawyers out there too who are very knowledgeable even if they don’t have the years of experience.