If you have been arrested for a DUI in California, you may be quite anxious about the criminal penalties you might be facing. And, if you are not, you probably should be. California hands down some of the strictest penalties in the country for DUI convictions. Jail time is often included, and the financial penalties and consequences that follow can easily reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. But the good news is that judges have wide latitude in the specific penalties they order in the sentence following a DUI conviction. Furthermore, California prosecutors have wide discretion in working with defendants and their attorneys to reach plea agreements that reduce penalties. Finally, in many cases, an experienced California DUI defense attorney can pursue defense strategies to have your charges dropped altogether or to obtain a not guilty verdict, meaning you will face no criminal penalties.
Fighting Your California DUI Charges
Getting arrested for a DUI can feel like the end of the line. While a side-of-the-road arrest can be humiliating and dispiriting, remember that – as with all crimes – an arrest just means that an officer apparently thought there was probable cause to believe you were guilty of violating a DUI law.
But a police officer can only arrest, not convict you. To be convicted, a prosecutor must bring criminal charges against you, and a court must find that there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to find you guilty. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you avoid a conviction or work towards a more favorable outcome by, among other things:
- Challenging the constitutionality of the traffic stop
- Challenging the constitutionality of the arrest
- Question the admissibility of any evidence brought against you
- Counter the relevance and worth of any evidence brought against you (e.g. whether the officer used proper procedures and/or properly working equipment)
Reaching a Favorable Agreement With Prosecutors
Prosecutors are charged with protecting the residents of their jurisdiction, and are willing to reach practical, positive outcomes when they are convinced that a defendant in a DUI case bears reduced risk of other infractions or danger. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work with prosecutors to reach a more favorable outcome on your behalf by making a compelling case for why a stricter sentence such as a long jail sentence would serve no necessary purpose.
Pleading Your Case to the Judge
Ultimately, the decision on your sentence rests with a judge, no matter how determined a prosecutor is to win the strict sentence possible. In California, a first-time DUI conviction can mean up to six months in a country prison, among other criminal fines and penalties. An experienced defense attorney can present a strong argument to the judge against jail time and steep fines and penalties on your behalf.
Contact a CA Criminal Defense Lawyer to Fight DUI Charges
At Geragos Law Group, we are personally dedicated to seeking the best possible outcome for each and everyone of our clients and are committed to zealously pursuing all legal strategies and defenses to put the situation behind them as quickly as possible through a dismissal of charges, not guilty verdict, or favorable agreement with prosecutors. Contact Geragos Law Group to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney about presenting your best DUI defense.