California DUI First Offense

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What Is a DUI First Offense?

A California DUI first offense occurs when a driver is charged with DUI for the first time. California’s driving under the influence laws state that it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle with any of the following blood alcohol content (BAC) levels:

What Are Some Consequences for a DUI First Offense?

In California, DUIs are “priorable” offenses, which means that the punishment increases with each DUI conviction that takes place within a 10-year period. However, even for first time offenders, the legal consequences of a DUI can be harsh.

Most DUIs are prosecuted as a misdemeanor but some can be charged as a felony if it involves bodily injury or property damage.

When convicted of a driving under the influence for the first time in California, the criminal penalties can include:

Also, the DMV penalties can include:

What Is Needed to Prove a California DUI First Offense?

The state prosecutor has the burden of proving that the driver was under the influence at the time of driving. A person who has taken a breath or chemical test would not be automatically guilty because the breath tests that are used may sometimes have inaccurate readings. Also, the police officer administering the test may not follow the proper procedures.

If there is any mistake in administering the test or the calibration on the breathalyzers are not accurate, the test results could be suppressed.

To convict a driver of a DUI, the prosecutor has the burden to prove:

Are There Any Defenses for a DUI First Offense?

In California, there are several defenses that can be used to fight a DUI charge. Many times the officer will point out the your physical appearance appeared that you were under the influence such as:

This physical appearance can be challenged by innocent explanations since the symptoms could be the caused by other things such as allergies, sickness, or eye irritations.

Other possible defenses that could be used to fight a DUI charge in California could be:

Do I Need a Lawyer for a DUI First Offense?

California has harsh penalties for DUIs even for first time offenders. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you present the best defenses for your case. that could be applicable in your case and help you fight the DUI charge against you. An experienced attorney can also help you restore your license and avoid any possible license suspensions that the DMV could impose. It’s in your best interests to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you need help with DUI charges.

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Last Modified: 05-05-2016 01:04 PM PDT

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