Monthly Archives - November 2012

A DUI When Under 21 Years Old

If you are under 21 years of age in the state of California, you are subject to what is called a zero tolerance law if found to be driving drunk. In California, the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration administered via a preliminary screening like a breathalyzer test is below .01%. If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, there are more requirements of you when pulled over for a DUI and there can also be more consequences and need for an experienced and knowledgeable San Diego DUI attorney.

If you are under 21 and your BAC was between .01% and .05%, you can still be tried as a minor with a civil offense, which may result in less harsh penalties. If your BAC was more than .05%, then you can be charged with a criminal offense and tried as an adult. A San Diego DUI lawyer will explain to you that at any age, a criminal record can alter your life forever.

When you are a minor, it can be even more devastating as your entire life is ahead of you and you do not want to see one fateful mistake change the course of it. Unlike an adult, a minor has no choice but to agree to chemical testing at the scene, when an adult does not have submit to chemical testing unless he or she is brought into police custody. If a minor refuses a chemical test, then his license will be taken away immediately for one year on top of any suspensions sentenced if convicted. He or she may also be subject to a blood test while restrained if that is refused as well. California is even harsh on minors for drinking if they weren’t driving.

A minor between the ages of 13 and 20 found with a BAC to be over the limit may have their driving privileges delayed for a year if they are not yet licensed. When looking for a DUI attorney in San Diego to defend your case, try to find one who has experience defending minors.

Drinking and driving at any age is no laughing matter. Drinking and driving (or drinking at all) when you are a minor is all the more serious. While you should never get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, we are all human and all humans make mistakes. With your entire life ahead of you to live, call a DUI lawyer in San Diego today to help make sure the entire course of it is not altered.


Typical DUI Procedures in California

When you are facing a DUI charge in California or any state, it can be a frightening experience, especially if you are a first-time offender. Although a DUI is a misdemeanor, it is still a criminal misdemeanor and can end up on your permanent record and affect the rest of your life. If you want the best possible outcome, you cannot defend yourself on your own and will want to hire and a knowledgeable and experienced DUI lawyer in San Diego.

Driving under the influence is usually thought of to mean drunk driving or driving after consuming alcohol. However, this charge can also include any type of drug that can alter your mental capacity, whether illegal or legal. However, just because you may have taken a medication or had a glass of wine does not mean you are not fit to drive. If you are under the influence of drugs, you cannot have your blood tested at the scene and will most likely have to perform field sobriety tests if there is a question about your driving ability and mental state. If you are driving after drinking, you will still most likely be asked to take the field sobriety tests, but you may also be asked to take a breathalyzer test which can measure your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). However, even the accuracy of breathalyzer tests have been called into question in recent years. This is why you also might be asked to take a blood test if the breathalyzer found your BAC to be .08% or higher if you are over the age of 21. If you are under the age of 21, your BAC needs to be lower than .01% in California under the zero tolerance law. Your San Diego DUI attorney investigates everything that happened at the scene when he prepares your defense.

Your license will also be confiscated at the scene and you have 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV to get it back. Make sure your San Diego DUI lawyer is there for that hearing and if possible, have him request it for you for the best possible outcome. When you do have your day in court, you know a conviction can change everything. You may be forced to pay fines you can’t afford and face the possibility of jail time or probation. Your entire life can change from one fateful incident you already regret. Make sure you do not need to regret it more than you have to and call a DUI attorney in San Diego today.