If you are accused of DUI, you should seek legal help immediately. If you suspect the police officers are investigating you, do not talk to them until you consult your attorney. Remember, you have the right to an attorney whenever law enforcement officers accuse you of committing a criminal offense, including DUI. Sometimes the attorney can listen to your side of the story and meet the arresting officers to avoid them filing the charges.

So you want to hire a DUI attorney who is experienced and trustworthy. At Koenig Law Office, our attorneys are ready to represent clients facing criminal charges, including DUI. We start by explaining what the right to an attorney means. Then, we will gather the necessary information and prepare enough evidence to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Understanding Your Right to a DUI Attorney in California

It is your right to an attorney when you face criminal charges in California. The law holds that “the accused person shall have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” Remember, the right does not apply when you face a civil case. For example, when you want to sue a law enforcement officer for mistreating you, you can only hire a private lawyer or file the paperwork yourself.

It means you have a right to an attorney when you face any criminal charges with the possibility of losing your freedom. You have the right, regardless of whether the case can be imprisoned. Again, you have the right to employ any attorney you wish. If you cannot hire an attorney, the court will appoint one. But you cannot choose a court-appointed attorney.

Every criminal defendant in California can lose their right to freedom. That is why having the right to an attorney is imperative. For example, a DUI attorney positively influences your DUI case. The attorney ensures you’re in court, and the prosecutor upholds your constitutional rights.

Top Reasons Why You Need to Work with a DUI Attorney After Your Arrest

One of the main questions you will likely ask yourself is whether you can hire an attorney after your arrest. The obvious downside is the possible cost associated with hiring an attorney. The following are the key reasons why you want to hire a DUI attorney:

They Understand California DUI Laws and Judicial System

The first and main reason you want to hire a DUI attorney is that they know how the judicial system works in California. If it is your first arrest, the judicial process can be confusing. The attorney can help you navigate the legal process based on your case's facts. The attorney often offers a free step-by-step guide to the court proceedings.

They Have Established Relationship with the Prosecutors

After working in the court system for many years, the DUI attorney has developed strong relationships with the prosecuting attorneys. Both attorneys know each has experience dealing with DUI cases since they are familiar with them.

Working with a lawyer with a positive relationship with the prosecutors is essential. The relationship can enable them to negotiate affordable and better deals. Therefore, when choosing the DUI attorney to work with, ensure you work with an attorney conversant with the California judicial system.

They Have Handled Similar Cases Before

Not all lawyers have handled similar cases to yours. Although all lawyers pass through school to practice law, different lawyers have different specialties. An experienced DUI attorney has handled related DUI cases. They have handled cases that could be nearly identical to yours. They understand what to do to ensure you win your case. They also know the evidence they require to ensure they convince the court.

They Can Observe Police Conduct

More observation through Facebook, the media, and television can help you understand the limits law enforcement officers can make when collecting evidence against you. A good DUI attorney spends many years learning the nuances of legal procedure and identifying loopholes.

The attorney knows what the police officers should do when investigating you and looks for possible ways the officers could have violated your rights. If the evidence collected was improper, the attorney could ensure the court throws out the evidence.

They Offer Advice About the Potential Outcomes

Several attorneys will clearly show how they will help you navigate the legal process. They will assure you that nothing bad can happen in court. Later, you face a conviction and serve a jail term for many years.

The lawyers assured you this would not happen, but it did, simply because you trusted them. An experienced DUI attorney knows the possible penalties you can face. The attorney knows when it is best to take a plea bargain from the prosecutor or when you should battle your case in court.

They Help You Protect Your Future

A DUI attorney can help you fight the charge and protect your future. They can ensure the court reduces the charge, lessens the penalties, or even dismisses the case. By reducing the felony charge, they keep it off your criminal record and ensure you do not jeopardize your career.

Also, by reducing the charge, they help you avoid jail terms and losing your job. Again, when they convince the court to dismiss your charge, they save you from the negative effects of a criminal conviction.

Motions to Dismiss Your Charges

One of the main goals of your DUI attorney is to have the court dismiss your charges. Even a plea deal or a lesser conviction can damage your future, reputation, or career. However, your criminal record will remain clean when the court dismisses the DUI charges. Your attorney can file motions to dismiss your charges in the following situations:

  • Your case had no probable cause.
  • Your arrest was unlawful.
  • The prosecutor and police violated your constitutional rights.

Note that dismissal of your charge does not necessarily mean you are clear. For example, dismissing one case does not mean the court will dismiss the other charges if you have multiple cases. In addition, the prosecution team may decide to gather enough evidence and file the case later.

Ways Your DUI Attorney Can Fight the DUI Charges

When you face DUI charges in California, you might end up in jail for an extended period and face other severe penalties. You might think the prosecutor has built a solid case, and you have no reasonable defense to fight the charge. You might even feel the desire to plead guilty in an attempt to speed up the legal process. Before you plead guilty, seek legal help from your DUI attorney. The following are the main defenses your attorney can employ to fight the charges:

  • Your Driving Patterns Do Not Indicate a DUI

Before the police pull you over, they must observe your driving patterns. The law enforcement officers must testify that they witnessed you drive in a manner that indicated you were driving while under the influence of drugs. The driving patterns might include inappropriate braking, swerving, and failure to yield. Your DUI attorney can challenge the police's observation and claim their evidence is unreliable. Your attorney can also argue that violating traffic rules does not indicate drunk driving. Therefore, the court will either reduce the charge or dismiss the case.

  • Unreliable Field Sobriety Tests

During your case trial, the prosecutor may rely on your performance during the field sobriety tests. It could be one of the prosecutor's main evidence against you. You should note that factors could cause poor performance in the tests. These factors include:

  • Improper footwear.
  • Nausea or dizziness.
  • Natural clumsiness.
  • Performance anxiety induced by the police.

When your DUI lawyer explains all these factors, they inflict a sense of reasonable doubt on your case. Therefore, the judge will examine your case and likely drop the charges. Always ensure you have supportive evidence in your DUI case.

No Impairment

The prosecutor must produce evidence before the court about how you were driving. Usually, many people associate certain types of driving with impairment. If the police did not conduct field sobriety tests, this defense could be best for your case.

Your DUI attorney can question the eyewitness about your driving. Several sober drivers can indeed be poor drivers. So, not all poor drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Unlawful Interrogations and Miranda violations

After passing the 5th Amendment to the American Constitution, you can obtain an attorney and remain silent during your arrest. However, law enforcement officers must read your Miranda rights before arresting you. Law enforcement officers can read your Miranda rights, ask exploratory questions, and conduct field sobriety tests. Anything you say during your arrest can be used against you in criminal court.

The law requires you to cooperate with the arresting officers and not answer incriminating questions. If the arresting officers read you your Miranda rights after arresting you, your DUI attorney can use this defense to fight the charge. Your experienced DUI attorney will convince the court to exclude this evidence.

Violation of Evidence and Court Procedure

Many rules govern how the prosecutor and the police should gather evidence against you. Also, there are rules on how the collected evidence should be stored and how the prosecution team should present the evidence to the court. Many issues may arise during your trial.

California DUI Penalties

The penalties for DUI offenses in California vary based on whether you commit a first-time or repeat DUI offense. Again, repeat offenders face severe penalties compared to first-time offenders. Therefore, when you face the charges, you must work closely with your DUI attorney. The attorney will help you understand more about the DUI penalties.

  1. First Offense DUI

The penalties are relatively small when you face a DUI charge for the first time. These penalties include:

  • A six-month jail time.
  • License suspension for six months.
  • Compulsory DUI classes for athletes for three months.
  • DUI probation for a period between three and five years.
  • Installation of an IID in your vehicle.
  1. Second Offense DUI

When you commit a second DUI offense, you face the following penalties:

  • 12 months jail term.
  • License suspension for 24 months.
  • DUI probation for a period between three and five years.
  • Compulsory DUI classes for a period between 18 months and 30 months.
  • Compulsory installation of an IID in your vehicle.
  1. Third Offense DUI

When you face a charge for a third DUI offense, you face the following penalties:

  • A compulsory DUI class for up to 30 months.
  • License suspension for up to 36 months.
  • Jail term for a period between 12 months and 16 months.
  • DUI probation for up to five years.
  • Compulsory installation of an IID in your vehicle.
  1. Fourth Offense DUI

The following are the potential penalties you face when you commit a fourth offense DUI:

  • A jail term for up to 16 months.
  • License suspension for up to 48 months.
  • Potential permanent license suspension.
  • A DUI probation for up to five years.
  • Compulsory DUI school for up to 30 months.
  • Compulsory installation of an IID in your vehicle.

How Your DUI Attorney Can Help You Expunge Your Criminal Record

In California, the court allows several people to expunge their criminal records. You can qualify for the expungement only after meeting the requirements. First, you must complete your probationary term. When you neglect to do so, you affect your ability to delete the DUI record.

Next, you must serve the court-ordered jail term. You still qualify for the expungement if you served a jail term but couldn't have served under Prop. 47. After meeting all the requirements, you file a petition to request that the criminal court expunge the DUI record. The criminal court judge will review your petition and determine whether to grant or deny the request.

If you had entered a guilty verdict before, you would have entered a not-guilty verdict. If your DMV or the court has revoked your license, an expungement will not allow you to obtain the revoked or suspended license. Although it is not common, the court may permanently revoke your license. The expungement will not undo the license revocation if this is your case.

Expunging a DUI record is important in your life. Once you delete the criminal record, you will enjoy many benefits. Many people with a DUI conviction find obtaining a promotion or even a new job challenging. However, when you delete the criminal record, your new employer will not use the past conviction to impact your employment status.

Expungement of the DUI record will also allow you to seek a state professional license. Remember, many professions in California require you to have a professional license. Examples of these professions include medical or legal professions, real estate, and contractors. So, your DUI attorney can help you delete your criminal record and ensure you enjoy your rights.

Also, a DUI record can impact your credibility as a witness in court. In many cases, the court considers the credibility of the witnesses brought before them. However, an opposing attorney or prosecutor cannot question your credibility using your previously deleted record. So, ensure you work with your attorney to help you protect and enjoy this privilege.

Lastly, you can secure a loan from different institutions by deleting your criminal record. A loan can boost you, especially when you are serving your sentence. However, many financial institutions believe people with criminal records have problems repaying their loans. So, your action could be turned down due to your criminal record. When you delete the record, your ability to secure a loan will not be affected.

Public Defenders

Remember, all criminal defendants in California have the right to a lawyer. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one. The appointed attorneys are from the public defender's office. The public defenders deal with many criminal cases, including DUI cases.

So, they are familiar with California DUI laws, and the court will appoint one for you. Their knowledge can be essential in plea bargaining. These attorneys also have good trial skills since they are used to case trials. However, there are drawbacks to having public defenders represent you. Note that they have large workloads.

Several defendants feel that public defendants do not pay attention to their cases. Also, you must choose something other than your public defender. Public offenders are also limited to the criminal courts. So, if you need more money to hire your DUI attorney, you also want to know the shortcomings of working with public defenders.

Contact a DUI Attorney Near Me

Are you facing a DUI charge in Bakersfield? Do you want to represent yourself in court? It is never a good idea. Navigating the legal process is difficult, and you require the services of an attorney. The attorney will help you understand the legal process and ensure you develop a strong defense to fight the charge.

A lack of trial skills and knowledge can disadvantage you in court. Seek legal help. We are here to assist you and protect your rights at the Koenig Law Office. We are determined to work with you if you seek legal assistance in Bakersfield. Contact us today at 661-793-7222 and speak with one of our top attorneys.