Ventura Criminal Justice Attorney
Ventura County DUI Defense Lawyer
An arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) can have lasting consequences long after the four-month suspension of your driver’s license has been lifted, the more than $3,000 in fines, fees, surcharges and assessments have been paid, and any jail time imposed has been served. You’ll spend three years on probation with your movements restricted, spend three months in alcohol school (which you pay for), and be subject to alcohol breath tests whenever ordered by the police or your probation officer. All of this is for a first offense only and gets much worse if you have a prior drunk driving conviction. On top of all the criminal penalties, you could wind up losing your job or a professional license, and your reputation may suffer in your local community, social circle, and religious life. Our Ventura DUI lawyers know that the stress of a DUI conviction can even strain a marriage or other relationship. Additionally, a DUI on your record subjects you to enhanced penalties for any subsequent DUI arrest for the next ten years.
All of this goes to say a DUI arrest should be taken very seriously and dealt with head-on. It should not be ignored, and neither should you simply try to put the matter behind you as quickly as possible by pleading guilty. The good news is that you may have any number of defenses available to you when charged with a DUI, and a skilled California criminal defense attorney can work to exonerate you or help you avoid the most serious effects of a DUI arrest. In Oxnard and Ventura County, criminal defense attorney Paul Tyler provides the advice and representation you need after a drunk driving arrest. See below for answers to some of your questions about DUI in southern California, and call the Law Office of Paul Tyler at 805-889-9000 if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Ventura County.
How can I defend against a DUI charge?
As with an arrest for any criminal offense, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The prosecutors have to prove every element of the offense charged against you, and you have many constitutional rights and protections to ensure you get a fair trial, including the assistance of counsel to raise all applicable defenses. Defenses in a California DUI case may include, among others:
- The police did not have an adequate reason to pull you over
- The police did not have legal cause to make you take a breath test
- The police improperly applied a preliminary alcohol screen or field sobriety test
- The breathalyzer equipment was not properly calibrated before use
- You were not informed of the consequences for refusing a breath test
How can I keep my driver’s license after a DUI arrest?
When you are arrested for DUI in California, the arresting officer will take your driver’s license on the spot, and you’ll be issued a temporary license which is good for 30 days. Your license is forwarded to the DMV, along with the police officer’s report and breath test results. This triggers an automatic review at the DMV of the officer’s report, the suspension order, and the results of the breathalyzer or other test taken of your blood or breath alcohol content. Unless the DMV notices anything wrong with these documents, they’ll proceed to suspend your license for a four-month period on a first offense, or a one-year suspension if you have a prior DUI in the past ten years.
It is possible to request a hearing before the DMV suspends your license, but you only have ten days from the time you receive the suspension order to request the hearing. Call the Law Office of Paul Tyler as soon as possible after a Ventura County DUI arrest, and we’ll review your situation and discuss whether pursuing a DMV hearing is worthwhile in your case.
Getting your driver’s license back after a suspension requires paying a $125 reissue fee and providing proof of financial responsibility, which means you must show you obtained liability insurance with the exorbitantly high premiums that insurance companies charge persons after a DUI. You can avoid paying this reissue fee if you are successful at a DMV hearing.
If your license is nevertheless suspended, you can still apply at any DMV field office for a restricted license allowing you to drive to and from work.
Can I refuse to take a breath test?
You are required by law to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath (or urine in some circumstances) when ordered to by the police. Refusing to submit to a test results in an automatic one-year suspension of your driver’s license for a first refusal. Compare that result to a four-month license suspension for DUI and decide whether you think it’s worth it to refuse the test.
One thing to remember is that California’s implied consent law only applies to chemical testing. The same law does not apply to police requests that you take a field sobriety test such as standing on one foot or walking a straight line.
Don’t Hesitate to Call Lawyer Paul Tyler after a DUI Arrest in Ventura
The sooner you call an experienced DUI attorney after an arrest, the sooner your Ventura DUI lawyer can get to work helping you save your license and avoid harsh criminal sanctions. Time is of the essence in drunk driving cases, so be sure and act quickly. The Law Office of Paul Tyler is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and serves clients throughout Ventura County as well as portions of Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles County. Call 805-889-9000 for a no-cost, confidential consultation to learn about your options and find out how we can help you.