You are pulled over by a police officer suspected of driving under the influence. You take a breath or blood test. The result — .12 (or even higher). You are over the legal limit of .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) and you are arrested and charged with Vehicle Code Section 23152, driving under the influence of alcohol.
You ask yourself, “Should I just plead guilty? Do I need to hire an attorney?” You should never plead guilty at the arraignment stage. And yes, you need to hire a skilled, exclusively DUI defense attorney.
It is never recommended that a person plead guilty at the arraignment. At this early stage, the discovery documents are not available to the defendant or the defendant’s attorney. DUI defenses become apparent during the discovery phase of the case.
Even though the chemical test results showed you were over the legal limit, you may still have defenses in your case. Before you can even consider your breath or blood test results, you have to evaluate the prosecution’s entire case against you.
A skilled trial attorney will review all the discovery documents, evaluate the prosecutor’s case, and advise you on any defenses. Appropriate motions may be filed, which can result in your matter being dismissed or reduced.
Since a DUI conviction will be on your driving record for 10 years, it will be used as a prior to enhance the penalty of any other drunk driving cases you may pick up during that time period. Therefore, it is important to aggressively fight to get the case reduced or dismissed.
If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never just plead guilty. Chemical test results of 0.08% or higher can be disputed and found to be unreliable and invalid. At The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman, we evaluate each case for these errors and file motions when appropriate to get this evidence excluded. Often the result of winning such motions is the prosecutor dismisses the charges or negotiates for a lesser charge with less severe penalties.
Call The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman at 619-260-1122 or use the “Contact Us” form on this page to find out how we can help fight your case. We offer free, confidential consultations.