In California, if a person is initially arrested for driving under the influence, the case may be negotiated down to other, less severe charges such as a wet reckless, dry reckless, drunk in public, or even an exhibition of speed charge. Successful negotiation will depend upon the facts of the case.
In my experience in San Diego courts, exhibition of speed as a reduction from a drunk driving charge is rarely available as a negotiated plea, unless the case has some serious flaws and the prosecutor believes the DUI case cannot be proven in trial. However, I have been able to obtain such a result in a case that was filed in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Courthouse. My client had a .08 BAC on both the preliminary alcohol screening test and the evidentiary breath sample.
The exhibition of speed charge is found in California Vehicle Code Section 23109(c), and it does not mention alcohol, drinking, drugs, blood alcohol content, or under the influence. Therefore, it is a much better result for the defendant because the penalties are a lot less severe. There is no license suspension, unless the licensee lost their DMV APS Hearing, no MADD panel class or DUI program, no SCRAM or public work service, or any of the other typical drunk driving penalties.
However, the defendant is typically placed on two years of informal, summary probation, the fine is not more than $500, plus the penalty assessment, and the maximum sentence is up to 90 days in jail. However, if probation is accepted and the conditions of the sentence are complied with, jail is usually not ordered. If requested, the judge will often allow the person to do community service hours in lieu of the fine. And, it will count as two points against the person’s driving record.
If you were arrested and charged with drunk driving, you need an attorney who specifically handles DUI cases, can defend your rights in court, and get you the best results possible for your case. The Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman handles all types of DUI matters throughout California. Call Susan today for your free consultation: (619) 260-1122. We are here to help!