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The Law Office of Derek R. Ewin.

How Is A DUI Charge Defined In California?

In California, there are two things that need to be established in order to show that a person was driving under the influence. First, it must be shown that the defendant was driving a car. For the purposes of the California statute, driving just two inches in a parking lot is considered driving. It’s called volitional movement. Just the movement of the tires is enough to show that someone was driving. Secondly, it must be proven that the defendant was either impaired by alcohol or was at or above the legal limit at the time of driving. In California, the legal limit is 0.08. In laymen’s terms, being impaired means that you can’t drive safely due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What Are The Top Misconceptions About Being Charged With A DUI?

Many people have the misconception that if they have been arrested for drunk driving, there is nothing they can do about it. The reality is that there are all sorts of things that they can do. Even if they’re 100 percent guilty and they’re going to get convicted, the timing of events can make a huge difference as far as how they are impacted by the case. It can make a difference in terms of the length of a driver’s license suspension or restriction, and it can determine whether or not they will be required to have an alcohol ankle monitor also known as a SCRAM device. So, it’s not just a matter of being guilty or innocent; it’s a matter of how the case is processed through the system.

Another misconception is the belief that if the Miranda rights were not read, then the case should be thrown out. The police do not have to read the Miranda rights until after a person has been arrested and is being questioned in a particular way. The police can ask a person their name, where they live and whether or not they will submit to a breath of blood test without reading the Miranda rights.
Many people don’t realize that there are actually two aspects to a DUI case. One aspect deals with the court system and the other deals with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This means that the DMV can’t tell the court what to do and the court can’t tell the DMV what to do. However, we can sometimes have a hearing with the DMV that will give us information that we can use to negotiate the case in court. In court, we’re dealing with a criminal prosecution and/or conviction with various types of sentences.

Lastly, some people have the misconception that if they are guilty of driving under the influence, then an attorney cannot help them. That’s completely wrong. An attorney can make a big difference as to how a case plays out, whether or not the driver’s license will be suspended, whether or not a person will have to be alcohol-monitored, and whether or not an alternative to jail time may be an option.

For more information on DUI Charges in California, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (925) 308-6444 today.

Derek R. Ewin - Criminal Lawyer, Walnut Creek City

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