Common Questions: DUI
Do I need a lawyer to defend my DUI charges?
A defense lawyer is of the utmost importance if you are facing DUI charges—even for a first offense. A first DUI conviction may result in jail time, fines, and license suspension; a skilled South Bay DUI lawyer from our law firm can help you fight to avoid these penalties.
What is a breathalyzer test?
This is a chemical test that involves a machine called a breathalyzer. You blow into the machine and it calculates your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) based off of the amount of alcohol in your breath. These machines are known to be unreliable, and thus a DUI attorney may be able to contest your breathalyzer test results even when they are above the legal limit.
Do I have to agree to take field sobriety tests?
No. Field sobriety tests, such as the One-Leg Stand or Walk-and-Turn, are entirely voluntary. At Gold & Witham, we recommend that you politely refuse these tests, as we do not consider them to be valid determinations of whether you are intoxicated and may give false results.
Do I have to agree to a blood or breath test?
You may refuse a blood or breath test, but if you do, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year. By having a California driver’s license, you are deemed to have consented to chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol level if you are suspected of drunk driving.
If I’m convicted, how long will my license suspension last?
For a first DUI offense, your driver’s license may be suspended for a minimum of 120 days. For a second offense, the suspension will last 2 years; for a third offense it will last 3 years; and for a fourth, it may last for 4 years or may be permanent.
Will I go to jail?
Most DUI charges have a mandatory minimum jail sentence. For a first offense, this is 48 hours. By working with an aggressive DUI lawyer, however, you can fight to avoid jail time. Your lawyer can seek community service, seek to have your charges lessened, or fight to have them dropped.