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DUI: What to expect?


Arrested for DUI? The first step is to call The Law Office of Sarah Sager within 10 days of arrest. That will allow us to schedule a DMV hearing so that your Driver's License won't be automatically suspended. We will also appear for you at all of your court dates per P.C. 977(a). The first step of a DUI case is the arraignment. At the arraignment, we will usually plead you not guilty and get the police report and other documents from the prosecutor. Many times important information to evaluate your case is not given to us in the initial discovery. Thus, we will file a discovery request. A discovery request will usually include PAS and Breathlyzer calibration, maintenance and usage logs, MVARs or police audio or video, and all witness statements. There are many other items that we may request depending on your specific case.

Our goal is to first see if there is any way to have your case dismissed. This is usually achieved through a P.C. 1538.5 motion to exclude evidence. If evidence relevant to the charge cannot be introduced, then charges will likely be dropped. If an outright dismissal before trial is not achieved, our office usually tries to get you a favorable plea deal if that is what you want. Different plea deals that our office have reached include: Exhibition of speed, dry reckless, wet reckless, minimum penalties for DUI charges. If a plea deal cannot be reached, then we will proceed to trial if we think your case has a likelihood of being dismissed after 12 impartial jurors hear the evidence. Ultimately, the decision to proceed to trial will be entirely yours. We will only advise you on what we believe your best option will be.

Consequences for a 1st time DUI include the following: The Court may order a jail term of 48 hours to 6 months in jail. It will impose a fine of $390 to $1000 plus penalty assessments and order you to complete a 3-month alcohol/drug treatment program. If your blood-alcohol was .20% or more, or if you refused a chemical test upon your arrest, you must complete a 9-month treatment program. The DMV will also impose a 6-month driver's license suspension, or a 10-month license suspension if a 9-month treatment program is required. You can normally expect the penalty assessment to multiply your fine by 5.

For a 2nd offense within 10 years, a mandatory jail term of 96 hours to 1 year, a $390 to $1000 fine plus penalty assessments, and completion of an 18-month alcohol/drug treatment program will be required. The DMV will impose a 2-year driver's license suspension.

If you were in an accident when you were arrested, you will likely be ordered to pay restitution. This may include a deductible even if your insurance paid the rest of the damages. These are just penalties for a DUI. Remember, our office will try to negotiate a better result for your case.

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