DUI Lawyer in Fresno
Defending Clients Who Have Been Arrested For a DUI in Fresno County
If you were arrested for a failed breathalyzer test, blood test, or any standard field sobriety test, you might still have a means of defense. Contact Sawl Law Group and speak to our Fresno DUI attorney. When police officers administer field sobriety tests, there are specific procedures that they must follow. Should they provide false information, skip a step, or abuse you during the investigation or arrest process, you may be able to fight your charges on the grounds of police misconduct.
As for breath and blood tests, your test results could be faulty. Breathalyzer machines are very delicate and should be calibrated properly before every use. Otherwise, the results could be false, and a wrongful arrest could occur. Be sure to provide all information about your breath test to your Fresno DUI lawyer to find out if you can dispute the results and your arrest.
DUI Police Report Errors
Often, an arresting officer will observe your behavior while making their decision. Did they take enough time to assess you? Your Fresno DUI attorney should bring this up in court and ensure the police officer did not come to an inappropriate judgment. They may also have mistaken signs of anxiety or nervousness as signs of someone under the influence.
If you experience anxiety when interacting with police officers, you may stumble over your words or seem agitated. You may have trouble balancing or fail to follow all of the directions. While an officer may suspect that this is because you are intoxicated, you may actually be innocent. You could have alcohol on your breath from one drink, but an officer may confuse that with being intoxicated. Allergies are another factor for some individuals. Allergies can cause your eyes to be red and watery, which may also be confused with drunkenness.
Additionally, just because someone makes a mistake on the road does not mean they did so due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It could just be a mistake that many other sober drivers make daily. When an officer pulls you over, there are specific protocols that they must follow. A Fresno DUI attorney should evaluate the circumstances of your arrest to ensure that the arresting officer followed proper procedures and did not violate your rights.
An officer can only stop you if they have reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime or if you are at a DUI checkpoint where other drivers are being inspected. Our Fresno DUI defense lawyer effectively fights charges where the defendant is innocent or has been penalized too harshly.
California DUI Penalties
If you are charged with a first-time DUI offense, the penalties may include:
- Fines up to $1,000,
- Six months in jail
- Immediate license suspension, the need to
- Complete a DUI program,
- Installation of an ignition interlock device and an SR-22 filing
A first offense will typically be a misdemeanor unless other factors are present in the case. For each additional conviction, the penalties will continue to increase. A DUI conviction will also leave a mark on your permanent criminal record. For a commercial driver, the penalties can differ. Refusing a chemical test can also leave you with additional penalties that will be automatic, even if you are innocent.
When Can a Legal DUI Arrest Be Made?
In California, operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol is illegal. However, an arrest can only occur if there is sufficient evidence to prove that the suspect was legally intoxicated at the time of the arrest. A police officer may determine intoxication using the Standard Fields Sobriety Test to judge the person’s motor skills and concentration. Another option is to have the suspect take a breathalyzer test to determine their blood alcohol content. A legal arrest can be made if the test result is .08% blood alcohol level or higher.
What Is the Legal BAC Limit?
The legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit in California is 0.08%. This limit is a fundamental component of California's laws regarding drunk driving and is consistent with the limits set by the vast majority of states in the United States.
A BAC of 0.08% means that for every 1,000 milliliters of blood in a person's body, there are 0.08 grams of alcohol. This percentage serves as a reference point for law enforcement officers when conducting breathalyzer tests or blood tests to determine if an individual is driving under the influence (DUI). If the test results show a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the individual can be charged with a DUI.
It's important to note that the consequences of driving with a BAC above the legal limit in California are serious. Penalties for a DUI conviction can include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, probation, and even jail time. The severity of these penalties can increase if an individual has prior DUI convictions on their record or if they were involved in an accident while driving under the influence.
In addition to the 0.08% BAC limit for adults, California has different rules for certain groups, such as commercial drivers and individuals under the legal drinking age of 21. Commercial drivers, who operate vehicles like trucks and buses, are subject to a lower BAC limit of 0.04% in California. For those under the age of 21, there is a "zero tolerance" policy, meaning they can be charged with a DUI for any measurable alcohol in their system.
Field Sobriety Tests
The Standardized Field Sobriety Test consists of three individual tests:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test - For this, the officer will observe the eyes of the person in question as they slowly move a pen or small object back and forth to look for indicators in each eye that the person is impaired.
- Walk-and-turn test - In this test, the officer instructs the person to take nine steps, touching heel-to-toe in a straight line, and then return. The officer looks for signs that the person is impaired, such as the inability to keep their balance or not following the instructions properly.
- One-leg stand test - The officer instructs the person to stand with one foot off the ground and hold it for about 30 seconds or until told to put it down. The officer looks for signs of impairment, such as swaying, hopping, or using their arms to balance.
Contact Our Fresno DUI Attorney Today
If you are facing DUI charges in Fresno, do not hesitate to reach out to Sawl Law Group today. Our knowledgeable and experienced team of DUI lawyers understands how serious these charges can be and are ready to provide a strong legal defense to help protect your rights.
- Expunging a California DUI Conviction
- Why a DUI is Something You Should Take Seriously
- If You Blow Under The Legal Limit, Can You Still Be Charged With a DUI?
Contact Sawl Law Group today to get started on your defense with our DUI lawyer in Fresno.