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California DUI Laws:

Long Beach Criminal & DUI Defense Attorney

 

The attorneys at the Law Office of Keith Lynch handle DUI and criminal defense cases in Long Beach and throughout the Los Angeles and Sourthern California region.

General Information regarding Long Beach & California DUIs

Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a)

Punishment:

  • Maximum 6 months county jail
  • License restriction through the court
  • First Offender Drinking Driver Program
  • Fines getting close to $2,000 depending court
  • Probation for 3-4 years depending on the court
  • Conviction stays on your record for 10 years and can be counted as a prior offense if you pick another one up within those 10 years

(2) It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more.

Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b)

Punishment: Same as for the (a) section above.
So, if you drink and your blood alcohol level is not .08 and you are not impaired by the alcohol then you are not breaking the law. However, you can still be arrested for having a blood alcohol level below .08. How? Let’s take a look at just one hypothetical example.

The most common scenario is that you have had something to drink, not enough to get you to .08 and not enough to impair you ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

Detention Information for Long Beach DUI and Attorney Information

You’re driving down the street and unbeknownst to you your tail light is out. There is a cop behind you and sees that the tail light is out and pulls you over for that vehicle code violation.

Field Sobriety Tests Information for Long Beach and Los Angeles, CA DUIs

In the course of asking you for the usual license, registration and proof of insurance the cop asks you if you have been drinking. Most people usually say yes if they have (some people will say no and the cop will claim to smell alcohol on your breath and now, in the cop’s mind, you have started out lying). The cop asks you to get out, you comply. He asks a few questions about your drinking and asks you to do some “field sobriety tests.” You comply with the cops request because you feel if you don’t you’ll get into trouble. You go through them and feel you did well. The cop then asks you to blow into a small devise (PAS devise). This devise is supposed to measure blood alcohol level and gives the cop a numerical reading.

Arrest for DUI in Long Beach, Ca

Many times if you “blow’ a number below .08 you are arrested for driving under the influence, in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a). How can that be?? What did you do to demonstrate to the cop that you ere impaired? Well, it happens all the time and when you eventually see the arrest report you can’t believe your eyes. The cop may claim that you were weaving and had a tail light out, weaving being a symptom of being impaired by alcohol of course. You read on and see that the cop claims that you did badly on the “field sobriety tests” where you felt you did well. The cop takes the weaving, coupled with the admission of drinking, coupled with doing badly on the field sobriety tests according to the cop and confirmation of alcohol in your system per the PAS result. Final result, you are arrested and find yourself having to defend yourself.

The above example is an all too common occurrence.

Added Penalties for Second and Third offenses for DUIs in Long Beach, Ca

The penalties go up for a Second conviction within 10 years and for a Third conviction within 10 years there is a mandatory minimum jail time of 120 days to 1 year, your drivers license will be revoked by the DMV and you will be designated as a habitual traffic offender.

(3) Driving under the Influence Causing Bodily Injury

Vehicle Code Section 23153

“(a) It is unlawful for any person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle and concurrently to any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.” (Emphasis mine)

The same applies to anyone driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more.

Punishment: Punishable as a misdemeanor (county jail) or as a Felony (state prison).

If you injure someone serious enough, you can be charged with a felony which carries with it state prison time.

If you kill someone in violation of t his section you can be charged with either:

(1) Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while intoxicated
(Penal Code Section 191.5)

(2) Vehicular Manslaughter
(Penal Code Section 192)

(3) Murder (Second Degree) 15 years to Life in the State Prison
(Penal Code Section 187 et seq)

** “‘Gross Negligence’ as defined in this section (192) shall not be construed as prohibiting or precluding a charge of murder under Section 188 upon facts exhibiting wantonness and a conscious disregard for life to support a finding of implied malice, or upon facts showing malice, consistent with the holding of the California Supreme Court in People v. Watson, 30 Cal3d 290.”

The laws in California relating to DUI, Murder and Manslaughter are very complex.

Because of the potential devastating impact these charges can have on you, your family and friends I am very aggressive in my defense. I work very closely with not only the best investigators but also forensic experts such as Psychiatrists, DNA and Fingerprint experts, Identification experts, Accident Reconstruction experts and more. It is imperative to be aggressive and thorough in the defense of these types of charges because anyone accused of these charges could face life in state prison.

It is imperative that all means are utilized, many times at county expense to, essentially “level the playing field” against the district attorneys office who has unlimited resources in prosecuting cases such as these.

If you have been accused with any of these crimes please do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI, Murder and Manslaughter attorney. Don’t wait until it’s too late.


DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) Regulations for Long Beach, CA DUIs

The Department of Motor Vehicles in California has total control of your driver’s license.

The DMV doesn’t care what the court does, should you be convicted of driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more or injure or kill someone while either under the influence or with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more your license will be suspended or revoked by the DMV! The DMV doesn’t even care if the court dismisses all charges against you (however, there are ways of getting around this and eliminating the need to deal with the DMV). If you were originally arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more or greater offense involving alcohol you still have to deal with the DMV in an administrative hearing where they have the power to suspend or revoke your driver’s license.

DMV Administrative Hearings for Long Beach DUIs are many times more difficult to deal with than the court system by virtue of the fact that the DMV has to be contacted within 10 days of your arrest to set up an administrative hearing (assuming a .08 or greater offense). Should that not be done, you are not entitled to a hearing relating to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, your license will be suspended or revoked!

Assuming they are timely notified and a hearing is set up, you are only entitled to be heard in front of a single hearing officer, not a jury of your peers as in the court system, and the burden of proof is not beyond a reasonable doubt as in the court system but only by a preponderance of the evidence (51% v. 49%). It is a daunting task to go before the DMV.

Dealing with the laws and defenses relating to DMV administrative hearings for Long Beach DUIs is quite complex. It takes a DMV attorney who knows what to do and how to deal with these types of hearings. Because of the potential devastating impact these charges can have on you, your family and especially work by the loss of your driver’s license.

  • How do you make a living if you can’t drive?
  • What about medical issues relating to you and loved ones?
  • Child care issues?
  • What if you are a Commercial Truck Driver?

It is imperative to have an experienced that is aggressive and thorough in the defense of these types of charges

It is imperative that all means are utilized to, essentially, “level the playing field” against the DMV in a Long Beach DUI.

If you have been accused with any alcohol related crimes do not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI attorney; contact The Law Office of Keith Lynch (323) 209-5405 or by email at thelynchlawoffice@gmail.com. It is confidential and free. Don’t wait until it’s too late and your driver’s license is gone!


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The information provided on this Long Beach Attorney / Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

All case summaries are from public records and not associated with the Law Office of Keith Lynch.

Long Beach, CA - Phone: (323) 209-5405