Fight Your DUI Charges with a DUI Lawyer San Francisco CA Residents Trust
How does a police officer determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
The Morales Law Firm defends drivers who have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI); a drunk driving lawyer San Francisco CA from our firm can protect you from overzealous law enforcement officers and prosecutors. There are several methods a police officer may use to tell if a driver was DUI prior to the officer making contact. None of those methods are infallible, as our San Francisco CA drunk driving lawyer knows very well. Many people are arrested for DUI under false pretenses. Because a conviction may result in a long jail term as well as very expensive fines, a false charge and conviction are patently unfair. The Morales Law Firm aggressively pursues justice on behalf of our clients. Contact us without delay if you were charged with DUI. We offer a free consultation with our DUI lawyer San Francisco CA whether you have posted bond or are awaiting sentence. If someone close to you is incarcerated on a pending DUI charge, contact us.
Does a police officer have the right to pull someone over for any reason?
The officer must have a reasonable suspicion that a driver is breaking a law, is a risk to the safety of someone else, or committing a negligent act. There are other recognized and accepted reasons for when a law enforcement officer is justified in detaining or stopping an individual. However, there are also guidelines and restrictions. Every situation is different and so it is necessary for a drunk driving lawyer San Francisco CA to review the unique details of a case before determining the best legal strategy moving forward. At The Morales Law Firm, we take the time necessary to properly defend a client who is charged with a DUI. Our DUI lawyer has years of experience representing defendants of all ages and backgrounds. It’s very likely we can help you too if you were arrested for DUI.
Here are some of the methods a police officer may employ prior to arresting someone for DUI:
- Visual observation. A police officer may observe a driver is weaving between lanes, driving erratically, or otherwise acting impaired. Once observed, the officer has reason to pull the driver over. However, a DUI lawyer may have cause to question what of their client’s behavior was truly suspicious to the driver, and if it merited pulling over the driver. Depending on the events that transpired, your San Francisco CA drunk driving lawyer might question any number of things in order to assert your innocence.
- Field sobriety test. When a police officer pulls over a driver for suspected DUI, or for any other reason, if they have further reason to believe the driver may be impaired then they may request the driver to perform several tests. This is known as a field sobriety test because they are gathering more information “in the field” before taking the driver down to the station in case that is not necessary. The main problem with a field sobriety test is that it relies on the person’s ability to successfully perform certain balance tests. Many people cannot pass these tests even when they are clean and sober. Therefore, if they fail the test it is not a fair indication of their sobriety level. Your DUI lawyer from The Morales Law Firm will take a close look at how the officer conducted the field sobriety test and if you have physical limitations that may have caused the outcome of the test.
- Chemical test. The laws on chemical testing prior to an arrest vary from state to state. In some states, the testing is mandatory and if the driver refuses, they are automatically considered to have failed the test. In other states, it is not mandatory and your drunk driving lawyer San Francisco CA can tell you what repercussions you may suffer for refusing to take the test.
Prior DUI Convictions
If you have just received another DUI or DWI, you should not delay in calling a DUI lawyer for help. At Morales Law Firm, our DUI lawyers know the potential consequences of a subsequent DUI conviction. We will help you to avoid the conviction or to reduce the impact of a guilty verdict. If this is not your first DUI, and you need legal advocacy, call Morales Law Firm.
You can be convicted of a DUI if you have been found to be driving while impaired or under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of them. When you are facing a DUI charge, the severity of your penalties will largely depend on whether you have any prior convictions.
DUI laws are meant to protect the community and prevent people from engaging in repeat actions. This means that prosecutors and police have very limited sympathy for those who have multiple DUIs. This is one of the primary reasons why repeat offenders face harsher penalties than first time offenders. Even if this is only your second DUI, you may be considered a repeat offender.
The Look Back Period for DUIs
All states have a look back period for DUIs. These laws outline when a prior DUI conviction will count as a previous offense. Some states have a look back period of 3 years, 5 years, and some 7 or more years. If you committed a DUI within the look back period, your new charge will likely be considered a subsequent offense. If you’ve never had a DUI conviction or you had one that took place beyond the look back period, this will be considered your first DUI.
Penalties for Subsequent DUI Charges
If you already have a DUI conviction, and it occurred within the look back period, your current charge will be for a second, third, and so forth, DUI. Your charges will also depend on your BAC limit, and other circumstances related to the incident. Some penalties may include:
30 days to one year in jail
Up to 10 years in prison (for more than 3 or 4 DUIs)
A fine between $5,000 and $10,000 (or more)
A drivers license suspension
Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment
Mandatory interlock ignition device
If you were involved in an accident at the time of your DUI, and cause injury or death to another person, or damaged property, your charges may be more severe. You should not pursue a case like this without a DUI lawyer.
Call Morales Law Firm For Advice from a Qualified DUI Lawyer
If you are facing a DUI conviction, and this is not your first one, you may be looking at a number of penalties and consequences should you be found guilty. You can count on the prosecutor building a case against you right now; therefore, you should not delay in building your own case that defends your rights and protect your interests. For legal help from an experienced DUI lawyer, please call us now.