Santa Clarita DUI Defense Attorneys
DUI charges can turn someone’s life upside down. In fact, even before a DUI case gets started, the accused may lose their driving privileges, as well as suffer damage to their personal and professional reputations. Although these circumstances can be distressing and daunting to face, the good news is that there may be various ways to effectively fight DUI charges and favorably resolve these cases.
At the Law Office of Gary Symonds, our Santa Clarita defense lawyers have extensive experience defending people against misdemeanor and felony DUI charges. As skilled trial attorneys who are dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of the accused, we are ready to help you identify and pursue your best DUI defense options.
California DUI Laws, Charges & Penalties
California DUI laws designate a range of charges and related penalties for those accused of drunk driving in the state. The following table outlines the spectrum of California DUI charges and penalties.
|0 days to 6 months||
$390 to $1,000
|– License Suspension: 30 days to 4 months
– IID1 Restriction: 5 months
96 hours to 1 year
$500 to $1,000
|– License Suspension: Up to 1 year
– IID Restriction: 5 months
120 days to 1 year
$500 to $1,000
|– License Suspension: 3 years
-IID Restriction: Up to 24 months
|16 months to 2 or 3 years in state prison||
$500 to $1,000
|– License Suspension: 3 years|
1: Ignition Interlock Device
Please note that the above information is associated with “simple” (i.e., not aggravated) DUI cases that do not involve BAC test refusals. When aggravated DUI charges are filed (or when a motorist refused BAC testing during a DUI stop), the penalties can be more severe.
Some circumstances when aggravated DUI charges may be filed include (but are not limited to) when:
- An alleged DUI involves an injury or death.
- The alleged DUI involved speeding and/or driving on a suspended license.
- The accused individual allegedly had a high BAC at the time of the arrest (i.e., a BAC level at or exceeding 0.15).
- There was a child in the vehicle at the time of the alleged DUI.
California DUI DMV Hearings & Cases
The above DUI charges and penalties are associated with criminal cases in California. These cases, however, are not the only case an accused driver will face after being arrested for a DUI. The other type of case that will arise and need to be resolved is the administrative case with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
This DMV DUI case:
- Is separate from the criminal case and will focus on whether (or not) the accused individual should be allowed to keep his or her driving privileges (or whether a driver’s license suspension should go into effect)
- Will proceed even if criminal DUI charges are never filed, they are later dismissed or the accused is acquitted of these charges.
Here, it’s also critical to understand that the accused person is responsible for requesting a DMV DUI hearing (in order to try to keep his or her license) and that this DMV DUI hearing must be requested within 10 days of the DUI arrest.*
More Important Information about California DUIs
- Wet reckless charges – In some cases, it may be possible to reduce DUI charges to wet reckless charges. This is generally an option when the accused person has no prior DUIs, the BAC was right under or at 0.08 (i.e., the legal limit), and the incident did not involve an accident (or injuries).
- NOTE: While wet reckless cases are associated with lesser penalties, these convictions will count as a prior DUI if a motorist is arrested for a DUI in the future.
- Lookback or washout period for California DUIs – California DUI laws establish the lookback period at 10 years. This means that, for the purposes of determining charges and penalties, authorities will typically only look back 10 years on someone’s criminal record for priors.
- NOTE: Some exceptions may apply to this lookback period. For instance, authorities may look back further than 10 years when the accused person has at least one prior DUI felony conviction on his or her record.
- DUI defense strategies – There can be a number of ways to fight DUI charges, discredit evidence against the accused and possibly even get evidence (or some charges) dismissed. For instance, challenging BAC test results, field sobriety test results, and officers’ observations may strengthen a DUI defense case.
- NOTE: An experienced attorney can provide more insight regarding the best DUI defense options for a given case, based on the specifics of that case (and the criminal record of the accused).
Start Your DUI Defense Case Now: Contact a Santa Clarita DUI Lawyer at the Law Office of Gary Symonds
If you have been arrested for or charged with a DUI, contact a Santa Clarita DUI lawyer at the Law Office of Gary Symonds for helpful answers about your best defense options – and the strongest possible defense representation moving forward.
Our lawyers are focused and ready to:
- Explain how California DUI laws apply to your case
- Explain whether any civil steps need to be taken (in addition to the legal steps associated with the criminal case)
- Identify all possible defense options and explain whether (or not) it makes sense to take a case to trial
- Treat your case as a top priority
- Protect and advocate your rights and interests throughout the course of your case
- Present you and your case in the best possible light
- Help you fight for justice and the best possible outcome.
Call (661) 253-3700 or email us via the contact form on this page to start your defense case now. Phone calls and emails are welcome and responded to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We offer free initial consultations that are not restricted by any time limits. We do this to provide the accused with essential information regarding their rights and what they need to do to preserve their interests – and put their criminal case behind them.
From offices based in Santa Clarita, we provide superior advocacy and the highest quality defense representation to clients throughout Northern Los Angeles and the state of California.
1: According to the California DMV