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sonoma-county-dui-defense-attorney.jpgDrunk driving is a criminal offense punished by fees, license revocation, and even jail time. The severity of the penalties associated with drunk driving charges depends on several factors including the person’s past criminal history.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) and you have two prior DUI convictions on your record, the penalties you face are especially harsh. It is important to contact a DUI defense lawyer right away.  Your lawyer can help you understand your options, protect your rights as a criminal defendant, and determine the best way to defend yourself against the DUI charges.

Criminal Penalties for a Third Drunk Driving Conviction

Penalties for driving under the influence increase with each subsequent offense. Conviction for a third-time DUI offense in California is punishable by:

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san-francisco-dui-attorney.jpgAlcoholic beverages are an everyday part of our culture, so it is easy to forget just how profoundly they impact our bodies and minds. Alcohol decreases our reaction time, our impulse control, and impairs memory and concentration. Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol can be extremely dangerous for the driver and everyone else on the road. Consequently, drunk driving is penalized harshly in California – especially if there is an accident resulting in injury.

If you or a loved one were charged with DUI resulting in injury, it is important to know what you are up against.

DUI Resulting in Injury to Another Person

In California, DUI with injury is a “wobbler” offense meaning it can be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. The offender’s criminal history and the circumstances of the DUI accident impact the type of charge the person faces. Often, DUI resulting in injury to another person is a felony due to the nature of the offense. However, a skilled DUI defense lawyer may be able to get the charges reduced to a misdemeanor.

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Sonoma DUI LawyerCharges for driving under the influence can lead to heavy fines, loss of driving privileges, and in some cases, jail time. However, there are many reasons that DUI charges can be dismissed or reduced. Often, the evidence police use to arrest someone for DUI is flawed. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help defendants find inconsistencies and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against them. DUI tests including breath tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests can be inaccurate for many different reasons.

Are Field Sobriety Tests Good Indicators of Intoxication?

If police suspect that someone is driving while intoxicated, they may ask the driver to perform a series of physical actions called field sobriety tests. The most common field sobriety tests include:

  • Walk and turn – The driver is asked to walk toe to heel in a straight line.

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Richmond Counties Drunk Driving Defense LawyerAlcohol breath tests or “breathalyzers” as they are often called, test the amount of alcohol on a person’s breath. This information can be used to determine the test taker’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The results of breathalyzer tests are frequently used to prosecute drivers for driving under the influence (DUI). However, these tests are not infallible.

Testing devices that are not properly cleaned, regularly maintained, and administered correctly can yield inaccurate results. Even something as innocuous as a person’s diet may lead to inaccurate breathalyzer results. Recently, many people have questioned whether the increasingly popular keto diet could lead to false-positive breath test results and, consequently, charges for drunk driving.

Can Being Keto Really Affect Breathalyzer Tests?

The keto diet requires dieters to abstain from foods containing significant amounts of sugar or carbohydrates. This forces the body to use fat as an energy source. When fat is metabolized by the body, chemicals called ketones are produced. Ketones are chemically similar to isopropyl alcohol. If a breathalyzer test is not sophisticated enough to distinguish between isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, the alcohol found in alcoholic beverages like wine and beer, it is possible that ketones in the breath will cause the breath test to yield an artificially inflated BAC. However, advanced testing devices are able to differentiate between ketones and the ethyl alcohol found in alcoholic drinks.

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Sonoma DUI Arrest LawyerIndividuals in the United States have important rights protected by the Constitution and other legislation. One of these rights is the right to be free from “unreasonable search and seizure.” The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution ensures that police and other government officials may not search a person’s property or take property without a legitimate reason. In many cases, police must get a search warrant signed by a judge before they can search a person’s property. However, there are many exceptions to search and seizure laws and our right to privacy varies depending on the type of property in question.

Arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) can escalate into much greater issues when police search the car and find evidence of another crime. Whether you have been charged with a criminal offense after a police search or you simply want to know your rights, understanding when police can and cannot search without a search warrant is crucial.

When Can Police Conduct a Warrantless Search of a Residence?

Criminal charges often hinge upon evidence collected on personal property. Many people are confused about when police have the right to enter their home and search for evidence of criminal activity. In most cases, police must obtain a search warrant before they can search a person’s home. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, police may enter a home without a search warrant if there is illegal contraband or evidence of a crime in plain sight or if they are pursuing a fugitive. Police may also conduct a warrantless search if there is a reasonable belief that someone is in immediate danger or that evidence is being destroyed. Lastly, police may search a home without a warrant if a resident gives them permission to do so.

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