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San Francisco DUI Defense attorneysDriving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. By driving under the influence, you not only put your own life at risk but also the lives of innocent passengers, drivers, and pedestrians. In doing so, you could also cause expensive and destructive damage to roads, vehicles, and property. As such, the penalties for DUI in California are severe, including revocation or suspension of your driver’s license, hefty fines, and substantial prison time. However, one area of concern that is particularly significant yet understated is the possible loss of your professional license. A DUI conviction—even a DUI arrest—could put your entire professional career in jeopardy. Here are some ways to minimize the damage to your professional licensure when planning your DUI defense. 

4 Tips for Developing Your Professional License DUI Defense

Despite California’s AB-2138 Law, passed earlier this year, making it more difficult for licensing organizations to revoke or withhold licenses from professionals, there are still plenty of situations when a DUI arrest or conviction could be a calamity for your career. If that is the case, consider these tips: 

  1. Respond with the appropriate attitude. The licensing board will know of the DUI almost as soon as anyone else does. Once they find out, they will probably issue inquiries and other requests of you to help them further understand the situation. While different California Business & Professions Codes allow revocation and suspension of licenses for DUIs, there are limitations, so you are not entirely out of luck, especially when given the opportunity to respond to the licensing agency’s questions. But you must have the proper attitude about it all: You cannot be unresponsive, but you also do not want to be so accommodating that you incriminate yourself with a wealth of information. If you refuse to be forthright or, at the least, cooperate, maybe even suggesting that you do not regret or even entirely understand the ramifications of the DUI, the licensing body will be less willing to fairly consider your side of the story.
  2. Be honest and straightforward in communication. Do not get caught in a lie. You are all professionals there (literally), so attempting to evade questions by being unprofessional is most unwise. It might even be a good idea to openly and swiftly alert the licensing agency of your DUI in advance so that they know you are being proactive and conscientious enough to care about the outcome.
  3. Compile and provide convincing evidence. You do not want to go into too much  detail, but you should provide convincing evidence surrounding the case to suggest that the circumstances made it such that your DUI did not show an utter lack of responsible behavior on your part as it would potentially pertain to your profession. This awareness will go a long way with a discerning licensing board.
  4. Hire a lawyer. An attorney will not just help you with the small things like initiating correspondence with the licensing board and responding to their preemptive inquiries; an attorney will also handle even more substantial challenges of your case, such as coaching you if asked to respond to questions from the licensing agency and developing a comprehensive, winning strategy to make sure you get to keep your license and continue doing what you love for a living.

Contact a San Francisco Professional License DUI Defense Lawyer

If you are worried about losing your professional license due to DUI, reach out to a Sonoma DUI defense attorney. It is no coincidence that Attorney Paul Burglin finds himself in court winning cases to help professionals get their career licenses back or prevent them from losing those professional licenses in the first place: he is an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who has literally written the book on California Drunk Driving Law. His three decades of experience helping professionals recover from the legal repercussions of licensure defense will be a great benefit to you if you are faced with such a difficult time in your career. Call Burglin Law Offices, P.C. at 415-729-7300 for a free consultation.

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Napa DUI defense lawyerYour goal after being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is to prevent a conviction, but there are DUI cases where the evidence against you makes a conviction seem unavoidable. Sometimes, you must decide whether you will continue to fight the charge or take a plea deal if one is offered. Plea bargaining can reduce the punishment of a DUI conviction or reduce the charge, and a skilled DUI defense attorney can help

Common Plea Bargain Scenarios

Most defendants prefer to not have a DUI conviction on their record, even if it means accepting a lesser charge. There are three common plea deals that prosecutors may offer in a DUI case:

  1. Wet Reckless: A “wet reckless” plea deal means you are accepting a reckless driving conviction while admitting that alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident. The conviction on your record will indicate that you may have had alcohol or drugs in your system but does not say that those substances legally impaired you. The biggest advantage of a “wet reckless” plea is that the court might not suspend your driver’s license. However, the conviction will be treated as if it was a prior DUI offense if you are ever convicted of DUI.
  2. Dry Reckless: A “dry reckless” plea deal is a standard reckless driving conviction without mentioning alcohol or drugs as part of the incident. A reckless driving conviction is still a misdemeanor offense, but there are lower penalties and less stigma with having the conviction on your record. Unlike a wet reckless conviction, a dry reckless conviction would not count as a prior DUI offense if you are convicted of DUI.
  3. Exhibition of Speed: If you were pulled over for speeding before your DUI arrest, you may be able to negotiate an “exhibition of speed” plea deal. While also a misdemeanor offense, a speeding conviction is highly preferable to a DUI conviction.

Should You Accept a Plea Deal?

Taking a plea deal helps you avoid the risk of receiving the harshest DUI penalties if you allow your case to go to trial. However, you should be careful before accepting a plea deal. The first plea deal you receive may not be the best deal that the prosecution will offer. Also, getting your charge dismissed or a not-guilty verdict is still the best possible outcome. If the prosecution comes to you with a plea deal, it may be because they are not confident that they can win a DUI case at trial.

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Sonoma DUI defense attorneyBeing pulled over by a police officer can leave you at a loss for words. Before the officer reaches your vehicle, your mind is probably trying to figure out what you might have done to catch the officer’s attention. Driving under the influence (DUI) may come to mind if it is at night or you had a drink before getting behind the wheel. You have only seconds before you must talk to the officer, so what should you say?

The right answer during any traffic stop is the bare minimum. This may be difficult if you are the type of person who rambles or over-explains when you are nervous. If you are eventually charged with DUI, what you say to the officer can be used as evidence as the case proceeds.. The more you talk, the more likely it is that you will say something that draws suspicion or incriminates yourself. There are several questions that you can expect an officer to ask:

“Do You Know Why I Pulled You Over?”

Your answer to this classic question should always be “no.” Let the officer present their suspicions on their own. Trying to guess what they are thinking will suggest that you know you did something wrong.

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What Happens If I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in California?You have likely seen a Breathalyzer used in a traffic stop, either on television or by someone who has been pulled over. Since driving under the influence (DUI) is an important topic discussed in driver education classes, you may have even been able to try one out yourself. Many courses bring in the handheld machines to let students test them out by putting the small tube in their mouths, blowing, and seeing the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) record appearing at 0.00. While you were sitting soberly in class, you probably never imagined yourself being in a situation where you would have to take the test. Unfortunately, many drivers will be asked to submit to the test at some point in their lives, with possible criminal charges to follow.

Knowing the Law

When sitting in your driver’s education course, all of the seemingly minor details of California roadway regulations can start to blend together. What you may have forgotten over the years is the details of California’s DUI implied consent laws. Upon signing up for their California driver’s license, all Californians sign over their right to refuse a breath alcohol test when asked by law enforcement. According to this law, any driver who is lawfully arrested for a DUI must submit to a chemical test to measure their BAC. You may be wondering what is considered a “lawful arrest.” An arrest is considered lawful if the officer has probable cause to conclude that you are driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances. 

So if you have yet to be arrested and a police officer asks you to submit to a breath test, are you required to do so? The general answer is no. The implied consent law does not extend to those asked to complete a chemical test before they have been arrested. This is known as a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS). However, those under the age of 21 or on probation for a DUI must submit to the test since they are not allowed to drive with any alcohol in their system.

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How Does Getting a DUI Impact My California Car Insurance?Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a treacherous but common mistake that is made throughout the U.S. on a daily basis. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,511 deaths from drunk driving accidents in 2018. Getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is rarely intentional — many people may not recognize how easy it is to surpass the 0.08 blood alcohol concentration limit. Typically, anyone who consumes one standard drink per hour remains under this 0.08 line, but it can be easy to get carried away without even realizing it. Being charged with a DUI has serious consequences, many of which can impact your finances and your future.

Financing My Security

As is the case in most states, California requires all car owners to have proof of insurance of their vehicle. This shows that they are able to provide financial assistance for any injuries or damages that may have been caused by their driving. California’s average auto insurance rate is slightly higher than the national average — around $1,868 as compared to the national average of $1,548. However, this marginal difference increases significantly upon a DUI conviction. On average, insurance rates nationally increase by 65 percent if convicted of a DUI charge. In California, this insurance price rises to $4,937, a 164 percent increase from the state’s average rate. DUI charges typically result in the highest rate increase of any driving charge.

Other Consequences

The price of your car insurance will likely be the least of your worries if you are convicted of a DUI in California. For first offenders, their license will be immediately suspended for at least four months, an ignition interlocking device will be installed to the vehicle, and a $125 license reissue fee will be required. The guilty party can also face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. The driver is required to attend a DUI program and file an SR-22, labeling themselves as a high-risk insurance holder. This will affect their insurance rates, as described above, and make it difficult for them to find affordable insurance rates. Any subsequent DUI convictions have the same requirements with increased jail time and fines.

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