DUI Defense Attorney in Sacramento, CA

Arrested For A DUI? Let A Tough Former Prosecutor Help You Fight The Charge

Sacramento DUI lawyer
If you or a loved one have been arrested for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Sacramento County, California, it’s imperative to contact a competent DUI attorney who can act quickly to protect your rights.

A DUI is a misdemeanor criminal offense and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If convicted, you’ll have a criminal record that could impact your ability to secure employment, obtain credit, keep insurance costs down, and much more.

Even as a first time offender, you face severe penalties such as:

  • license suspension for at least four months
  • three month mandatory completion of drug and alcohol program; enhanced to a six-month program if you refused a chemical test at the time of arrest or had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20 percent or greater
  • three years informal probation
  • A $390 fine (which could be converted to 13 days of Cal-Trans roadside work or 13 days of jail)
  • there are additional penalties and fees which can add up to as much as $2,500
  • mandatory installation of interlock breath device
  • mandatory SR-22 insurance coverage
  • up to a 1 year suspension of drivers license
  • maximum six months imprisonment in county jail

Second Time Offense:

  • 3-5 years probation
  • minimum of 96 hours to a maximum of one year in county jail
  • between $390-$1,000 in fines
  • there are additional penalties and fees which can add up to as much as $2,500
  • up to a 2 year suspension of drivers license
  • completion of an 18-month or 30-month court-approved California DUI school

Third Time Offense:

  • 3-5 years probation
  • minimum of 120 days to a maximum of one-year in a county jail
  • between $390-$1,000 in fines
  • there are additional penalties and fees which can add up to as much as $2,500
  • up to a 3 year suspension of drivers license
  • completion of a 30-month court-approved DUI education program
  • three year California driver’s license revocation which, after 18 months, may be converted to a restricted license
  • Designation as an “habitual traffic offender”

DUI Attorney, Jennifer Mouzis is dedicated to helping you fight the DUI charges against you, whether you’re being charged with misdemeanor drunk driving or more serious DUI related charges, such as California Felony DUI or DUI Causing Injury.

Call (916) 822-8702 today for a Free consultation or case evaluation

Don’t assume the evidence against you is insurmountable. There are many effective defense strategies DUI Attorney Mouzis can employ to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. There are even ways she can get a DUI expunged from your record.

More often than not, police officers and medical personnel make mistakes in the course of their investigation which make it very difficult for them to convict you. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Mouzis knows where the problems of proof lie and can use her knowledge to your advantage.

You Have 10 Days To Avoid A License Suspension: Call The DMV Now!

When you were arrested, the police officer most likely took your driver’s license and defense attorney for DUI chargesgave you a pink slip, or a 30 day temporary license. When the 30 days are up, your license will be automatically suspended.

You can be granted an extension if you call the California Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 calendar days of your arrest (including weekends and holidays) and request a Stay, Hearing and Discovery.

The DMV must be contacted at (916) 227-2970 

A Stay will allow you to keep driving after your pink slip has expired up until the date of your hearing.  A Hearing allows you the opportunity to challenge the DMV’s attempt to suspend your license.

If you retain DUI Lawyer Mouzis as your attorney, she can schedule this hearing up for you. She will also send a written request for discovery, which is the evidence in your case — a copy of the police report, blood test results, breathalyzer result, surveillance tapes, etc.

DMV hearings only applies to alcohol arrests. If you got arrested for a California DUI of drugs charge–including DUI of marijuana, DUI of Vicodin or DUI of Ambien–there is no DMV hearing. A conviction of a drug charge in court would result in a license suspension.

DUI Charges in California

In most DUI cases, there will be two separate charges filed against you:

  • Vehicle Code 23152(a), driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; and
  • Vehicle Code 23152(b), driving with a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.08% or more.

DUI Defense Strategies

There is always a margin of error in DUI arrests. Law enforcement may neglect to follow standardized procedures in the roadside investigation, evidence may be contamination or breathalyzers may be defective.

Here are some of the specific potential defenses your DUI Lawyer Mouzis may pursue to reduce or dismiss your charges:

Improper Stop: Did the officer have probable cause to stop you? Did they have a valid suspicion of alcohol impairment? The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures.

How to defense DUI chargesIf there was no probable cause to stop you, any questioning or field sobriety tests performed are not admissible and a motion to suppress can be filed to have the evidence thrown out.

Field Sobriety Testing Protocol: Did the officer administer these tests in accordance with protocols established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration? We can subpoena the video footage of the traffic stop to verify if protocol was followed.

Inaccurate Breath Test: Was the breathalyzer properly administered and in proper working order at the time of the arrest? Perhaps, there were other key factors that affected the reading, such as:

  • radio frequency interference from a police radio
  • mouth alcohol contamination (burping within 20 minutes prior to giving sample)
  • gastroesophogeal disease
  • chronic heartburn
  • fever

Rising Blood Alcohol Contamination: To be convicted, the prosecution must be proven that your BAC level was at .08 at the time you were driving. This is significant because it takes the body anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours for alcohol to be fully absorbed into the bloodstream after you’ve stopped drinking.

The more time passes, the higher your blood concentration will rise. If you were tested an hour or two after your last drink, you may test over the legal limit because your body was still absorbing alcohol.

If your absorption process wasn’t complete by the time you submitted to a blood or breath test and your BAC was still rising, we can claim that your BAC was exaggerated and not a true representation of what it was at the time you were driving.

Blood Inaccuracy: It’s not uncommon for contamination to occur in laboratories — test tubes may be out of date and not sterile, blood is not refrigerated, or there could be mishandling of samples by lab workers.

DUI Attorney Mouzis can arrange to have a sample of your blood retested by an independent facility for both alcohol and preservative.

Reduce Charges Through A Plea Bargain

If the DUI charges against you cannot be dismissed, there is an opportunity to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor to get the charges reduced. These reductions may include:

Wet Reckless: You agree to plea to a reckless driving involving alcohol charge.

Advantages:

  • shorter probation period
  • lesser fines
  • does not trigger a court imposed license suspension
  • ignition interlock device not enforced
  • carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail vs. six months

Disadvantages:

  • still two points on your record
  • still counts as a prior DUI offense if you receive another DUI in the future

Dry Reckless: You agree to a plea of driving in a manner that shows flagrant disregard to the safety of other motorists

Advantages:

  • shorter probation period
  • lesser fines
  • does not count as prior DUI if you receive another DUI in the future; rather you would be sentences as first time offender
  • won’t cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket or cancellation of your policy

Disadvantages

  • still two points on record

Felony DUI

Under California law, a drunk-driving offense becomes a felony if:

  • injury or death has occurred
  • you have a past felony conviction
  • you are convicted of three or more DUIs in the past 10 years
  • you engaged in willful and reckless conduct to evade a police officer
  • you committed a hit and run while driving intoxicated

Potential Penalties for DUI Felony Conviction

  • 16 months to 4 years in jail, with a possible combination of an alcohol education program and jail
  • three year minimum license suspension; potentially permanent
  • hefty fines, restitution
  • in-patient/out-patient rehabilitation
  • five years probation
  • lose several personal liberties, such as your right to vote, purchase a firearm and obtain a passport

Sacramento DUI Lawyer:

Call today for an appointment for a consultation to discuss your DUI case.