Ventura DUI Defense Lawyer
Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is frustrating, stressful, and embarrassing. Not only can a DUI conviction result in jail time, hefty fines, and the loss of your driver’s license, it can also permanently damage your reputation and hinder your career aspirations, especially if you are a professional driver, trucker, or pilot. Being charged with DUI in California is a serious matter, but rest assured that the Ventura DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC are ready to provide aggressive and effective counsel.
Our primary attorney, Mr. Ron S. Bamieh, has over 22 years of experience in criminal defense law and has earned numerous accolades throughout his time handling misdemeanor and felony cases. When you are represented by our California law firm, you can feel confident that your case is in capable hands. All of our knowledgeable defense lawyers are absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our clients are well-informed throughout the process, and devote our time and resources to you. We know what it takes to win cases and are prepared to help fight for you. If you have been charged with DUI in Ventura County or Santa Barbara County, call us immediately at (805) 643-5555 for a free legal consultation.
California Penalties for DUI (Driving Under the Influence): First and Multiple Offenses
Most DUI cases involve people allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. However, people who drive while intoxicated or impaired by prescription medications, sleeping pills, or controlled substances like marijuana or methamphetamine can also be charged with intoxicated driving. Regardless of whether the substance that causes impairment is a drug or alcohol, DUI convictions in California can result in a variety of serious consequences for the defendant, especially if:
- There is a child in the vehicle.
- The defendant has a history of prior DUI offenses.
- The DUI results in death or bodily injury to another person.
The first time you are charged with DUI can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming experience. Maybe you have a great driving record, but now, there is a possibility of serious consequences. However, having a clean driving history can work to the advantage of defendants who are arrested for a first-time DUI in Ventura or Santa Barbara County. Our California DUI lawyers can guide you through the legal system and help you work through the implications of a first-offense drunk driving arrest.
If you have been arrested for DUI in the past, or have previously been convicted of intoxicated driving, a second- or third-offense DUI can pose a very serious legal problem. Typically, subsequent DUIs in California come with harsher penalties than first-time offenses. You may need to spend more time in jail, and/or pay higher fines. The license suspension or revocation period is also longer, and ultimately, you risk losing your license for years as a result. However, our skilled attorneys are prepared to meet these challenging circumstances head on, and will analyze the situation to identify a strategy for helping you work toward avoiding conviction.
Depending on factors like your criminal history and whether the DUI caused an accident resulting in death or injury, some possible penalties for DUI in California include:
- Jail or prison time
- Loss of your driver’s license
- Costly fines
- Community service
- Mandatory alcohol rehabilitation
- Mandatory classes
- Ignition interlock device installation
- Vehicle impoundment
In addition to these numerous and severe penalties, having a DUI on your record can also cause your insurance to skyrocket, creating greater financial hardship. If you fly or drive for a living, you may even lose your job. If you lose your ability to lawfully drive because of your license suspension, your social and personal life will also be impacted. Put simply, the consequences of intoxicated driving extend far beyond the penalties that are formally ordered by the court.
Furthermore, you don’t have to be the one behind the wheel to be penalized in relation to a DUI-related incident. In California, all of the following parties can be held partially liable for drunk driving accidents and related damages:
- Parents who allow their children or their children’s friends to drink.
- Party hosts who allow their guests to drink and drive.
- Restaurants and bars that allow heavily intoxicated people to get in their cars.
Whether you were arrested for drunk driving, or are being held indirectly responsible, it is absolutely essential to understand the laws and penalties concerning California DUI charges so that you know what you are facing and how a Ventura drunk driving defense lawyer can help. At The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC, we have a thorough understanding of possible sentences and will do everything in our power to protect you against baseless or unlawful accusations. You may feel backed into a corner right now, but we have aggressive litigation skills to build a defense you can trust.
Defenses Against Ventura Drunk Driving Charges: Field Sobriety, Blood, and Breath Tests
The police typically use three types of tests to determine whether a person is intoxicated:
- Blood Tests
- Breath Tests
- Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)
Blood and breath tests involve taking physical readings, whereas FSTs evaluate a suspected drunk driver on his or her ability to complete certain tasks. For example, a police officer may ask a driver suspected of DUI to stand on one foot or count backward from 10. Another example of a commonly administered field sobriety test is the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, which involves watching the person’s eyes to see how they track an object, like a finger, as it moves back and forth.
In theory, the police officer can get a good idea of whether a person is intoxicated by watching the suspect perform such a test. However, FSTs are not always accurate or reliable indicators of intoxication, which is especially true of non-standardized FSTs. If you have been accused of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it may be possible to challenge the accuracy and validity of a field sobriety test in court.
Blood tests involve drawing blood from the suspect and sending it to a lab for testing, at which point lab technicians will determine whether the driver had an illegal blood alcohol content (BAC) level, meaning a BAC equaling or exceeding 0.08%. For certain drivers, such as commercial drivers, the limit is lowered to 0.04%. A breath test involves having the suspect blow into a breathalyzer device, which also analyzes the driver’s BAC. Like FSTs, blood and breath tests are notorious for producing inaccurate results, and may need to be disputed in your DUI case.
Arrested for Intoxicated Driving in Oxnard? Contact Our Ventura DUI Attorneys
In order to give yourself the greatest chance of avoiding penalties and getting back to your normal life, you need aggressive and highly experienced legal counsel on your side. Our knowledgeable team of Santa Barbara DUI lawyers is dedicated to doing everything in our power to help protect your best interests. We will be honest with you. We’ll sit down with you at a consultation meeting and tell you what it is we can do for you in your case. We won’t make false promises, and we will do all that we can to represent you fairly and accurately in court.
If you, your spouse, your child, or one of your family members has been arrested for DUI in Oxnard, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Santa Maria, Goleta, Lompoc, or other communities in Ventura County or Santa Barbara County, call The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC immediately at (805) 643-5555 for a free legal consultation regarding the charges against you or your loved one.