El Dorado Hills Criminal Law Attorney
Have you been arrested? It's important to note that an arrest simply means there is reasonable suspicion a person committed a crime. An arrest does not necessarily mean that a criminal charge has been formally charged by the District Attorney.
It is important in many cases to have an experienced attorney contact the District Attorney prior to the filing of charges. In some cases, an attorney can convince the District Attorney not to file charges or to file reduced charges.
Specifically, the Fourth Amendment protects against unlawful searches and seizures while the Fifth Amendment governs the right to remain silent so one does not become "a witness against himself." Knowing that an experienced defense attorney will be asserting a violation of the constitution may cause the District Attorney to reconsider the filing of charges.
Peter Vlautin is an experienced criminal defense attorney. He was a former Supervising Public Defender of Sacramento County. Peter has had successful verdicts in some of the most sensational and notorious cases in Sacramento history.
Should there not be Constitutional violations, much of the work of a criminal defense attorney then turns to negotiation. It is widely believed the more experienced the criminal defense attorney, the better the plea bargain for the client. District Attorneys do not want to lose and an experienced criminal defense attorney increases their chance of losing.
One of the most common criminal charges is driving under the Influence.
Everyone knows that drinking and driving is dangerous-and that it's against the law. How do you know when you've had too much to drink, and what happens if you make the wrong choice? In California, you are violating the law if you drive under either of the following conditions:
- You are under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, OR
- You have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher if you are over 21, .04% or higher if you are operating a commercial vehicle, or .01% or higher if you are under 21.
Alcohol affects everyone differently, so you could find yourself "under the influence" of alcohol even though your BAC is below .08%. However, if your BAC is above the legal limit, you are assumed to be impaired even if you have a high alcohol tolerance and do not feel drunk.
On a first offense
A possible jail term of 96 hours to 6 months and a fine ranging from $390 to $1000. Instead of going to jail you may be placed on probation for 3-5 years on a first offense-it depends on the judge and on the circumstances surrounding your case. Plus, your license will be suspended by the DMV for 6 months, and even after you get it back you may have restrictions on it. If you are offered probation, you will be required to attend California DUI classes for 3 to 6 months, and pay for them yourself. The court also has the option of requiring you to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive. In Sacramento County it is a mandatory condition of Probation. As if all of that was not enough, your vehicle may also be impounded for anywhere from 1-30 days.
On a second offense within 10 years
A possible jail term of 90 days to a year, with at least 96 days spent in jail, and 3-5 years probation. You'll have fines from $390 to $1000, and a license suspension of months. To get your license back, you will not only have to pay reinstatement fees, you also have to have an ignition interlock device installed. Of course, if you get probation, you will also have to go to California DUI school.
Of course, the penalties get worse the more California DUIs you receive. However, even on a first conviction, special circumstances called "enhancements" can lead to harsher penalties. For example, if you have a child in the car with you, you will have to go to jail for a period of time, with no possibility of probation and there will be enhanced penalties if your blood alcohol is .15 or above.
With such harsh penalties it is important to have an experienced attorney who will determine if there was probable cause to stop your car, were your Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights violated, whether the blood alcohol test is valid or if you really refused to take the blood alcohol test.