Policeman Giving a Breathalyzer to A Driver


Brownstein Law Group, P.C. Dec. 13, 2021

Many people believe if they are arrested for DUI and acknowledge that they are over the legal limit at the time, they should not bother fighting the charge. Instead, they take their punishment, perhaps to avoid attorney’s fees, and move on.

People fail to recognize that a DUI conviction results in a criminal record that has long-term consequences. A DUI is definitely worth fighting when your future is on the line.

At Brownstein Law Group, P.C., attorney Josh S. Brownstein has put his experience to work for hundreds of clients facing DUI charges in San Rafael, Marin County, San Francisco, Novato, and Petaluma, California. He deals with his clients honestly and personally inside the courtroom and out.

Potential Penalties for a DUI in California

A DUI charge in California is generally a misdemeanor, but it is still significant. A conviction for a first DUI can result in up to six months in jail, fines above $1,000, license suspension for six months, probation of three years, and mandatory completion of a DUI program. If you need a restricted license during revocation, you will pay all costs associated with installing, monitoring, and calibrating an ignition interlock device.

The penalties for second and third convictions result in serious criminal penalties. A fourth conviction, and those involving injuries or fatalities, are felonies punishable by prison, incarceration and fines.

There are consequences beyond criminal convictions for DUI. Your record can prohibit you from employment or renting living space. Your professional certification will be penalized or revoked, and with a record demonstrating a greater risk of potential accidents, your insurance rates will be more expensive. A DUI conviction can also affect a child custody agreement, the ability to get accepted into a college, or qualify for a student loan.

You can understand why fighting a DUI is worth the battle. If you are asking, “Should I fight my DUI?” the answer is unequivocal, “Yes.” There is too much at stake not to.

Potential Defenses to Fight a DUI

There are numerous defenses a DUI defense attorney may be able to use to fight the charge, including:

  • Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable. The tests are difficult for some people to perform even when they are completely sober. You may refuse a request for a field sobriety test since law enforcement will use the performance test against you.

  • Mechanical testing is flawed. There are rules associated with keeping breathalyzer devices accurately calibrated. Moreover, impeccable records of maintenance and calibration are recorded by law enforcement. If they are not, the test results can be questioned. Further, very specific and detailed procedures and protocols must be followed during blood testing and blood draws are often ignored resulting in such tests being suppressed.

  • Law enforcement sometimes fails to follow procedures, such as failing to conduct the required 15-minute observation period, or lacking probable cause to make the stop in the first place.

  • There can also be extenuating circumstances that alter blood alcohol content, such as certain physical conditions or medications such as cold or cough medicine, mouthwash, flavored toothpicks, breath mints, or suffering from indigestion or acid reflux — causing burping and triggering residual alcohol in the mouth.

  • You may not have been operating the vehicle at the time. Although “driving” can include the intent of driving under California law, your attorney may seek to challenge the allegation.

DUI Defense Attorney Serving San Rafael, California

Fighting a DUI is worth it, especially if you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney to represent you. Attorney Josh S. Brownstein knows how to mount a defense, negotiate with the prosecution, and defend the allegations against you in court. He has done it for clients throughout the state of California as well as San Rafael, Marin County, San Francisco, Novato, Petaluma, and Sonoma, California. If you want a fight, it is worth your time to call Brownstein Law Group, P.C. right now.