DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY SACRAMENTO
In California, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense. Unlike traffic infractions, a DUI is a criminal offense, and even a first offense can lead to onerous penalties including license suspension, jail, fines, and mandatory DUI classes.
A DUI conviction also will almost certainly lead to a substantial increase in an offender’s automobile insurance rates. As a result, it is not unusual for even first-time DUI offenders to end up with fines, fees, and other expenses costing in excess of $10,000, accompanied by the serious inconveniences of not being able to drive, having to serve jail time and/or community service, and being required to appear for court hearings and DUI classes.
Sacramento, CA is a community that has been proactive in enforcing California’s DUI laws. It is just one of the many cities in the Greater Sacramento are that has participated regularly in conducting DUI checkpoints. Overall, many California law enforcement bodies have used DUI checkpoints extensively since 2006 as a prophylactic measure to prevent the accidents that can result from a motorist driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Annually, there are over 2,000 DUI checkpoints set up at various locations throughout California, and officers are specially trained to evaluate drivers for drug or alcohol impairment. These checkpoints frequently catch DUI offenders in their net—drivers who otherwise may not have been detected or cited.
The purpose of DUI checkpoints is not merely to identify drivers who may be driving under the influence, but as a deterrent. For example, the Sacramento police department announces its DUI checkpoints well ahead of time, so that individuals who are planning to go out on a particular night will either bring a designated driver, or avoid drinking altogether.
Sacramento police locate their checkpoints in areas where they believe they have the highest likelihood of achieving their deterrent effect, based on historical evidence of where DUI arrests have been made in the past and where there have been collisions involving drunk or drugged drivers. In addition, Sacramento police take into account whether the location chosen affords them the opportunity to conduct their tests safely for both drivers and law enforcement personnel.
Naturally, many of these locations are in areas that provide social outlets, such as bars and restaurants, and the checkpoints are usually conducted at times of the year when drinking is likely, such as around Christmas and New Years, when many people attend parties where drinking occurs.
DUI CHECKPOINTS ARE EFFECTIVE DETERRENTS TO DRUNK DRIVING
Based on empirical data compiled from periods before and after checkpoints were utilized, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded that checkpoints are effective deterrents to drunk driving.
Through their research, the NHTSA believes that crashes involving alcohol drop by 20% when police conduct frequent and well-publicized DUI checkpoints, and many consequently people believe that checkpoints are one of the most effective DUI enforcement mechanisms. Yet despite the success of checkpoints in identifying intoxicated drivers before accidents happen, drivers who operate motor vehicles while under the influence still account for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities.
FACING DUI CHARGES?
DUI defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Wing & Parisi have many years of experience defending individuals in a wide variety of DUI criminal and administrative proceedings, whether it is a first-time offense or a subsequent offense, whether it is an isolated charge or a charge in connection with other offenses related to an injury accident. We have helped clients to overcome blood, breath, or urine test evidence, and challenged other evidence successfully in court or before our clients are even brought into court.
We have also helped clients by having charges reduced or penalties minimized. We can help clients not only with the criminal aspects of their case, but also help them to navigate or challenge the administrative license suspension process through the DMV.
COURT PROCESS IN YOUR DUI CASE
After your arrest the first contact with the legal process in your DUI case and the court specifically will the arraignment. The arraignment is the hearing during which the Court (the Judge) will inform you of the charges brought by the prosecutor’s office and will ask you how do you want to plea.
You must appear for this hearing if you do not have an attorney. If you do have a DUI lawyer, most of the time your appearance will not be required. During this hearing, no arguments will be presented, you will not be able to argue your defenses, or question witnesses. The purpose of this hearing is to enter a plea. If you do not have an attorney and are still looking for representation you can request that Judge grant you a continuance until that time without entering a plea.
After the arraignment is completed, the period of discovery begins. During the period of discovery the prosecutors must provide all evidence to you or your attorney upon which they are planning to prove their case against you. Some evidence must be requested. Also during this period all the pre-trial motions will take place, i.e., motion to suppress evidence. This is the time to begin building your defenses by weakening the prosecutor’s case. Has and when has the Breathalyzer last calibrated? How long did the police officers follow you before they made the stop? What were the officers’ observations for making the stop? Do those observations to the level of reasonable suspicion? These questions must be properly raised in the pre-trial motions.
The trial requires a lot of work from everyone, including attorneys, prosecutors, Judge and his staff. So, with that in mind, after the discovery process ends, the pre-trial settlement conference will take place where the Judge will discuss whether there is an option for completing this case without going to trial. Depending on the strength of the evidence against you and on prosecutors belief of whether or not he/she can win at trial will yield the best plea bargain.
Having experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel by your side is critical, it can reduce sentence with respect to time, penalties and suspension of your license. To protect your rights and improve your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome for your case, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced DUI lawyer
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Sacramento, the attorneys at Wing & Parisi can help you, whether your arrest is the result of a checkpoint arrest, a traffic arrest, or in connection with an accident.
There’s no substitute for a strong criminal defense lawyer in Sacramento, call Wing & Parisi at (916) 441-4888.
Contact us online or call at (916) 441-4888 for a free and confidential initial consultation, available in Spanish. We appear in state and federal courts in the Sacramento and Davis communities as well as throughout Placer and San Joaquin counties.