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Common Misconceptions About DUIs

Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki Aug. 18, 2023

Man driving car under the influence of alcoholIn California, it is an offense to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol. If convicted, you could face devastating punishments, including lengthy jail time, hefty fines, loss of driving privileges, a criminal record, and other life-changing ramifications. However, there are numerous false assumptions surrounding DUI cases in California. Therefore, getting proper guidance and representation is essential to protect you from the worst-case scenario. 

With more than 20 years of extensive experience, I understand how overwhelming and stressful a DUI charge can be. As a highly-skilled California criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janeck, I can take the worrying off your hands, investigate your case details, clarify some of the common DUI misconceptions, and outline a solid strategy to help fight your charges. My firm proudly serves clients across Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley, and San Jose, California. 

DUI Charges in California

According to California DUI laws, an individual may be arrested and charged with drunk driving for driving or operating a motor vehicle: 

  • while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or 

  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08%. 

Also, California has a "zero tolerance" law. Hence, it is illegal for a person under 21 years to operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.01% or more. It is important to note that you don't have to be driving to get a DUI in California. A strategic California DUI defense attorney can tell you about the criminal process and identify the best defenses to fight your charges. 

Common Myths and Facts About DUI Charges

There are several collective popular notions out there about California DUI charges. Many uninformed motorists can easily complicate their case or end up in the worst possible situation after a DUI arrest. Here are some common myths and facts about DUI charges in California, with a brief explanation of why they're not true: 

Misconception #1: The charge is so common it isn't serious.

This is not true. A DUI charge is very serious and may result in devastating penalties, such as substantial fines, incarceration, license suspensions, and a criminal record. Also, you may face other immediate and life-long ramifications, including increased auto insurance rates, difficulties in getting housing, employment, financial loans, public benefits, scholarships, and career opportunities. 

Misconception #2: A DUI charge isn't worth fighting.

Contrary to popular view, it is very important to fight your DUI charges in California. Essentially, a first DUI conviction in the state may result in fines of between $390 and $1,000, up to 6 months in county jail, a six-month license suspension, and other serious implications. With your personal reputation, liberty, career, and future at risk, fighting your drunk driving allegation is absolutely worthwhile. 

Misconception #3: You must submit to a field sobriety test.

This is another common misconception. Essentially, field sobriety tests are not covered under California's Implied Consent law. Hence, you're not required to submit to field sobriety tests when pulled over and asked by a law enforcement officer. You're within your rights to decline the test firmly and politely.  

Misconception #4: When arrested for a DUI, I don't have to submit to urine/blood tests.

In contrast to field sobriety tests, you're obligated to submit to urine or blood tests. Under California's implied consent law, a driver who has been lawfully arrested for drunk driving must submit to a blood, breath, or urine test. Refusing a chemical test after a lawful arrest may lead to license revocation and other administrative penalties. 

Misconception #5: A DUI will fall off my record in 7 years.

This is not true. In California, a DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for up to ten (10) years. During this period, you'll be unable to remove the conviction from your driving record. In addition, the DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record forever. The only way to remove the conviction from your criminal record is through expungement. 

Make Informed Decisions About Your DUI

Fighting your drunk driving charges is crucial to avoid the devastating penalties and consequences of a DUI conviction. At the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, I have the resources necessary to represent and defend clients in their DUI cases. Using my broad range of knowledge, I can help you navigate the California criminal justice system, fight aggressively to uphold your rights for the best possible result. 

Being able to differentiate between myths and facts can help make your DUI case feel more manageable. Contact me at the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki today to speak with a strategic DUI defense attorney. I possess the vigorous representation and reliable advocacy you need in your drunk driving case. My firm proudly serves clients across Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Berkeley, and San Jose, California.