If you live in Sacramento and have been charged with driving under the influence, you may need to hire an attorney to fight your charges and attempt to get them reduced or dismissed. When trying to determine whether you need legal help, it’s helpful to know what a Sacramento DUI lawyer does.

You may think you’ll be able to represent yourself in court and handle your case with no trouble, but having the support of an experienced legal team can make a significant difference to your case. 

Sacramento Drunk Driving Penalties

Before delving into the legal process of your DUI case, it’s important to understand what penalties you may face if you don’t get your charges reduced or dismissed.

A first-time DUI offense in Sacramento is classified as a misdemeanor and can result in up to 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and substance abuse treatment for three to nine months. A second-offense DUI can result in up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and substance abuse treatment for eighteen to thirty months.

Your DUI offense can result in a felony charge depending on the severity of the incident. A felony DUI can put you in prison for up to three years, force you to pay outrageous fines, and you may be required to go through extensive substance abuse treatment.

Aside from significant penalties, having a DUI conviction on your permanent record will affect your life for years to come. Society will label you as a criminal, and you can have trouble obtaining a job or housing. It’s essential to fight your charges if you hope to move forward with a clean slate. 

Preparing Your Case for Court

A DUI lawyer in Sacramento will help prepare your case for court by investigating your arrest and either gathering evidence or trying to refute the evidence against you. Because a DUI lawyer has years of experience with the law, they’ll be able to speak with the police and other government officials to obtain relevant information on your arrest. This information can be the key to winning your case. 

Defense Strategies Your DUI May Use

Your attorney may try to challenge the police officer’s arrest process. If the police officer didn’t read you your Miranda Rights or didn’t have a reason for pulling you over in the first place, your charges may be thrown out. Your DUI lawyer may also challenge the evidence against you, such as the breathalyzer results. These tests are often inaccurate if the breathalyzer isn’t calibrated correctly.

Without the help of an experienced lawyer, you may not have the proper defense strategies needed to put reasonable doubt in the minds of the judge and jury. DUI lawyers build their careers around helping charged individuals fight their cases. They can support you through your trial and try to help you, too.