Your Rights When Charged With a DUI in San Francisco

Your Rights When Charged With a DUI in San Francisco

It is important to know what your rights are when charged with a DUI in the state of California. A DUI arrest anywhere does not mean that you had a few sips of alcohol and then got behind the wheel of a car. When arrested for driving under the influence, alcohol is not the only thing you need to be under the influence of. DUI can also mean you have taken drugs—whether legal or illegal—and you operated a motor vehicle when you mental skills and motor skills were impaired. This means that an officer needs to have probable cause to pull you over and test your sobriety and every procedure he handles needs to be by the book. These are the things a San Francisco DUI attorney will investigate when preparing your defense.

When an officer pulls you over either seemingly randomly or at a specified DUI checkpoint, you are not required to submit to field sobriety tests or even Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) tests at the scene. If you do refuse these tests, you cannot be charged with the offense of driving with a BAC of .08% or more and will only be charged with a DUI offense. If you do take these tests and your BAC is .08% or higher, then you will be charged with two offenses, yet only receive sentencing as if it was one offense, according to California law. However, it is also required that you be giving a choice or breath or blood testing to determine what your BAC is. There is also some question of whether breathalyzer tests are even accurate and this is a defense you DUI attorney in San Francisco can use while trying your case. Some field sobriety tests have been shown to be inaccurate as well in recent years, so proving that someone was driving under the influence has become more difficult.

You also have rights in regard to your drivers’ license. It will be confiscated at the scene, but you must be informed that you have 10 days to request a hearing about your license suspension that would take place before your criminal hearing. If you request a hearing on your own, you may be encouraged to accept a phone hearing. A San Francisco DUI lawyer can request a more effective in person hearing and prepare a better defense for you.

Just because you face criminal charges does not mean you don’t have rights. Call a DUI lawyer in San Francisco to discuss these rights today.




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