Sacramento County DUI Lawyer
Have You Been Arrested for Driving Under the Influence?
At The Chastaine Law Office, we understand that a DUI charge is serious, and facing a possible DUI conviction can be overwhelming. You may be afraid it will harm your reputation, jeopardize a Professional license and possibly
lead to jail time. If your job relies on you driving, then the mandatory license suspension can potentially cost you your job. A conviction can also affect your employment prospects in the future. It’s critical that you speak to an Sacramento County DUI attorney about your case. Our legal team has
over 30 years of experience representing individuals facing DUI charges.
Charged with drunk driving? Discuss your case in a FREE consultation today.
Learn How to Survive DUI Arrest
Attorney Michael Chastaine saw the need for writing his book on “How to Survive a DUI Arrest: What You Need to Know” after defending thousands of DUI clients. He has passed that knowledge to the other attorneys in his office and together they work as a team to get you the best possible outcome. Clients are frequently surprised to learn about the many possible defenses for DUI charges.
Here is an excerpt from Attorney Mike Chastaine’s book, “How to Survive a DUI Arrest: What you NEED to Know”:
“No one expects to be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). For most people, when it happens, it is a real eye-opener and likely a SHOCK.
Your neighbors, co-workers, and the community at large, see these charges as very serious, because of the thousands of lives lost each year in accidents that involve drivers who were under the influence.
Even more people are impacted in life-changing ways because of injuries sustained in accidents. The ripple effect of these incidents widens the circle to an even broader scope that includes spouses, children, other family members, and employers.
So many lives are potentially affected when a person makes the decision to get behind the wheel after having too much to drink. Among the lives impacted is yours. The pain and shock of finding yourself in this predicament can become overwhelming and difficult to manage.”
Possible Defenses for DUI Charges
Clients are often surprised to hear that there are possible defenses for avoiding the penalties for DUIs
At The Chastaine Law Office, we evaluate your case for numerous possible defenses, including:
- You weren’t the driver.
- Officer lacked probable cause to stop your car.
- Breathalyzer was malfunctioning or improperly maintained.
- There was no volitional movement of the car.
- Medical condition caused you to
falsely go above the BAC limit on the breath test.
- Improper storage of your blood sample.
- Alternative explanations for your poor performance on the field sobriety tests.
- The officer
did not follow Title 17 regulations when administering the breath test.
- “Rising Blood Alcohol” can mean your system was actually below
the 0.08 legal limit for at the time of driving even though it was over
0.08 when you did the chemical test.
Tips for Handling a DUI Arrest
The DUI process can be methodical, but as long as you’re working with a lawyer you can trust, you always stand a fighting chance. Remember to stay collected and keep all of the following tips in mind while dealing with an otherwise very stressful and traumatic event.
- Keep Calm and Remember the Details
Keep in mind that DUI arrests typically follow a specific line of procedures. Any weak links in that chain may be pointed out in court. Keep calm and do your best to remember as many details as possible about what occurs during the stop, testing and arrest stages. This information may be vital in crafting a defense with the help of a trusted Sacramento DUI attorney.
- Silent Cooperation
Everything that you say can (and likely will) be used against you if you are prosecuted for a DUI. If you get pulled over, be prepared for the possibility that the officer will ask you to undergo a series of field sobriety tests, even if you claim to be sober at the time. In California, refusal to undergo a chemical test following a DUI arrest could lead to heavier consequences, including automatic suspension of your driving privileges.
If someone was with you at the time of your arrest, it would be best to discourage them from meddling with the officers in case they decide to bring you in for questioning. Under California Penal Code Section 148, such actions may render the interfering party liable for impeding official duties.
- Don’t Turn to Social Media
Defending yourself on social media won’t do you any good. Just the opposite: The prosecutor can dissect your posts to be used against you before the court. Even if you only want to vent and explain yourself, avoid going public. What you post may contradict your previous testimony and further jeopardize your case.
- Attend Every Court Date
Missing a court date can lower your chances of winning the case. Your absence demonstrates that you are not serious about your defense, weakening your credibility, which is critical to defending yourself against any criminal charge. Also, skipping court dates may drive a judge to issue a bench warrant that would enable law officers to immediately arrest you once they find you.
- Think Before Pleading
In some instances, defendants immediately plead guilty because they think they don’t stand a chance of fighting the case. The truth, however, is that a range of defense options that can help you reduce or completely reverse the charges.
Typically, the specific facts of your situation determine whether or not you have a viable strategy for defense. In the case that you do not have an obvious defense strategy, it’s still critical that you strive for the best plea agreement possible. By achieving the most favorable outcome, you mitigate the damage and are put in a position to achieve future success.
How a Skilled DUI Attorney Can Help You
When you’re stopped for DUI, police officers cannot do a preliminary sobriety test without your consent. However, you could still get arrested if the police have reason to believe you were driving under the influence; and if you’re arrested, California’s implied consent laws say that refusal to do a chemical test could mean losing your license and paying a hefty fine. The police could also use your refusal as evidence that you were driving under the influence.
What you can do is observe and try to remember as many details about your arrest as possible. The police officer must have a legal reason for believing that you were under influence, and therefore for recommending the test or for putting you under arrest. Ask the officer why you were pulled over; if they can’t give you any reason, be sure to tell your lawyer. If a valid reason was given, you may give your consent; but try to remember everything the officer says. He/she must not force you to do the test; if you refuse the test, they must explain the consequences of your actions and tell you what you can and cannot do.
A DUI defense attorney can also try to have the blood alcohol content (BAC) test results thrown out by proving that the equipment was faulty at the time of the test. If there was a blood draw or urine sample taken, your lawyer can investigate how the sample was handled and watch out for any break in protocols concerning this.
Whatever the circumstances, get in touch with an experienced Sacramento County DUI lawyer as soon as you get arrested for DUI to ensure your rights are protected and you get proper legal guidance.