DUI representation: Four things you should know before going to court
Oct 14, 2015
If you are facing a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) charge, you may think you can represent yourself quite easily. However, a DUI can be more complex than it appears at first glance. Here are some things to consider.
- Preparing for a DUI defense can be time-consuming. It involves an examination of the probable cause based upon prior legal authority, looking at field sobriety tests, the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS), and the for blood alcohol content (BAC). An experienced attorney may be able to do this more thoroughly. Also, it is very possible to misunderstand some point of law at this stage or simply not know about it.
- An attorney may be able to bargain your case down to a lesser offense. If the BAC reading is just below the DUI threshold, for example, or the officers administering the test for field sobriety received results that can be argued to be inconclusive, it may be possible to receive a charge of reckless driving rather than a DUI.
- There are two varieties of reckless driving. The first is simply termed reckless driving and means that a vehicle was operated carelessly. The second is known as a “wet reckless.” This means that the court determined not only reckless driving but that either alcohol or drugs was involved in some way. A wet reckless conviction does count as a prior DUI charge if you pick up a new DUI charge within 10 years. However, a wet reckless does have some major advantages. Usually, those advantages include no community service or jail, a substantially reduced fine and a shorter 12 hour course instead of a 3 month or longer course. In addition, the term "wet reckless" is really a slang term. It is actually a reckless driving involving alcohol or drugs, so it tends to look better than a DUI on your criminal history report.
If you would like to discuss a drunk driving defense in Fresno, we are here to help.Please contact us to arrange a free consultation. The sooner you call after your arrest, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights and planning your defense.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.