Drunk Driving Attorney in Fresno Explains Mitigating Factors in a DUI

Dec 02, 2015

If you are arrested and convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, your sentence can be influenced by a variety of mitigating factors. Fines, prison terms, and other penalties are often specified by ranges, and the amount, length, and other factors can be affected by what the court sees as mitigating factors.

First, what is a mitigating factor? It is an element that may explain, excuse, or lessen the behavior being punished. If a driver has a clean driving record, for example, and his or her blood alcohol count (BAC) was slightly higher than 0.08 upon the chemical test (the legal standard of intoxication in the state), the court might be inclined to lower the sentence as much as allowed. Another mitigating factor might be voluntary completion of a substance abuse program. Finally, if the behavior that caused you to get pulled over by police was in fact caused by a medication prescribed by a doctor (not medical marijuana), that could also be a mitigating factor. As a result, it is possible a minimum sentence could be handed down rather than an average sentence or a maximum one.

To see a mitigating factor in action, consider the ranges of penalties for a first-time offense. The fine can be as high as $1,000 (that's actually the base fine, with assessments it is often around $2,000.00), but it can also be less. A term in jail, according to the law, can be imposed for from 4 days to 6 months. Your license can be suspended for a period of from 30 days to 10 months. The lesser side of all these ranges is clearly much more to be desired in the event of a conviction than the maximum side.

Because DUI law and sentencing is very complex, it is highly advisable to talk to a drunk driving attorney. Please contact us today.

Category: DUI Defense

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

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Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If your looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.