If my son was arrested for a DUI and was involved in an accident in California, what will happen to him? 10 Answers as of February 24, 2012

Last week, my son was arrested for a DUI after being in accident. There was no other vehicle involved. What will happen to him now? Will an attorney be able to help?

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Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Although you are not required to get an attorney, it would be very foolish to proceed without one. You need an attorney's advice ASAP - the DMV needs to be contacted within 10 days of the arrest to try to save his license. DUIs are very common but the repercussions can follow your son for years to come without the help of an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer then the Public Defender is available. There are numerous aspects to the case which must be analyzed for you by a lawyer who has experience specifically with DUIs.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2011
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
If there was bodily injury to anyone it will be charged as a felony. If not it will be charged as a misdemeanor, but the penalties could be enhanced.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
If it was an accident with injury for him or others, it is a felony charge, with potential prison time. Without injury it is an enhanced penalty misdemeanor. Effective plea-bargaining, using whatever legal defenses, facts and sympathies there may be, could possibly keep him out of jail/prison, or at least dramatically reduce it, depending upon all the facts and evidence. Not exactly a do it yourself project in court for someone who does not know how to effectively represent himself against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain for you, or take it to trial. If serious about doing so, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help you use whatever defenses you may have. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/6/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
An attorney can always help. How much and whether it is worth the investment is the question. A first offense DUI without injury will probably not be terribly serious though the question of any restitution to other property might be an issue. You have not told me what the blood alcohol result was so I cannot tell if he has a likely defense.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/6/2011
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
Definitely. Give us a call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/4/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    Yes, an Attorney can definitely help. The range of what can happen is very wide. Is it a first-time DUI? Did your son injure himself? There are many possible dispositions (deals) that can be made. How old was your son? Under 21 years? What was his blood alcohol? Assuming that it was greater than 0.08% (but less than 0.20%), that he's 21 or older (if not it's not much different, other than that he'll lose his license longer), and that he's not injured - oh, and did not flee the scene - he might just get a first time DUI. In many jurisdictions, that only requires minimal jail time, which you can often do in a work release program. Some Counties are harsher about it. You need to consult with an experienced DUI Attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/4/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The following are the potential consequences of a first time DUI:

    A fine of $390 to $1000 with penalty assessment (multiplied by approximately 3-4 times), up to 6 months in jail, and attendance in a 3, 6, or 9 month alcohol program. As a result of the court conviction, the DMV will suspend your license for 6 or 10 months, depending on the alcohol program ordered, but a restricted license may be requested. Additionally, you will receive 2 points on your driving record.

    The fact that there was an accident doesn't increase his exposure, but the prosecutor may demand some/more jail time or caltrans. Consider hiring a DUI specialist to help your son. The point of hiring an attorney is to avoid some or all of the above consequences. The notion that a DUI is a DUI and nothing can be done is patently false.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/4/2011
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Although accidents don't help the defense generally speaking, an Attorney can help handle the case in an effort to dismiss, reduce our otherwise mitigate consequences. Additionally, for misdemeanors DUI's a private retained attorney can appear in court without your sons presence unless otherwise ordered by the court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/4/2011
    Law Offices of Michael Stephenson
    Law Offices of Michael Stephenson | Michael Stephenson
    It would be wise to hire an attorney. Your son will most likely be charged with DUI and/or reckless driving.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/4/2011
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