DUI Lawyer in Imperial County, CA
Imperial County has a relatively low crime rate. Though there has been an increase in violent crime in recent years, reports are still low. In 2009 there were only 590 violent crimes reported in the entire county and the majority of those were for assault charges.
One offense that police are always looking to enforce is driving under the influence. The County has a slightly higher than average number of DUI arrests. In 2011, the average number of DUI arrests per 100 licensed drivers was .8% in California. It was .9% for Imperial County that same year. Also in 2011, 915 people were arrested for DUI in Imperial County. This is an 18% decrease from the year before, but police will not be satisfied until there are zero intoxicated drivers on the road.
Imperial County Criminal Courts
Imperial County has 3 superior court locations. Most criminal offenses are heard in superior courts as they are the only courts that seat juries. When you are accused of a crime, you have a constitutional right to a trial by jury.
El Centro Courthouse
939 West Main Street
El Centro, CA 92243
220 Main Street
Brawley, CA 92227
2124 Winterhaven Drive
Winterhaven, CA 92283
Imperial County DUI Charges
A DUI arrest will occur if you are stopped by police and suspected of driving drunk. You will face charges if your chemical sobriety test results show that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit. In California the legal limit for a driver over 21 is .08% and under 21 is .01%. Commercial drivers have a limit of .04%. There are also other factors that can lead to DUI charges being more severe. These are called aggravating factors. Some of these situations include:
Under 21 DUI – If you are under the legal drinking age, you must abide by a zero tolerance policy in California. In 2011, .9% of all DUI arrests were juvenile charges in Imperial County. Even if your BAC is under the legal limit, you could face a civil violation that could result in one year of license suspension.
DUI and Drugs – DUI charges can also result from driving under the influence of drugs too. In addition to a drug related DUI, you can face drug possession charges if illegal drugs were involved. Police take Drug DUIs very serious. In 2010, almost 10% of all fatal accidents in Imperial County were caused by drug impaired DUI drivers.
Felony DUI – When an offender has committed a particularly serious DUI offense, they will face felony DUI charges. A car accident that results in injury or 4 or more prior DUI convictions can lead to felony DUI charges. In 2011, 2% of all DUI arrests were charged as felonies in Imperial County.
Repeat DUI Offender – The more prior DUI convictions you have in the ten year period before your arrest, the more serious your charges will be. Judges look to impose steep penalties on repeat offenders. In 2010, 100% of all third and fourth DUI offenders served some jail time in Imperial County.
DUI Causing Injury – When a driving is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol and causes an accident, they will face increased penalties if anyone is injured. In 2010 there were 6,493 fatalities or serious injuries caused by DUI drivers in the State of California.
Vehicular Manslaughter – If a life is lost due to your driving under the influence, you may be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This is the most serious DUI charge especially if you have prior DUI convictions. In 2010, Imperial County suffered 32 DUI accidents that led to death or injury.
DUI Defense in Imperial County
A DUI conviction can lead to serious penalties like license suspension, community service, probation, fines and even jail time. Most DUI offenses in Imperial County are misdemeanors, but some circumstances can lead to felony charges. Calling an experienced lawyer right away is the best way to ensure that you get your best fighting chance.
Imperial County has a higher than average rate of ‘wet reckless' convictions. This likely means that prosecutors are more likely to offer suspects plea bargains. We work to get out clients the best possible plea bargains. Our attorneys work to weaken the case against you by challenging every piece of evidence the prosecution has. Sobriety test results can be flawed and we have experienced exposing those flaws. When it cannot be proven without a doubt that you were intoxicated, you cannot be convicted of a DUI crime.
When you call our firm, a DUI lawyer will go over every aspect of your case to look for areas of weakness. While no two cases are exactly alike, we use our vast experience and legal knowledge to help you fight the charges you face.