Facing a DUI Charge with a BAC of 0.08% or Higher in Los Angeles? We Can Help.

Driving under the influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is a serious offense under California Vehicle Code § 23152(b) VC. This law strictly prohibits operating a motor vehicle with a BAC at or above this level, establishing a clear standard for impairment. A DUI conviction can have severe consequences, including license suspension, hefty fines, and possible incarceration. Navigating the complexities of DUI law requires experienced legal representation to ensure your rights are protected and to work towards the best possible outcome.

At The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi, we understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with a DUI charge. Since 2003, our firm has been dedicated to providing strong legal defense for individuals accused of DUI in Los Angeles. Our team leverages extensive knowledge of California DUI laws and a deep commitment to our clients to fight aggressively on your behalf. We aim to minimize the impact on your life and secure your future.

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, contact our office at (310) 448-1529 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your case. We are here to help you navigate this challenging time and provide the skilled representation you need.





    Sentencing Guidelines and Penalties

    For those convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, California law provides specific sentencing guidelines, which include:

    • First Offense: Penalties can include informal probation for three to five years, a fine of approximately $390 to $1,000 (plus substantial penalty assessments), DUI school ranging from three to nine months, and a six-month driver’s license suspension. Jail time can range from 48 hours to six months, but it is often converted to community service in the absence of aggravating factors.
    • Second Offense (within ten years): This may result in 96 hours to one year in county jail, a two-year license suspension, 18 to 30 months of DUI education, and similar fines to the first offense.
    • Third and Subsequent Offenses: These include increased jail time, longer DUI education programs, more extended periods of license suspension, and designation as a habitual traffic offender.

    Immediate and Long-Term Consequences of Conviction

    • Criminal Record: A conviction results in a permanent criminal record, which can affect future employment opportunities, especially in jobs that require driving or security clearances.
    • Insurance Rates: Convicted individuals often see significantly higher auto insurance rates or may need to buy special SR-22 insurance.
    • Employment Impact: Certain professions, particularly those involving driving or the operation of heavy machinery, may impose restrictions or prohibitions on individuals with DUI convictions.
    • Travel Restrictions: Some countries, including Canada, may deny entry to individuals with a DUI conviction.
    • Social Stigma: DUI convictions carry a social stigma, potentially affecting personal relationships and community standing.

    The Process of Determining BAC Levels

    • Breathalyzers: The most common field method used by law enforcement, breathalyzers estimate BAC by measuring the amount of alcohol in the breath. While convenient and non-invasive, the results can be affected by various factors including the device’s calibration, environmental influences, and physiological conditions of the individual.
    • Blood Tests: Considered the gold standard for BAC measurement, blood tests directly measure the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. They are typically conducted in controlled settings like hospitals or clinics. These tests are more accurate than breath tests but require trained personnel to draw blood and process results.
    • Urine Tests: Less commonly used due to their invasive nature and the delay in alcohol detection in urine, these tests are generally less accurate than blood tests and are typically used when blood or breath tests are unavailable.

    Legalities Surrounding BAC Testing and Rights of the Accused

    • Implied Consent Laws: Under California law, anyone who drives a vehicle is considered to have given implied consent to chemical testing if arrested for DUI. Refusal to submit to a BAC test can result in enhanced penalties, including automatic license suspension.
    • Right to Independent Testing: After submitting to a law enforcement-administered test, the accused has the right to have an independent BAC test conducted by a medical professional of their choice.
    • Accuracy and Calibration: The defense can challenge the accuracy of BAC testing in court. Issues such as improper calibration of breathalyzers, the handling and storage of blood samples, and the timing of the test relative to the time of driving can all impact the validity of the results.
    • Miranda Rights: If in custody and subjected to interrogation, individuals must be informed of their Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Statements made during a DUI arrest can be crucial, and the accused have the right not to incriminate themselves.

    Defense Strategies for § 23152(b) VC Charges

    Challenging the Accuracy of BAC Testing

    • Calibration and Maintenance Records: Demonstrate that authorities did not properly calibrate or maintain the breathalyzer according to the manufacturer’s specifications or state regulations.
    • Administration Errors: Argue that errors in test administration or non-compliance with protocol may have compromised the results.
    • Physiological Conditions: Present evidence that the defendant’s physical conditions (such as GERD, diabetes, or diet) or environmental factors (like ingestion of certain foods, mouth alcohol, etc.) could have skewed the BAC results.

    Questioning the Lawfulness of the Traffic Stop and Arrest

    • Reasonable Suspicion for the Stop: Attacking the initial basis for the traffic stop, arguing that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to make the stop.
    • Probable Cause for Arrest: Challenging whether there was probable cause to arrest the defendant for DUI, which requires more than just a hunch or unconfirmed suspicion that the driver was impaired.

    Alternative Explanations for BAC Levels

    • Time of Consumption: Arguing that the timing of alcohol consumption meant the BAC was rising, and that the defendant was not over the legal limit while actually driving (known as “rising blood alcohol”).
    • Contamination or Fermentation of Blood Samples: Proposing that the blood sample was contaminated or improperly stored, leading to fermentation and higher apparent alcohol levels.
    • Instrument Error: Suggesting malfunctions or inherent flaws in the BAC measurement device used.

    Selecting an Attorney Specialized in DUI Defense

    When facing DUI charges, the selection of an attorney who specializes in DUI defense is crucial. Key considerations include:

    • Experience and Expertise: An attorney with specific experience in handling DUI cases, as they will have a deep understanding of the relevant laws, procedural nuances, and defense strategies that are most effective in these cases.
    • Track Record: Assess the attorney’s track record in handling similar cases. Successful outcomes in past cases are a good indicator of an attorney’s proficiency in DUI defense.
    • Local Knowledge: An attorney who is familiar with the local courts and practices can navigate the local legal environment more effectively. This includes understanding the tendencies of local judges and prosecutors, which can be advantageous in plea negotiations and trial strategies.

    How Expert Legal Representation Can Alter Case Outcomes

    • Strategic Defense Planning: An experienced DUI attorney can develop a defense strategy that addresses the specific circumstances of your case. This could involve challenging the procedural aspects of the BAC testing, questioning the legality of the traffic stop and arrest, or presenting alternative explanations for the BAC results.
    • Mitigation of Penalties: Even if a complete dismissal isn’t possible, an adept attorney can often negotiate reduced penalties. This might include lower fines, reduced jail time, or alternatives such as community service or DUI education programs.
    • Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, having a skilled attorney to present your defense, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and articulate the nuances of your situation is invaluable.
    • Post-Conviction Assistance: Post-conviction, an attorney can assist with appeals, license reinstatement, and navigating the repercussions that a DUI conviction may have on your life and livelihood.

    FAQs on Facing a § 23152(b) VC Charge

    What to Expect If Arrested with a BAC Over 0.08%?

    If you are arrested for driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you can typically expect the following steps:

    • Arrest and Booking: Law enforcement will arrest and book you into the local jail. During booking, you’ll provide fingerprints, photographs will be taken, and you may be held until bail is posted or a court appearance occurs.
    • Administrative License Suspension: The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is automatically notified, and you face an immediate administrative license suspension unless you request a DMV hearing within 10 days to challenge the suspension.
    • Court Proceedings: You will face criminal charges, and your case will proceed through the court system where you will either plead or go to trial.

    Can You Refuse a BAC Test in California?

    In California, implied consent laws mandate that any driver lawfully arrested for DUI must submit to a BAC test. Refusing to take a BAC test can result in enhanced penalties, including:

    • Mandatory License Suspension: Automatic increase in the period of license suspension, typically for one year for a first offense.
    • Increased Penalties: Additional jail time and mandatory DUI school attendance can be imposed if convicted.

    How Can a DUI Conviction Affect Your Future?

    The consequences of a DUI conviction can extend far beyond the immediate legal penalties:

    • Employment: You may face job loss or difficulty obtaining future employment, particularly in jobs that require driving or where a clean record is mandatory.
    • Insurance Rates: Your auto insurance rates will likely increase significantly.
    • Permanent Record: A DUI conviction will appear on your permanent criminal record, which can affect future background checks.
    • Travel Restrictions: Some countries may deny entry to people with a DUI conviction.
    • Professional Licenses: You may face challenges in obtaining or renewing professional licenses.

    Addressing Charges of Driving with a BAC of 0.08% or Higher with Diligence and Expertise

    Successfully navigating a DUI charge involves several critical steps:

    • Immediate Legal Consultation: Engaging with a DUI defense attorney promptly following an arrest can significantly affect the management and outcome of your case. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights, the complexities of DUI law, and the potential defenses applicable to your situation.
    • Strategic Defense Development: Developing a defense that challenges the accuracy of the BAC testing, the lawfulness of the traffic stop and arrest, and other prosecutorial claims is crucial. An attorney who specializes in DUI cases will have the expertise to identify the best strategies based on the specifics of your case.
    • Proactive Handling of DMV Proceedings: Since a DUI arrest triggers automatic administrative procedures regarding your driving privileges, it’s important to address these aspects swiftly and effectively, which can include challenging the automatic license suspension.
    • Long-Term Planning: Considering the broader implications of a DUI charge on your future, including impacts on employment, insurance, and personal reputation, is essential. Your attorney can provide guidance on how to manage these issues and potentially mitigate the consequences.

    Why Choose The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi for DUI Defense?

    When facing DUI charges under California Vehicle Code § 23152(b) VC, you need a defense attorney with extensive experience and a proven track record. Arash Hashemi has been an active member of The State Bar of California since December 2002. On his second day as a lawyer, Arash was already in court, participating in a bench trial. Over the years, he has handled a wide variety of criminal cases, from simple misdemeanors to complex felonies, including DUI cases.

    Arash has represented thousands of Californians accused of various offenses and has argued cases before the California Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice before all California State Courts and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California. Currently serving as the 2024 President of the Criminal Courts Bar Association, Arash brings a wealth of knowledge, dedication, and a deep understanding of California’s DUI laws to every case he handles.

    Contact a Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorney & Schedule Your Consultation Today

    For expert legal assistance with your DUI charges, contact The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi. With over 20 years of experience in criminal defense, Attorney Arash Hashemi and his team are dedicated to providing professional, effective legal representation. We understand the serious implications of DUI charges and are committed to providing a solid defense to protect your rights and future.

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    Defend against DUI charges with the help of an experienced Los Angeles defense attorney. Our commitment is to stand by your side, keep you informed, and vigorously advocate for your rights throughout the legal process. Contact our office today to discuss your case and develop a strategic defense tailored to your specific situation.





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      Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to predict outcomes, as individual circumstances vary and laws may change over time. Those seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified attorney to understand how current laws apply to their specific situation. For detailed legal guidance on the topics discussed, please contact our law firm directly.