Complications of Driving While High in California Criminal Cases


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When driving in any state in the country, it is illegal to have consumed or taken an illegal drug, but there are additional complications based on the specific location such as California. The laws of this area include the unlawfulness of any individual driving to have taken any drug including marijuana no matter how long the person is driving.

Some simple complications that may arise when driving while under the influence include the visual and mental impairments that may lead to running into objects, slowing down or speeding up erratically, lapses in judgement and other cognitive or motor deficiencies. If the person is unable to drive as if he or she were sober, then he or she may face a law enforcement officer pulling him or her over. A field sobriety test is often administered when the driver is suspected of drinking while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. This could lead to a DUI conviction that affects the individual in various manners both in driving and in life.

Many states in the country have the three strikes rule for driving under the influence. This is similar and has various alterations based on the region of the United States. However, when a person in California is convicted of multiple DUIs, he or she faces increased penalties to a minimum sentencing based on the number of convictions. The more the person is caught perpetrating these actions, he or she will discover that the fines will increase starting at nearly $400 with an additional near $3000 for assessment, and if another person has been injured in the process, these increase exponentially. Minimum jail and license suspension are likely for even a second DUI conviction.

The Problems with DUI Cases

Before a driver is convicted of a DUI, he or she may harm others on the road. His or her judgment may be impaired based on the type of drug consumed. This could lead to erratic behavior, driving into and colliding with other drivers or objects and speeding problems. Injuries are typical of these actions. When the driver is unaware he or she has harmed another, he or she could change the lives of those around him or her on the road. The ramifications of these actions could also alter the course of others and change even more lives that are affected by the initial victims.

Driving under any influence is a serious offense that often comes with injuries to others or even death. The state of California criminalizes these actions and charges are issued to those that have been suspected of consuming drugs. A blood test or other form of testing is often necessary to ascertain if the driver has been under the influence. With an increase of these crimes, it is important for law enforcement to crack down on the activities. Those that have been impaired due to illicit, illegal or mind-altering substances could face severe penalties due to conviction.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

For simple drugs that do not alter the mind greatly, the penalties are often less severe. These may include probation periods lasting from three to five years. Time in jail may extend from 96 hours to six months incarcerated. Fines are often between $390 to $1000. However, the driverís license is usually suspended for up to six months. This could complicate matters when the vehicle operator must contact the local Department of Motor Vehicles to return the license from suspension. Additionally, these penalties increase when multiple DUI conviction occur within a ten-year period. This is similar to other states in the country.
Increased penalties may cause the fines to become devastating.

Time in jail may become prison terms and license suspension may become license revocation if the convictions pile up. After the third conviction, the driver may be facing sixteen months to sixteen years in a state prison. Fines often then exceed the $1000 mark. Suspension of the license may last up to three years, or it could be revoked permanently. Many of these factors are increased if someone else is injured or if the person has been engaged in other illegal activities. It is important to hire a lawyer for these complications.

Criminal Defense for DUI in California

When facing criminal charges in California for driving under the influence, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer to fight on behalf of the client. If the incident is minor and has no other illegal activities, it may be possible to reduce the sentencing.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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