DUI

Zealous and Knowledgeable DUI Lawyers in Colusa, Lake, and Surrounding Counties

DUI convictions can have a devastating impact on not only your driving privileges, but also your personal and professional future. If you lose your ability to drive, even for a short period of time, it may affect your ability to get to work, care for children, or maintain other responsibilities and commitments. Having represented hundreds of drivers in Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba Counties, the seasoned DUI attorneys at Hinely Law understand exactly what is at stake in your case. Our Colusa and Lake County DUI lawyers will investigate your claim fully, assert your rights zealously, and ensure that you receive the quality legal counsel that you deserve during this stressful time.

The DUI attorneys at Hinely Law are some of the very few in Colusa, Lake, Sutter, and Yuba Counties that are members of the California DUI Lawyer’s Association. We routinely attend educational programs in regards to the science associated with DUI’s and daily communicate with experts in the field throughout the United States.

Understand Your Rights During a DUI Stop

If you are pulled over by a police officer and suspected of drunk driving, it is important to understand your rights and to know what will likely occur during the encounter. First, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you are committing a criminal offense. This could be signs indicating that you are driving under the influence such as weaving or swerving, speeding, reckless driving, failing to yield the right of way, or other erratic behavior. Also, the police officer may initiate a stop for some other legal reason, such as a broken taillight or a failure to stop at a stop sign. After the stop, if the officer then observes behaviors that indicate that the driver is intoxicated, the officer may then further investigate and conduct field sobriety tests. Common examples of behaviors that may turn a routine traffic stop into a DUI investigation include bloodshot or bleary eyes, slurring speech, lack of normal motor skills, and an odor of alcohol coming from the suspect or the vehicle. An experienced DUI attorney in our Colusa or Lake County office can help you determine whether your stop was lawful.

During a field sobriety test, the officer will look for certain signs or indications that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and that the alcohol or drugs is impairing the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. . Field sobriety tests involve a number of physical and mental exercises that measure the driver’s ability to follow the officer’s instructions (mental), as well as complete tasks involving motor shills (physical). Field sobriety tests can also include a Preliminary Alcohol Screening breathalyzer). According to many experts, field sobriety tests can be misleading, especially if the individual is extremely nervous or anxious when encountering the police. As a result, it is critical to retain a seasoned DUI lawyer to identify and collect any evidence indicating that the field sobriety test was not performed properly or that the police lacked a reasonable suspicion for initiating the traffic stop. The Colusa and Lake County DUI attorneys at Hinely Law are trained in the proper application of field sobriety tests according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Highway Patrol, and know what is expected of the officer.

Penalties for a DUI Conviction

If you are convicted of DUI, there are varying penalties that the court can assess against you. In general, the monetary fines that you face and the issue of whether you must serve jail time depend on whether this is your first, second, third, or fourth DUI offense. If this is your first DUI offense, you may face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $4,000, including penalty assessments. Your license can be suspended for 30 days to 1 year, depending on the circumstances, and certain counties are mandated to require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This is a costly and highly embarrassing device that prevents the car from starting until the driver blows into the mouthpiece, and a test is performed to verify that the driver’s blood alcohol level is within the acceptable limits. For a second DUI offense, the jail time increases from a minimum of 10 days up to one year, and the fine can be as much as $ $4,000 including penalty assessments. The license suspension on a second offense can be for two years and the driver could be required to install an IID. For a third offense, the jail time increases to a minimum of 120 days up to one year, while the license suspension is usually three years. Finally, a fourth DUI within ten years of three other DUI’s becomes a felony and you could receive up to 3 years incarceration.

Other penalties vary depending on if the driver is under age 21; if there were injuries sustained as a result of the DUI, etc.

At Hinely Law, we are thoroughly familiar with the penalties associated with a DUI conviction and can explain the potential consequences to you for a better understanding.

Seek Guidance from a Zealous DUI Lawyer in Lake or Colusa County

If you are facing a charge of drunk driving, the DUI attorneys at Hinely Law are ready to help you fight for your rights. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating, especially if you have never been arrested or stopped by the police before. Knowing the rules and turning them to your advantage is not always easy, but it is essential to ensuring that you receive the outcome that you deserve. Our Colusa and Lake County DUI attorneys also represent drivers in Sutter and Yuba Counties. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about your legal options. Contact us online or in Colusa at 530-458-2950 or Lakeport at 707-995-7006. At Hinely Law we also provide criminal defense attorneys, marijuana attorneys, and family law attorneys.