Types of DUI Charges in Ventura, CA
Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is a criminal defense law firm that offers high-quality legal representation to individuals accused of drunk driving in Ventura, CA and the surrounding areas. We have more than 50 years of collective experience and believe that a successful DUI defense strategy is founded on skill. That's why our team has spent decades working to create effective DUI defense techniques. Today, our lawyers are prepared to use this knowledge to help clients like you avoid the consequences of any type of drunk driving charge in California.
Don't risk your freedom and your reputation with an unqualified defense lawyer; speak with our team to learn more about your legal options with Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP.
Aggressive Legal Representation for DUI in Ventura
BUI (Boating Under the Influence)
Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol is criminal offense, just like drunk driving. According to the California Harbors and Navigation Code § 655(c), it is unlawful for any person to operate a recreational vessel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that equals or exceeds the legal limit, .08%. The term "vessel" applies to water skis and aquaplanes as well. Like DUI, BUI penalties apply when a boater is found driving "under the influence," even if his/her BAC is less than .08%. BUI laws also apply to non-recreation vessels, such as commercial vessels. The BAC threshold for non-recreational BUI is .04%.
Commercial Driver DUI
When it comes to drunk driving, commercial drivers are held to a higher standard of sobriety than normal motorists. While most DUI arrests are based on a BAC threshold of .08%, commercial drivers are considered "under the influence" if their BAC is only .04%. For many commercial driver's license (CDL) holders, commercial driving is a not only a privilege, but a source of income. If you are a commercial driver, a drunk driving conviction could cost your CDL, your job, and your career. Depending on the severity of your charges, a commercial driver DUI could lead to a license revocation.
Many people assume that DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol; however, DUI also includes prescription medication and illegal drugs. Ventura DUI Lawyers Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you avoid an unfair drugged driving conviction. Driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) is subject to the same penalties as standard DUI. However, law enforcement does not have an effective way to measure an individual's level of drug impairment. For example: marijuana can stay in a driver's system for several weeks after its affects have worn off. However, blood tests may indicate that the driver has THC in his/her system, leading to a DUI arrest.
Marijuana is one of the most common drugs associated with DUID arrests and convictions. Although police cannot determine a driver's level of marijuana impairment, law enforcement continues to make marijuana-relate DUID arrests in Ventura and the surrounding areas. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is traceable in an individual's urine and bloodstream for many days (even weeks) after use. However, marijuana impairment typically lasts for several hours. Thus, chemical testing could lead law enforcement to conduct a DUID arrests simply because the driver had THC in his/her system, not because he/she was actually under the influence of drugs.
According to California's DUI laws, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of any drug or controlled substance, including prescription drugs. Sleep aids and painkillers are two of the most common prescription drugs associated with this type of DUI. During a DUID investigation, the arresting officer will gather evidence against you with the help of a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) – officers who are trained to recognize symptoms of drug impairment. If convicted of a prescription drug DUI, you will be subject to the same penalties as if you drove under the influence of alcohol. At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Ventura DUI defense attorneys can help you avoid an unfair prescription drug conviction.
DUI Causing Injury
Drunk driving is a serious criminal charge, especially if you are convicted of DUI causing injury – a specific DUI charge delineated in CA Vehicle Code §23153 (a). According to California DUI law, it is unlawful to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, it is a separate offense to drive under the influence and injure an innocent third party. The penalties for an injury-related DUI can be significantly more severe than standard drunk driving. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, a DUI with injury allegation may be charged as a felony offense, resulting in even stiffer legal consequences.
DUI with Minor Passenger
According to California Vehicle Code § 23572, you could face enhanced legal penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car. California law defines a "minor passenger" as anyone under the age of 14. It doesn't matter if you intended to keep the child safe, drove safely, or were barley over the legal limit; you could face a California DUI with enhanced penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car. If convicted of DUI with a minor passenger, you could face additional jail time, fines, and probation. However, you cannot face enhanced penalties if convicted of child endangerment for the same incident.
In California, driving under the influence can be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. These circumstances are called "aggravating circumstances" and include injuries, death, prior DUIs, and prior felony DUIs. For instance, if prosecution determines that you drove under the influence of alcohol and that your actions resulted in the injury or death of another person. If you have three or more prior DUI offenses within ten years, any subsequent DUIs could be charged as felonies. In this situation, "wet reckless offenses" can count against your criminal record as a DUI offense.
You might assume that a first-time DUI offense will not lead to serious criminal penalties, especially if your criminal record is clean. In reality, your first DUI can lead to incarceration, probation, fines, license suspension, DUI school, and other consequences. If prosecutors believe that you drove under the influence and harmed another person, your first offense could be a felony DUI. After any DUI arrest, the DMV will automatically suspend your driver's license unless you request a driver's license suspension hearing with the DMV. If you were arrested for a first DUI offense, our Ventura DUI attorneys can help you avoid the consequences of a conviction.
After your first DUI conviction, it is even more important to protect your reputation and freedom from subsequent DUIs. Multiple prior DUI offenses can result in very serious legal consequences. According to California law, drunk driving is a "priorable" offense. In other words, past convictions can accumulate, leading to more severe penalties for future DUIs. After three convictions, your fourth offense will automatically be charged as a felony. Only one previous felony DUI is needed to charge subsequence drunk driving arrests as felonies. Expunged DUIs also count as prioable offenses.
Out of State DUI
If you are not a resident of California but were arrested in Ventura, CA for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are subject to the same penalties as California drivers. As experienced DUI defense lawyers in Ventura, we are familiar with state laws and the local legal community. If you were arrested, you may need to appear in a California court for DUI proceedings. This is not only inconvenient, but could result in financial difficulty for you and your family. Our team can help you negotiate the ins and outs of an out-of-state DUI so that you stand the best possible chance of obtaining a favorable case outcome.
According to CA Vehicle Code § 23136(a), persons under the age of 21 cannot legally operate a motor vehicle with a BAC that equals or exceeds .01%. This zero-tolerance rule can result in unfair underage DUI arrests. For example, mouth wash and cough syrups can lead to inaccurate breath testing. Additionally, an underage DUI can lead to the same legal consequences as a stand drunk driving conviction, depending on the unique circumstances surrounding the arrest. If you or your child was arrested on suspicion of underage DUI, the legal team at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP can help you avoid the consequences of an unnecessary conviction.