If you live near Napa County and are considering whether or not to plead guilty to a DUI, it would be in your best interest to contact a Napa County DUI lawyer. After talking things over with an attorney, you may decide to plead guilty. In such a case, you will be given a form by your attorney (or a bailiff if you have no attorney) that will waive all of your constitutional rights in the case. For reference, such rights include the right to a jury trial, the right to remain silent and the right to cross-examine witnesses, among others. On the form, there will also be a number of disclosures on the form highlighting the punishment and consequences you may be facing. Depending on the court, some judges may go over this form with you in detail, while other judges may choose to not put it on the record. The reason the dialogue with the judge and the aforementioned form are part of the process is so you cannot challenge your conviction by asserting that you were not informed of your rights at a later date.
Issues Surrounding a DUI Conviction Upon Entry of a Guilty Plea
It is imperative to note that once you plead guilty to a DUI, it becomes certain that you are convicted of driving under the influence. In short, a guilty plea functions the exact same way as if a jury found you guilty after a trial. Once you are convicted, it is exceedingly difficult to withdraw a guilty plea. If you are not being represented by an attorney – or, alternatively, you find yourself pressured to enter a guilty plea by your public defender – strongly consider whether that is the right choice given your set of circumstances. In many cases, it is worth it to seek out a private attorney who can assess the facts of your case before properly determining whether a guilty plea is proper. While it may cost a few hundred dollars, you can do yourself a huge favor by hiring a trained professional to carefully pore over the pertinent details of your case before determining whether a guilty plea is the proper course of action.
Realistic Consequences of a DUI Conviction
It is also important to know the consequences of a DUI if you are convicted. In every state, California included, DUI convictions are a misdemeanor that can be punished by significant fines and up to six months in jail. Typically, any sentence served is going to be much less for a first time DUI offender when there was no injury that resulted from the DUI. In California, a first time offender is looking at maximum fines of $1,000 plus $2,600 in penalty assessments, six months in the county jail and a six-month license suspension. However, as mentioned, the first time offender will likely not be treated this harshly. Typically, there will also be probation requirements, and in California this entails driving restrictions and interlock devices being placed in your vehicle. While first offender penalties are no walk in the park, things get much worse for second offenders. If you have prior DUI convictions, a judge will likely scrutinize your case closely. In California, if your BAC is relatively low (under .08), you stand a good chance of getting the state's minimum requirements for second offenders. However, if your BAC is .15 or more, you might be looking at the maximum fines and the maximum sentence of one year in jail. For all of the minimum and maximum requirements for DUI convictions of various types in the state of California, visit the DMV's California website to learn more about the consequences of a DUI conviction. Since DUI convictions carry such serious implications, it is highly advised that you seek out a Napa County DUI lawyer who can offer you prudent legal counsel concerning the facts of your case. No matter what you decide, you will be required to attend a DUI school after a conviction. This required schooling offers the chance to learn from this unfortunate life circumstance, and it is essential to take advantage of this opportunity after the first conviction. Repeat offenders who have another DUI within 10 years of the first one are treated with more scrutiny and are punished more harshly as a result. As such, take the required DUI schooling seriously so you do not make the same mistake twice.
Contact a Napa County DUI Lawyer
Finding a DUI defense attorney Napa County law firm such as The Law Office of Blackie Burak will help you receive the legal counsel you need to navigate your DUI legal concerns. The Law Office of Blackie Burak will provide you with a Napa County DUI lawyer you can trust to handle your case with expertise and quality legal care. Call (925) 933-4500 today for help with your case.