Author: webds

Will my insurance know I got a DUI?

- Will my insurance know I got a DUI

The penalties for being convicted of a DUI in California are serious and should not be taken lightly. While most DUI is treated as misdemeanors, there is still the loss of one’s drivers license, fines, and varying jail sentences to contend with. In addition, a very significant consequence of receiving a DUI conviction is that your automobile insurance premiums will increase a great deal.

Having to spend a few hundred dollars more for car insurance can cut into anyone’s fixed budget and mean participating in far fewer of life’s pleasures. Over a ten-year period, you could pay a total of ten to twenty thousand of dollars more in car insurance premiums if you are convicted of a DUI.


At the DMV

The good news is that neither the court nor the California DMV will be automatically informed of your conviction if this is your first offense. When you go to renew your auto insurance policy or when you file a form SR-22 to have your driver’s license reinstated, your insurance company will be notified. You can expect that there will be an increase of about 50% over and above the current premiums you pay and more if you were involved in an accident causing personal injury or property damage.


Your Insurance

If this is not your first DUI then you may have your automobile insurance canceled completely or you could be placed in a “high risk” category and charged an amount that could make driving prohibitively expensive. If your automobile insurance is canceled you face the difficulty of having both a DUI and an insurance cancellation on your record when trying to convince another insurance carrier to issue you a policy. Your premiums, in this case, will be two to three times as high as your original premium.

After the ten year period has elapsed starting from your most recent DUI conviction, your DUI will be cleared from your driving record and you should be able to once again get less expensive car insurance. That is assuming you have no other motor vehicle infractions.

In addition to DUI, other factors that an automobile insurance company will take into consideration when determining your premium are how old you are, your gender, your driving history and the model of car you drive. Each auto insurance company is different so it will pay to shop around and get multiple quotes.

10 things that happen when you get a dui

What Happens Now After I got a DUI

The first thing that happens when you are arrested and charged with a California DUI is that you are put in handcuffs, tossed into the back of a police cruiser and taken to the local police station. Once arrested and in police custody, you will have to undergo a mandatory breath, blood or urine test to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood. You will be fingerprinted and booked. If you are arrested late at night you will probably spend the rest of the night in jail. After you are released you will receive a summons to appear in court.

You will have to hire a DUI defense attorney. Even if you plead guilty you will need an attorney to work out any plea to a lesser charge and to file the appropriate paperwork. If you are a repeat DUI offender there could be mandatory jail time and you will have to arrange for bail to be released pending your trial.

Your driver’s license will be taken from you and you will have to make an appointment and go to a California Department of Motor Vehicles to get it back or receive a conditional license.

You will be required to pay any fines that are levied against you. Even a first-time California DUI conviction can cost over $1000 in fines and administrative penalties.

Your auto insurance will be notified of your DUI when you renew your policy or when you file form SR-22 to reinstate your suspended driver’s license and at that time your auto insurance premiums will go up a lot. The amount you pay could double or triple and this can add hundreds of dollars to your cost of driving every month. If you have multiple prior DUI’s your automobile insurance may be canceled entirely when the policy comes up for renewal and you could be classified as a “high risk” driver.

The impact a DUI has on your life depends on a number of factors such as your age, your prior DUI convictions, whether or not you are currently on DUI probation, and most importantly, whether or not you were involved in an accident causing personal injury, loss of life, or extreme property damage. There are however a number of life-altering consequences to receiving even a first DUI that can have a negative impact on your life.

How long does a California DUI stay on your record?

How long does a California DUI stay on your record

How long a California DUI stays on your record depends on a number of factors and also which record you are talking about. A California driver builds a record at the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as a personal criminal record. Each record serves different purposed when it comes to how your California DUI affects your life.

Your Driving Record

A DUI conviction stays on a person’s driving record for 10 years. Both the Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement can see and use this information when you seek to have your driver’s license reinstated. The number of years a DUI remains on a driving record was increased to 10 from 7 years in 2007. Driving records cannot be removed until the term, which begins on the date of your first arrest, has expired, however, your driving record is not accessible by potential employers or other criminal investigators. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, your DMV driving record is accessed to determine the critical date of your first, second or subsequent DUI arrests to determine the charges. The difference between a third and fourth DUI is an elevation of the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony and as such the penalties can have life-altering consequences including a long loss of driving privileges and a long period of imprisonment. Your California car insurance company also has access to your DMV record and will increase your car insurance premiums based on the number of points you have from DUI. Your driver’s license will be suspended if you have 4 points in two years, 6 points in three years or 8 points in any four-year period.

Criminal Record

A DUI conviction stays on a person’s criminal record permanently. While most DUI’s are misdemeanors, a California DUI can be charged as a felony if it is the fourth within 10 years or if you were DUI and caused personal injury. Under certain circumstances you can have a DUI expunged and cleared from your criminal history. This expungement will eliminate the charge when a third party such as a potential employer performs a criminal background check but does not affect the DMV record of your DUI’s. If you are faced with a DUI it is always a good idea to talk with a knowledgeable and experienced DUI expungement lawyer especially if you are concerned with how the conviction will affect your employment of professional status.

How Long Will Your License be Suspended

There are a number of scenarios that present themselves following a California DUI and the penalties depend on several factors. If there is no personal injury or property damage involved, the length of one’s California driver’s license suspension depends on the number of prior DUI offenses on one’s record. There are additional penalties added to your DUI conviction should you refuse post-arrest chemical testing. The following are common California DUI scenarios and how each affects your driving privileges.

If you are over 21 years of age, not on DUI probation, and this is a first DUI conviction without causing personal injury or property damage, and you complied with the required chemical testing, you will face a 4-month driver’s license suspension. Second and subsequent DUI convictions will result in a one-year suspension. If you are on DUI probation and test positive for drugs or alcohol, you face a one-year license suspension with no allowances for getting to and from work. If this is your first DUI and you were involved in an accident that caused personal injury or property damage, you will lose your driver’s license for at least one year. Felony DUI convictions carry a three-year driver’s license suspension.

Refusing Chemical Testing

If you are convicted of the above DUI and do not comply with chemical testing requirements, i.e., breath, blood or urine testing, a first DUI conviction will receive a one-year suspension, second offenses within a 10-year period a two-year suspension, and if this is a third or subsequent DUI offense, a three-year driver’s license suspension.

Zero Tolerance for Under 21 Drivers

For those under 21 years old, a one-year license suspension is applicable if preliminary alcohol screening or chemical testing that show even a .01 blood alcohol content.

If your DUI accident did not cause severe injury or death to another individual and you are convicted of DUI for the fourth time you will face a four-year driver’s license suspension and forced to complete a 30-month multi-offender program to get your license back. If your DUI caused the death of another, you may be charged with DUI causing injury, vehicular manslaughter, or in certain instances second-degree murder, all resulting in a permanent loss of your California driver’s license.

If you are involved in any California DUI situation, you should immediately contact a California DUI defense lawyer to advise you of the penalties that are applicable to your unique situation. Your age, the number of prior convictions, whether or not you are on DUI probation, and if another person was injured or killed or you caused property damage all will have an effect on how long you will be unable to drive.

Is Drug Addiction a Treatable Disease?

Is Drug Addiction a Treatable Disease

It is difficult to think of drug addiction as anything other than the fault of the addict. Drug addicts are portrayed in the media as living in the slums of crack houses, filthy and homeless. Drug addicts are viewed as nonredeemable losers with little or no chance of rehabilitation and they are also looked at as a danger to society. Television, movies and the media has made it very easy to dislike drug addicts.

The majority of drug addicts, however, are very different from the stereotypical version. Drug addicts occupy every conceivable profession from secretary to surgeon and it is estimated that one in five adults is addicted to one drug or another. Fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers can be addicted to drugs and nobody would even know. There is no specific look or personality that defines a person addicted to drugs. As a matter of fact, most drug addicts go to great lengths to conceal their addiction and will deny that they even have a drug problem until they make a mistake that changes their lives. There is certainly no way to force a drug addict to get the treatment they need if neither they nor anyone else can even identify that there is a problem.

When measured in terms of crimes committed, reduced work productivity, and increased healthcare costs, substance abuse costs our nation over $750 billion per year. In addition to saving thousands of lives every year, reducing substance abuse by forcing DUI drug offenders into clinical rehabilitation could have profound economic benefits to society.

There is a movement afoot to think of drug addiction as an illness and a treatable disease and to force those that commit a drug-related driving offense as to get the treatment they need. Each year the state of California arrests prosecutes and punishes thousands of people that are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Could receiving a DUI for a second or subsequent time automatically qualify the driver to be designated as an alcoholic, a substance abuser or a drug addict and force the person into rehabilitation? Why send someone to prison only to have them come out and re-offend when they could be put into rehabilitation instead and come out truly rehabilitated and take their place as a productive citizen?

California gives first time DUI offenders that have not caused bodily injury or the death of another, the opportunity for rehabilitation. First time DUI offenders are forced to successfully complete a three-month alcohol-treatment program that is extended to nine months if a person’s BAC is over 0.20%. For repeat offenders, “DUI school” can be extended to 30 months.

Whats Causing the Increase in Marijuana DUI Arrests

Whats Causing the Increase in Marijuana DUI Arrests

Because of the legalization of marijuana for recreational as well as medical purposes, marijuana usage and overall awareness is at an all-time high. The publicity of more and more people using marijuana has prompted a response from law enforcement who are concerned that a rise in motor vehicle accidents and the corresponding fatalities may be about to follow.

While using marijuana may be legal, California marijuana DUI is a serious crime that is equal to DUI alcohol and has serious, life-altering ramifications. The penalties for first time California DUI marijuana are 3 to 5 years of informal probation, 96 hours to 6 months in jail, a $390 to $1000 fine, and a 6-month driver’s license suspension. California police have taken the firm step to counter the potential for marijuana-related motor vehicle fatalities by training police officers in every aspect of marijuana detection.

Police Drug Recognition Training

Responding to more and more Californians using marijuana and potentially driving under its influences, police have been educated to be more aggressive in investigating potential instances of DUI marijuana. Police throughout the state are being trained to become certified as drug recognition experts.

Tests for Marijuana

Shining a flashlight into the eyes of a driver that has been pulled over for suspicion of DUI and looking to see the pupil response is the primary test for DUI marijuana. Running a finger back in forth and watching for the person’s eye responsiveness in tracking is another. When you are pulled over a police officer will request you roll down your window so that he can smell alcohol or marijuana and will also look for marijuana smoking paraphernalia.

Police Training is Responsible For The Increase in DUI Marijuana Arrests
No one can put their finger on the exact cause of the increase in California DUI arrests as blood testing for marijuana alone is up over 40% this year according to California county crime lab technicians. California police chiefs tend to concede that although marijuana use is up, enhanced drug enforcement training of its officers is more responsible for the increase in DUI marijuana arrests. It is clear that people are being tested more frequently for marijuana, however, there is no way to know if increased usage due to legalization or increase testing due to enhanced police training is the root cause of the problem.

Are the police using marijuana legalization simply as a rationale to look more closely for marijuana usage? Were DUI marijuana arrests previous to legalization slipping through the cracks and being charged as simple DUI alcohol before the light of public attention was cast on marijuana? Until the statistics roll in over the coming years that will be an impossible question to answer.

California Drivers License Sanctions for Repeat DUI Offenders

Drivers License Sanctions for Repeat DUI Offenders

Having a driver’s license is essential for functioning in society, i.e., going to and from work, going shopping, traveling around for pleasure etc. It is easy to forget that in California driving is a privilege and not a right and if you abuse the privilege of driving and commit an illegal act such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol you can lose your drivers license for a period of time, and with the penalty losing a driver’s license comes potentially life-altering consequences. A person could lose their job from not being able to get to and from work, the children could suffer from not having someone to chauffeur them to and from soccer and ballet lessons.

The more times a person is convicted of DUI, the greater the penalties that affect one’s ability to drive. California DUI’s are “priorable” offenses meaning the more times within any given 10-year period you are convicted, the greater the license sanctions. The clock starts the day of your first arrest that led to a conviction.

Restricted License for First Time DUI Offenders

The state of California recognizes that everyone makes a mistake now and then and wants to be as lenient as possible on first time DUI offenders as they will lose their driver’s license for 6 to 10 months. So as not to make this penalty unduly harsh, the driver may be able to convertible to restricted license which would allow one to go to and from work and the grocery store. After your first DUI driver’s license suspension the license sanctions start to escalate. A second time DUI conviction is still a misdemeanor in most instances unless one causes personal injury or property damage and that person will lose their licence to drive for 2 years and will have to wait one year until they can apply for a provisional license like the one previously mentioned. A third time DUI offender loses his/her license for 3 years and must wait 18 months to apply for a restricted license. Four or more DUI’s are an automatic felony and carry a four-year driver’s license suspension.

California lawmakers have made eliminating DUI a top priority. California police strictly enforce DUI laws which are tough but fair and take human error into consideration. Repeat DUI offenses, however, are not tolerated and will negatively affect many areas of one’s life.

Implied Consent And The Fourth Amendment

Implied Consent And The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the people the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, however, a person who has obtained a California driver’s license has given the state, under Vehicle Code § 23612, “implied consent”. Implied consent means that if lawfully arrested for DUI the license holder must submit to chemical testing. When challenged in Nevada and Nebraska, the state supreme court upheld the constitutionality of the concept of implied consent when it applied chemical blood alcohol tests.

For most states, mandatory chemical testing is the final word. In California, however, things are a little different in that for any reason such as the accused being a heavy smoker or asthmatic, the person may refuse the breath test and must instead take a blood test. It is the constitutionality of the physically intrusive blood test that has been successfully challenged.

The Supreme Court has ruled on the appeal from states cases that implied consent does not produce the requisite physical intrusion into a person’s privacy when they are mandated to perform a breath test since only the test results remain. Blood tests are different since there is an intrusion into a person’s body with a needle to take blood. The Supreme Court held that the state cannot penalize a person for refusing to submit to the blood test. It is feasible to challenge sentences for refusal to submit to the blood test, and criminal charges for failing to consent could be overturned.

If after being arrested and taken into custody the person refuses both breath and blood testing, additional severe penalties are applicable. First-time DUI offenders face a 1 one-year license suspension, and jail time up to 48 hours coupled with 9 months of substance abuse education classes.
For the second-time offender, there will be a 2-year driver’s license suspension, possible 96 hours jail time. Third-time DUI offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for 3 years and may have to spend up to 10 days in jail.

When you receive your California driver’s license you have given your consent to chemical blood alcohol testing in the event you are lawfully arrested on suspicion of DUI. If you refuse the breath test you must take the blood or urine test.

Felony Versus Misdemeanor DUI Charges in California

Felony Versus Misdemeanor DUI Charges in California

First, second and even third California DUI’s are normally treated as misdemeanors, however, if you have been convicted of DUI three times within a 10-year period or have been involved in a motor vehicle accident causing personal injury or property damage, you will be charged with felony DUI, a serious life-altering crime. If either is the case it may be in your best interest for your California DUI defense attorney to plea bargain with the prosecutor to reduce your charges to a misdemeanor and save you from potentially larger fines, extended jail time and other life-changing consequences of the more serious felony charge. The starting date of your first and subsequent DUI’s are determined on the dates of arrest.

Although most first, second, or third California DUI are treated as misdemeanors, you may be charged with a felony if you involved in a motor vehicle accident that causes personal injury or property damage while DUI. You may also be required to pay restitution to your victims in a civil court lawsuit.

California Felony DUI Penalties

The penalties for receiving a California felony DUI are severe and include a maximum fine of up to $5,000, 16 months in state prison, vehicle impoundment for up to 90 days with forfeiture a possibility or the loss of your vehicle, revocation of your driver’s license for four years, and forced participation in a 30-month alcohol treatment program leading to your driver’s licences being returned. If someone is killed during your DUI accident you could go to state prison for five years.

It may be to your advantage to accept misdemeanor California DUI charges if a plea bargain is offered that reduces the charges from felony to misdemeanor rather than risk the consequences of the more serious charge, although sometimes it may be better to go to trial. California DUI charges vary depending on whether or not someone was injured or killed, the number of previous DUI convictions within 10 years from your first DUI arrest, and your blood alcohol content when you were arrested. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced California DUI defense attorney will enable you to not only to attempt to get the charges against you thrown out of court, but also could provide you with the proper guidance in making the decision as to whether or not to accept a plea bargain and reduce your DUI charges the lesser misdemeanor or attempt to challenge a felony charge in court. Understanding the choices between misdemeanor and felony DUI can save you money, your driving privileges, and your freedom.

H&R Firm Awards Announced

Many colleges and universities have memorandums of understanding (MOU) in place with local law enforcement.. These MOU’s can cover a variety of areas.

Our conversations with campus administrators, campus police, and law enforcement underscore the need for additional efforts in this area. In light of these talks, it is clear that appropriate tools and strategies are lacking. Authorities need to apply proper procedures to accommodate the unique dynamics of sexual assault on campus. Additionally, sexual assault survivors require a new approach that is more commiserate with their needs.

The task force is providing this sample MOU with that in mind.

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