Tuesday, April 1, 2014

California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) Explained by a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney

California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC DUI Criminal Defense Attorney

The most basic California criminal charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is found at California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a). There are many different types of California DUI criminal charges in California. These DUI charges include: VC 23152(a), 23152(b), VC 23153(a), VC 23153(b), VC 23105.5, VC 23140, PC 191.5 (Penal Code), and others. 

The California Vehicle Code Section that is charged depends on the facts of the case, including the age of the driver, whether or not the driver is driving a commercial vehicle, whether there are injuries involved, etc.
As stated, the most common criminal charge for a California DUI is found at VC 23152(a). According to VC 23152(a): "It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle."
Notice that the words "0.08% or more" is not included in the language of VC 23152(a). Many people believe that if their Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is less than 0.08%, also known as "the California legal limit," that they cannot be charged with a California DUI. However, as stated, even if the defendant's BAC is less than 0.08%, he or she may still be charged with DUI under VC 23152(a) if the arresting officer believes that any measurable amount of alcohol or drugs has influenced the driver's ability to safely operate a vehicle.
The penalties for DUI under VC 23152(a) include some or all of the following: Jail terms up to 180 days for a first time offense, license suspension, probation, fines, insurance rate hikes, mandatory DUI class attendance, installation of Interlock Ignition devices, possible immigration consequences (for non-U.S. citizens), professional and/or occupational license suspension or revocation, and more.  
For DUI charges of VC 23152(a), where prior DUIs are alleged to have been committed by the defendant, the penalties can be very severe. For more information on DUI charges under VC 23152(a) with prior DUI convictions contact a DUI attorney.
The only penalty that is not associated with DUI VC 23152(a) charges are those associated with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Administration Per Se (Admin Per Se) hearings. What these means is that the DMV license suspension hearing concerns DUI license suspension only where the driver is found to have a BAC of 0.08% or more.  If the only charge the defendant is facing is a DUI charge of VC 23152(a) then the DMV will not hold a separate hearing to determine whether or not the defendant may keep his or her driver's license. However, if the defendant is ultimately convicted of DUI under VC 23152(a), then the DMV will likely suspend the driver's license for six months on a first time DUI charge.
It may be possible to reduce a DUI which is charged under VC 23152(a). It may also be possible to reduce the sentence or penalties associated with a DUI charged under VC 23152(a).
To learn more about a California DUI charged under VC 23152(a), contact a San Bernardino DUI attorney today. There is no charge to speak to a qualified DUI attorney and our office is available for advice 24/7.
We offer advice on all California DUI charges including, but not limited to, VC 23152(a), in San Bernardino County, including the cities of RedlandsRialto, FontanaRancho CucamongaYucaipaVictorville, Mentone, Ontario, Riverside and more.
Call Today! 909.913.3138 for a free consultation