10 Things You Must Know About Your DUI Case

Being stopped by a law enforcement officer and arrested for DUI is a traumatic experience. You’re scared, you’re uncertain about what will happen, you probably feel embarrassed and upset, and you know that you need help and you need it fast.

A Sacramento DUI charge is an extremely serious matter. The State of California takes a very hard stance against DUI charges and you need to understand exactly what you’re facing, what your rights and options are, and how an experienced and qualified Sacramento DUI attorney can help.

We understand what you’re going through and all of the questions and fears that are fighting for answers in your mind. For that reason, we’ve put together this list of 10 things that you must know about the charges, your case and the possible outcome.

The penalties for DUI in Sacramento can be very severe.

The death tolls on our highways reach in the millions each year. As much as 40% of those deaths are related to alcohol. For this reason, the penalties for a DUI can be very severe. They include a sentence that may last anywhere from a few days in jail to several years in state prison, some form of formal or informal probation, stiff penalties, fines and financial restitution, the suspension or revocation of your license, compulsory attendance in an alcohol treatment program, the impounding of your car, and the installation of an ignition interlock device for as much as a year.

Yes, you will need to go to court and no, you don’t want to go alone.

Your ticket will state the time and date of your first court appearance. If you don’t have a lawyer to represent you, you will need to be there to stand before the judge at that time. The judge will ask you to enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty and may ask you several questions to determine if you understand your rights, and if you are waiving your right to a speedy trial before a jury. If you plead guilty, the judge will most likely sentence you immediately.

Unless you are ready and willing to simply plead guilty and accept the maximum penalties for the offense, you need to get the help of a qualified DUI attorney. You are facing both a criminal hearing and a separate administrative hearing with the DMV that will impact your driving record and your driving privileges. Many people think that the state will appoint them a public defender to represent them, but the state usually only assigns public defenders to individuals who are either unemployed or significantly under-employed. In any case, a public defender handles hundreds of cases across a wide array of disciplines. He is not a DUI specialist.

You Need to Contact The Dmv Within 10 Days of Your Arrest

It is California law that you must contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to request an administrative hearing. The temporary driver's license that is issued to DUI defendants will expire in 30 days but your driving privileges will be extended until you have appeared at your DMV hearing and a decision has been rendered.

It is possible to win a DMV hearing and we have done so for our clients many times. If you do win the hearing, your driving privileges will be intact until you appear in court and a sentence has been handed down in your case.

A DUI Case is not a Quick Process

Unless you decide to plead guilty and accept whatever sentence the judge hands down (typically the maximum penalties or close to them), your DUI case will take some time. A thorough DUI defense can take several months to make its way through both the court system and the DMV. The more complicated cases, such as repeat offenses, can take a year to resolve. We’ve known felony DUI cases (such as those involving injury or death) to last for several years. We don’t tell you this to frighten or discourage you, but to let you know what you can expect. Your DUI is not going to go away in a matter of weeks. When we meet with clients for an initial free consultation, we give them an estimate of how long their particular case will take.

It is Possible to Win Your DUI Case

While no promises should be made by any attorney handling your DUI case, we can tell you that it is possible to win your case in court. You may well be able to get your DUI charges reduced and in some circumstances, we may be able to have your charges dismissed altogether. We very carefully review police reports for improper procedures or inconsistencies and we may challenge the devices used to determine our client’s blood alcohol level and even argue your constitutional rights have been violated.

This is why it is so vital for you to hire an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled Sacramento DUI lawyer to help you with your case. The process is complex and the penalties for error are extreme.

Why our Firm?

Travis G. Black is unique among Sacramento DUI lawyers, in that he is a retired police officer. He knows very well all of the little “tricks” and “surprises” that police departments use against DUI defendants and he knows how to combat them.

A Complete Defense on Every Front by a Complete Team of Experts

When you hire Travis G. Black & Associates to represent you in your DUI case, you don’t just get a lawyer who will save you from having to make a trip to the courthouse. You get a dedicated team that includes associates, paralegals, and support staff who is focused on every aspect of your defense.

Expert Review and Analysis of Your Police Report

As we’ve said, a complete and expert analysis of your police report can mean the difference between winning and losing your DUI case. Travis Black has not only read thousands of these reports, but as a police officer, he wrote thousands of them as well. He knows what he’s reading, what to look for, and what to challenge.

Thorough and Experienced Examination of all Other Evidence in Your Case

The police report is not the only evidence in your case; it is simply the officer’s statement. We will gather every bit of pertinent evidence in your case, including audio or video evidence, reports on the machine used to test your blood alcohol and its proper maintenance and calibration, any witnesses, and any other physical evidence. As a former police officer, Travis Black knows exactly what goes into building against a DUI defendant and how to take that case apart when defending one.

Representation at all Hearings and Appearances, Including the DMV

With our firm, you can be assured that you will be well represented at every turn. We will be there with you and for you, through your first court appearance, your DMV administrative hearing, your jury trial, and any plea bargain negotiations that may take place.

Very often, prosecuting attorneys will only offer a plea bargain if they think it will keep the case from going to trial. They know that most defendants don’t want to go to trial, either, and so they may not volunteer a plea bargain. However, the district attorneys in Sacramento know that Travis G. Black & Associates takes several DUI cases to trial every year and that we are more than willing to go before a jury if it’s in our client’s best interest.

As you can see, a DUI charge is not a simple matter that you can clear up on your own. It’s also not a matter to be handled by a “generalist” attorney who may spend as much time in divorce court as he does DUI court. You need the very best help that you can get and we are prepared to deliver exactly that.

Call Immediately for a Free Consultation

Call our office today to set up an appointment for a completely free consultation. We will discuss your case thoroughly, let you know how long it will likely take, and exactly what steps we will be taking to defend you.

At Travis G. Black & Associates, we give results, not excuses.