FAQs

Can I refuse to take a breath test?
The officer gave me an Order of Suspension and Temporary License. What should I do now?
If I am under 21 and arrested for drunk driving, what happens?
If I am going to accept a plea bargain why do I need an attorney?
If I was charged with a misdemeanor, do I need a lawyer?
If I have been charged with a felony, can I avoid going to jail?
Should I accept a plea bargain?
What is the California "three strikes" law?
If I have been charged with a felony, can I avoid going to jail?
If I was charged with a misdemeanor, do I need a lawyer?

FAQs: DUI and Criminal Defense

Can I refuse to take a breath test?

When you applied for your California driver's license you agreed to be tested. Refusal of a breath test can increase your license suspension and affects your ability to obtain a restricted work license. You have a right to refuse a pre-arrest breath test in favor of a post-arrest breath or blood test. You face greater penalties if you refuse all three options and your refusal can be used against you at trial.

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The officer gave me an Order of Suspension and Temporary License. What should I do now?

If your driver's license was not already suspended or expired, this document allows you to drive for 30 days from the date of issue. You have only 10 days to stop the automatic suspension of your driving privileges by requesting a DMV hearing. A Sacramento criminal defense attorney can request the hearing for you and fight to prevent suspension of your license.

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If I am under 21 and arrested for drunk driving, what happens?

A minor, person under 21, can be charged with DUI for a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of .01 or more. Depending upon the circumstances of your case the penalties include jail time, fines, probation, Drug and alcohol education, license suspension, and a conviction on your record.

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If I am going to accept a plea bargain why do I need an attorney?

The prosecutor's purpose is to achieve convictions or guilty pleas. To save time you may be offered a lesser charge and reduced penalties in return for your guilty plea. Only your criminal defense lawyer will tell you if the evidence against you is weak, your rights were violated, or there are other vital flaws in the prosecution's case. Experienced legal counsel will evaluate your situation and the applicable law and give you sound advice.

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If I was charged with a misdemeanor, do I need a lawyer?

Misdemeanor charges are less serious than felonies but can still result in a jail sentence, fines and probation. Without a skilled criminal defense attorney to fight for a favorable outcome in your case including sentencing alternatives, reduced charges or having the charges dropped, you will be vulnerable to aggressive prosecutors and are at risk for harsh penalties.

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If I have been charged with a felony, can I avoid going to jail?

Depending upon your circumstances, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you avoid jail time through a powerful defense or at sentencing in favor of counseling programs and probation. Michael Wise, having many years of experience as a former prosecutor, defends you legal rights throughout the process and understands the prosecutorial approach to sentencing, which provides a unique negotiating position and can increase your chance of avoiding incarceration.

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Should I accept a plea bargain?

Depending on the nature of the charge and the evidence against you, accepting a plea bargain from the district attorney may be your best option. A district attorney will typically offer you a lesser charge and reduced penalties in return for your guilty plea. However, there are many situations where going to trial is more advantageous, especially if the prosecution's case has some weaknesses or you have evidence in your favor. There are risks involved with either choice, and the consequences of a poor decision could be costly. You should seek the advice of an experienced criminal attorney prior to speaking with the prosecutor or making any decision regarding your case.

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What is the California "three strikes" law?

The "three strikes" law in California refers to certain "serious" felonies that are considered "strikes" on your criminal record. If you have already received two strikes, any subsequent felony conviction will result in a mandatory prison sentence of 25 years to life. More relevant to most defendants is the implication of a first or second strike, which also carries serious penalties. An experienced attorney can help you mitigate the impact on your criminal record by seeking to reduce the charges against you to a non-strike offense.

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If I have been charged with a felony, can I avoid going to jail?

In many situations, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help his client avoid jail time at sentencing in favor of counseling programs and probation. As a former prosecutor, Michael Wise understands the prosecutorial approach to sentencing, offering clients a unique negotiating position to increase their chances of avoiding incarceration.

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If I was charged with a misdemeanor, do I need a lawyer?

Yes. While less serious than a felony, misdemeanor charges still carry serious fines, probation terms, and even potential jail time. Without an experienced attorney, you will be vulnerable to aggressive prosecutors and may lose an opportunity to negotiate a more favorable plea. An experienced trial attorney will make prosecutors more engaging to reduced charges and penalties, as well as sentencing alternatives.

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For specific information concerning your case, contact a Sacramento criminal defense attorney at Wise Law Group, PC for a consultation.