If Irecently got an alcohol infraction, shouldI plead guilty or not when I go to court?

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If Irecently got an alcohol infraction, shouldI plead guilty or not when I go to court?

I am 20 years old and I was driving. I blew a .05 and got a ticket – 23140 infraction. Whet should I do? or what can i do? Do Ihave to get a SR 22? Do I need a DUI attorney? I’m in San Bernadino, CA.

Asked on August 30, 2010 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

CA Vehicle Code Section 23140 is a specific law pertaining to DUI offenses committed by people under 21 years of age. If a person under 21 has a BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.01 or higher, they can be charged with DUI.

If you have even one drink and get behind the wheel, you are risking severe penalties and could possibly face jail. This law is referred to as the "Zero Tolerance Law".  Further, not only is the limit lower, the consequences are more severe. The offense is an infraction, as opposed to a misdemeanor or felony, resulting in the loss of the right to a trial by jury. The penalty for a first offense is only a $100 fine. The most important part, however, is that there is a mandatory 1-year driver‘s license suspension.

Frankly, an experienced DUI attorney can more fully explain your rights and inform you of possible defenses. You really shouldn't go to court without one. And try to hire one in the area of where your case will be heard.  They will have local contacts with the court and can use them to your best advantage.


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