DUI ARREST AND RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT
In establishing a defense to any DUI case a DUI Lawyer should spend some time discussing a client’s history with drugs and alcohol. If you have been arrested for a DUI, whether it is a first offense or you have suffered a conviction in the past, attending a drug and alcohol treatment center could be a good solution. San Diego has over a hundred such centers that offer a variety of programs. These include simple drug and alcohol education classes such as Alcoholics Anonymous or MADD, but can be in-patient residential treatment programs.
WHO SHOULD GO TO RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT?
There are many reasons why someone would wish to get help from a residential drug and alcohol center. Even if you are not facing a DUI charge those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction can get to help break the cycle of addiction which can destroy personal and professional relationships.
I HAVE A DUI CASE, IS RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT RIGHT FOR ME?
Entering a residential treatment program is a serious decision and will require you to leave your work, friends, and family for several weeks and possibly months. 30-day residential treatment programs are quite common and often recommended for individuals who have suffered from alcohol or drug addiction in the past. You can discuss residential treatment with your lawyer to decide if it’s the best option in your criminal case.
The most important thing to consider is whether you are really in need of treatment and that you are seeking to improve your life.
HOW WILL DRUG AND ALCOHOL REHAB HELP MY DUI CASE?
If you are attending or planning to enroll in a residential treatment program this can go a long way in presenting your case to the prosecutor and the judge in the best light. An individual willing to enter such a serious program and commit 30-60 days of their life to understand their issues with drugs or alcohol shows an understanding of how serious a DUI charge is. The court can accept 30 days of in-patient treatment as an alternative to serving time with the Sheriff in the county jail. Even in cases of a second DUI someone who is in a residential treatment center or sober living house can request that the days spent in rehab be applied against any custody that would otherwise be served in jail. If you don’t know how you should proceed with your DUI case and if alcohol treatment is the right step get some advice from a criminal defense lawyer.
WHAT ARE THE PUNISHMENTS FOR A DUI CONVICTION?
If it’s not possible to have your DUI dismissed then you could be facing significant penalties and fines as a result. A second time DUI conviction with a previous DUI within 10 years could require up to 30 days of custody with the county Sheriff, in addition to attending MADD (mothers against drunk driving) and multiple conviction program classes. A first time DUI will include fines of around $1,500 or more whereas a 2nd time DUI will add at least $1,000 in fines on top of that. A violation of CA VC 23153 for DUI Causing Injury adds additional penalties including jail time, extended license suspension, and the possibility of felony charges.
DUI DEFENSE STRATEGIES FOR THOSE WITH ADDICTION PROBLEMS
Entering a residential treatment program can also increase the chances of getting a favorable plea deal from the prosecutor. If you have a borderline case where your BAC was at or around 0.08, an experienced criminal lawyer can negotiate to have the CA VC 23152 dropped and instead enter a plea to CA VC 23103 or CA VC 23103.5. These two statutes fall under the reckless driving provision of the vehicle code. While a plea to a “wet reckless” under VC 23103.5 still requires that you admit to having driven while under the influence of alcohol the punishments imposed are significantly less. A plea to a “wet reckless” will not require the imposition of mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for a second or third DUI arrest. If you are facing a new DUI charge after having a previous conviction a wet reckless driving charge may be your best option to avoid jail time.
Anyone considering intensive drug and alcohol rehab should think sincerely about their goals. A true desire to get help and make a life change should always be the first motivation to seek help and treatment.