If you blew a 0.20, you were at twice the legal limit. In evaluating a DUI, prosecutors consider your level of dangerousness. In other words, how dangerous were you to yourself and others on the road?
One of the main factors of this is how high your blood alcohol level is because the higher your blood alcohol level, the more likely you are to get into an accident and harm someone.
The prosecutors would likely want to sentence you to jail time, but you may be able to avoid jail time if you have a clean record, did not cause an accident, and performed decently on the field sobriety tests.
The police will approach a potential DUI case loaded and ready to evaluate you, smell your breath, and perform field sobriety tests to justify their decision to arrest and convict you. Because of this, you need to turn the tide by hiring an experienced attorney like me who has what it takes to fight on your behalf to end up with the best possible outcome.
How Do Judges Determine DUI Sentences in California?
A lot of DUI sentences in the courts are predetermined. In other words, the prosecutor and defense attorney negotiate and present a resolution to the judge.
Most judges will agree to the resolution because they realize that the prosecutor and the defense attorney have all the details necessary to decide what is fair.
This is why it is essential to have a defense attorney who is:
- local to the court where your case is pending,
- who knows the prosecutors,
- knows the judge,
- knows how to negotiate a DUI,
- knows what factors to bring to bear, and
- knows what to mention to the prosecutors to see more than just the police's version of the story.
The prosecutor needs to hear your side of the story and understand the mitigating factors, such as what makes you a successful person, what you do for a living, what type of person you are, and how your friends and family members feel about you.
Your attorney should utilize everything possible to convince the prosecutor to give you a break and a chance to protect your license, record, and freedom.
What Happens At My Sentencing Hearing?
At the sentencing hearing, the judge will make sure that you understand the consequences of your plea. Once the judge is satisfied that you know the ramifications, they will review the particulars related to your sentence.
In a DUI case, the judge will talk about the possibility of jail time, community service, Cal-Trans, and fines. The judge will also set time frames and parameters for when the particulars of your sentence must be completed.
The judge will explain what will happen if you violate your probation and set out all the terms and conditions of your probation. They will mention that you are not allowed to drive a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.
This means that even if you were to blow below the legal limit, you would be in violation of your probation and face jail time. At sentencing, you are also being punished for your actions and activities, as they are trying to deter you from committing future crimes. You should take your sentencing seriously, listen to everything, and determine what you need to do to have a successful outcome in your case.