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Southern California Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence

Most criminal charges may be filed as an infraction, misdemeanor or felony. However a DUI charge may never be filed as an infraction because infractions are reserved for simple offenses. The types of offenses that are charged as infractions include traffic tickets and those crimes that warrant nothing more than a fine.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI, that charge stems from California Vehicle Code 23152. The section of the Vehicle Code is broken down into two different parts, (a) and (b). The first section makes it unlawful for any person to be operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both. Section 23152 (b) makes it unlawful for anyone to have over a .08% blood alcohol content, which is generally measured through a breath test or blood test.

Does my Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) have to be over .08% to be charged with DUI?

Contrary to popular belief, your blood alcohol content does not have to measure .08% or more in order to be charged with DUI. You may be charged under section 23152(a) of the Vehicle Code, which does not require any set blood alcohol content. Although the case may be weaker if you have a lower BAC level, your case may not necessarily be dismissed for lack of a .08% BAC or higher.

It’s important to have a thorough understanding of your rights during a DUI stop and how DUI field sobriety testing is done. A DUI sobriety test that is performed improperly may have a detrimental impact on your DUI case.

What factors will cause my DUI charge to be a misdemeanor DUI?

The prosecution determines whether a DUI case will be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. In making this determination, the prosecutor will look at several different factors, including the presence of any injuries or accidents that cause damage. Even in cases where injuries and/or accidents are involved, the DUI case may still be filed as a misdemeanor based on the extent of any damage.

For example, if a driver charged with DUI hit a pole and scratched it slightly then the prosecutor for the DUI case has a strong inclination to file it as a misdemeanor. If the pole had significant damage from the accident, a felony DUI charge is more likely to be filed by the prosecution.

In a DUI case where other people are involved, the court will consider the extent of their injuries. If there are minor cuts and bruises versus broken bones and internal injuries, the case would likely be a misdemeanor DUI charge. The more severe the injury, the more likely the case is to be charged as a felony.

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor DUI in California, call the experienced DUI lawyers at Hoffman & Associates right away. We offer a  consultation so you can learn about your rights and how we will expertly prepare your defense against the DUI charges. Our attorneys appear in courtrooms throughout California and have over 30 years of experience.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I can't begin to thank Mr. Hoffman enough for his extensive efforts throughout the entire case. He went absolutely above and beyond throughout the entire process. From day one he was immediately actively pursuing ways to prevent my case from ever going to court and once that was no longer an option, actively began working on getting the case ultimately dismissed. His communication was consistent and reassuring, despite my frantic worries all the time... Micaiah Botts
★★★★★
My family and I simply owe our life and future to Ron Hoffman. If you are looking for a lawyer that goes above and beyond the call of duty you can't find a better lawyer than Ron. He took my case head on from the moment I called his office. I was involved in an accidental hit and run where I was unaware of the injury. Every step of the way, Ron guided me through an almost two year long investigation and court settlement process and was constantly by my side through out every crossroad... Bill Martin
★★★★★
Ron Hoffman and his staff were Fantastic when dealing with such a serious issue of DUI. When I first Called Ron I was very nervous and worried for my daughter and her freedom. She had a failure to appear on top of her DUI and I knew just how bad this could be. Ron was able to immediately put me at ease and gave me the confidence that there was hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Ron was able to get the failure to appear dismissed and also no jail time for my daughter... Claude Brown
★★★★★
I have been working with Mr. Hoffman for over 11 years. I have seen first hand his genuine dedication to his clients, and how his experience, knowledge and passion have gotten clients fantastic results. He treats each of his clients as his only client, and takes the time to develop detailed strategies and defenses for each individual case. I have never hesitated to refer Mr. Hoffman to anyone who has asked me for a good Criminal Defense attorney. He is a fantastic attorney!... Neeta P.
★★★★★
I had a DUI issue recently. I have never had a problem with the law as serious as this one. I did panic a bit after and knew I had to get a lawyer to help my future. I researched the Web and read the reviews for awesome DUI Lawyers. Hiring a lawyer can be intimidating. Ron's 30 years experience and step by step guidance helped me with my case. Jonie was amazing with keeping me calm. Ron Hoffman is a great lawyer and I would refer any friends or family to him... Manuel Gomez
★★★★★
Ron was so accommodating and professional. With a Firm like his you wouldn't expect him to be as accessible, but he immediately returned phone calls, was easy to communicate with and was very sympathetic to my situation. He went above and beyond and was able to get a better result than I'd hoped or expected. I highly recommend Ron Hoffman and his firm. He made a difficult and anxiety fueled process bearable and made me feel safe. He is a lovely man. One does not wish to need a criminal attorney, but if you do need one, Ron's the guy to call... Teri A.
★★★★★
Ron and his team were the perfect pairing for what I needed taken care of. Every step of the way he was extremely helpful and informative (not his first rodeo). His work ethic and attitude were exemplary and it showed with the results of using his services. I would recommend anyone I know to give Ron a call if they need help in his realm of expertise. Many thanks Ron and associates!... Donald N.
★★★★★
I didn't hire a lawyer for my first DUI... What a mistake! Ronald goes above and beyond with his art and knowledge of custom strategy according to your case. lawyer of the year (every year)... Adam R.
★★★★★
I hate lawyers. They are hard to get a hold of, greedy and unreliable. Ron is the opposite of all these things. He deserves 6 stars, and I very much recommend him. He helped me through my case with nothing but kindness, understanding, and knowledge and eventually got it dropped. Thanks for everything Ron!... Avi Z.