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If you were arrested for DUI in the City of Sacramento or the surrounding areas, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. Our attorneys are experienced in attacking the results of a breath or blood test.

DUI enforcement efforts in Sacramento include sobriety checkpoints, DUI saturation patrols (task force operations), and proactive DUI enforcement (roving enforcement).

Carlos Ramos Attorney at Law is particularly experienced with the tactics used by the Sacramento, the California Highway Patrol, and other local law enforcement agencies in the greater Sacramento area. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys represent clients on a variety of DUI charges. We also represent clients at the DMV administrative hearings to protect their driver’s license.

Whether this is your first DUI or a second DUI or a subsequent offense, the potential criminal penalties are serious. A criminal defense attorney can fight to have the charges dismissed or at least reduced so that you avoid a DUI conviction.

DUI cases are unique because they involve scientific evidence related to field sobriety testing, impairment from alcohol or drugs, and chemical testing of the breath, or urine. Having an experienced attorney can make all the difference in how your case is resolved.

Call today to talk to a lawyer on the phone and to schedule a free consultation in our office. We can schedule an office visit at your convenience, including the same day or next day appointment.


DUI in a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)

Under California law, it is illegal to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is 0.04 percent or greater. Driving with a BAC of .04 or higher will result in an immediate administrative driver licensing sanction (Admin Per Se) in accordance with CVC §13353.2(3). You can also be charged with a criminal offense operating a CMV with a BAC at .04 or higher under CVC 23152(d).

Related charges include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs if the person is a CDL holder or if person is operating a CMV and refusing blood test and/or breath test if the person is a CDL holder or if person is operating a CMV.

First DUI

The vast majority of people arrested for DUI in California are arrested for a first offense. In fact, for those convicted of DUI in 2011, 73.7% were first offenders and 26.3% were repeat offenders with one or more prior convictions within the previous 10 years.

Our DUI defense attorneys are experienced in representing clients on a first DUI. Our attorneys appear in Court for you. Misdemeanor cases are heard in one of the courtrooms. When the DUI is charged as a felony, the case will be heard in one of the courtrooms on the first floor of the Hall of Justice.

Our attorneys also appear for the California DMV license suspension hearing before a Hearing Officer at the Department of Motor Vehicles’ Driver Safety Office.

Our attorneys represent clients on DUI cases throughout the greater Sacramento Area.


After a DUI arrest, the officer will ask the driver to submit to a chemical test of the breath or urine. In many of these cases, the driver will simply refuse to submit. The refusal deprives the prosecutor of an important piece of evidence, but a refusal also comes with enhanced administrative penalties.

In DUI refusal cases, the prosecutor will argue that the refusal shows a “consciousness of guilt” as set out in Vehicle Code § 23612. Additionally, the prosecutor will usually ask the court to instruct the jury that refusal to submit to a chemical analysis for blood alcohol content may demonstrate consciousness of guilt. See People v. Sudduth, 65 Cal.2d 543, 547 (1966).

Marijuana DUI

According to the Federal Bureau of Transportation, approximately every two hours, three people are killed due to alcohol or drug-related highway crashes across the United States. An even greater percentage of individuals involved in these accidents are young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, accounting for 25% of all DUI related arrests.

It is important to remember that these DUI statistics do not just involve alcohol; they also involve drugs. California Vehicle Code 23152(e) states that “[i]t is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.”

The Statute includes marijuana. Although marijuana is legal for recreational use in the Sacramento area, the Valley, and the Coast, driving under the influence of marijuana is not.

According to CBS News, California law enforcement officials are seeking ways to use oral swabbing as a method of detecting individuals driving under the influence of marijuana.

While the science on oral swabbing is still developing, this trend should remind regular marijuana users that it is still illegal to drive under the influence of the substance. For example, penalties for being convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana for the first time include the following:

• Up to six (6) months in jail;

• Up to $1,000 fines;

• Up to five (5) years of probation; and

• Up to six (6) months of driver’s license suspension.

Sacramento DUI Lawyer


If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, call an experienced legal team that knows how to defend you. A Sacramento drunk driving attorney from Carlos Ramos Criminal Defense Attorney is ready to build a winning defense for you.

California laws are tough on those charged with drunk driving, but a conviction can cause you to suffer a lot more than just legal penalties. A conviction can alter your life in a variety of ways, such as costing you your job or making finding a good job difficult. It could also cause embarrassment and financial hardship for you and your family.

Hiring a Sacramento DUI lawyer right away can help you avoid a conviction or make it possible to work out a more favorable plea deal with the prosecution. Don’t be fooled, tricked, or bullied into believing there are no defenses against a DUI conviction. The right attorney can significantly soften the impact of your drunk driving charges.

Legal Penalties for Sacramento Drunk Driving Convictions

See the table below for the legal penalties you may suffer, depending on the circumstances of your case:

DUI Offenses Maximum Penalties

First-Offense DUI (Misdemeanor)Up to 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, substance abuse treatment for three or nine months

Second-Offense DUI (Misdemeanor)Up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, substance abuse treatment for eighteen or thirty months

Third-Offense DUI (Misdemeanor)Up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, substance abuse treatment for thirty months

Felony DUI Sixteen months, two years, or three years in county jail prison, fines, substance abuse treatment

DUI with Injury (Misdemeanor)Up to one year in jail, up to $5,000 in fines, restitution to the victim, substance abuse treatment

DUI with Injury (Felony)Prison, thousands in fines, restitution to the victim, substance abuse treatment

The table above is a basic breakdown of penalties, but many aggravating factors can increase the penalties for even a first-time DUI in Sacramento. For example, beginning July 1, 2018, Uber and Lyft drivers can be arrested for a DUI when they’re only at a .04 blood alcohol concentration.

If you’ve injured someone, if your blood alcohol concentration was extreme, or if you had a minor in the vehicle at the time you were allegedly driving drunk, you could face even more severe penalties for your DUI conviction.

Defending You from a Sacramento DUI Conviction

Many people who have been charged with driving under the influence are convinced they have no way to avoid a conviction. They will sign the first plea deal the prosecutor offers and think they’ve gotten off easy. The problem is that the first plea deal is usually not the best offer they can get. Prosecutors make deals for a variety of reasons:

  • They’re overworked and need to get cases off their desks.

  • They know the evidence against you is weak, so they hope to avoid a trial they might lose.

  • They recognize that police or lab errors have been made in your case.

  • Your criminal history is limited, meaning convicting you of a serious charge might not be in the interest of justice or the community.

These reasons can make getting you a better deal far more likely. A good Sacramento DUI defense attorney may also be able to get your charges dismissed completely. The following are some successful defenses the attorneys at the Carlos Ramos Criminal Defense Attorney can use to make our clients’ DUI charges a thing of the past:

  • The sobriety tests used on you were flawed.

  • The police or lab made procedural or analytical errors.

  • You weren’t drinking and driving at all.

  • There was some question as to whether you were driving the vehicle.

  • Your identity was stolen.

  • You had been drinking, but you weren’t over the legal limit.

Sobriety Test Errors Are Common

Sobriety tests are designed to be used as evidence against you when you’ve been charged with a DUI. The police testify to the administration of these tests and how well you performed on them. Police make mistakes all the time.

For example, the officer could have misread the results of your breath test, or the device might not have been calibrated recently, meaning it didn’t provide an accurate reading.

There could be numerous explanations as to why you performed poorly on the sobriety tests you were administered.

To give you another example, many people who take the walk-and-turn test can’t walk in a perfectly straight line when they’re completely sober. The police could also have made assumptions about your behavior. They might have believed you were impaired by alcohol when you were actually suffering from a reaction to medication.

Other Ways a Sacramento DUI Conviction Could Impact Your Life

After you’ve been arrested on a drunk driving charge in Sacramento, you will begin thinking about the possible legal penalties you could suffer. You will likely be preoccupied with how much time you’ll spend in jail or prison, and you may not think much about the other consequences.

The truth of the matter is that jail or prison time is temporary, while the other consequences of a DUI could last a lifetime. You could suffer the following non-legal repercussions of your drunk driving charge:

  • Your family life could be impacted.

  • Your finances could suffer due to heavy fines and surcharges.

  • Job prospects could be limited, or you could be fired from your job.

  • Depending on the nature of your charge, you could lose some of your constitutional rights.

  • Child Protective Services could become involved in your family’s life.

  • Your criminal history might affect which housing areas you can live in.

  • Some government programs will be closed to you.

Sacramento DUI FAQ

Feel free to call a DUI attorney at our Sacramento office any time to discuss your case during a free consultation. In the meantime, we’ve answered some frequently asked questions below.

What if I can’t afford a DUI attorney?

Many people believe they can’t afford an attorney, so they attempt to handle their charges without representation or use a public defender. Attorneys with our office can work with you to make a payment plan that can fit your budget.

Will I have to go to court for my DUI?

Not necessarily. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a favorable plea agreement could be reached pretrial. Your attorney could also get your charges dismissed by showing the prosecutor that the case against you is weak, for example.

What if I’m completely innocent of the DUI charges against me?

Your Sacramento DUI defense attorney can fight for you in court. We’ll do whatever we can to prove your case and get you the best outcome possible.

Call a Sacramento DUI Attorney

A DUI conviction has the potential to poison all areas of your life—from your home life to your financial future. Don’t gamble with your happiness and freedom by proceeding without speaking with legal counsel.

A Sacramento DUI lawyer from Carlos Ramos Criminal Defense Attorney can make sure you get the best outcome possible for your case. To get started on your defense today, call our office at 916-913-9996. You can also complete the form below, and we’ll contact you to discuss your case as soon as possible.

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