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Can A DUI Charge In Marin County Be Reduced To A Wet Reckless Charge?

Until recently, Marin County was the only county in the San Francisco Bay Area that would not offer a wet reckless as a reduced charge for a DUI. They finally figured out that there could be fewer trial cases if they did so, and that a wet reckless is still viable as a DUI if you get another one within 10 years. The District Attorney’s office has now changed their policy and put out some guidelines to let the attorneys who practice in Marin County know what types of cases are eligible for consideration for a reduction from a DUI to a wet reckless. The guidelines say that if someone has a BAC of 0.10 or lower, a wet reckless will be considered, but not necessarily offered. In every case, they are more likely to offer a wet reckless once requested by a defense attorney, with reasons being given by that attorney as to why this person should get a wet reckless.

As an attorney, we will talk about a defendant’s history; what they do for a living and how they contribute to the community. The attorneys discuss this with the Marin County District Attorney expeditor to try to get the case reduced to a wet reckless in situations where we can’t get the case dismissed or if the client does not want to risk a jury trial. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the possibility of a wet reckless has gone up, even with a BAC as high as 0.12 in some cases. There are a lot of factors that could prevent someone from getting a wet reckless, especially if there are priors which are more than 10 years old or someone has other types of issues, such as probation or previous auto accidents. A wet reckless is still very difficult to get in Marin County and your attorney still has to approach the D.A. the right way and know what information to bring, what they want to hear, which arguments work, and which don’t. You have to be ready to really personalize your client to the D.A. This is why I feel like I have had a lot of success; I get to know my clients from the beginning and also suggest things that my clients can do in case we might be able to get that charge reduced.

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device And How Does It Work?

An ignition interlock device is an electronic device that a mechanic will attach to someone’s vehicle’s ignition. In order to start the car, the driver will have to blow into the machine hard enough so that a breath sample is taken, which can show that the person does not have alcohol in their system. After you’ve been driving for a certain amount of time, you may have to blow into the machine again. This device is required in order to drive, if you don’t want to do a restricted license after a period of suspension. A lot of people choose to get the interlock device instead of having a suspension followed by a restricted license for 12 months. Some counties in the San Francisco Bay Area do not give a choice on a first offense and require an ignition interlock device.

How Do I Find A Court Approved Ignition Interlock Device Installer And How Much Will It Cost?

There are a number of different interlock companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have competitive prices and you can find their names online, at the court clerk’s office, or get them from your attorney. I will often refer people to a S.R. 20 to company, such as Breathe Easy Insurance Solutions. They will provide you with the high-risk insurance that is required after a DUI and then they will put you in touch with an interlock company. If you go through the S.R. 20 to the insurance company, you will get a huge discount. The interlock company will set up a time for you to have the interlock installed on your vehicle. To use the device will cost about seventy dollars per month and it is usually a six-month period that you have to have the interlock on your car.

If it is a first DUI and you did not win the DMV hearing, may only have to have a four-month interlock period. If your BAC was over 0.20 and you have to do nine months of DUI school, you probably have to have the interlock on until you are done with the school. Every case is different. When getting an interlock, you want to find a company that has a good reputation, talk to them, and ask them all the questions you can before you get the interlock installed. Also, ask them what some of the common problems are and how they deal with them. An interlock is something that is required in a lot of DUI situations now, so the companies are getting better and more trustworthy.

What Happens If My Interlock Ignition Device Registers A False Positive?

If you experience a false positive after testing and retesting, you will need to contact the interlock company and let them know what is going on. They should be able to send someone out to your vehicle. If the device keeps showing alcohol in your system, eventually, it is going to get reported and your license will get suspended without the option of an interlock. You want to take care of any malfunctions right away.

What Is Marin County’s Zero-Tolerance Law And Who Does It Apply To?

The zero-tolerance law states that if you are under twenty-one by even a day and you get a zero-tolerance violation, you are looking at a one-year driver’s license suspension. You can challenge this. You have 10 calendar days to request a hearing with the DMV to show that the elements of this offense are not there. You need to show that one of the three elements are not present. The one that usually gives us the best shot is the last one, which is being at or over 0.01 BAC. These machines have a margin of error. Sometimes, they are not calibrated properly and they are not passing their accuracy tests. This is an issue that can be fought and it is something that we have won a number of these cases over the years. If you get a zero-tolerance violation, you can fight it by requesting the hearing within 10 days of your arrest. That stays any suspension until the conclusion of the DMV hearing and only if we do not win that hearing will a license suspension begin.

For more information on DUI Defense Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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