One set of facts, or incident, can give rise to an innumerable amount of charges. Many people believe that it will be one charge, with additional consequences. That is not the case. If you have been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, you could potentially also be charged with a probation violation, if you were on probation at the time.
The best way to understand this concept is through a detailed example.
Some time last year, Don was driving home from a friend’s birthday party. He had have a few drinks and was stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. Don was very stressed out about his case, and did not have a lot of money to spend on a lawyer. On his arraignment date, the prosecutor offered to conclude Don’s case that day if he pled guilty. They offered him no jail time, just a fine, and three years of probation. Don immediately took the deal. He wanted his case to be over with so he could move on and stop worrying about it.
Last week Don was again driving home from a friend’s wedding, and he had had a few drinks. He was stopped for swerving in and out of lanes. When the officer stopped Don, he asked him if he had been drinking. Don said yes, but only one drink. What Don didn’t know is that if he is on probation for a prior DUI, he is not allowed to have any alcohol in his system if he is driving. Even one drink, which could lead to a dismissal for a first offense DUI, will not work favorably in a second offense DUI.
Don is taken into custody and he has been charged with a DUI and a Probation Violation. The consequences for Don’s DUI will be much harsher than the sentence for his first offense. This is not taking into account his probation violation, but the fact that the DUI is a second offense DUI, and when Don pled guilty to his first offense, he likely agreed to not drive with any amount of alcohol in his blood. The probation violation will stem from Don’s violation of the requirements of the terms of his probation. It is likely that one of the terms was that he would not be charged with another offense while he is on probation. Being charged with a DUI, will violate that.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with two separate charges rising from one incident, it is highly recommended that you retain an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer. There is a high probability that with the proper defenses and arguments, one of the charges may be dismissed or charged with a lesser sentence. Be sure to give yourself the best possible chance for dismissal, speak to a legal professional right away!