Actress Amanda Bynes, 26, entered a not guilty plea to a driving under the influence (DUI) charge at a Beverly Hills Superior Court. According to a new report in Reuters, the alleged DUI incident occurred in West Hollywood the morning of April 6, 2012. Officials say Bynes struck a sheriff’s patrol car and refused to take a sobriety test. It is not clear from the report if she was given a blood alcohol test at the station where she was charged with DUI. Bynes and her family continue to contest that she does not drink and that she was not under the influence at the time of the collision.
There is a wide range of DUI penalties that drivers may face in California after a conviction. An individual convicted of a first DUI in California could face up to six months in county jail. There could also be a fine of no less than $390 and no more than $1,000. Convicted drunk drivers will also have to face a six-month license suspension with the possibility of a temporary restricted license. The suspension will not be lifted until after the driver completes a driving under the influence or alcohol education program.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a skilled DUI defense attorney can fight the charges or negotiate for lesser penalties. In some cases, it may be possible to avoid jail time or to maintain limited driving privileges. There are several possible defenses in a DUI case. An experienced attorney may be able to contest the results of the blood or breath test or field sobriety tests, if any were conducted. A skilled attorney will also review the circumstances of the arrest and determine if any of the defendant’s rights were violated.
The knowledgeable Los Angeles County DUI defense lawyers at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a long history of protecting the rights of California drivers. If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, please contact (866) 430-8383 for a free and comprehensive consultation.