Hi all, I'm in desperate need of advice and some basic information regarding my case.
I was arrested on DUI charges in California a few months ago. My license was suspended and I was booked into jail (23152 (a,b)). My BAC was around 0.12. On the police report, I was also observed doing unsafe lane changes and speeding. Fast forward to today: it's been a few months and I have not yet had my court date. I was recently caught driving while my license is still suspended. My car was towed and stored, I was charged with driving with a suspended license (CVC 14601.2 (a)). This was in a different jurisdiction than the DUI.
Now I'm trying to get a feeling for what is in store for me and what my options are (and likelihood is) for making a favorable outcome. A few questions:
1) Being that my court date has not occurred yet for the DUI charges, will the fact that I got caught driving on a suspended license be known to the prosecuter? Will it somehow make me have less of a case against the DUI charges if they do find out? (remember, they are two different jurisdictions, both in CA, but I have a court date coming up very shortly for the DUI case)
2) I had a BAC around 0.12 (two readings)--what are the chances I can have this reduced to a lesser charge ("wet wreckless")? I was completely obedient of the officer during the arrest process... I have an otherwise clean driving record with no priors (a speeding ticket several years ago, cleared). If the officer does not show up to the hearing/arraignment will that somehow work to my benefit?
3) I have not obtained legal counsel for this matter; how does one go about entering a plea in order to reduce the charges? My understanding is that one pleas "no contest with negotiated consequences" when asked by the judge to enter a plea... can someone elaborate on how to handle this? (for example, when the judge responds to my plea, how do I go about the suggestions for reduced charges, etc.?)
4) Is there any possibility that I can have the 14601.2 (a) charge dropped or otherwise lessened? I am more than willing to pay fines and serve jail time or what-have-you in order to avoid having my record tarnished with the convictions. Also, will this affect my ability to obtain a restricted license?
So what happens now? Please help, I have a great job and otherwise calm and predictable life... I'm afraid that when my background is checked about 8 years from now I will lose my position because of all of this. I just want to end this and move on. Many, many thanks in advance.