On May 7, 2013, Colorado Rockies baseball star Todd Helton pleaded guilty to charges related to his February 2013 DUI arrest.
Pursuant to a plea bargain, Helton pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while ability impaired. Helton was sentenced to one year probation, a $400 fine, $1224 in other fees and 24 hours of community service.
Helton’s arrest took place on February 6, 2013, after a witness reported a possible DUI to the authorities, telling them that Helton had hit a curb while driving. Upon confronting Helton, an arresting officer said that he could smell a strong alcoholic odor coming from Helton’s person and that Helton was unsteady on his feet. Helton was arrested and agreed to a breathalyzer test. Helton had a blood alcohol level of 0.12 while the legal limit is 0.08. During the booking process, Helton stated that he had drunk 2 igloo cups of red wine.
California Prosecution of DUI
To convict Helton in California of a DUI under similar circumstances, the prosecutor would have to prove that when he drove a vehicle, either of the following situations applied:
• He was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and/or drug to the extent that his mental or physical abilities were so impaired that he no longer was able to drive a vehicle with the caution of a sober person, using ordinary care, under similar circumstances; OR
• His blood alcohol level (BAC) was 0.08 percent or more
If the evidence that Helton’s BAC was 0.12 were admissible, Helton could be convicted of a DUI in California under CVC 23152(b). Similarly, if Helton’s statements about drinking 2 cups of wine, his unsteady walking reported by the officer, and the statement made by the lay witness alleging that Helton had hit a curb were all admissible as evidence, Helton could also be convicted under CVC 23152(a) in California.
Sentencing and Punishment for DUI
The punishment for a DUI conviction in California is harsh. A conviction for a first-time DUI under CVC 23152 would subject Helton to imprisonment in county jail for up to 6 months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both fine and imprisonment. In reality, the total fine for a DUI conviction will come close to $2,000 with all of the additional penalty assessments imposed by the court.
Upon being convicted under CVC 23152, the DMV would suspend Helton’s driver’s license for 6 months under CVC 13352. Helton could also face probation under CVC 23600 if he were convicted of a DUI in California. If Helton were placed on probation, his probation would last three to five year and he would have to comply with certain conditions, including the following:
• Do not commit any crimes
• Pay all restitution and other required fees
• Do not drive a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system; AND
• You must enroll and successfully complete a driving-under-the-influence program
California DUI Defense Attorney
If you face DUI charges in California, you have too much at stake to not contact the experienced law firm of Wallin & Klarich. The DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have a proven record of successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years.
Once you retain us, we will immediately conduct extensive discovery on your case. We will review police reports carefully for any material that could be helpful to your case.
We will tirelessly attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges dismissed or reduced; similar to how Helton’s charges were reduced.
If you face DUI charges in California, it is important that you immediately contact Wallin & Klarich to aggressively fight for your rights. Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges. We have the skill and experience to help you win your case. Our offices are located in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, Victorville, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.