What Can I Expect After Being Arrested for a DUI in San Jose?

Last Modified: February 6, 2024
February 6, 2024 | Rabin Nabizadeh | DUI

What can I expect after being arrested for a DUI in San JoseGetting arrested for a DUI in San Jose can be a stressful and confusing experience. You might have many questions about what happens next and what you should do. Knowing the process and what to expect can help you navigate this challenging situation. It’s important to remember that a DUI arrest is severe, and the steps you take afterward can significantly impact your case.

After a DUI arrest in San Jose, the first thing to understand is that you’re not alone. You will face legal proceedings, and there may be penalties. However, having a knowledgeable San Jose DUI lawyer can make a big difference in how your case is handled. At Summit Defense, our experienced DUI attorney can fight for your driving privileges. Our goal is to mitigate the worst DUI penalties.

Learn more about what to expect for a first-offense DUI arrest below. Then, contact us to schedule a case consultation.

Immediate Steps Following a DUI Arrest

Right after your arrest, law enforcement officers will likely take you to a police station. Here, you’ll be booked, which includes taking your fingerprints and photograph. You might also be held in custody until you can post bail or until your first court appearance.

During this time, it’s crucial to remain calm and cooperative. However, you should also be aware of your rights. You have the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer present during questioning. Contacting a San Jose DUI attorney as soon as possible should be a top priority.

Understanding DUI Charges in California

Understanding DUI charges in California

In California, DUI charges are not taken lightly. They can result in severe penalties, especially if it’s not your first offense or if there was bodily injury involved. The charges can range from misdemeanors to felony DUI, depending on the circumstances and whether motor vehicles were involved in a crash.

DUI charge in San Jose means you’re facing allegations of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in California is 0.08% for drivers over 21. It’s 0.04% for commercial drivers, and for drivers under 21, it’s 0.01%. If your BAC is above these limits, you’ll face DUI charges. Your BAC level could influence the penalties of any subsequent DUI conviction.

The Role of Sobriety Tests and Chemical Testing

After a San Jose DUI arrest, you’ll likely undergo sobriety tests and chemical testing. These are crucial in establishing your level of intoxication.

Field Sobriety Tests: Procedures and Accuracy

Field sobriety tests are performed to assess your physical and cognitive abilities. They might include walking in a straight line or standing on one leg. However, these tests can be subjective, and their accuracy can be thrown off by nervousness or physical conditions.

Your DUI lawyer can challenge the results of these tests, question the procedures used, and question the officer’s interpretation of the results. This can be an essential part of your defense, especially if you have doubts about the accuracy of the tests.

Breathalyzer Tests: Process and Legal Implications

Breathalyzer tests assess the level of alcohol in your breath. They are a standard tool used by officers to determine BAC levels. However, like field sobriety tests, they’re not infallible. Your lawyer can challenge these results based on the machine’s calibration, the time of the test, and how it was administered.

If you refused a breathalyzer test during your arrest, you should know that this can lead to automatic license suspension. This is because of California’s implied consent law. However, a skilled DUI attorney can still defend you and argue against the suspension at your DMV hearing.

Blood and Urine Tests: When They Are Required

Blood and urine tests offer higher accuracy than breath tests and are used in certain situations. These might include when drugs are suspected to be in your system or if you’re unable to take a breath test. Like other tests, the accuracy and handling of these samples can be challenged.

In your defense, your lawyer can question the procedures used in collecting, storing, and testing these samples. Issues with the chain of custody or testing procedures can be a key part of your defense strategy. Proper handling and accurate testing are crucial for reliable results.

The Arraignment Process in DUI Cases

The arraignment process in DUI cases

  1. Notification of Charges: The judge will inform you of the DUI charges against you at your arraignment. You should listen carefully to understand the specifics of your case.
  2. Entering a Plea: You’ll be asked to enter a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Your lawyer will advise you on the best option based on your case.
  3. Review of Bail: The judge may review your bail. If you haven’t been released on bail, this might be your opportunity to request it.
  4. Legal Representation: If you don’t have an attorney, the court will ask if you need one appointed. Having a DUI lawyer who knows the San Jose system is best.
  5. Setting a Date for Your Next Court Appearance: The court will schedule dates for upcoming proceedings, such as a pre-trial conference or the trial itself.
  6. Issuing Court Orders: The judge might issue orders, such as no driving or alcohol consumption. It’s crucial to follow these orders exactly.
  7. Conclusion of the Arraignment: After these steps, your arraignment concludes. Your San Jose DUI attorneys will then start preparing for the next stages of your case.

Potential Penalties for a DUI Conviction

  • License Suspension: A DUI conviction often leads to driver’s license suspension. This can last for several months or even years, depending on the offense and prior DUI convictions.
  • Fines and Fees: You may face substantial fines, which can be a heavy financial burden. There are also court fees and other costs associated with a DUI conviction.
  • Jail Time: Depending on the severity of the DUI offense and your history, you could face jail time. This is more likely with felony DUI charges or if there was an accident involving injury.
  • DUI School: You might be required to attend DUI school, which involves education and counseling sessions to prevent future drunk driving.
  • Probation: Instead of or in addition to jail time, you might be placed on probation. This involves following certain conditions and regularly reporting to a probation officer.

Exploring Defense Strategies for DUI Charges

Exploring defense strategies for DUI changes

Building a strong defense is key in a DUI case. Your San Jose DUI attorney will look at all aspects of your arrest and charges to develop the best defense strategy. They’ll examine the evidence, the procedures used during your arrest, and any potential rights violations.

Challenging the Traffic Stop Legality

Your lawyer might challenge the legality of the traffic stop. Law enforcement officers need a valid justification to stop you, like a traffic violation or reasonable suspicion of DUI. If the stop was unjustified, evidence gathered during it might be inadmissible.

In addition, your attorney will examine the officer’s conduct during the stop. If they find any procedural errors or violations of your rights, these can be used to strengthen your defense. This might include improper administration of sobriety tests or failure to inform you of your rights.

Disputing Test Results and Procedures

Another defense strategy involves disputing the results and procedures of sobriety and chemical tests. Your lawyer can question the accuracy of breathalyzers, the handling of blood samples, and the objectivity of field sobriety tests.

Your lawyer will also examine the chain of custody for blood and urine samples. Any mishandling or contamination can compromise the results. They will look for any weaknesses in how the tests were conducted and use them to build a case for the dismissal or reduction of charges.

Arguing for Mitigating Circumstances

Sometimes, mitigating circumstances can affect your case. This might include a lack of prior offenses or the presence of personal or medical issues. Your lawyer will present these factors to argue for a lighter sentence or reduced charges.

Your attorney can also argue that your level of impairment was not significant enough to warrant a DUI charge. They might use evidence from the scene or witness statements to support this claim. Mitigating circumstances can play a crucial role in how your case is resolved.

The Impact of DUI on Driving Privileges

One of the immediate concerns after a DUI arrest is the impact on your driving privileges. In most cases, your driver’s license will be suspended. The suspension period varies based on the severity of the offense and your DUI history.

To challenge the suspension, you can request a DMV hearing. This must be done within ten days of your arrest. Your DUI attorney can represent you at this hearing and argue against the suspension. This is a separate process from your criminal court case.

DUI Case Resolution: Plea Bargains and Trials

DUI cases in San Jose can be resolved either through a plea bargain or by going to trial. In a plea bargain, your lawyer negotiates with the prosecutor. The goal is to limit the potential penalties by taking a plea to a lesser charge.

If your case heads to trial, your lawyer will present your defense before a judge or jury. They’ll challenge the prosecution’s evidence and argue for your innocence. A trial can be a complex and lengthy process, but sometimes, it’s the best way to fight for a favorable outcome.

Post-Conviction: DUI Programs and Probation Requirements

If you’re convicted of a DUI, you may have to complete a DUI program. This typically involves education and counseling to help prevent future offenses. You might also be placed on probation, which comes with specific requirements and conditions.

During probation, you’ll need to comply with all court orders and check in with a probation officer regularly. Your lawyer will ensure you know these post-conviction requirements to avoid potential penalties.

Contact Summit Defense for Your San Jose DUI Defense Lawyer

Contact Summit Defense for your San Jose DUI defense lawyer

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in San Jose, having an experienced DUI attorney on your side is important. Summit Defense has a team of knowledgeable and aggressive DUI lawyers ready to help you. Contact us today for a case consultation.

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