Being charged with an underage DUI in San Jose can be a life-altering experience for someone so young. That’s why securing legal representation from a knowledgeable and experienced San Jose Underage DUI lawyer is essential.
At Summit Defense, our attorneys understand the intricate details of underage DUI cases and are devoted to providing the highest quality defense possible. A San Jose DUI attorney from our criminal defense law firm in Santa Clara County can help you if you or your child are facing underage DUI charges.
Learn more about how our San Jose DUI attorneys from our law offices can provide you with the defense you deserve.
- Secure Legal Representation From a San Jose DUI Lawyer
- California Laws Regarding Underage Driving Under the Influence
- DUI Implied Consent Laws in California
- Consequences of Violating the Zero Tolerance Law
- Consequences or Penalties for Violation of VC 23140
- Steps in the Underage DUI Legal Process
- What the Prosecutor Must Prove in Underage Driving Under the Influence Offenses
- Defenses for Violating Underage DUI With a BAC of 0.05%
- Why Hire a San Jose Underage DUI Lawyer
- Contact Our DUI Lawyers at Summit Defense for a Case Evaluation
- DUI Arrest FAQs
Secure Legal Representation From a San Jose DUI Lawyer
If you or your child has been arrested for underage drinking and driving offenses in San Jose, don’t hesitate to get help from one of our seasoned San Jose criminal defense lawyers at Summit Defense immediately.
Our team will work diligently on your behalf by thoroughly examining evidence against you and negotiating with prosecutors if needed. We will protect all of your rights throughout this process every step of the way – ensuring that you have the best chance at receiving fair treatment under California law regarding underage DUIs.
California Laws Regarding Underage Driving Under the Influence
California has specific laws pertaining specifically to minors regarding drunk driving offenses (DUI). These rules are far stricter than those applied to drivers over 21 years old, making competent legal representation even more important during these trying times. The primary regulations concerning juvenile drunk driving include the following:
California Zero Tolerance Law (V.C 23146)
The California Zero Tolerance Law prohibits drivers under 21 from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.01% or higher. This law discourages underage drinking and driving by imposing strict penalties for minimal alcohol consumption.
Underage DUI With a BAC Level of .05% Or Above (V.C23140)
California law also makes it illegal for drivers under 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.05% or higher, as outlined in Vehicle Code 23140. This offense is a more serious charge than a violation of the Zero Tolerance Law, carrying more severe penalties.
DUI Implied Consent Laws in California
In California, there are a variety of laws and regulations in place to protect minors from underage drinking and driving. One such law is the state’s implied consent law, which requires all drivers who are lawfully arrested for suspicion of DUI to submit to chemical testing (blood, breath, or urine). Refusal to comply with this test can result in additional penalties, including extended driver’s license suspensions.
Consequences of Violating the Zero Tolerance Law
Those caught violating California’s zero-tolerance rule may face several possible consequences, even if it is their first offense. They include:
Suspension of a Driver’s License
These potential punishments include suspension of one’s driver’s license and other adverse effects on young people. This consists of an inability to drive themselves to school or work-related activities. Because of the potential severity of a young individual’s consequences, it is important to contact a lawyer to schedule a case consultation as quickly as possible.
Consequences or Penalties for Violation of VC 23140
Violating California Vehicle Code 23140, which involves driving with a BAC of 0.05% or higher for those under 21, carries harsher punishments than the Zero Tolerance Law. The exact repercussions vary based on the circumstances surrounding the violation and your criminal record and blood alcohol content (BAC). Here is an in-depth look at what you could be up against if convicted:
- Fines and Fees: A first offense can lead to fines of several hundred dollars, though additional fees may add to this total cost significantly. These fines might be much heftier for repeat offenders or people with a high BAC.
- Alcohol Education Programs: You may also need to complete an approved program that educates drivers about DUI risks and consequences as part of your sentencing. The length and type will depend on case specifics, plus any past criminal history related to this charge.
- Education Programs: As part of the sentencing, the court may require the defendant to complete a court-approved alcohol education program to help them understand the risks and consequences of driving under the influence. The length and type of program required can vary depending on the case’s specifics and the individual’s prior history.
- License Suspension: On top of any suspension handed down by DMV officials, the court can suspend your license too. It is usually for six months but could be longer for people with a prior record of DUIs.
- Community Service: Depending on the severity of the offense and the individual’s prior history, the court may impose community service or probation as part of the sentence. Community service may involve performing unpaid work for a designated number of hours, while probation typically requires the defendant to comply with specific conditions. This includes regular check-ins with a probation officer, abstaining from alcohol or drug use, and avoiding further legal trouble. Violating the terms of probation can result in additional penalties, including jail time.
- Repeat Offenders: The penalties for a VC 23140 violation can be even more severe for individuals with prior DUI convictions or those driving with a BAC significantly higher than 0.05%. Repeat offenders may face increased fines, longer license suspensions, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). Similarly, individuals with a higher BAC may face steeper penalties, which can be aggravating factor.
Steps in the Underage DUI Legal Process
Getting pulled over for a potential DUI is an incredibly scary experience – especially if you’re under the age of 21. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to understand what steps will come next as part of California’s underage DUI legal process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through this challenging time.
Arrest and Booking
If law enforcement suspects an individual under 21 has been driving while intoxicated, they may arrest them and take them into custody. During booking, officers collect fingerprints, photographs, and other personal information from the driver.
Once arrested for underage drinking and driving (DUI/DWI), drivers have just ten days to request a DMV hearing before their license gets automatically suspended. Having representation at your DMV hearing can ensure that evidence is presented effectively on your behalf, which could have major implications on how your case plays out moving forward.
At your arraignment hearing – where you plead guilty or not guilty – court proceedings begin in earnest. Your attorney can file motions during pre-trial hearings which challenge any existing evidence against you. Additionally, plea bargains are often negotiated here wherein defendants plead guilty but receive reduced sentences or dismissals of certain charges instead of harsher punishments like fines or probationary periods with mandated community service requirements such as Alcohol Education Programs (AEPs).
When navigating a criminal case, plea bargaining can be a powerful tool. It involves coming to an agreement whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for reduced sentencing or other charges being dropped. Your legal counsel can assist you in determining whether this is your most beneficial option and negotiate on your behalf if it is.
Suppose it goes to trial and guilt results. In that case, penalties are imposed by the judge – including fines, probation time, community service hours, or mandatory attendance at alcohol education programs (among others). What consequences await depends heavily upon the specifics of each particular situation.
What the Prosecutor Must Prove in Underage Driving Under the Influence Offenses
For those accused of underage driving under the influence, prosecutors have a tough challenge. They must demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the driver was younger than 21 and had a blood-alcohol content (BAC) above 0.01%. They must also prove that the defendant was operating their vehicle at the time and that chemical tests accurately captured their intoxication level.
Defenses for Violating Underage DUI With a BAC of 0.05%
Fortunately, defendants have numerous potential defenses against such charges when backed by an experienced San Jose lawyer specializing in underage DUIs. These strategies may include challenging test results as unreliable, questioning if there was probable cause for arrest or stop, providing evidence of medical conditions potentially impacting BAC levels unrelated to alcohol consumption, or disputing field sobriety exams’ accuracy altogether.
Why Hire a San Jose Underage DUI Lawyer
Falling prey to an underage DUI can be a frightening and life-changing experience. Finding the right San Jose underage DUI lawyer is vital for mounting an effective defense and safeguarding your rights during the legal process. An accomplished attorney has numerous advantages that could significantly affect the results of your case. Here is why hiring a DUI lawyer is essential:
- Identify Weaknesses in the Case: A seasoned criminal defense lawyer will meticulously analyze all aspects of your case, including witness statements, law enforcement reports, or any other available evidence. They’ll then detect any inconsistencies in the prosecution’s argumentation which could be used to dispute their accusations against you – such as questioning whether due process was followed while making the arrest or if breathalyzer tests were administered correctly.
- Negotiate with the Prosecution: In certain situations, reaching an agreement with prosecutors might be possible by asking them to reduce charges brought against you or lessen potential punishments. An adept attorney will leverage their skill set and familiarity with court systems to ensure that you get desirable outcomes from proceedings – this may include negotiating plea bargains for lesser offenses like wet reckless cases, alternatively lobbying for alternatives such as probationary sentences or community service hours instead of jail time.
- Present Evidence: If your case goes to trial, a skilled underage DUI lawyer will present compelling evidence and arguments to support your defense. This may involve calling expert witnesses to testify about the accuracy of the breathalyzer test, giving evidence to support your version of events, or raising doubts about the prosecution’s case. A seasoned attorney will also cross-examine prosecution witnesses to expose any inconsistencies in their testimony or challenge their credibility.
- Legal Guide: Navigating the complex legal system is daunting, especially when dealing with a stressful and uncertain underage DUI charge. You don’t have to face it alone; an experienced San Jose underage DUI attorney can help you every step of the way. From keeping you informed on any developments in your case and helping you prepare for court appearances to answering your questions – they’ll be by your side throughout this journey.
Facing an underage DUI charge isn’t easy – emotionally or otherwise – so having someone who offers emotional support and encouragement can make all the difference.
Your lawyer will provide much-needed reassurance during this difficult time, allowing you to keep a positive outlook and manage stress more effectively. We are here to represent you during this difficult time and will do everything we can to put your case in a position to succeed. Reach out to us to schedule a case consultation.
Contact Our DUI Lawyers at Summit Defense for a Case Evaluation
If you or someone you care about has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) as a minor, don’t wait to get help. Our experienced attorneys at Summit Defense offer free case evaluations to discuss your options and fight for your rights. We’ll do everything we can to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your situation. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.
DUI Arrest FAQs
We understand this is a difficult time, so we are here to answer any questions you may have before taking action on your behalf. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions regarding underage drunk driving arrests:
How Long Is DUI Probation?
It depends on each individual’s criminal background and the specifics of their case, but typically, probation from a DUI charge lasts between three and five years.
How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost?
The price of hiring a skilled DUI attorney depends on your case’s complexity, how experienced they are in their field, and even where you’re located. We are transparent regarding our fees and flexible to make your legal defense affordable.
What Does a DUI Attorney Do?
DUI lawyers provide guidance and assistance for people who’ve been charged with driving while impaired. They help by breaking down the legal process into more understandable terms, challenging any evidence against their client, negotiating with prosecutors when possible, and representing them in court.
Can I Win in a DUI Case Without a Lawyer?
It is not recommended. The laws surrounding DUIs can be complicated to understand without proper knowledge or experience. This puts you at great risk of facing many unwanted repercussions from the court system later down the line. A qualified lawyer has trained eyes that can spot weak spots in arguments presented. They can also negotiate better deals outside of trial proceedings to help you avoid the most serious consequences.