San Jose Underage DUI Lawyer

If you’ve been accused of a misdemeanor or a serious felony in the San Jose or Silicon Valley Area, a criminal defense attorney can help. At Summit Defense, our goal is always the complete dismissal of all charges. If this isn’t possible, we often negotiate solutions for our clients that allow them to avoid jail and sometimes even prosecution.


Summit Defense
2570 North 1st Street , Second Floor San Jose, CA 95131

San Jose Underage DUI Lawyer

If you’ve been accused of a misdemeanor or a serious felony in the San Jose or Silicon Valley Area, a criminal defense attorney can help. At Summit Defense, our goal is always the complete dismissal of all charges. If this isn’t possible, we often negotiate solutions for our clients that allow them to avoid jail and sometimes even prosecution.


Summit Defense
2570 North 1st Street , Second Floor San Jose, CA 95131
Last Modified: August 10, 2023

San Jose underage DUI lawyer

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

Secure legal representation

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

DUI implied consent laws

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

Consequences or penalties for violation

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

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.

DMV Hearing

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.

Court Proceedings

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).

Plea Bargaining

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

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

Why hire a San Jose underagae 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

Contac our DUI lawyer

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.

Meet The Team
With over 120 years of cumulative and exclusive Criminal Defense experience, our reputation for aggressive and results oriented performance, whether in State court or Federal Court, has been documented by several Bay Area news channels and vetted by hundreds of satisfied clients. Our success and industry recognition is the result of our EXCLUSIVE FOCUS on criminal defense; we don’t accept personal injury or family law cases. This single-minded focus allows us to keep pace with the ever-changing landscape of legal doctrine and provide you with the best results possible.
our attorneys
James Reilley

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Client Testimonials

Real People. Real Stories.
Summit Defense is nothing short of AMAZING, namely, Rabin N. When I caught my case, I was scared out of my mind and didn’t know what to do or what to expect, Rabin kept gave me realistic expectations but got me THEE BEST outcome imaginable. I was facing 3-5 years IN PRISON, and walked away with NO JAIL TIME!! I will forever be grateful for his knowledge and expertise!! This man KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING and is VERY WELL CONNECTED!
Michelle C.
San Jose
After my son’s arrest, I met with several attorneys who promised miracles for very high fees.  I ended up hiring Summit Defense right before the Preliminary Hearing in the case.  If you are looking for honest and skilled lawyers, choose Summit Defense.  Despite several mistakes by my first lawyer, Mr. Weese was able to correct the record and get us the best results at a reasonable price.
Sunny c.
Los Altos
Thank you Mr. Riley for not giving up and saving our family from ruin.  I can’t imagine where I would be if it weren’t for your diligence and amazing talent.  You are truly one of a kind Mr. Riley and I will be greatful for you for the rest of my life.
Marcus P.
San Jose
The attorneys at this firm are amazing!  It  took two years to resolve my case and through out everyone was amazing.  Special mention for Jessica, the paralegal who worked tirelessly with me to deliver all the documents needed and was probably my best friend for the entire time.
Timothy C.
Amazing lawyer and just a kind, no bullshit human being.  Told me what could be done and did it for half the price and ridiculous promises other attorneys delivered.
Ginger W.
Thank you for everything.  Your empathy, diligence and for not giving up.  Highly recommend if you get a DUI.
Tony F.
I have known many lawyers in my day and these guys are top guns. Richard Weise was professional and  really went to bat for our whole family.  Highly recommend if you need a criminal lawyer.
Connie L.
Can’t express how pleased with Tennille Duffy.  She is the most talented attorney I have seen and challenged every detail and never backed down.
Athena H.
Forever grateful to whole team of attorneys for doing an outstanding job on a DUI case. Very responsive and talented. Richard is an exceptional lawyer and I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking a criminal lawyer.
Sophie H.