Getting arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in San Jose, California, involves a complex series of events that can profoundly impact your life. The DUI process starts from the moment the police stop you to the conclusion of your case in court. If you’re suspected of DUI, law enforcement officers will evaluate your behavior, ask you to perform field sobriety tests, and possibly administer a breath or blood test.
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you will likely be arrested and charged with DUI, according to California Vehicle Codes 23152(a) and 23152(b).
How Can Our San Jose Criminal Defense Attorneys Help if You Were Arrested for a DUI?
If you’re arrested for a DUI, our seasoned San Jose criminal defense attorneys at Summit Defense can provide invaluable assistance. They can assess your case, navigate the complex legal system on your behalf, and work tirelessly to protect your rights. Our San Jose DUI attorney can scrutinize the evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and seek to minimize the negative consequences of a DUI arrest. They can also represent you at the administrative hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is a critical aspect of any DUI case.
We understand that many moving parts are involved when it comes to a DUI arrest, and we’re committed to supporting you throughout the process. We can formulate the strongest possible defense and represent you regardless of whether you go before a criminal court or the DMV. Rely on our attorneys to give you the representation you expect and deserve.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI Conviction in San Jose, California?
The penalties can be severe if you are convicted of a DUI in San Jose, California. At the same time, the fines can vary significantly depending on your prior record and the circumstances surrounding your case. Some of the most important points you should keep in mind include:
First-Time DUI Offense
A first-time DUI offense in San Jose can result in severe penalties under California law. These include three to five years probation, up to six months in jail, fines ranging from $390 to $1,000, mandatory DUI school, and a six-month driver’s license suspension.
Second-Time DUI Offense
A second DUI conviction within ten years increases the severity of the penalties. It can result in three to five years of probation, 96 hours to one year in jail, fines ranging from $390 to $1,000, mandatory DUI school, and a two-year driver’s license suspension.
Third-Time DUI Offense
A third DUI conviction within ten years can result in even harsher penalties, including three to five years of probation, 120 days to one year in jail, fines ranging from $390 to $1,000, mandatory DUI school, and a three-year driver’s license revocation.
Fourth-Time DUI Offense (Or Subsequent Offenses)
A fourth or subsequent DUI conviction within ten years is a felony in California. Penalties include sixteen months, two or three years in state prison, fines ranging from $390 to $1,000, mandatory DUI school, and a four-year driver’s license revocation.
First-Time DUI Offense Causing Bodily Injury
If a first-time DUI offense results in bodily injury to another person, the offender can be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. If found guilty, the penalties can range from a felony sentence of 16 months to 16 years in state prison to a misdemeanor sentence of up to one year in jail. Other penalties can include the following:
- Fines range from $390 to $5,000.
- Restitution to injured parties.
- A one-year driver’s license suspension.
- Mandatory DUI school.
DUI Causing Bodily Injury With a Prior Offense
Suppose you’re convicted of a DUI causing bodily injury and have a prior DUI conviction, the penalties increase. This will result in a jail term of up to one year or two to four years in state prison, fines ranging from $1,015 to $5,000, restitution to injured parties, a three-year driver’s license revocation, and mandatory DUI school.
DUI Causing Bodily Injury With Two or More Prior Offenses
The penalties are even more severe if you’re convicted of a DUI causing bodily injury and have two or more prior DUI convictions. This will result in a jail term of up to one year or four to ten years in state prison, fines ranging from $1,015 to $5,000, restitution to injured parties, a five-year driver’s license revocation, and mandatory DUI school.
What Are the Aggravating Circumstances in a DUI Arrest?
Certain factors can aggravate a DUI charge, leading to enhanced penalties. These factors can include having a BAC of 0.15% or higher, refusing to submit to chemical testing, causing an accident, having a minor under 14 in the vehicle (child endangerment), speeding or reckless driving, and having multiple prior DUI convictions.
What Happens at an Administrative Hearing?
In addition to the criminal court process, a DUI arrest triggers an administrative process at the DMV. After your arrest, you have ten days to request a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. This administrative per se (APS) hearing is separate from your criminal case and focuses solely on the circumstances of your arrest and whether your driving privileges should be suspended.
What Should You Do After a DUI Offense Arrest in San Jose, CA?
After a DUI arrest, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Some of the most important steps you to remember if you are arrested Under Suspicion of driving under the influence in San Jose, CA, include:
- You must ensure you do not say anything to the police officer. Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you.
- Even though you must cooperate with the officer, you must ensure you answer all questions with a lawyer present.
- When you are arrested, there is a good chance that you’ll be transported to the county jail. You will also have your photograph taken and will likely be fingerprinted.
- Then, contact an experienced attorney who can represent your rights and defend your interests as soon as possible.
- Our DUI lawyers have tremendous experience working with clients of all backgrounds, and we can use our expertise to help you as well.
An attorney can help you understand your legal rights, represent you at the DMV hearing, and build a strong defense for your case. You should also comply with all court orders and attend all court and DMV dates. Completing any ordered programs or classes, such as DUI school, is also important.
If we can negotiate a favorable plea agreement on your behalf, we will work hard to do so, but the deal could include attending DUI school.
What Are the Possible Defense Strategies for Your DUI Charges in San Jose?
Depending on the circumstances, various defense strategies can be used in your DUI case. Some of the key defense strategies that we may employ on your behalf include:
- We may challenge the legality of the traffic stop. If we can show that the police officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, we can get the rest of the evidence thrown out. This might mean that we can get your case dismissed as well.
- We could also look at the reliability of the breath or blood tests. If we prove that the machine was not calibrated correctly, or if we can show that the sample was tainted in some way, we may be able to get the sample itself thrown out.
- We can prove that the roadside tests were not administered appropriately. If the field sobriety tests were not handled correctly, we could get the test results thrown out.
The goal of these defenses is to create reasonable doubt about your guilt. Regardless of whether we can get the case dismissed or get critical pieces of evidence thrown out, our utmost priority is to provide you with a strong, reliable defense.
Count on our dedicated legal team to advocate for your rights and protect your interests.
Contact Our Experienced San Jose, CA DUI Lawyers at Summit Defense for an Initial Consultation
If you or a loved one faces a DUI charge in San Jose, you don’t have to navigate this challenging time alone. Our experienced San Jose DUI lawyers at Summit Defense can provide the support and legal representation you need.
Contact us today for an initial consultation. Our team’s San Jose DUI lawyer can review your case, explain your legal options, and strategize the best defense for your particular circumstances.
We understand that San Jose DUI arrests can be stressful, and the DUI penalties can be severe. However, our San Jose DUI attorneys know what to do following a DUI arrest, so call us today to schedule your case consultation.