San Jose DUI Attorney
Were you recently arrested for a DUI in San Jose, CA? A conviction can lead to a suspended license, steep financial penalties, and even jail time. You don’t have to accept these penalties without a fight. An experienced San Jose DUI lawyer at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law can build the aggressive defense strategy you need to fight the charges, call us at (408) 217-8818.
Collectively, our lawyers have over 30 years of experience handling DUI cases in Northern California. We’re well-prepared to put our experience to work for you.
Not every DUI arrest leads to a conviction. To learn more about your legal options, call our law offices in San Jose, California, to schedule a free consultation today.
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How Can Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Help if You Were Arrested for a DUI in San Jose?
California prosecutors handle DUI cases every day. They know the law, and they know how to convince a judge or jury to convict. You deserve an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney who can help you even on the playing field.
At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, our legal team includes a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist. Over the years, we’ve been recognized by Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100.
Most importantly, we’ve helped countless clients beat the charges they’re facing.
Hiring us means you’ll have a skilled team to:
- Conduct an investigation into your DUI arrest
- Request an immediate DMV hearing to argue against license suspension
- Analyze the prosecution’s evidence to identify any weaknesses
- Gather evidence to show your innocence
- Bring in experts as needed to strengthen your case
- Negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced or the case dismissed
Our goal is always to reach the best possible outcome in your case. To get started, call our San Jose criminal defense attorneys today. We offer a free consultation, so there’s no risk in calling for legal advice.
Overview of the DUI Laws in California
Like every other state, driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a criminal offense in the state of California. The offense is divided into two separate categories under California Vehicle Code Section 23152.
It is illegal to:
- Drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or
- Drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more
You can be convicted on DUI charges if the prosecution can prove that either one of these things is true. In other words, you can be convicted of a DUI even if your blood alcohol level isn’t 0.08% or more. You can be convicted even if the police don’t take a breathalyzer to establish your BAC.
You can also be convicted if your blood alcohol content is 0.08%, regardless of whether the alcohol is influencing your driving behavior. This is called a “DUI per se.”
It’s also a crime to drive a vehicle while you’re under the influence of drugs (driving under the influence of drugs, or DUID). You can be arrested on DUID charges regardless of whether the drugs are prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or illegal drugs. The punishment for a DUID is the same as a traditional DUI.
Most of the time, a DUI is a misdemeanor charge. However, it’s possible that the charges can be elevated to a felony-level crime if certain aggravating factors are present.
California has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving.
You can be charged with an underage DUI under California Vehicle Code Section 23136 if:
- You’re under the age of 21, so you are not legally permitted to consume alcohol
- You had any level of detectable alcohol in your system
- You were driving a vehicle
If convicted on underage DUI charges, you’ll face a mandatory one-year license suspension.
When Do Felony DUI Charges Apply in California?
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, it’s possible that you could face felony DUI charges.
A misdemeanor DUI can be elevated to a felony if you’re charged with a DUI and:
- You caused serious bodily injury or death to another person while driving under the influence
- Within the last ten years, you have had three or more DUI convictions or wet reckless convictions
- You have one or more prior convictions for felony DUI
If you caused another person’s death while drunk driving in Santa Clara County, you could also face felony-level charges for vehicular manslaughter under California Penal Code Section 191.5 PC.
State prosecutors can charge you with vehicular manslaughter if:
- You acted with gross negligence
- You committed some other type of unlawful action or misdemeanor crime (not a felony)
- You were under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving a vehicle
In cases involving particularly shocking circumstances, the prosecution could also charge you with murder if you kill someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “DUI murder” charges may apply if you engaged in behavior that is so dangerous it demonstrates a conscious disregard for human life.
Felony DUI charges are extremely serious. If you’re facing serious criminal charges, call our San Jose DUI attorneys immediately. Our lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law know how to build the effective defense you need and deserve.
What Should I Expect After My First DUI?
After you’ve been arrested for your first DUI, the arresting officer may confiscate your driver’s license. The officer must, by law, submit a copy of a completed notice of suspension or revocation form with a sworm statement to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
The DMV will then examine the materials submitted to them by the police officer in an administrative review. You have the right to request a hearing with the DMV within ten days of the receipt of the materials from the arresting officer.
The DMV will notify you in writing if they conclude that the suspension or revocation of your license is set aside. The administrative review and hearing done by the DMV is for the purposes of license suspension and does not determine whether you are guilty or innocent of the charges.
Your DUI case will then proceed through the criminal court system, though each case plays out differently depending on the facts. In essence, you should expect two kinds of proceedings to begin after your first DUI: administrative through the DMV, and criminal through the police and prosecution.
When Should I Hire a San Jose DUI Lawyer and How Much Does it Cost?
You should hire a San Jose DUI lawyer whenever you are facing consequences that could alter your life significantly. There are many hoops to jump through when it comes to DUI arrests in California, as you’ll be dealing with both criminal and administrative hearings. There are so many options for penalties and nuances to these proceedings that you will be at a severe disadvantage without an attorney to represent you.
An attorney can apprise you of your legal options throughout your case, can handle most communications on your behalf, and can negotiate to have your charges reduced or dismissed, just to name a few of the ways a lawyer can help.
Contact Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, today for a free consultation to review your case. We can discuss how much it will cost to hire us at that time.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in San Jose, California?
The penalties for a DUI conviction depend on the circumstances. The penalties for a first-offense DUI are much less severe than the penalties that apply in cases involving repeat offenders. Still, the punishment can be serious.
The penalties that you might face will depend on whether:
- This is your first, second, third, or fourth DUI arrest
- There was a minor in the vehicle
- You held a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- Your BAC was higher than 0.15% (which is considered a “high DUI” with enhanced penalties)
- The situation involved a hit-and-run
- Anyone was injured or killed
It’s possible that both criminal penalties and administrative penalties will apply if you’re convicted on DUI charges. That makes it particularly important to have an experienced San Jose DUI defense lawyer in your corner.
Administrative License Suspension
Your license will automatically be suspended after 30 days if you’re arrested for a DUI in San Jose. You must request an administrative hearing within ten days to try to avoid this suspension.
Your license could be suspended for:
- A minimum of four months if this was your first offense with no aggravating factors
- One year if you have at least one prior DUI conviction
- Four years if you’re convicted of a felony DUI
- Five years for a conviction of felony DUI causing injury and at least one prior felony DUI conviction
Generally, there are two types of restricted licenses:
- One where the driver can drive anywhere so long as they have an ignition interlock device and comply with other conditions
- One where the driver does not have an ignition interlock device and attends DUI school and obtains SR-22 insurance.
With the latter restriction, a driver could gain permission to drive to school, work, and alcohol treatment programs.
Criminal Penalties for DUI Conviction
If convicted on misdemeanor DUI charges, you could face:
- As little as 0 days in jail up to 1 year
- Three to five years of DUI probation
- A minimum of three months in court-ordered alcohol treatment
- Steep financial penalties
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
If you were convicted on felony DUI charges, you could face:
- Up to three years in prison without enhancements
- An additional three years in prison for each person who suffered great bodily injury
- 15 years to life in state prison if convicted of second-degree murder following a DUI death
- At least 18 months in a court-ordered DUI education program
- A three-year designation as a habitual traffic offender if you have prior DUI convictions
- Fines of up to $1,000 (or $5,000 if defendant has been convicted of a prior DUI within 10 years)
Our lawyers in San Jose can help you fight these significant charges. To learn more about our practice areas and how we can help, call our law firm for a free case review today.
How Do I Handle a DUI in San Jose?
The best way to handle a DUI in San Jose is to hire an attorney as soon as you can. A San Jose DUI lawyer can defend your rights and interests from the very beginning. You’ll likely be dealing with the police, prosecution, and DMV after your arrest, potentially all three at the same time.
If you don’t have a lawyer to represent you, these entities will have an easier time taking advantage of you. For example, they may ask you questions that are intended to have you reveal incriminating information. If you don’t handle these questions correctly, you might set yourself up for more severe consequences.
The attorneys with Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, are highly experienced in handling DUI cases. We know the tricks that the other side likes to employ, and we won’t let them get away with it. Reach out to us today for more information on how we can assist you.
Can I Win a DUI Case Without a Lawyer?
Technically speaking, it is possible to win a DUI case without a lawyer. However, your chances of a successful outcome will likely decrease significantly. That’s because DUI proceedings in San Jose are complex and involve two arms of government. You will have to contend with police, administrative, and prosecutorial personnel, each of whom can more easily take advantage of you without legal representation.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Arrested on DUI Charges in California?
There are a number of effective defenses to DUI charges. The most effective strategy will depend on the facts of your case.
Our lawyers will review your case carefully to identify any defenses that may be valid, including:
- Law enforcement lacked probable cause for the traffic stop
- Police lacked reasonable cause to conduct field sobriety testing
- The police officer lacked probable cause to arrest
- Problems with the accuracy of your blood, breath, or urine test
- Spoilation or improper preservation of your blood sample.
- Unaccredited testing laboratory or technician in charge of your blood sample
- Problems with the breath test machine
- Rising blood alcohol defense
- Medical condition confused with symptoms of intoxication
- Drinking after driving defense
- Violations of your constitutional rights or Miranda rights
- Lack of evidence to prove you were driving a motor vehicle
The prosecution will start building their case immediately. To give yourself an advantage, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney right away. At Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, we’re always available to take your call, so don’t hesitate to reach out and learn more about your legal rights today.
DUI Defense Involving Police Errors
One of the ways to defend yourself against a DUI charge is to identify errors made by the police. Possible police errors include, but are not limited to:
- Violating your constitutional rights, such as an illegal search and seizure
- Illegally stopping you in the first place, for instance, not having probable cause
- The officer did not legally administer the field sobriety test
These are just examples. The defense appropriate for your case will depend on the facts and circumstances. Our San Jose DUI lawyers have successfully represented many DUI clients in the past and are confident in our ability to identify the right defense for your situation.
What Are DUI Fines and Fees?
DUI fines and fees are one potential consequence of a conviction, in addition to things like jail time, alcohol treatment programs, and community service. The fines you could face will depend on many factors, such as the severity of the offense and your prior criminal record. The fines could range from $390 to $5,000, however, there are additional enhancements that could raise that amount significantly.
Will My Driver’s License Be Suspended?
Yes. Per California regulations, your license must be suspended after a DUI arrest. This is the case whether you submit to any chemical test to show your blood alcohol content (BAC) or not.
If it is your first DUI offense, you are 21 years of age or older, and you submitted to a chemical test that revealed a BAC of .08% or more, your license will be suspended for four months by default.
You might have the option to apply for a restricted license, in which case you would not have to serve the four month suspension but would have to either install an ignition interlock device (IID) or complete a treatment program. These options are not always available, however.
If you’re ultimately convicted of a DUI, your license could be suspended for a longer period of time. Because of the variability involved with California DUI proceedings, it’s especially beneficial to hire a San Jose DUI attorney. An attorney can help you navigate through each aspect of your DUI arrest effectively.
Who Makes San Jose DUI Arrests?
San Jose DUI arrests are made by the police. Any police officer with jurisdiction and probable cause can lawfully arrest you; they need not be a member of the San Jose Police Department. For example, a member of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) can legally pull you over and make the arrest.
What Are DUI Classes/Programs and Where is San Jose DUI School?
DUI classes and programs can be imposed as penalties through the criminal and administrative proceedings following your arrest. In some cases, you can opt to engage in a treatment program in lieu of having your license suspended. In other cases, the court will mandate that you complete a class or program as part of the consequences of your conviction.
Click here to view more information about these programs, as well as the locations available in Santa Clara County.
How Long is DUI Probation?
DUI probation will usually be three to five years, though it depends on the nature of the conviction and the specific facts and circumstances of your case. There are two types of probation you could be placed on, informal and formal.
Informal probation is not supervised, meaning you would not be required to meet with a probation officer. This type of probation is usually reserved for misdemeanor convictions. Formal probation is imposed for felony cases. In either event, the time period is the same.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Jose DUI Lawyer
Are you facing DUI charges in San Jose? While these charges can be frightening, it may be possible to beat them. To learn more about how an experienced San Jose DUI lawyer can help, call Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation today.
You can also get in touch with one of our Redwood City DUI attorneys.
- Superior Court of Santa Clara County
191 N First St, San Jose, CA 95113
- Santa Clara County Family Court
201 N First St, San Jose, CA 95113
- County of Santa Clara Hall of Justice
190 W Hedding St, San Jose, CA 95110
- Santa Clara County Courthouse
1095 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara, CA 95050
- County of Santa Clara Main Jail
150 W Hedding St, San Jose, CA 95110
- Elmwood Correctional Facility
701 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035
- Santa Clara County Department of Correction
701 S Abel St, Milpitas, CA 95035
- Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall
840 Guadalupe Pkwy, San Jose, CA 95110
- County of Santa Clara Office of the Sheriff
55 W Younger Ave, San Jose, CA 95110
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