San Jose 1st Time DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in San Jose, California, it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and confused.
You may have many questions about the legal process and what the consequences could come with a conviction. Most people who experience getting a DUI are scared and overwhelmed by the prospect of having this charge on their permanent record.
How Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Can Help If You’re Arrested for a First-Time DUI in San Jose
If you have been arrested for a DUI in San Jose, CA, our team of expert attorneys is ready to assist you. With 30 years of combined experience, you can trust that we will help you get the best outcome possible. Here’s how our San Jose DUI lawyers will be able to help:
- We can thoroughly investigate the case by speaking with potential witnesses, examining videos and police reports, searching for any flaws in the chemical test, and identifying violations of your rights.
- We can speak with the prosecutor and look into possible plea deals that we can negotiate on your behalf.
- We can also represent you at a DMV hearing to dispute any proposed action against your driver’s license.
You don’t have to handle this on your own. Contact the San Jose 1st time DUI attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation.
An Overview of First-Time DUI in California
In California, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, this is considered a per se DUI. However, even if the BAC of the driver is not known or it is lower than 0.08%, they still may be found guilty of DUI under certain circumstances.
This occurs when the court finds that the driver was impaired due to alcohol or drugs, and their mental or physical abilities were compromised. Ultimately, one’s ability to drive safely becomes the overwhelming factor in assessing if they are legally considered intoxicated while behind the wheel, regardless of BAC.
What Are the Penalties for 1st Time DUI in San Jose, California?
Getting a first-time DUI in California can be a stressful, difficult experience. It’s important to know what to expect as far as potential penalties and other consequences. Here’s an overview of the potential penalties:
In California, a first-time DUI is classified as a “wobbler.” This means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the case.
If it is charged as a misdemeanor, there is no mandatory jail time, but you could face up to 6 months in county jail and/or fines up to $1,000. Additionally, your license will automatically be suspended for 6 months by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in some cases. You will also be required to participate in a DUI education program.
If you had a minor in the car at the time of your arrest or you were in an accident that caused an injury, your first-time DUI in San Jose can be charged as a felony. A felony DUI conviction carries much harsher penalties, including a mandatory 16 months in jail, up to 3 years in prison, and/or fines up to $5,000.
Your sentence will also include five years of probation, addiction treatment, and other costs. Additionally, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to ten years.
If there were serious injuries or deaths involved in the accident, penalties will be more severe.
What Defenses Can Be Raised If I’m Accused of a First-Time DUI?
The defenses available in your DUI case will depend on the facts and circumstances of your individual case, but some of the most common include the following:
- Not under the influence: Your lawyer may argue that you were not under the influence at the time of the arrest and that any signs of impairment were caused by something else, such as fatigue or a medical condition.
- Not driving: The defense may argue that you were not actually driving the vehicle at the time of the arrest and that there is no evidence to prove otherwise. If the police never saw you in the driver’s seat or if you were in the car sleeping at the time of the arrest, this defense can be used.
- Violation of rights: Another argument is that your constitutional rights were violated during the arrest or investigation, such as an illegal stop or search, and that any evidence obtained as a result should be excluded from trial.
The DMV Hearing
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, chances are your license was confiscated and replaced with a provisional one valid for 30 days. To have any hope of avoiding a driver’s license suspension, you must apply for a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest so you can have a hearing to dispute the suspension.
Even if you lose your case at the DMV hearing, you may be eligible for restricted driving privileges, which allows you to drive to certain places – like school and work – while you are waiting to reinstate your driver’s license.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation With an Experienced San Jose 1st Time DUI Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in San Jose, California, our experienced team of attorneys can help. Contact the San Jose 1st time DUI lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free consultation.