What To Do After Being Arrested for DUI in San Jose, CA
September 26, 2022 | Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law
Being arrested for DUI in San Jose can have significant criminal and collateral consequences. You had a few drinks with friends and thought you were okay to drive home. Now you are in the back of a police car headed to jail.
Knowing what to do after getting arrested for DUI could help reduce the severity of the penalties and other consequences. It can also help you remain calm so that you can take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights.
What Do You Need To Know if You Are Arrested for DUI in San Jose?
There are two essential things that you need to understand if you are arrested for DUI in California:
You Have the Right To Remain Silent
You should always exercise your right to remain silent – no exceptions.
It can be difficult to remember and follow this advice after an arrest. Many people feel the need to explain themselves or try to “talk” their way out of a DUI charge.
Talking to police officers or the prosecutor without legal counsel is not in your best interest. The arresting officer and the prosecutor already believe you are guilty of driving under the influence. Their only goal is to gather as much evidence as possible to send you to jail, including using what you say against you.
Therefore, you must remain silent. Do not make a statement or answer questions. Do not talk to anyone other than a San Jose DUI lawyer about your case.
Remaining silent means you do not talk to anyone about your case, even your family members and friends, while you are in jail. The jail records all calls and visits. You have absolutely no privacy while incarcerated except when you meet with your DUI attorney.
You Need a San Jose DUI Defense Lawyer
Most DUI charges in California are misdemeanor offenses. However, that does not mean you don’t need to hire an experienced DUI attorney. Even if you are innocent of DUI charges, you need to talk with a criminal defense lawyer.
You could serve jail time, even if you are charged with a misdemeanor first-time DUI offense with no aggravating factors. DUI penalties for misdemeanor DUI convictions include:
- Up to one-year incarceration in county jail
- Fines and assessments that could total thousands of dollars
- Three to five years of DUI probation, which could include community service and other restrictive terms and conditions
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) at your expense
- Administrative license suspension by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Court-ordered driver’s license suspension
- Attending DUI school
- Mandatory attendance at DUI programs, including MADD’s Victim Impact Panel and the Hospital and Morgue Program (at your expense)
DUIs are priorable offenses in California. If you have prior drunk driving convictions on your record within the past 10 years, the penalties for a current DUI increase.
Felony DUI Charges Carry Severe Penalties
There are three ways that you can be charged with felony DUI in California:
- You have at least three DUI convictions on your record within a 10-year period;
- You have a felony DUI conviction already on your record; OR,
- You cause a DUI accident that results in bodily injury or death to another person.
Felony DUI charges can include vehicular manslaughter, DUI second-degree murder (Watson Murder), driving under the influence causing serious injury, and other charges. All felony DUI convictions result in prison sentences. Depending on the charges, you could face up to 15 years to life in prison for felony DUI in San Jose.
There Are Ways To Fight DUI Charges in San Jose
You can fight DUI charges even if you took a chemical test and had a BAC (blood alcohol content) above the legal limit. An experienced DUI attorney investigates your drunk driving arrest to determine if police officers violated your civil rights. If so, the evidence against you could be inadmissible if the arrest was unlawful.
An attorney may challenge the results of a chemical test based on various factors. For example, the police officers or lab could have violated California Title 17 regulations for collecting and storing samples for chemical tests. In addition, they could have violated the procedures for conducting chemical tests.
You might be able to challenge the results of field sobriety tests (FSTs) and preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) tests. Police officers routinely make mistakes administering FSTs, and the results of FSTs are questionable.
The best way to know what defenses you can use to fight DUI charges is to talk with a lawyer during a free consultation. You learn about your legal rights, options for defending yourself, and the potential outcomes of a DUI case.
Contact Our DUI Law Firm of Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law Today For Help.
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – San Jose Office
1922 The Alameda #201, San Jose, CA 95126
Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law – Redwood City Office
600 Allerton St Suite 201G, Redwood City, CA 94063