Oakland DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the Oakland California area, you need the help of a criminal super lawyer who is knowledgeable and willing to be aggressive on your case. Even an allegation of driving under the influence can affect your life and your livelihood, so it is important to find an Alameda County attorney who has already tried DUI cases and understands how important it is to have an aggressive criminal defense strategy.
Penalties for Drinking and Driving
The first time you are charged with DUI in Oakland CA, it will only be a misdemeanor DUI arrest unless someone was injured as a result of your intoxicated driving. However, you will probably have to deal with a California license suspension right away. Other potential penalties include fines, court costs, jail time, prison, and drunk driving impact panels such as MADD (Mother Against Drunk Driving). Speak to your lawyer if you have any questions how Oakland DUI law applies to your case.
Your driving privileges will be suspended for four months if you refuse to take the chemical test offered by the officer if this is your first DUI, but that suspension goes up to one year if you have been arrested for DUI DWI within the past 10 years. That suspension will follow you across state lines, because California reports violations to other jurisdictions. Tell your criminal defense lawyer right away during your initial consultation if you need a restricted license so you can continue to drive to work and take care of your family.
First time DUI charges might mean up to only 48 hours of jail time because a misdemeanor crime in California is the smallest kind of crime. However, California takes drunk driving very seriously and there are other punishments, such as loss of driver’s license, to enforce the seriousness of the DUI arrest. You may also have to pay court costs and fines or serve time on probation for your case.
Under California law, you may be charged with felony DUI if you cause injury or death to someone else, or if you have multiple DUI arrests within a 10 year time period. The penalties for a felony are much harsher than those for a misdemeanor, and you could be risking 4 years in a state prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. One reason defense attorneys with DUI experience work so hard to get the best results is that subsequent DUI arrests can make your situation worse every time.
There are 3 basic ways to win a drunk driving case in California. You can
- prove that you weren’t actually intoxicated, or that your level of intoxication did not rise to a legally punishable level;
- prove that your driving wasn’t impaired, or
- provide evidence that the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures when giving you the chemical test or other sobriety tests.
Proving That You Weren’t Intoxicated
Many of the signs that officers look for to prove that you were intoxicated are also signs for other conditions. For example, if you have a cold, you may be exhibiting symptoms such as red eyes and lethargy, which could be mistaken for intoxication. If you have arthritis in your hip, you may not have a steady gait. An officer who is looking for evidence of intoxication may find it even if it’s not really there.
Your criminal defense attorney will review all of the evidence, including any videos or notes made by the officer contemporaneous with the traffic stop. Some of the State’s evidence can fall apart as soon as it is looked at objectively. Make sure to tell us about any possible defenses related to illness, medication, or injury, because your DUI lawyer has experience presenting those kinds of evidence to the court. You attorney will apply the facts of your case to the circumstances and the law.