San Jose DUI lawyer

Driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance is a very serious charge. You need an experienced attorney on your side to help fight against this charge. Although DUI charges are common in California—1.8% of those surveyed indicated that they drove after drinking too much in the past 30 days—that does not make them any less severe.

The penalties for a San Jose DUI conviction can be severe. You should not face these legal charges alone. Having the right legal help can significantly affect the outcome of your case.

An experienced San Jose DUI lawyer will be able to help you defend your case or get a plea deal that works in your favor. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial consultation: 1 (866) 852-7126.

Get an Administrative Hearing on Your Driver’s License Suspension after a San Jose, CA DUI Charge

In San Jose, the police officer that pulls you over for a DUI will immediately take your driver’s license. This law is sometimes referred to as the “stop and snatch” law in Santa Clara County.

Once your license is taken away, that triggers an administrative process to suspend your driver’s license. The officer should provide you with a temporary license that sets out that you have just ten days to request an administrative hearing with DMV. If you want to fight your driver’s license suspension, you need to act quickly after your arrest.

What does a San Jose, CA DUI administrative hearing involve?

The administrative hearing on your license is informal, but you have a far better chance of keeping your license if you involve a San Jose DUI attorney in the process. This hearing functions as a “mini-trial.” Your lawyer will be able to subpoena witnesses, gather effective evidence, and more. It is also a great opportunity to get more information about your DUI stop for your criminal case as well.

What happens if I don’t request a hearing within 10 days?

If you do not request a hearing within the ten-day period, then your right to a hearing is waived. Your license will be automatically suspended as a result. Your license will be suspended for a period of four months on your first offense. If it is your second offense, you can plan on a year-long suspension.

Does the administrative hearing apply to all DUI charges?

Although you can be charged with a DUI for drug consumption, the administrative hearing process is specifically limited to offenses based on alcohol in San Jose.

How long does a temporary license last after a DUI arrest?

Your temporary license will last for 30 days, but your ability to request a hearing has a much shorter time window.

Refusing Chemical Testing for DUI in San Jose

We often get questions about whether you should consent to chemical testing when you get pulled over or detained for a DUI in San Jose. Whether you consent to chemical testing depends on the unique circumstance of your situation.

However, you should note that if you refuse chemical testing, you lose the right to your DMV hearing. You will also have your license suspended for one year automatically in many circumstances.

San Jose, CA DUI Penalties and Sentencing

The penalties and sentencing associated with a San Jose DUI charge operate separately from what the DMV does with your license. If you are convicted of drunk driving, you might face the following penalties.

  • Fines of at least $390 to over $1,000
  • Up to three years of probation ·
  • A six-month suspension of your license ·
  • Attendance at California DUI School
  • Up to six months in jail

In many cases, your jail time can be suspended, but that is not the case in every situation. If you are convicted of subsequent DUIs, the penalties can increase significantly. For example, the fine for a second DUI is up to $2,000, and you must serve a minimum of 96 hours in jail.

San Jose Jail and Courthouse Information

Jail and Booking Information for Adults

Most San Jose DUI arrestees will end up at either the Elmwood Correctional Complex or the Santa Clara Main Jail Complex for booking. Many of those arrested will be forced to spend time in jail right away after their arrest, at least until they can arrange for bail funds to get out.

Elmwood Correctional Complex is located at 701 S. Abel Street in Milpas, CA.

Santa Clara Main Jail Complex is located at 150 West Hedding Street in San Jose, CA.

Jail and Booking Information for Juveniles

Juveniles will not go to either of these facilities. Instead, they will likely be booked at the Santa Clara Juvenile Hall, which is located at 840 Guadalupe Parkway in San Jose, CA. The juvenile court takes place in that location as well.

Courthouse Information The Santa Clare District Attorney’s Office represents the State of California when it comes to prosecuting DUI cases in San Jose. All DUI cases are heard in the Santa Clara Superior Court, which is located at 190-200 West Hedding Street in San Jose, CA.

Several departments will hear DUI cases, and various courtrooms will house DUI cases when they go to trial. The area where your case will be heard will vary based on when you are charged and the individual judge assigned to the case.

Judges will sometimes switch locations, so it is important to check with your San Jose DUI attorney to get information on where you should go for appearances or trial. The court clerk can also be a helpful resource if you need information about where to go or how to get there.

Is Hiring a San Jose DUI Attorney Really Worth It?

Can’t I just get a public defender?

In some cases, you may qualify to get free legal help with your San Jose DUI. However, you should use caution when requesting a court-appointed lawyer. These professionals often have a huge number of cases, and they might not be able to give your case the attention it deserves.

In many cases, the public defender likely cares a great deal about you and your case, but he or she may simply be too overworked and exhausted to provide you with the type of legal representation that you need.

Even if you qualify, getting a court-appointed attorney may not be a good idea. Instead, getting your own lawyer will help ensure that you get fair, effective representation. You will also get far more attention and careful analysis than you might otherwise get with a public defender. Keep in mind that you have to qualify to get a public defender. In general, a public defender will be appointed if you meet certain income restrictions.

Is there a benefit to having a private lawyer for my San Jose, CA DUI charge?

Your attorney has much more experience with laws affecting DUI charges than you do. He or she will know the ins and outs of the laws, including what you need to prove if you want to get your case dismissed.

Your DUI lawyer in San Jose will be able to tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of the case so you can evaluate the risk of going to trial or weigh out a plea agreement proposal more effectively. Getting a San Jose DUI law firm is especially important if your goal is to get your case dismissed or defend it at trial.

San Jose DUI School Information

Anyone convicted of a San Jose DUI must attend California DUI school. Most plea agreements will include a provision about attending DUI school as well.

Although DUI school programs are all similar, they vary in time length. Attending can be as sort as a few months or as long as three years. Your DUI history and blood alcohol content (BAC) will often have an effect on how long you must attend DUI school.

There are several DUI schools in the San Jose area, including:

  • Alert Driving, Inc.
  • National Traffic Safety Institute
  • Asian Americans for Community Involvement
  • Proyecto Primavera DDP

In most cases, you will be able to choose which San Jose DUI school you would like to attend. However, availability will vary based on the timing of your sentencing and how busy the programs are at that time.

Contact a San Jose DUI Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in San Jose or the surrounding area, you need an attorney to fight on your behalf. Contact our team to get more information about how to schedule a free consultation, our services, and more.

Call Summit Defense today or email us at 1 (866) 852-7126 for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

DUIs are always worth fighting because criminal convictions are serious: they remain on one’s record for life and can affect one’s life in areas such as job applications, professional licensing and insurance rates. The reality is those who don’t contest DUI charges receive the standard outcome, while those who do stand the chance of outright dismissal or receiving a less serious offense.

There are many defenses that come into play when our attorneys defend a DUI case in the San Francisco Bay Area. We work closely with our clients to examine the evidence and police report before deciding which approach is most appropriate.  Keep in mind that DUI law is a specialized area of criminal defense and some defense attorneys have developed tried and true techniques used to defend these cases.

DUI Defenses Involving Police Errors

Many defenses are based on errors made by the police during the arrest and the subsequent activities of the police crime lab following the arrest. The police are charged with clearly documenting everything they do during a DUI arrest. Likewise, the crime labs must follow a rigid procedure when handling and testing the blood samples. DUI defense attorneys review these records and make challenges.

In one example of police error, Summit Defense attorneys found that the Police Department did not properly document the time of arrest. Because the time could not be proved, there was no way for the prosecution to show that the blood alcohol reading was relevant to the arrest.

In another DUI case, a Summit Defense attorney got a DUI case dismissed by showing that the police did not have justification to pull over the driver in the first place. The driver was not weaving or driving recklessly and there was no indication that there was any illegal activity taking place. Therefore the arrest was improper and the case was thrown out.

In yet another DUI case, Summit Defense attorneys showed that the police, in allowing the suspect to leave the scene and go to the bathroom in the midst of the arrest, did not maintain the required fifteen-minute continuous watch over the suspect.

DUI Defenses Involving Police Lab Errors – Mishandling of Blood Evidence

Sometimes a DUI defense involves lab errors in the testing of blood samples. Clients may be surprised to learn that mistakes are made in blood testing and DUI cases are dropped when these mistakes are exposed to the court. In a recent case, after reviewing the police report, a Summit Defense attorney discovered that a San Jose police lab result indicated the wrong blood type for a the client. The prosecutor was forced to dismiss the case, when the attorney brought this error to his attention.

If our client was driving well and tested not far above the legal limit, we will order a blood split from the court and submit the sample to our independent lab for re-testing. Likewise, if our client submitted to a breathalyzer test, we may order the calibration records to show whether the equipment was properly serviced as required by the law.

DMV Hearing to Preserve Driver’s License

When we are first contacted, many of our clients are surprised to hear that they are entitled to a DMV hearing in addition to their day in court. Summit Defense attorneys always include the DMV hearing as part of the defense. Our goal in the DMV Administrative Per Se hearing is to preserve our client’s driving privilege and we consider our job to be well done when our client can both keep his license and have his case dismissed.

While we don’t condone drunk driving, we understand our job as defense attorneys is to assert our clients’ rights in court and during the DMV hearing. We strongly believe that those accused of crimes should keep the system honest by challenging accusations and preventing police misconduct. As DUI attorneys, we take our job seriously and are proud that our clients often have their charges dropped or reduced to lesser offenses that don’t carry the consequences of a DUI conviction.

DUI Case Results

CHARGES First time DUI in San Jose facing license suspension, fine and probation.
RESULT After expert discovered police lab errors, Case Dismissed.

CHARGES Second offense DUI in Fremont, client facing jail and 1 year license suspension.
RESULT Summit attorney’s Motion to Supress granted based on lack of probable cause to stop client.  Case Dismissed.

CHARGES Client arrested for second DUI in San Francisco with injury accident facing prison time.
RESULT Not Guilty Verdict At trial

CHARGES Underage DUI in Solano County, 19 year old client with .06 BAC (blood alcohol content) facing 1 year suspension and criminal conviction.
RESULT Charge reduced through negotiation with DA’s office.  DMV granted hardship license to allow driving to school and work.

CHARGES Doctor charged with Felony DUI in Napa County with great bodily injury.
RESULT Prison avoided, great bodily injury enhancement dropped. Three years probation.

CHARGES First offense .09 DUI in Santa Clara county.
RESULT Independent lab blood retest showed .07 BAC, charges subsequently dropped.

Call us day or night for a free and confidential case review to discuss your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a DUI a felony or a misdemeanor in California?

A first time DUI that does not involve injuries will be charged as a misdemeanor.

How long does a DUI stay on your driving record?

All criminal convictions stay on your criminal record for life. You can file a petition to expunge the record under penal code section 1203.4. This will allow you ONLY to tell an employer that the case was dismissed.

What happens when you get a DUI in California?

A DUI arrest triggers two separate actions: a criminal case filed in the superior court as well as an Administrative Per Se Hearing with the California DMV. You must request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest.

What is the difference between DUI and DWI?

There is no difference between driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated.

What is aggravated DUI?

An aggravated DUI can mean several things including:

  • A high BAC reading (Above .15 or .20 BAC)
  • Refusal to submit to a breath or blood test
  • Driving at high speeds while driving under the influence
  • Having a minor in the vehicle while Driving Under the Influence
  • Causing an accident while Driving Under the Influence
  • Causing an injury while Driving Under the Influence
  • Prior DUI convictions within 10 years
  • A fourth DUI conviction within 10 years will be charged as a Felony

How much is bail for a DUI?

A first time DUI usually results in release without need for bail.

How much does a DUI lawyer cost?

Bay area DUI lawyers charge between $2500 and $6500 for a DUI offense.

Do you lose your license immediately after a DUI?

No. If you don’t request a DMV hearing, you will lose your license 30 days after the arrest. If you request a DMV hearing, the suspension will go into effect only if you lose the hearing.

What happens for your first DUI offense in California?

The minimum sentence for a first DUI offense in California is:

  • 3 years of court probation
  • About $2,000 in court fees (depending on jurisdiction)
  • 2 days in county jail (usually served through work alternative)
  • DUI classes ranging from 3 months to 18 months.

What happens for your second DUI offense in California?

The minimum sentence for a second DUI offense in California is:

  • 5 years of court probation
  • About $2,000 in court fees (depending on jurisdiction)
  • 10 days in county jail (usually served through work alternative)
  • DUI classes ranging from 9 months to 18 months.

What happens for your third DUI offense in California?

The minimum sentence for a third DUI offense in California is:

  • 5 years of court probation
  • About $2,000 in court fees (depending on jurisdiction)
  • 120 days in county jail (can be served through work alternative)
  • DUI classes ranging from 18 months to 36 months

Can you be charged with a DUI after the fact?

The Statute of Limitations for DUI is one year. However, it is rare for evidence of DUI to surface after the fact.

Do you go to jail for a DUI?

The minimum sentence for a first time DUI does not involve actual jail time but may involve jail alternatives. Third DUI offenses carry a minimum sentence of 120 days in county jail and may involve actual custody time.

How do I get my license back after getting a DUI?

To get a restricted license after a first time DUI suspension you must: DUI, you must:

  • Enroll in DUI class
  • install an Interlock device (some jurisdictions)
  • Pay a reissue fee.

To get your license back, you must complete the DUI class and pay an additional reissue fee.

Can you get a DWI for marijuana?

Yes. Driving under the influence of Marijuana is a violation of Vehicle code section 23152(a).

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