Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in California
It is against California law to operate a motor vehicle on roads or highways if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Any person caught driving with a BAC above 0.08% is presumed to be illegally driving under the influence (DUI). In order to establish a BAC above 0.08%, a law enforcement officer needs to administer a breath or blood test which shows that your BAC exceeded the legal limit at the time you were driving.
Under California's implied consent law, the state is allowed to suspend your driver's license if you refuse to submit to a breath test at the police station. However, under a recent U.S. Supreme Court case a blood draw without your consent may be unconstitutional without a warrant or "exigent circumstances" which is generally defined as an emergency. Additionally, the police must have a legal basis to stop you. If your detention or stop was in violation of the Fourth Amendment, everything flowing from an illegal stop can be suppressed including the BAC ─ no matter how high it may be. Additionally, your license can be suspended or revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles in proceedings which are completely separate and apart from the criminal court proceeding. Fortunately, Sam J. Polverino, a San Jose criminal defense lawyer with more than 30 years of experience, can help you challenge evidence and fight your DUI case.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, the process can be very confusing and overwhelming. Selecting an experienced lawyer who is both knowledgeable of California's DUI laws, the scientific aspects of chemical testing, and the law of search and seizure can help your case and provide a defense. Attorney Sam J. Polverino can address these allegations and help you with the DMV actions which can affect your ability to drive. Additional repercussions of a conviction may include:
DMV hearings to set aside your suspension
A jail sentence
The installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that you own or possess
Under California state law, those convicted of prior DUI offenses, can face much harsher penalties and the loss of one's license. It is also important to know that penalties imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, such as license suspensions, are completely separate from the penalties imposed upon conviction by the criminal court. Those who are arrested often feel humiliated or ashamed. But an arrest does not mean you will be convicted. Fortunately, there are ways to fight against such penalties, challenge a DUI arrest, and protect your interests. Seeking the right legal representation is vital to defending your ability to drive.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, enlisting the help of a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney can improve your chances of a dismissal or a reduction of the charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess your case, utilize the strengths or weaknesses accordingly, and develop a defense. Do not hesitate when it comes to seeking legal representation.
Arrest on a DUI charge does not mean you will be convicted of the crime. Remember, this was just an arrest. A conviction is something entirely different. To determine whether your DUI charges can be reduced, it is important that you speak with an experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer immediately after your arrest. Oftentimes, the prosecution's case may have a number of weaknesses. Sam J. Polverino provides personalized, effective and efficient representation.