Frequently Asked Questions about California DUI

Presented by a Fremont DUI Attorney

If I have been charged with a DUI, why do I need an attorney? Will any attorney do?

Handling a DUI can be a complicated affair with the potential for severe penalties. A DUI is a criminal matter which will result in a criminal record. Because of this, it is important that you get the most favorable result possible by obtaining effective legal representation from an attorney who is experienced in defending DUI cases. Our highly-qualified Fremont DUI attorney can do a number of things which will improve your chances for a more favorable case outcome, such as challenge evidence, find flaws in the case, bring in expert witnesses, help you challenge a license suspension, and negotiate on your behalf with prosecutors and judges for reduced charges or penalties. All of these legal actions can have a dramatic impact on your case.

What happens after a DUI arrest?

Generally, your driver's license is confiscated by the arresting officer and you are given an Order of Suspension and Temporary License, which allows you to drive for 30 days. The officer then forwards a copy of this, your driver's license, and his report to the DMV. You have the right to request a hearing with the DMV to challenge the suspension but you must do so within 10 days or you forfeit that right. After that, you will be required to attend court on the date and time listed on your ticket.

If I took the breathalyzer test, how long will my driving privileges be suspended?

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher and you are over 21, your license will be suspended for 4 months on a first suspension and a one-year suspension on subsequent DUI charges within 10 years.

What if I refused to take a chemical test?

As part of the privilege of being issued a California driver's license, you must take a chemical test when requested by a police officer. If you refuse to do so, your license will be suspended for one year. A second refusal to do so within 10 years will result in a 2-year suspension.

What aggravated circumstances can increase my DUI penalties?

There are a series of aggravating circumstances that can affect the extent of your DUI penalties. Such circumstances would include: having a prior DUI conviction within the last ten years, having a child under the age of 14 in your car at the time of your arrest, having a BAC above .15%, speeding 20 mph above the speed limit, refusing to submit to a chemical test, and the extent of any applicable property damage or bodily injury including death caused to other people.

What are the penalties for refusing to take a field sobriety test?

Unlike a chemical test, there are no penalties for refusing to submit to a field sobriety test; however, it is always in your best interest to decline politely. These tests are not legally required and their entire purpose is to provide the police officer with probable cause to arrest you. Any evidence acquired during a field sobriety test may be recorded on the arresting officer's dash cam and used as evidence against you in court.

What types of penalties do I face in a first DUI conviction?

As in any criminal case, the penalties that one faces depends on a variety of factors such as your BAC at the time of the arrest, whether or not you had a child in the car with you, if you were driving on a suspended license, or if you caused any bodily injury. Common penalties in a first time DUI without any aggravating circumstance may include: 48 hours to 6 months in jail, driver's license suspension up to one year, mandatory attendance at a DUI school ranging from 6 weeks to 9 months, probation, the installation of an ignition interlock device, fines up to $1000 plus court costs and community service.

For more information about DUI cases, contact the Fremont DUI Lawyer at our firm today.