Over the past decade, law enforcement has significantly increased its efforts to reduce drinking and driving accidents on California’s highways. As a result, there are a high number of DUI/DWI arrests each year in California, and the penalties for drunk driving have been stiffened. At my law office in Hayward, California, I represent people charged with crimes in Alameda County, including DUI/DWI arrests. I have more than 25 years experience in criminal law. I practice solely in the area of criminal defense, and I practice exclusively in Alameda County. To schedule a free consultation, call my office at (510) 582-9090.
DMV Hearings: You Must Act Quickly
If you have been arrested for DUI, you or your attorney must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days to schedule a hearing. If you have been arrested anywhere in California, it is important to call an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to discuss your rights and responsibilities.
Retain the Services of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whether it is your first DUI/DWI or you have multiple offenses, I strongly recommend that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney can explain your rights and provide you with knowledge of what is likely to happen in your case. This knowledge can make an extremely stressful time easier to handle. An attorney may also be able to appear on your behalf at hearings and reschedule hearings to better suit your schedule. In some cases, an attorney may determine that you have a strong defense that may warrant a case dismissal or an acquittal after a trial. If you have previous DUI/DWI convictions, a good criminal defense attorney may mean the difference between a significant time in jail or alternative sentencing.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you need an Alameda County criminal defense attorney, please call my office to schedule a free consultation. Call (510) 582-9090 or contact me online with a question. As a criminal defense lawyer, I shall advise you of your rights and, if retained, develop a comprehensive legal strategy for your defense.
1290 B Street, Suite 307
Hayward, CA 94541I represent clients in Alameda County, including Hayward, Union City, Newark, Fremont, Castro Valley, San Leandro, Dublin, Piedmont, Emeryville, Pleasanton, Livermore, Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda.
Frequently Asked Questions – Driving Under the Influence of DUI/DWI
- When I was arrested the police took my license and gave me a paper temporary, is there anything I need to do?
Yes. If you were arrested in California you must contact DMV within 10 days of the date of your arrest in order to get a stay on the suspension of your license and a hearing.
- Why should I have a hearing? I know I was over the limit.
Regardless at your blood alcohol level or the circumstances of your arrest, you have a 30% chance of winning your case at the DMV.
- I called DMV and I can’t get through, what should I do?
Be persistent, call early in the morning, and contact a local attorney who handles DUI cases.
- I called DMV and they said I don’t need a hearing, and that I should just wait until after my court date. Should I do that?
No. I have heard this from numerous clients. You must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the date of your arrest.
- DMV said that their computer is backed up and they can’t give me a hearing date right now, but they’ll take my name and number and call me next week. Is this OK?
Yes. Just make sure that you get the name of the person who you talk to and write down the time and date that you spoke to that person.
- This is my first offense for DUI, will I go to jail?
Maybe. In California, you are exposed to up to six months In County Jail. In most jurisdictions you will probably be placed on probation for 3 to 5 years, given a fine of $1200 to $1500 be required to attend and complete a 30 hour DUI school, and do 2 to 10 days of a work alternative program instead of going to jail, this usually means picking up trash on the freeway. If the case involves an accident, refusal to take a chemical test, or high blood alcohol level some judges will insist on some jail time.
- Second Offense?
It’s somewhat more likely, but a savvy attorney can usually work out a work alternative disposition.
- Third Offense?
Jail terms of four to six months are routine. Sometimes your attorney can work out a house arrest disposition or work alternative, but you can’t count on it.
- Fourth Offense?
State Prison (really). It will depend on circumstances, but a substantial period of incarceration in a behind bars facility looms on your horizon.
- This is my first offense and a friend at mine said I should just go in and plead guilty. Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. You should not plead guilty right away. You need to have a lawyer who handles DUI cases review your case before you do anything. An experienced attorney can make what is often a confusing, frustrating, and time consuming process much easier. An attorney can put a buffer between you and the court system, reducing the necessity for you to appear in court and changing court dates to better suit your schedule. Sometimes a lawyer can be the difference between jail time and alternative sentencing schemes. Many attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation. I do not charge for an office consultation or phone information. Please call my office for information or to set up a personal interview. I shall provide you with a written statement of fees for you to take home, consider, and discuss with your family before you make a decision about hiring me or any other attorney. There is absolutely no obligation, and I guarantee that you will know far more about your case and, as a result, have much greater peace of mind after we talk. You can also consult the Yellow Pages or call your local county Bar Association who will help you find a lawyer.
DUI – The AA question
- My lawyer said that he will take care of the Court appearance and the DMV hearing. I want to do something that will help my case. Is there anything that I can do?
Yes. Go to some AA meetings. If you are serious about wanting to do something to help out your case, go to 2 or 3 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings a week until your case is resolved.
- What good will that do?
- DAs and Judges are generally favorably impressed by someone who has taken it upon him or herself to go to AA. If your case is resolved by way of a plea bargain, AA can improve your lawyer’s negotiating position. The reality of going to trial is that you must be prepared to lose and face sentencing; there again regular attendance at AA can improve your lawyer’s sentence bargaining position. If you go to trial and win, you will have lost nothing and have gained a bit of insight, which brings me to point two.
- You may gain some insight into your reasons for drinking and get some support for yourself during this stressful time. Being arrested and accused of a serious criminal offense is stressful, even if you are innocent and have a good lawyer. You do not have to face this stress alone, at AA you will find others who have been through this experience and understand much of what you are going through.
- I’m not an alcoholic why should I go to AA?
You don’t have to go forever, just until the case is resolved, remember we are fighting this case on two fronts: Your lawyer is combing through the police reports and court documents to find out what is wrong about the case and you are doing everything possible to profile yourself positively.
- I haven’t had a drink since the arrest and I don’t intend to start again. Why should I go to AA?
It is important to get some support for your decision not to drink. Drinking is very much a part of the American culture, and has been since Colonial times. There are constant social pressures to drink: radio, TV, billboards, well meaning friends; resisting these pressures alone is virtually impossible.
- If I go to an AA meeting isn’t that just admitting that I’m guilty?
No. Your guilt or innocence is a legal and factual question that may or may not be proven by admissible evidence in court. The question in Court is whether the District Attorney can prove that you were driving under the influence at a particular moment in time. Going to AA meetings has nothing to do with the facts of the case. AA attendance can however help your lawyer negotiate more effectively with respect to sentencing.
Call Now to Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been arrested on a DUI charge, please telephone (510) 582-9090 to schedule a free consultation, or contact me online.