San Joaquin County DUI Defense
Put a Former Prosecutor on Your Side
DUI charges can carry a wide range of consequences. If you are convicted, you could face the loss of your driver's license, steep fines, and even jail time. Even worse, a DUI conviction can result in a permanent mark on your record that can haunt you for years to come. If you are facing DUI charges in San Joaquin County, you need experienced, aggressive, and dedicated legal representation.
At the Law Office of John W. Noonan, our skilled DUI lawyer can provide the strong advocacy you need in a wide range of DUI-related matters. Additionally, our firm is led by a former prosecutor, so you can be sure that we have the skills and knowledge to fight your charges effectively.
For a free case consultation, call our office at (925) 807-7077 or submit a contact form online.
Understanding California DUI Laws
According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, a driver is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if their ability to drive a vehicle is impaired in any way by alcohol, drugs, medication, or other substance. Additionally, for those 21 and older, the blood alcohol limit (BAC) is 0.08%.
Furthermore, a DUI can occur even if the driver is not actually driving the vehicle at the time they are arrested. This can happen if the driver is found to be in control of the vehicle, such as a parked car or a vehicle that has been left in gear.
The following are some of the more common DUI-related charges:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- Driving under the influence of prescription drugs
- Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
Note: a driver can be convicted of a DUI even if their BAC is below the legal limit of .08%. If a police officer believes a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they can still be charged with a DUI.
Classification and Consequences of DUI in California
In California, most DUI charges are issued as misdemeanors, but under certain conditions, a DUI can escalate to a felony charge. This change typically depends on the specifics of the arrest. For example, a DUI can be charged as a felony if it's the driver's fourth or subsequent DUI within ten years, if the driver has previous felony DUI convictions, or if the DUI incident caused injury or death. Felony DUI charges carry more severe consequences, potentially including longer periods of incarceration, higher fines, longer-term DUI programs, and the suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
Remember, the implications of a DUI conviction can stretch beyond legal repercussions, adversely affecting employment opportunities and personal reputation. Therefore, securing experienced legal counsel is essential.
If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face a range of penalties, including:
- Jail time
- Restricted license
- Loss of your driving privileges
- Vehicle impoundment
- Ignition interlock device
- Mandatory education courses
What to Do If Arrested for DUI in San Joaquin County
Being arrested for DUI can be an overwhelming experience, but understanding the steps to take can significantly affect the outcome of your case. First and foremost, remain respectful with the law enforcement personnel. Remember, you have the right to remain silent. Other than providing your identification, you are not required to answer any questions without a lawyer present.
Regarding breath or chemical tests, California has an implied consent law. This means that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been driving under the influence, you are considered to have already consented to take a chemical test of your blood, breath, or, occasionally, urine.
Note: refusal to take a breath or chemical test can result in severe penalties.
If arrested for DUI, it's crucial to seek legal counsel immediately to protect your rights and mount a strong defense. Our San Joaquin County DUI defense attorney has over 55 years of total experience, and our firm was established in 1995. We are well-versed in DUI laws and are prepared to guide you through this challenging period effectively.
If you or a loved one was arrested on suspicion of a DUI, contact the Law Office of John W. Noonan online or call us at (925) 807-7077.
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