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Oakland DUI FAQs

Oakland DUI FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Cases in Oakland, California

What sentence will a person typically receive if they are convicted of DUI in Oakland?

The circumstances surrounding a drunk driving arrest and other factors involved in a case will determine the potential penalties that may apply. For first-time DUI offenses where a person did not have a BAC over .15 percent or any other aggravating factors (such as endangerment of a child, an accident resulting in bodily injury or death, or a driver's refusal to submit to the required BAC test after being arrested), a sentence for a conviction may include:

  • Prison time of two days (in some cases, a person may be able to substitute two days of a work program with the Alameda County Sheriff for jail time);
  • A four-month license suspension (a person may apply for a restricted driving permit after they have completed 30 days of their suspension);
  • Fines and other penalties totaling $1,000;
  • Probation for three years;
  • A number of hours of community service based on what the judge believes is appropriate;
  • The requirement to attend regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings;
  • The requirement to attend a three-month-long drunk driving education program; and
  • The requirement to use a breath alcohol ignition interlock device on every vehicle that a person will be driving.

Second or subsequent convictions for DUI that take place within 10 years and any other DUI cases involving aggravating circumstances will result in greater penalties. These penalties are likely to include fines of up to $10,000, multiple months or years of prison time, the revocation of a driver's license for as long as four years, and a DUI education program lasting 30 months.

What defense strategies are available to avoid being convicted of DUI?

If the evidence in a DUI case is weak, it may be possible to reduce a charge to a less serious offense, such as reckless driving, or charges may even be dismissed outright. A knowledgeable DUI attorney will assess your case and determine the best legal defense strategy that will help minimize potential penalties. Some available defense strategies may involve showing that:

  • The police officer did not have probable cause to perform an arrest for DUI;
  • The police officer did not inform the person of their Miranda rights;
  • The police officer made statements that were false or misleading;
  • The defendant had a BAC that was below .08 percent at the time when they were in control of a vehicle;
  • The defendant did not show any signs that they were impaired after being pulled over;
  • The defendant was not actually in control of a vehicle; or
  • The defendant had no other choice than to drive while intoxicated due to a medical emergency or another emergency situation.

How can I avoid a license suspension or revocation?

After you are arrested for DUI, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will notify you that a driver's license suspension will begin in 30 days. The only way to avoid having your license suspension go into effect is to file a DMV administrative hearing request within 10 days of receiving the notice.

By requesting a DMV hearing, you will be able to maintain your driving privileges while waiting for the outcome of the hearing. This buys you some time to potentially resolve your criminal case in a favorable way and prevent the suspension from taking effect. At the hearing, though, you have to be prepared to prove that there were not sufficient legal grounds for your arrest or detention on DUI charges.

Do I have to inform my employer that I was arrested for DUI in Oakland?

Many people are unsure about the ramifications of a DUI charge on their job and whether or not they should inform their employer. It is typically best not to speak with your employer about the arrest, unless you are legally required to do so because of laws that affect your profession or contracts you have signed. It is important to remember that being arrested for drunk driving is not the same as being convicted. If you disclose your situation without knowing how your case will be resolved, it might cause uncertainty and put your job in danger.

I live in a state other than California. Will I be required to return to the state and make a personal appearance in Alameda County courts for legal hearings or other proceedings?

If you are a resident of another state who was arrested on DUI charges in the Oakland area, determining how to proceed with your case can be confusing and scary. To give yourself the best chance of a favorable outcome, it is advisable to contact an attorney right away. A DUI lawyer who has experience in legal proceedings in Alameda County will usually be able to appear in court or DMV hearings for you. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will significantly improve the chances of a positive result for your situation.

How can I determine whether an attorney is the right person to assist with my case?

You will want to choose an attorney who has 10 years or more of experience representing clients in the Alameda County Superior Court and who has a track record of winning cases at trial. Stay clear of deceptive advertisements that you receive in the mail and lawyers that make outlandish claims. You will also want to make sure you are represented by a DUI defense lawyer who has received Board Certification by the National College of DUI Defense. Only five attorneys in California are Board-Certified. Board Certification demonstrates that an attorney has the necessary technical competence, knowledge of the applicable laws, and experience defending individuals charged with driving under the influence.

Contact Our Oakland DUI Defense Lawyer With Any Other Questions

For more than 30 years, Paul Burglin has represented clients charged with drunk driving in Oakland, and he has achieved successful results in numerous cases. In addition to receiving NCDD Board Certification, he is a Regent for the National College of DUI Defense, and he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the National Journal. Paul is also the co-author of the legal guide California Drunk Driving Law, which is frequently referred to by attorneys in the state who are defending clients against DUI charges.

For answers to any other questions about DUI cases in Oakland and Alameda County, contact us at 510-250-5629 for a free, confidential consultation. Our firm provides representation to clients throughout the Bay Area and northern California.

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