San Jose, CA DUI lawyer

It is illegal to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. In California, a blood-alcohol content of .08% is considered drunk driving. California‚Äôs drunk driving law is also a drugged driving law. If you are pulled over while driving in California, and an officer suspects you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer can legally require you to take a blood or urine test. The results of these tests can lead to a DUI arrest and possible conviction. 

If you face a DUI charge, it is critical to secure skilled legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you.

First-Time DUI Penalties 

A first DUI conviction in California is classified as a misdemeanor. A first DUI carries between $390 and $1,000 in fines plus a number of penalty assessments that can increase the amount the driver has to pay. Other potential penalties include a four-month license suspension, jail time, alcohol classes, and a stain on your criminal record for a conviction, which can impact your employability and ability to secure loans.

Penalties for Multiple DUI

Penalties escalate for a second DUI offense, which can carry up to a one-year jail sentence, $1,000 fine, one-year license suspension, and three to five years of probation. These penalties increase with each subsequent DUI conviction. More severe penalties can be handed down if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) level was above 0.15%, you had a passenger under the age of 14 in the car with you, or you were driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit at the time of your arrest. 

Ignition Interlock Device

A California DUI prevention law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. This law states that drunk driving repeat offenders are required to connect a device to their vehicle to check their sobriety. An ignition interlock device (IID) is approximately the size of a cell phone and is wired to your vehicle's ignition. It connects to a breathalyzer and will prevent a car from starting if the driver surpasses a determined BAC level. 

Convicted drunk drivers in California are responsible for the IID cost, approximately $3 a day, and may be required to use it for a period of 12 to 48 months. Some first offenders can choose to install an IID for six months instead of having a restricted license for one year. 

Contact a Santa Clara County DUI Lawyer 

If you face DUI charges, the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson is ready to fight to preserve your driving privileges and keep a conviction off your record. Contact our San Jose criminal defense attorney at 408-246-3004 for a free initial consultation. We serve the San Jose, Santa Clara County, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Milpitas, CA areas.