Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

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San Jose Under 21 DUI Lawyer

Los Gatos DUI under 21 defense lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorney For Under Age Drunk Driving in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and Los Gatos CA

If you are charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, you may face severe penalties including hefty fines, revocation of driving privilege, and mandatory alcohol education classes. Many people believe that underage individuals are exempt from these penalties. However, underage individuals who are charged with drunk driving can face these—and even more serious—consequences. Therefore, if you or your child are under the age of 21 and are being charged with driving under the influence, contact the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson today.

Penalties for Underage DUI

In California, there is a "zero tolerance" law (V.C. 23136) regarding driving under the influence. If an individual under the age of 21 has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01 percent or more while operating a motor vehicle, the driver faces the following penalties:

  • The driver's license will be suspended for one year if the violation was the first offense. If it is the second offense within 10 years of the first offense, the license will be suspended for two years. If it is the third or subsequent offense within 10 years of the second offense, the license will be suspended for 3 years. California's implied consent law states that if a driver was stopped for probable cause and refused to submit to a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, his or her license may be suspended for one year.
  • California Vehicle Code 23140 states that if a driver under the age of 21 has a BAC of 0.05% or greater, then the driver will be required to enroll in an alcohol education program and may be fined $100 in addition to revocation of driving privilege.

After 30 days of an individual's license suspension have passed, the individual may apply for a critical need driver's license if there is a critical need to drive and if the person completed a chemical screening or PAS test with a BAC level of 0.01% or greater. Only first-time DUI offenders are eligible for a critical need driver's license.

Oftentimes, young DUI offenders believe that their DUI charge is just a driving ticket, so they plead guilty in court without comprehending the consequences. It is essential to understand that driving under the influence is an infraction. If an underage defendant pleads guilty to driving under the influence, he or she could have his or her license suspended for an entire year. Such a penalty will restrict the defendant's freedom of movement and easy accessibility to places and resources. Therefore, you should not be quick to plead guilty to a DUI charge.

Challenging a DUI Charge

There are several ways a skilled lawyer can defend their clients against a DUI charge. Some of the methods we utilize for our clients' defense include:

  • Ensuring Title 17 regulations were met while blood was drawn to test for an individual's BAC. Title 17 of California's code of regulations consist of set requirements on how DUI blood tests are conducted. For example, blood tests that are used to determine if an individual was driving under the influence must be conducted by authorized technicians and the preservative in the blood vial must not be expired. If these requirements are not met, the results of a DUI blood test can be challenged.
  • Determining if the law enforcement official that stopped the defendant had probable cause. An individual has the right to refuse a PAS test if the police officer that stopped him or her did not have probable cause for doing so. We may be able to challenge a charge for refusal to take a PAS test if the officer that pulled over the defendant did not have reasonable grounds for doing so
  • Determining if the police officer that stopped the defendant warned him or her about the consequences of refusing to take the PAS test. If the law enforcement official failed to inform the defendant that refusing the PAS test would result in the suspension of their license, then the defendant may have had the right to refuse a test.

Skilled DUI Lawyer in Santa Clara County

If you are facing a suspension of your license or other penalties for refusing to take a DUI chemical test or for driving under the influence, contact the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson. Our criminal defense lawyer will work to get your DUI charges reduced and obtain the most lenient sentence possible for you. Attorney Erik Johnson strives to produce the results that his clients desire for their cases. His commitment to his clients is why he is a trusted name in legal representation. Call us at 408-246-3004, or contact us online. We serve clients in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County and throughout the San Francisco bay area.

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