San Jose DUI Defense Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked DUI Arrest Questions to Protect Legal Defense Rights of Clients in San Jose, CA Area

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San Jose Criminal defense lawyer Cameron Bowman educates those in the San Jose, CA area about DUI defense matters.

Exclusively on his website (http://www.CameronBowman.com), Attorney Cameron Bowman, a former Trial Attorney of the Year in Santa Clara County dedicates himself to educate those in the San Jose, CA area about the specific issues surrounding a Dui Arrest.

The most Frequestly asked Questions surrounding Dui Defense issues in the San Jose and Northern California area are as follows:

1. I just got arrested for a DUI, can I wait until I go to court to take care of it?
No, it is important that you act quickly after being arrested for a DUI.
If you do not have your DUI attorney apply for a DMV hearing and a "stay" of your driver's license suspension within 10 days after your arrest your California driving privilege will be suspended. In fact, if you miss this 10 day deadline your license will be automatically suspended thirty (30) days after your arrest.

2. Why do I need to hire an attorney to apply for a DMV hearing and a "stay"?
It is best to have a California DUI attorney make the application for a DMV hearing. It is important to make sure that it is done correctly and also to set the hearing on an appropriate date for the attorney's calendar. Remember, if the application is not made correctly within 10 calendar days, it will be too late.

3. Can these DMV hearings ever be won?
Yes, these hearings can be won.
However, DMV hearings are a technical area for which you should seek the advice of an experienced California DUI attorney. According to the DMV's statistics for a recent year, 34% of all people who were suspended for DUI at the time of their arrest kept their driver's license by requesting a hearing to fight the suspension. However, these hearings are highly technical and won on technical issues. Rarely, if ever, do untrained people representing themselves have success before the DMV. You need to be represented by a criminal DUI lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the laws and cases that are relevant in this area.

4. What will happen to me in the Criminal Courts if I am convicted of DUI?
Part of the reason to hire an experienced DUI lawyer is the wide variety of sentences that can result from a DUI. You can receive anything from probation, a fine and a driver's license restriction or minimum "weekender work" jail sentence( for a first offense) to increased jail exposure, longer school and the requirement of placing an interlock on your ignition switch (for multiple offenders), to State prison and a driver's license revocation (for a serious felony).
The sentence depends on a number of factors:
1.    Whether this is your first offense.
2.    Whether your blood alcohol level is over a certain level.
3.    Whether or not there was an accident in your case, or in a case involving an earlier conviction.
4.    Whether you are charged with a "speeding enhancement" or other traffic violation.
5.    Whether someone was injured in your case.
6.    Whether you are on probation or parole or have a criminal record.

Given the wide variety of factors that may go into a criminal sentence it makes sense to consult with an experienced DUI attorney before going to court. Only by speaking with an attorney can you get accurate information about your possible exposure to increased sentencing, and find out what can be done to lessen that exposure.

5. Will hiring an attorney really make any difference?
People often will hear from their friends that it is a "waste of money" to hire a DUI attorney. This is nonsense. People would never dream of doing their own surgery. And yet these same people will walk into a court room and plead guilty without any advice as to their rights or knowledge of the possible consequences.
A well trained lawyer with experience in the area of DUI law can make a difference. A DUI lawyer who specializes in this area can get cases dismissed, reduced or at the very least minimize the harm to the client.

At the very least, most people charged with a DUI need a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to guide them through this complicated system. In fact, many clients don't want the embarrassment and hassle of going to court. In most cases, a DUI attorney can make every court appearance without his client ever appearing in court. This includes taking a plea on his/her behalf or appearing at time of sentencing.

6. What happens if my blood alcohol level result turns out to be under a .08% (the "legal limit")?
Many persons arrested for a DUI make the mistake of "waiting" to find out their blood alcohol before hiring a DUI attorney. They are under the mistaken impression that if the blood alcohol level is under a .08 they cannot be charged with a DUI.
In you the law also prohibits "Driving Under the Influence". Thus you can be, charged with Driving Under the Influence with a blood level below the .08% level.

7. What are some of the circumstances that may lead to me being charged with a felony?
A DUI charge may be a felony if one of the following is true:
1.    You have three (3) or more DUI's in the past 10 years.
2.    You have a prior felony within the past 10 yrs.
3.    Someone other than yourself was injured in an accident that you were involved in while driving under the influence.
In most of these cases the Court has the option of reducing the charges to misdemeanors instead of felonies depending on how old the priors and the severity (or lack of severity) of the charges.
10. Why am I charged with two violations that sound like DUI charges on my paperwork, when I only drove once?
These are simply two alternate ways of charging one act:
1. 23152(a) V.C. is the charge of driving under the influence (being an impaired driver), regardless of whether you are accused of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs (even prescription drugs), and regardless if your blood alcohol level was .08% or higher.
2. 23152 (b) V.C. is the charge of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or over, regardless of whether you were actually impaired as a driver.

Although this information is not intended to be a guide in the defense of a particular case as each criminal case is different, hopefully it serves an educational purpose.

•Attorney Cameron Bowman provides professional legal services as a criminal defense lawyer for Northern California including but not limited to Santa Clara County, San Jose, San Mateo County and Alameda County. Attorney Bowman can be reached personally by visiting his website at: http://www.CameronBowman.com or by calling 408-299-0482.

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