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San Jose CA DUI defense lawyerIn California, getting a DUI is an extremely serious matter. In addition to fines and criminal penalties, there is also the impact on your driver’s license, the increased costs, and the potential damage to your job or reputation. When considering whether you need legal help in defending yourself against these charges, it is important to consider these ramifications. The following outlines what to expect based on whether you have any prior DUIs on your driving record, along with some of the defenses our San Jose DUI defense attorneys may be able to raise in your case.  

Could You Be Facing a Jail Sentence for a DUI? 

Under California law, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or greater. Law enforcement officials have the authority to pull you over, detain you, and press criminal charges in the matter if they have a reasonable suspicion you are operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance. 

As drunk driving is a leading cause of car accidents and injuries throughout the state, California takes a strong stand against suspected DUI drivers. Penalties you face depend on whether you have previously been convicted on a DUI offense or whether anyone was injured as the result of your actions. These penalties include: 

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San Jose CA DUI defense lawyerNo matter the circumstances, a DUI is always a serious charge that can carry pretty serious circumstances. When you cause the death or bodily injury of another while you are driving under the influence of alcohol, all of a sudden those charges become even more serious and you will probably face felony charges, rather than misdemeanor charges. When you are charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, you could face years in jail, among other consequences.

DUI With Injury: VEH 23153

If you cause injury to another person while you are driving under the influence, you can be charged with a DUI with injury as per the California Vehicle Code. In order to be charged with this crime, it must be proven that you violated at least one of California’s DUI laws, that you broke another law or acted negligently while driving and that the negligence caused an injury to someone else. DUI with injury can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Typically, a misdemeanor charge will carry a sentence of five days to one year in county jail, informal probation for three to five years, up to $5,000 in fines and a suspension of your driving privileges.

Vehicular Manslaughter and Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated: PEN 191.5(b) and PEN 191.5(a)

If you cause the death of another person while you were driving under the influence, you may be charged with either vehicular manslaughter or gross vehicular manslaughter. Essentially, these two charges are the same thing, but with a gross vehicular manslaughter charge, it must be proven that you acted with gross negligence when you caused the death. Gross negligence occurs when you act in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury and most people would have known that the reckless act created the high risk of death or bodily injury.

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San Jose CA felony DUI defense attorneyTypically, a DUI will be classified as a misdemeanor offense when you are charged for your first, second or third DUI. However, there are circumstances that will lead to felony DUI charges usually if there is an “aggravating factor” present. It is important to understand how the specific circumstances alleged by police and prosecutors will affect your legal situation and the kind of penalties you might be facing.

DUI Causing Great Bodily Injury or Death to Another

One of the more common ways that a DUI will be classified as felony charge is by causing bodily injury or death to another person while you are driving. California Vehicle Code Section 23153 states that you do not have to have a certain BAC to be convicted of this felony charge. In order to be charged with this felony, you must have a measurable amount of alcohol in your system while driving and have committed a crime or an act of negligence that caused great bodily injury or death to another person.

Three or More DUI Convictions Within the Past 10 Years

The first three times you are charged with a DUI will more than likely be charged as misdemeanors. In California, there are what are known as “priorable offenses” a priorable offense is one that gets gradually more strict with each conviction. DUI is a priorable offense, so if you get more than three offenses within 10 years, your fourth offense will become a felony.

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fatal DUI accident, San Jose car accident attorneys, drinking and driving, felony DUI, fatal car accidentsDrinking alcohol and getting behind the wheel is a dangerous combination and can lead to car accidents and injuries that can be severe and life threatening. When fatal accidents do occur, it is particularly tragic and tough on surviving family members, especially knowing that it could have easily been prevented. A recent fatal DUI accident involving a female driver in San Jose highlights the potential dangers of drinking and driving and the devastating consequences that can occur as a result.

San Jose Drunk Driver Responsible For Fatal DUI Accident

In late March 2018, the Mercury News reported on a fatal DUI-related accident that involved a San Jose woman and three teenagers on a spring break trip. The crash occurred on I-5 near Los Banos, which killed two of the teens involved, and left the third with serious injuries.

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Posted on in DUI

DUI expungement, San Jose criminal defense lawyer, felony DUI, DUI conviction, DUI chargesDriving under the influence, i.e. operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol to the extent that you are not able to drive as cautiously as a sober person, is a serious crime in California. Those convicted of driving under the influence (commonly referred to as “getting a DUI”) in California can be fined, sentenced to serve time in prison, ordered to complete a drug and alcohol awareness program, have their driver’s license suspended, and/or have an ignition interlock device installed on their car. But these are just a few of the potential consequences that DUI offenders face.

Additionally there is a social stigma that often accompanies having a DUI on your record, and such a blemish may impact your ability to find work, especially if you were convicted of a felony DUI (opposed to a misdemeanor DUI). However, there is some good news; under certain circumstances a California DUI conviction can be expunged.

What Does it Mean to Have a DUI Conviction Expunged?

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