Seasoned California Defense Attorney Works to Minimize DUI Penalties
Accomplished Bay Area lawyer represents clients charged with drunk driving
Consuming alcohol or a controlled substance before you get behind the wheel can impair your ability to make smart decisions. It can also result in an arrest for driving under the influence. With more than 40 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney in the Bay Area, Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law understands that drivers and law enforcement officers both make mistakes when it comes to DUIs. Based in Palo Alto, I defend people against unfair charges for drunk or drugged driving, and I pursue reduced charges and lenient punishments to help my clients move past a DUI arrest.
Skilled advocate pursues favorable outcomes to impaired driving charges
If a California driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests at 0.08 percent or higher, he or she will be charged with a DUI. When the driver is younger than the legal drinking age, a BAC of just 0.01 percent can result in that charge. A police officer can make a drugged driving arrest if the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired to an “appreciable degree.”
The penalties imposed for a DUI depend on the level of impairment and the motorist’s record of past DUI incidents, as explained on my DUI FAQ page. Typically, if you are convicted of a DUI in California that does not involve injury or death, you will face the following consequences:
- First offense — Your license can be suspended for up to six months, and a judge has the option of sentencing you to up to six months in jail. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $1,000. I can seek to have your license restricted rather than suspended, which would allow you to maintain important driving privileges while requiring the use of an ignition interlock device.
- Second offense — Your license can be suspended for as long as two years, and you may have to spend between four days and one year in jail. You may also be fined up to $1,000. A judge will likely require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a certain period of time before you can have your full license reinstated.
- Third offense — A third offense carries a license suspension of up to three years, along with 120 days to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,800. You will have to complete ignition interlock device requirements in order to regain your license.
A judge may also order you to participate in a formal program about the dangers of drug and alcohol use. This can be a condition of your probation, which may extend for a period of several years.
Focused Palo Alto lawyer negotiates reduced DUI charges and sentences
Under California law, you must request a hearing within 10 days of your DUI arrest. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, I work to help my clients avoid DUI convictions by challenging the prosecutor’s evidence. When attempting to have charges dismissed, I may question the validity of breathalyzer results or law enforcement’s report of your supposed drug impairment. I also review whether or not the officer had probable cause for your traffic stop.
In instances where a conviction appears likely, I take proactive measures to help my clients avoid the worst outcomes. For a first offense, prosecutors and judges are often more understanding and therefore more willing to work with the defendant. I may be able to plead your DUI down to a reckless driving charge that carries a lesser penalty. If you show that you are working to remedy the cause of your arrest, such as by attending AA meetings, your case may be viewed in a more positive light.
Contact a highly regarded Palo Alto DUI defense attorney for a free initial consultation
At Edwin E. Samuels, Attorney at Law, I help people across the Bay Area to fight DUI charges. To schedule your free initial consultation, call my Palo Alto office at 650-781-6530 or contact me online.