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Oakland DUI Attorney

Charged With a DUI in Oakland?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly. In California, it is considered a criminal act, so if you are arrested for a DUI in Oakland, you can expect to be charged and have to appear in court. You will also have to give up your driver’s license and seek reinstatement at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) hearing.

All this can be quite scary and may seem intimidating, especially if it is your first encounter with the law, but DUI’s are the most prosecuted crime in California, so you are not alone.

Granted, you may regret your actions and be apologetic. But what can you do about it?

Once you are charged, the best course of action is to contact a DUI lawyer who will guide you according to your specific case. If there was an accident or injuries involved, or if you have multiple DUI arrests, a well-trained lawyer can offer legal representation and formulate your criminal defense.

As in every criminal case a DUI requires an investigation and evaluation of the evidence from the arrest. Police officers make mistakes. We can ensure the correct protocol was followed and if not, use that failure to your advantage.

Here, we offer the best advice for you to find a qualified Oakland DUI lawyer to offer legal advice.

Oakland DUI Laws and Penalties

A DUI refers to someone driving while under the influence of some kind of substance. Although mostly associated with drunk driving, it also includes the use of drugs and can be referred to as a DWI (driving while intoxicated). The penalties are the same for both and it is up to the court to prove that you were impaired while behind the wheel.

Under California Law, Oakland DUI laws fall under two categories, although most drivers are charged under both sections.

  • Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC makes it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and,
  • Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher.

The law that regulates impaired driving as a result of drug consumption is Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC.

Most first-time DUI offenses are prosecuted as misdemeanors, and may not carry jail time. If you however injure someone or have four or more previous DUIs, the offense may be charged as a felony DUI.

Financial Consequences of a DUI Charge

DUI’s don’t come cheap.

If convicted, you are guaranteed a hefty fine, and depending on the severity of your traffic infraction and prior history, they range between $390 and $5,000.

When combined with penalty assessments, court fees, and substance testing fees, they may reach up to $18,000, we aggressively work on keeping Court fees & fines to a manageable level.

In addition, you may be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device.

We work closely with several companies that can facilitate ignition interlock (IID).

Installation and Maintenance of an Ignition Interlock Device

Under certain circumstances, a DUI offender may be required to install an ignition interlock device or IID in all of their vehicles. Depending on the charge, you may have to use an IID from 6 months, up to 3 years.

This device is about the size of a cell phone and is installed in the dashboard of your car. Unless you provide an alcohol-free breath sample, your car will not start. Once you start driving, it will ask for random samples every 5-15 minutes, and then 45 minutes thereafter.

You have six minutes to give these samples so you have ample time to pull over and breathe into the device. If you fail to give a sample, you can still keep driving, although a ‘fail’ will be logged and reported to the court.

The technology behind this device ensures that you cannot disconnect or tamper with it and it requires a specific breath pattern to ensure only you can give samples. The short cord also ensures your passengers cannot give samples on your behalf and it is a crime to ask anyone else to provide a sample for you.

Criminal Consequences of a DUI Arrest

One of the most obvious consequences of being arrested for a DUI or DWI is being charged with a felony and may result in jail time. You will need a criminal defense attorney to represent you and form a compelling DUI defense.

Serving Jail Time

Driving under the influence can often end up in jail time although many first-time offenders can avoid this.

Instead, you may be asked to pay a fine, take an education course, and serve community service. If imprisoned, a first-time offender will usually serve a maximum of six months although it’s rare for a first-time DUI offender to be sent to jail.

Alternatively, second and third-time offenders usually serve a minimum amount of time in jail depending on the severity of their offenses.

This is almost guaranteed if there is an injury and there may be a prison sentence of up to 10 years, or if a death occurred, there will be a felony charge and mandatory prison sentence of up to 15 years. In the event you are charged with second-degree murder, you could face up to life in prison.

DUIs That Involve Children Can Result in Loss of Custody

Your criminal background is a major factor that the courts take into account when deciding on child custody cases.

They seek to ensure the best interests of the child are met and that they will be safe so if you have a string of DUI cases, they will definitely not work in your favor.

You may not lose physical custody of your child due to a single DUI unless you had your child in the car, or there were some extreme consequences such as fatal injuries or death.

A DUI Conviction Will Affect Any Future Criminal Cases

Under California DUI law, a DUI offense that is less than 10 years old can negatively impact any new DUI case.

This 10-year lookback period allows the prosecution to use these previous DUI arrests as enhancements on the new criminal case. This means you would face increased penalties on the DUI charges.

Personal Consequences of a DUI

Everyone knows the importance of safe driving and especially, driving while sober. However, people are being convicted of traffic infractions every day and the most common consequences—fines and jail time—are well known, yet there are some lesser-known consequences that are just as dire.

Even if there are no visible repercussions, having a DUI will definitely affect your personal life.

In the unfortunate case where there is an accident and great bodily injury occurred, you will be faced with trauma and guilt that can often lead to depression.

Sometimes, this develops into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which will affect your daily life. Memories of the accident invade your thoughts, often leading to depression, anxiety, and mood swings.

More tangible personal consequences include difficulty finding work. DUI crimes appear on your record and employees who perform a background check may not be willing to hire you.

This limits your job opportunities and you may not be able to get employment in the industry of your choice, regardless of your qualifications.

How Does an Attorney Help Your DUI Defense in Court

Facing a DUI charge can be an extremely difficult and often traumatic experience, especially if you have had no previous arrests. You may not understand the process and could find yourself facing overly harsh penalties.

You might wrongly assume that a DUI penalty is like a speeding ticket that will be expunged from your record after a fixed number of years. Or you might accept the consequences such as fines, increased insurance rates, license suspension, and criminal charges without contest.
A skilled Oakland DUI attorney will give you the necessary information and help you develop your defense. We have the knowledge to minimize the consequences of DUI prosecutions
These are some of the ways in which Oakland DUI lawyers will come to your aid.

Ensure Legality of the Field Sobriety Test Procedure and Evidence

Drivers are charged with DUIs after being stopped by the arresting officer who must have sufficient reason to believe that they are intoxicated. The officer is then required to conduct Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) that will either prove or disprove their suspicions.

These tests are essential to determine probable cause, without which the arrest would be illegal, unconstitutional, and can result in this evidence being thrown out of court.

The three standardized field tests, although not 100% accurate, include:

  • Walk-and-turn (WAT) with 79% accuracy
  • One-leg stand with 83% accuracy
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus with 88% accuracy

Some common reasons your Oakland DUI attorney can use to question FSTs and question their accuracy include:

You are physically or mentally ill, on medication, overly tired, or are wearing inappropriate attire such as high heels.

Adverse weather conditions, uneven surfaces, and poor lighting affected your test results.

the officer gave you vague instructions, distracted you, or used non-standardized tests.

If your criminal defense attorney can establish one or more of these circumstances existed during your arrest, a motion to suppress evidence may be in order.

These suppression motions or 1538.5 motions will be filed during the preliminary stages of the case, and if successful, will go a long way toward minimizing your DUI charge.

Preserve Your Driving Rights

If you are arrested for a DUI, the DMV automatically suspends or revokes your driving privileges. DUI and DWI lawyers can challenge this license suspension at the driver’s request for an admin per se hearing. The request must be made within 10 days of the arrest.

A good DUI lawyer will contact the DMV to schedule a hearing and you will be issued with a temporary driver’s license. This means you will still be able to keep driving to and from work until at least the date of the hearing. Before the hearing, the law requires DMV to give us a copy of the police report, any witness statements, and the results of the blood test.

We can slow the process down. You will have your driving privileges until the hearing is conducted and the DMV makes a decision about your license suspension.

Guide you Through the Court Process

If you find yourself arrested for driving under the influence in Oakland, and after being released on bail, you will be appointed an initial court date and be required to appear at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse, 601 Washington Street, Oakland, CA.

This is your first chance to respond to the charges against you and it is in your best interest to engage an experienced Oakland DUI criminal defense attorney immediately. The attorney can probably make the appearance for you, so you will not need to take time off from your work.

An attorney like Louis Goodman who has formed relationships with court personnel including judges will help you fight the criminal charges against you. On top of representing you during the hearing, Oakland DUI lawyers can also help you avoid a DUI conviction, suspension of your license as well as obtain a restricted license.

Accomplished DUI attorneys can also plead down your DUI charges to a lower charge such as reckless driving if you agree to attend DUI school or substance abuse counseling.

How Can You Beat a DUI Charge?

By recruiting learned DUI lawyers, they are able to use various defenses to discredit your arrest, and hopefully, have your DUI overturned. Some of the common defenses include:

  • The police officers did not administer the field sobriety tests correctly, or they used the wrong choice of sobriety tests.
  • You had medical conditions such as a diabetic coma that were mistaken as intoxication.
  • There was the presence of residual mouth alcohol due to acid reflux, dental work, mouthwashes, breath sprays, cough syrups, and chewing tobacco.
  • There was the use of dysfunctional breathalyzers that were miscalibrated or defective.
  • There was police misconduct including lack of probable cause or failure to read Miranda rights.
  • There is contention over the blood samples including contamination or requests for retesting.
  • You had rising blood alcohol, meaning your blood alcohol level was under the legal limit while driving, but rose to illegal levels during the chemical testing.

An Experienced Attorney Can Guide You Through a Difficult Process

Louis Goodman has over 30 years of experience in the judicial system across the greater Alameda County area including Oakland. He has served as an Alameda County Deputy District Attorney as well as a private law practitioner.

He has tried over fifty cases to jury verdict and believes in the importance of safeguarding individual rights. He is passionate about the legal protection of the accused yet still recognizes the responsibility that law enforcement has in protecting the public.

His knowledge as an experienced defense lawyer gives him the ability to help DUI clients understand their Constitutional Rights and his time as a district attorney has made him deeply aware of the impact that legal and judicial decisions have on individuals, families, and businesses.

After spending several years trying and prosecuting cases as a Deputy District Attorney, he has a deep understanding of the law and uses the skills, information, and practice areas he gained as part of his criminal defense law firm.

He uses these skills to represent people who have been charged with criminal offenses including DUIs helps his clients make positive changes to their lives and minimize the consequences after facing the criminal justice system.
As a criminal lawyer, he knows of the Government’s propensity to jail people who have been arrested and accused of a crime but a DUI does not have to result in jail time.

When properly handled by a professional attorney like Mr. Goodman, they can challenge the legality of the process to protect you and determine if the DUI arrest is valid.

How Do I Find the Best DUI Attorney in Oakland?

One of the most important criteria to look for when engaging a DUI attorney is experience. You need someone with thorough knowledge of the Oakland justice system to offer solid advice and guidance.

At the Law Office of Louis J. Goodman, we have 30 years of experience and a team of criminal defense attorneys working for you. Recognized by the legal community with a Martindale Hubbell AV Rating, Louis Goodman has the experience and expertise to handle your legal matter. The AV rating means that he has been ranked by his peers at the highest level for professional excellence, legal expertise, ethical standards, and communication skills. You can be sure that your DUI case is defended by an exceptional expert in criminal defense.

To discuss your case, simply contact us for a free consultation. At no cost, we will review the details of your DUI arrest and advise on the best way forward.


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