What Do I Need To Know About My San Jose DUI?
Whether this is your first DUI ever or you're on probation for your third DUI and just picked up your fourth DUI, I can handle your case in Santa Clara County (the courthouses of San Jose, Palo Alto and Morgan Hill). Please read on to learn more about what you need to know about your DUI in the criminal court and at the DMV.
Whether your DUI happened in San Jose or in any of the 12 counties where I work, this page has information to help you. I handle DUI cases in Santa Clara County and on occasion in other surrounding counties.
Do I Need A Lawyer For My First Time San Jose DUI?
Some people mistakenly think they don't need an attorney for a first time DUI. It's true that you have the right to represent yourself. But, if you hire a skilled attorney, your chances of getting your case dismissed or reduced can be better than fighting the case on your own, because the attorney's abilities will be used to your potential benefit.
I'm Guilty So Shouldn't I Just Plead Guilty To My San Jose DUI?
People charged with a DUI sometimes think that just because they feel that they are guilty, they should plead guilty, and put the case behind them. This is actually not a good idea. It's best to plead "not guilty", which does not mean you are not guilty of the DUI. What this means is you demand that the government prove up their case against you.
What Can An Attorney Do For Me In My San Jose DUI Case?
Your attorney will start by pleading "not guilty" to your DUI case. Then, the attorney will begin the process of gathering up all the evidence in your case. There's not just a police report. The government creates more evidence before, during and after the police report is prepared. Even if a person who represents themselves obtains this further evidence, they are no match for the skill and analysis an attorney will apply to determine how the evidence impacts the case.
The further items of evidence include, but are not limited to things like: 911 calls, police radio recordings, body-worn camera footage, patrol-car mounted video recordings, photos, witness statements, evidence from the crime lab, and more. It takes time for your attorney to gather up, and analyze, all of this evidence.
Only by the skilled and careful analysis of all the evidence will an attorney be able to give you an opinion, and be able to fight it with all the facts in mind. This cannot and will not happen if you simply plead guilty at the first court date.
Will I Lose My Driver's License Because Of My San Jose DUI Arrest?
When a person has a DUI, two legal cases arise. One legal case is with the DMV. The DMV case deals with your driving privilege. The other legal case is with the criminal court. That case deals with your criminal record, and things like jail, fines, fees and probation.
From the date of the DUI, you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. That's a really short period of time! If you do not make the request properly, and on time, your driving privilege will be suspended 30 days after the date of the DUI. The DMV hearing is different, but related to, your criminal court DUI case.
Is It Worth Hiring An Attorney For The DMV and The Criminal Court?
In short, yes. Although the DMV hearing and the criminal court are two separate proceedings, there is a connection between both of these legal cases. They both arise out of the same DUI. Evidence and results obtained in the DMV case can be introduced in the criminal case. If you don't hire an attorney for the DMV, and the criminal court, you will never know what results an attorney could have achieved for you.
Do I Have A Right To An Attorney in My San Jose DUI Case?
In your criminal court DUI case, you have a constitutional right to an attorney. If you can't afford one, the court will appoint one to represent. The government will pay that lawyer. You can also hire your own attorney, at your own expense, for the criminal court DUI case.
But, with the DMV, you do not have a constitutional right to an attorney. If you can't afford an attorney for your DMV case, the DMV will not appoint one to represent you. If you cannot afford to pay for your own attorney for the DMV case, you have no choice but to represent yourself, as your own lawyer.
Can't I Just Represent Myself At the San Jose DMV?
Being your own lawyer at the DMV is not an easy job!
One mistake may impact your criminal court DUI case. Specific rules and laws apply to DMV hearings, and a non-lawyer is really not equipped to handle the job.
Don't be fooled by the fact that a DMV hearing takes place at the DMV office, and not inside of an actual courthouse.
The DMV case decision can have long-term consequences on your driving record, insurance rates, and your ability to secure employment.
What's The Most Important Thing For Me To Do Right After My San Jose DUI Arrest?
You only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing. The 10 days pass in a blink of an eye. The DMV does not allow late requests for a DMV hearing. So, the most important thing to do right after your DUI arrest is to hire an attorney to request the DMV hearing for you. That way, your right to a DMV hearing is preserved. Otherwise, that right is lost.
Do you offer free consultations for criminal cases?
My time is valuable and so is yours. So, if you need to talk about getting help on your criminal defense case, or your DUI case, there is a charge to consult with me in person or by phone. In person visits are not available during the pandemic.
Consultations on criminal defense cases and DMV hearings are $225 for a 30 minute phone consultation with me, Attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner.
These payments are only accepted through PayPal by clicking the yellow Pay Now button:
In the message box, please write 30 min.
But, the good news is that if you hire me after the phone consultation, for the case about which we spoke, the $225 gets credited to your account.