Bay Area DUI Lawyer
DUIs are one of the most common crimes in the Bay Area. One simple mistake like deciding to drive home after a couple glasses of wine can lead to several problems now and down the road. Not only can a DUI lead to criminal penalties like jail time, fines, and a criminal record, but it can also lead to other problems such as driver’s license suspension, increased vehicle insurance costs, and trouble finding gainful employment – like popular ridesharing or delivery gigs.
If you are facing DUI charges in the Bay Area, it would be wise to consult with an experienced defense attorney. The Bay Area DUI lawyers at The Nieves Law Firm have experience handling DUI cases and we understand the negative consequences associated with them. We will work with you to fight your charges and try to find the best possible outcome based on your future goals. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation. En Espanol
Why The Nieves Law Firm DUI Representation is Unique
Many different lawyers throughout the Bay Area offer DUI representation, but you should be mindful that DUI litigation can come at a cost. Oftentimes, you get what you pay for. If you are looking for an attorney to quickly plea you out to a DUI charge – then hiring a low-cost lawyer may be right for you. Some attorneys can provide DUI representation at low fees knowing there will be a fast resolution and limited litigation. These attorneys can plea you out quickly and move onto the next case. This is not how we operate at The Nieves Law Firm.
At The Nieves Law Firm, we are fully invested in our clients’ futures. We work with our clients to tailor a defense strategy that accounts for not only your current DUI charges, but also your plans for the future, employment, licensing requirements, and the impact on your overall reputation and career. We perform a needs analysis with you to ensure our representation takes your goals into account. We won’t plea you down to a charge that could possibly have negative consequences down the road unless you specifically ask us to. And, if you want to fight your charges, our team is fully prepared to go to trial on your behalf.
DUI charges can be impactful, and their consequences can be long-lasting even after the case comes to a close. Our office seeks exceptional results, not the typical resolution. We have handled everything from misdemeanor Reckless Driving offenses and First DUI offenses to 2nd DUIs, 3rd DUIs, and felony 4th DUIs. We have also litigated DUIs with bodily injury and felony DUIs with gross bodily injury. At The Nieves Law Firm, we take the “criminal” out of criminal defense – no matter the DUI charge we are here to work on getting the ideal results for our clients and we do not take that task lightly. Contact a Bay Area DUI lawyer on our team today to schedule a confidential consultation.
Types of DUI Charges in the Bay Area
While DUIs are very common, there are different DUI charges you may face based on what you consumed and how impaired you were at the time of the traffic stop. DUIs can be categorized as a Misdemeanor DUI, a Felony DUI, a Manslaughter DUI, a Drug DUI, and a Marijuana DUI.
Most DUIs are misdemeanor offenses. A DUI will typically be charged as a misdemeanor when it is a 1st DUI, 2nd DUI, or a 3rd DUI without injury or with very minor injuries. The penalties associated with a misdemeanor DUI include up to 6 months in county jail for a 1st DUI or 1 year in jail for a DUI with a prior, fines, and driver’s license suspension. You may also be required to attend DUI or drug and alcohol courses, put an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle, and take any additional classes imposed as a term of your probation (i.e. parenting classes, AA classes, etc.).
A DUI will be charged as a felony if it is a 4th DUI or there are other aggravating factors such as gross bodily injury or death. A felony DUI is punishable by state prison, substantial fines and fees, and driver’s license suspension along with other terms and conditions of probation or parole. Some of the most common terms include abstaining from alcohol, not possessing alcohol, and not frequenting locations where alcohol is the primary product sold or distributed.
A DUI that leads to the death of another person is considered a manslaughter DUI. It may be charged as gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Penal Code 191.5(a)) or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (Penal Code 191.5(b)). A PC 191.5(b) vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated DUI can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the details of the case, and the penalties can change depending on how the crime is charged. The primary difference between the two charges is the level of negligence involved. The act of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and violating a law is not enough to establish gross negligence. Gross negligence calls for consideration of the level of intoxication, the manner of driving, and other relevant aspects of the individual’s conduct. A person acts with gross negligence when their reckless conduct creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury and a reasonable person would know that acting that way would create the risk of death or GBI.
A gross vehicular manslaughter DUI is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison while a vehicular manslaughter DUI with ordinary negligence is punishable by up to 4 years in state prison as a felony or 1 year in county jail as a misdemeanor. The level of negligence and recklessness has a substantial bearing on the consequences.
A drug DUI occurs when an individual is charged with a DUI while under the influence of drugs. Common examples of drugs that could lead to a drug DUI include painkillers like hydrocodone, anti-anxiety medication like Xanax, and other controlled substances. Individuals charged with a drug DUI will face the similar penalties as somebody charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of alcohol.
While marijuana is legal at the state level for both medical and recreational use in California, it is still against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. The penalties associated with a DUI conviction for marijuana are nearly the same as those associated with a DUI related to drunk driving. Unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, however, there is no standard limit or amount of THC a person can consume and still operate a motor vehicle legally.
Contact a Bay Area DUI Attorney
While DUIs are one of the most common crimes committed throughout the US, the associated penalties for a DUI in California are far-reaching and severe. If you are convicted of a DUI, you could face jail time, have to pay fines, and will have a criminal record that can affect several areas of your life. A DUI conviction could lead to other consequences like having your driver’s license suspended, increased insurance costs, and trouble maintaining employment in certain industries.
At The Nieves Law Firm, we are committed to providing you with a DUI defense strategy centered around your life and your goals. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation and see how our Bay Area DUI attorneys can help you fight your charges.