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Award-Winning Oakland DUI Lawyers & DUI Attorneys

Arrested for DUI in Oakland? Don’t leave your fate to chance.

The playing field is tilted against you, but with The Nieves Law Firm in your corner, we will leverage every advantage to win.

As one of the largest criminal defense firms in the Bay Area, we have a robust legal team and a proven track record to strategically protect your rights.

We won’t sugarcoat the seriousness of DUI penalties if improperly handled. That’s why individualized defense is critical. We will conduct an in-depth review of your case to build a customized strategy aimed at the best possible outcome.

The justice system provides little mercy. Standing alone, the odds are stacked against you. But with our Oakland DUI lawyers as your advocates, you’ll have over a decade of experience on your side.

Is It Time To Call A DUI Lawyer in Oakland, CA?

Many of the basic prohibitions against impaired driving in California are set forth in California Vehicle Code §23152. The first provision in this section simply states that “[i]t is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” The second provision specifically prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.

Therefore, someone may be found to be driving illegally in one of two ways—either based on a chemical test measuring blood alcohol or based on conduct showing that they are substantially affected by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

One key element of both provisions is that the individual charged must have “driven” a vehicle while impaired in order for a violation to occur. So, in certain cases, this caveat could provide grounds for a defense by an Oakland DUI defense lawyer.

Driving Under the Influence Charges in Oakland, California

California law establishes several types of DUI charges for driving under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. Being aware of the different offenses and penalties can help you understand the options if you face charges.

First-Time DUI Offenses

Under California law, a DUI conviction is treated as a prior offense for ten years, and penalties for a first-offense DUI are more severe than in many other jurisdictions and increase significantly for subsequent offenses.

Underage DUI

Drivers under the age of 21 face DUI charges if testing reveals a blood alcohol content of 0.01% or higher. The underage DUI law aims to discourage any level of drinking before getting behind the wheel.

Felony DUI

A DUI elevates to a felony charge in certain aggravated circumstances. These include causing injury or death while driving intoxicated or accumulating multiple DUI offenses within a 10-year window. Felony DUIs lead to increased penalties.

Drugged Driving

California’s DUI laws cover impairment caused by drugs other than alcohol, including illegal substances, prescription medications, and over-the-counter products. Drivers face charges if pulled over while intoxicated by these substances.

Marijuana DUI

Despite legalization, driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal. Drivers who test positive for an impairing level of THC can face misdemeanor or felony marijuana DUI charges, depending on the circumstances.

Possible Penalties of a DUI Conviction

A DUI charge can be devastating for a number of different reasons, and some of these reasons are not even related to the penalties you will face from the court. An experienced Oakland DUI lawyer can work to minimize the impact of your DUI.

Some of the most common consequences of a DUI conviction include:

  • Driver’s License Suspension/Revocation
  • Probation and Drug Testing
  • A Conviction on Your Criminal Record
  • Court-Mandated Alcohol Treatment
  • Incarceration
  • Increased Insurance Rates (SR-22)
  • DUI School
  • Ignition Interlock Device

Criminal penalties for a first offense DUI include up to six months in jail, up to 3-5 years of probation, and fines of up to $1,000. For a second offense DUI within a ten-year period, there is a maximum term of imprisonment of one year, although in some cases, any imposed sentence may be served under house arrest or through a work alternative program.

If a driver is convicted of a third offense DUI within a ten-year period, the penalties increase substantially, including a minimum mandatory sentence of 120 days. Fourth offense DUIs can be a felony offense that results in incarceration in state prison.

However, there are defensive strategies that could result in a less severe outcome in your case. An experienced Oakland DUI lawyer could help you protect your rights and reach the best possible resolution based on your unique circumstances.

Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases

Most crimes, DUIs included, have certain details referred to as “aggravating factors” that can lead to harsher penalties. If you are found to have been in violation of aggravating factors, the penalties you are facing will increase dramatically.

Some of the most common aggravating factors in DUI cases that can lead to more severe penalties include:

  • Elevated BAC (Over .15%)
  • Driving on a Suspended License
  • Driving Under the Influence with a Minor
  • Accident Resulting in Property Damage or Injuries
  • Reckless Driving
  • Excessive Speeding

Driving License Suspensions & Revocation

In most cases if you are charged with a DUI, you will face a driver’s license suspension. The length of your suspension, however, depends on a number of different things.

For example, if you take a field sobriety test, you may face a more severe driver’s license suspension than if you didn’t. Also, prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years play a role in the length of your driver’s license suspension.

Typically, first-offense DUIs with no other aggravating factors will result in a 4-month administrative suspension and a 6-month suspension from the court. However, if you refuse to take a chemical test for any reason, you will face a license suspension of up to one year.

A second offense DUI that occurred within a 10-year timeframe from your prior conviction will result in a two-year license suspension from criminal court and a twelve-month suspension from the DMV if you took the chemical test. If you refuse the chemical test, then you can face a two-year revocation from the DMV.

A third-offense DUI could result in a suspension of up to three years if you take the chemical test or a three-year revocation if you refuse. Whether or not you will face a suspension will be determined at an APS Hearing.


APS Hearings for DUI Charges in Oakland

APS stands for “Administrative Per Se,” and an APS hearing is the result of a DUI charge handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Unlike a criminal hearing or trial, which takes place in court and may result in potential jail time or fines, the consequences of an APS hearing are strictly related to driving and are conducted by the California DMV. Specifically, these hearings take place to determine whether or not you should be allowed to continue to operate a motor vehicle or have your license suspended.

They may also allow you to operate a motor vehicle under specific conditions, such as with an ignition interlock device. It is important to note that an Oakland DUI lawyer can represent you during this phase of the DUI process, even though it is held by the DMV and not the California courts.

There is a strict timeline for APS hearings that all individuals must abide by, and you must request an APS hearing if you want to contest your license suspension. For an APS hearing, the driver has ten days (from the date of his/her arrest) to request a hearing. Failing to request a hearing within that timeframe will result in an automatic suspension of their license.

At this hearing, drivers have the ability to challenge any evidence against them, present witnesses, and testify. An experienced DUI attorney in Oakland could help you work through your DMV hearing to protect your rights and work to ensure you do not lose your ability to operate a motor vehicle.

At The Nieves Law Firm, we have experience with APS hearings and have been able to secure favorable outcomes for clients at this stage of the DUI process.

Why Choose The Nieves Law Firm as Your Oakland DUI Attorneys

At The Nieves Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients find a legal solution that allows them to lead fulfilling lives. In fact, one of the first things we do when you schedule a free consultation is to discuss your goals when hiring our law office.

Why? This allows us to build a DUI defense strategy that takes your future plans into account.

Some attorneys who practice primarily DUI cases only have one goal in mind: pleading down your case, regardless of how that could impact your plans for the future.

Our criminal defense law firm is committed to providing legal representation that is tailored to you and your life. When we take on a DUI case, our primary focus isn’t on just getting your case pled down and moving on to the next one.

No, we truly care about our clients and their futures. Our Oakland DUI lawyers will work to find you a legal solution that is customized to your case, your life, and your future goals. If you need a legal team that is focused on you, contact The Nieves Law Firm to schedule a free consultation.


At The Nieves Law Firm, we believe in compassion, forgiveness, and rehabilitation. That people are beautiful and change just like seasons.

We believe in thoughtful communication and plans for a brighter future. We believe in restoring reputations and dreams. That we aren’t defined by our worst mistakes, and obstacles are meant to be over. We believe in taking the “criminal” out of criminal defense.

Get Legal Help From an Oakland DUI Attorney Today

If you are arrested for a DUI in Oakland, there are numerous defenses that could be raised in opposition to a DUI charge. From challenging the testing procedures to the actions taken by law enforcement, an experienced DUI attorney in Oakland may be able to choose the right defensive strategies to help reach the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us for a free consultation to learn how a local attorney could help.

Top-Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving the Bay Area

The Nieves Law Firm is dedicated to providing aggressive criminal defense representation to working professionals who have found themselves in trouble with the law. We show up to win, and we’re not afraid to fight aggressively to accomplish our client’s goals.

We understand that being accused of a crime can be a scary and confusing experience. That’s why we take the stress off our clients by handling the full scope of their legal situation from the initial consultation to the final outcome. Our bilingual attorneys and staff are here to ensure that our clients feel heard and understood every step of the way.

As one of the largest criminal defense teams in Oakland and the Greater Bay Area, we have the resources and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced team examines various aspects of your case and, perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about our clients and their future. We take the time to learn about their goals and priorities so that we can achieve an outcome that allows them to move past their mistakes and focus on the future they want. When you work with us, you become part of our team.

Our Team

Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have experience handling a wide range of criminal cases. With a deep understanding of the legal system and a track record of successful cases, our lawyers are committed to achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

Meet Our Team

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys: How to Take Back Control of Your Life, And Your Future.

When facing a criminal charge, having dedicated and experienced attorneys on your side is critical. At The Nieves Law Firm, we understand the gravity of your situation, and our criminal defense attorneys provide unwavering support and legal guidance.

From the moment you reach out to us, we prioritize your well-being and legal interests. Our criminal lawyers are with you every step of the way, from arrest to hearings and beyond, to ensure that your rights are protected. Whether you’re facing charges related to DUI, drug offenses, assault, sex crimes or any other allegation, we have the knowledge and courtroom experience to fight vigorously on your behalf.

We believe in the power of collaboration and will actively involve you in the decision-making process, ensuring you are well-informed and empowered to make the best choices for your defense. Our goal is not only to navigate the legal complexities but also to provide you with the peace of mind and reassurance you deserve during this challenging time.

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FAQs: Oakland DUI Lawyer

What is a "Wet Reckless" in a DUI Case?

Two of the most sought-after plea agreements when facing a first-offense DUI charge are a “Wet Reckless” or a Dry Reckless. In essence, a Wet Reckless and a Dry Reckless are nicknames given to violations of the Reckless Driving statute (VC §23103). The appealing parts of these resolutions are that a Dry Reckless does not count as a DUI prior and does not result in a license suspension, while a Wet Reckless typically has reduced consequences, lower fines, no automatic suspension, and shorter DUI classes than a standard DUI resolution.

Unlike a “Dry Reckless,” which implies that no drugs or alcohol were involved, a Wet Reckless implies that you were driving recklessly under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Both resolutions have less severe penalties than a DUI and have more administrative options when it comes to your driver’s license. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your DUI case and help you determine if a Wet Reckless or a Dry Reckless may be a possible resolution for you.

Do DUls Impact Immigration Status?

Like most things in the justice system, the impact of a DUI conviction on your immigration status depends on other factors. This is why you should hire a dedicated Oakland DUI lawyer if you’re facing DUI charges and are worried about your immigration status.

First and foremost, if you are undocumented and charged with a DUI, an arrest can lead to immigration consequences such as deportation, depending on the results of immigration proceedings. However, if you are a legal immigrant, then oftentimes, a single DUI conviction will not have a significant impact on your ability to remain in the United States because DUI is not listed as a deportable crime in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

If other criminal charges accompany your DUI charge, then your immigration status may be impacted depending on the exact charges you face. Another aspect of DUI charges is the effect they have on your immigration applications, such as DACA. A DUI conviction could work against you if you are undergoing the naturalization process or if you are a minor applying for DACA.

When determining whether your criminal charges will impact your immigration status, you must first understand criminal intent and the role it plays. Basically, crimes involving “moral turpitude,” like those with intent, have a negative impact on your immigration status. If you are unsure of the immigration consequences you are facing, you should contact a defense attorney who has experience handling cases with potential immigration consequences. At The Nieves Law Firm, we take immigration consequences seriously, and we can work with you to minimize the impact of your DUI charge or prior DUI conviction on your immigration status.

DUI Defense for CDLs (Commercial Driver's Licenses)

Anyone with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) understands the impact that a DUI conviction could have on their livelihood. Something as simple as a license suspension could lead to employment problems for individuals who need their CDL to do their job. In California, there are two distinct tiers of CDLs– Class B and Class C. The penalties are the same for both classes of commercial driver’s licenses in California. If you need a CDL for your line of work and you’re charged with a DUI, you should contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Commercial drivers face stricter regulations when operating a commercial vehicle than others on the roadway, especially as it relates to DUIs. For example, someone driving a commercial vehicle needs to only have a BAC above .04% to be charged with a DUI, which is half the BAC that a regular driver must have to be charged with a DUI (.08%).

Additionally, the penalties individuals with a CDL face are more severe than other drivers. A DUI charge can result in a CDL suspension for one year, which is substantially more than the four months typically imposed on drivers. Unlike regular drivers, commercial drivers cannot apply for a restricted license like an ignition interlock permit to continue working. Lastly, a second DUI conviction could result in the loss of your CDL for life.

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