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Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs

Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki Dec. 29, 2022

Whiskey with car keys and handcuffsBeing pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) can be a frightening experience. The laws surrounding DUIs in California can be confusing, so it’s crucial to understand your rights if you find yourself in this situation.  

At Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, I educate my clients about their defense options and advocate for them at every stage of their DUI proceedings. I strive to obtain the best possible results for my clients and minimize the impact criminal charges can have on an their lives. From my office in Santa Cruz, California, I represent individuals facing DUI charges in Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose, and Palo Alto.  

The following is an overview of some of the most common questions I get asked about DUI laws in California. 

Can I refuse the breath and/or blood test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI? 

In California, you are required to submit to chemical testing when pulled over for a suspected DUI. This includes both breath and blood tests. Refusing to take either test will result in an automatic one-year license suspension. If you refuse to take a test during a subsequent arrest — or if you were convicted of a DUI within the last 10 years — your license may be suspended for two years or more. 

Will I go to jail for a DUI in California? 

The answer is, “It depends.” Most first-time offenders will not receive jail time unless they caused an accident or other property damage while under the influence. However, penalties become more severe with each offense. It’s important to note that even if you are not sentenced to jail time, you may be subject to probation, house arrest or community service as part of your punishment. 

Can I lose my license after a DUI? 

Yes, it is possible to lose your driver’s license after being charged with DUI in California. As mentioned previously, refusing a breath/blood test will result in an automatic suspension of your license for one year by the DMV if it is your first offense. If convicted, subsequent offenses can result in longer suspensions or even permanent revocation of your driver’s license, depending on the severity of the infraction and the number of prior convictions on your record. 

What should I expect during the DUI hearing? 

In the state of California, when an individual is arrested for driving under the influence, they typically appear before a judge in a preliminary hearing. During this hearing, the judge may ask the accused questions about their case and if they would like to enter a plea. The judge will also determine whether there is enough evidence against the accused to proceed with prosecution. If so, then the case will move forward to trial. 

Is it worth it to fight DUI charges? 

A DUI conviction can impact your reputation, your family, your career opportunities, and your future. In order to protect them and yourself against serious consequences, you need to fight your DUI charge. A skilled criminal defense attorney can review your case and help you build a strong argument and fight for the fair outcome you deserve. 

Is hiring an attorney necessary? 

The short answer is, “Yes.” An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help build your legal defense by examining all elements of your case and searching for any potential flaws or weaknesses that could work in your favor. For example, your lawyer might look into whether proper procedures were followed during your arrest or if any evidence was obtained illegally. Your attorney can also assess the strength of the prosecution’s case and advise you regarding any plea deals offered by them. Ultimately, having professional legal representation on your side increases your chances of achieving a favorable outcome for your case.  

When it comes to handling a DUI case, you need to understand your rights and defense options. Knowing these laws ahead of time can help you make informed decisions when combatting your DUI charge. 

Get the DUI Charge Advocacy You Deserve  

If you have been charged with driving under the influence in California and want more information about how best to handle these charges, contact me at the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki. As a criminal defense attorney, I can walk you through every stage of your DUI proceedings and provide knowledgeable legal guidance. Contact my office in Santa Cruz, California, today to set up your free consultation.