Pleasanton, California is a city in Alameda County that was incorporated in 1894, and situated at the crossroads of I-580 and I-680. With a population of approximately 71,000, Pleasanton is considered a suburb of the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are a resident of Pleasanton, you may have stopped by the Cellar Door on Railroad Avenue to enjoy the regional wines, craft brews, and locally-sourced small plates with friends. Or perhaps you prefer Handles Gastropub, located in the historic Pleasanton Hotel on Main Street. Handles has a seasonal menu of “comfort” foods, live music, and a wide variety of craft beers.
You may be very careful about drinking too much, then driving home, so it would probably come as a shock to be pulled over by a Pleasanton police officer after spending a relaxing couple of hours with friends. You, like anyone else who is pulled over for suspicion of DUI, are likely to be extremely anxious about how the stop will play out, and whether you will be facing DUI charges.
You have good reason to be anxious—the penalties for a California DUI are steep. Even for a first-time offense, you could face the maximum sentencing which could include the following:
- A $1,000 fine
- More than $2,600 in penalty assessments
- Six months’ in the county jail
- A six-month license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment for 30 days
- The requirement of having an ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle
- Attendance and completion of a $500, three-month alcohol treatment program
There are certain mistakes you could inadvertently make because you are not thinking as clearly as you should, which could adversely affect the eventual outcome of your DUI case.
Some of the most common mistakes made by DUI arrestees include the following:
Representing Yourself—Especially in cases where you feel fairly sure you did nothing wrong, it is tempting to skip hiring a DUI attorney, thinking you don’t need their expertise. No matter the circumstances surrounding your particular case, possibly the single most crucial thing you can do, once you are arrested for DUI, is to call an experienced Pleasanton DUI attorney. Because DUI penalties have grown harsher over time, hire an attorney who is well-versed in the specific DUI laws in California and can successfully defend your rights.
Ignoring the Importance of the DMV Administrative Hearing—In the state of California, you are required to request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest. During this hearing, your attorney will argue in favor of keeping your driver’s license while your DUI case is pending. Your driver’s license can be critical to your ability to continue working, therefore you definitely want to hang onto it. If you neglect to request a DMV hearing immediately following your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended.
Believing a Clean Criminal Record Ensures a Lighter Sentence—Unfortunately, the prosecution couldn’t care less whether or not you have been a model citizen your entire life up to this point. While it seems a clean record should weigh in your favor, in DUI cases it has less bearing. Don’t let this belief keep you from hiring a DUI attorney and mounting a full-scale defense to your DUI charges.
Believing a BAC Over .08 Makes Your Case a Lost Cause—While .08 is the legal limit in determining whether or not you were driving under the influence, be aware that there are a whole host of other factors which can render that limit inaccurate. Perhaps the officer administered your BAC test improperly, did not have reasonable cause to pull you over in the first place, or simply did not follow procedure in one or more steps of your arrest. Don’t immediately believe you are doomed because of a BAC reading above the .08 limit. Instead, discuss the options with your attorney and follow his or her advice.
Neglecting to Keep Careful Records—Be assured that both the arresting officer, as well as the district attorney’s office, will have in-depth, written accounts of your DUI stop and arrest. By keeping your own careful documentation, you will have a comprehensive account of exactly what happened during your arrest. Don’t wait several days to do this—we human beings have very faulty memories, so the sooner you commit the facts surrounding your case to paper, the better for your case.
Not Acknowledging the Seriousness of a DUI Arrest—A DUI charge is a very serious matter, and a DUI conviction will alter your life for a very long time. A DUI conviction can bring a driver’s license suspension or revocation, skyrocketing auto insurance rates, jail time, and significant fines. You could end up losing your job, de-railing your career, and even losing your family as a result of a DUI conviction.
If you are arrested for a DUI, make sure you give it the seriousness it deserves—speak to a Pleasanton DUI attorney as soon as possible and do not talk to the police or anyone else about your case.
Call the Oakland Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to set up a free review of your case. Call us at (510) 9070-6600 for a free consultation.
If you are already detained, we are also available for phone consultations and jail interviews in Contra Costa County, Alameda County, Oakland, and throughout the East Bay.