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Frequently Asked Questions About DUI

When you’re facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges for the first time in Oakland, the East Bay, or anywhere else in California, it can be nerve-wracking to say the least. Surely, you’re filled with questions – and we have answers! To help you better understand what you’re up against, we created a list of frequently asked questions about DUI in California. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

1. Where can I find California’s law on DUI?
California’s DUI law can be found under Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code. This section addresses driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

2. Is DUI in California a felony or misdemeanor?
DUI in California is called a “wobbler” offense, which means it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. In most situations however, DUI is a misdemeanor unless it’s: 1) a fourth DUI offense within 10 years, 2) a DUI involving bodily injuries, 3) a DUI involving death, or 4) the defendant was previously charged with felony DUI and is facing new DUI charges.

3. Can I get a DUI for driving under the influence of marijuana?
While California legalized possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use, the changes in the law have not decriminalized “driving under the influence of marijuana.” Under Section 23152(f) of the California Vehicle Code it says, “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle,” and this includes medical marijuana.

4. Can I get fired for DUI?
According to the California Chamber of Commerce, “In California, the relationship of employer and employee is generally “at will.” This means that, without an employment contract, the employer or the employee can terminate the employment relationship at any time, without or without cause.” In other words, if your employer disapproves of your DUI, or if they feel the DUI would be “bad for business,” they can legally fire you.

5. Can I be deported for DUI?
With the Kate Steinle case, a lot of eyes and ears have been focused on the topic of immigration. Understandably, more (and more) immigrants are wondering, “Can I be deported if I commit a crime, such as DUI?” A misdemeanor DUI does not normally trigger removal proceedings, but that is not guaranteed.

If a Green Card holder is convicted of DUI, the chances of them being deported increase if: 1) it’s a felony DUI, 2) it’s a drug-related DUI, 3) the permanent resident has a long history of criminal behavior, or 4) the permanent resident was previously convicted of a marijuana crime, but they were not placed into removal proceedings.

At the Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed, we hope these FAQs help you better understand DUI charges. To fight your DUI charges, contact our firm for a free case evaluation.

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