If you are a resident of Berkeley, California, and you enjoy spending an evening out with friends, then you may have visited some of the more notable pubs and bars in the city. Perhaps you’ve spent time at the Albatross Pub on San Pablo Avenue, playing a game of darts, or engaging in a rousing game of trivia on a Sunday night. Or maybe your tastes lean more toward the Jupiter on Shattuck Avenue, with its beer on tap, savory pizza, and outdoor back patio with fire pits and heat lamps for chilly Berkeley nights.
Regardless of which area in Berkeley you choose to hang out with friends or a date, you are likely very careful to avoid drinking to excess then driving home, and may also be aware that the Berkeley PD often conducts DUI stops on Telegraph Avenue at Stuart Street.
However, should the time come when flashing lights and the sound of a police siren behind you cause your stomach to drop, it is important to remember the single most important action you can take in this situation. Never underestimate the potential trouble you could be facing should you face such a situation—call an experienced Berkeley DUI attorney immediately.
Why Pleading Guilty to a DUI Charge Is Never a Good Idea
Far too often, those charged with a Berkeley DUI believe their only option is to plead guilty to the charges. Many believe this is the most expeditious way to put their DUI behind them, and move on with their life. Unfortunately, pleading guilty to a Berkeley DUI can result in long-term, serious consequences.
You could face the following if you plead guilty or are found guilty of a DUI:
- Significant increases in your insurance premiums
- The risk that your insurance company will drop you altogether
- Significant fines, fees and other costs (as much as $15,649)
- The necessity of having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
- The potential of having your vehicle impounded
- The loss of your driver’s license
- Mandatory attendance in an alcohol program
- Finding a way to and from work if you lose your license
- Time spent in jail
- The loss of your job
- Far fewer employment opportunities
If you seek the advice of a knowledgeable Berkeley DUI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest, you will be able to have the details of your arrest professionally examined. Your attorney can build a defense strategy on your behalf by looking at all the elements of your case. This strategy can greatly minimize both short-term and long-term consequences of your DUI charges.
The DUI Process in Berkeley
Most people who are charged with DUI have no idea what they are facing. Many believe that by answering all questions posed by the arresting officer, no charges will be filed and they will be allowed to go home. The number one piece of advice you should take to heart is to never, ever talk to the police.
Don’t try to explain that you were at your niece’s bridal shower and only had two glasses of champagne, or that you just had a beer with some friends after work. It is absolutely true that anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Give your name to the police officer then politely state you will not answer any more questions until you have spoken to your attorney.
What you should know about your DUI arrest include:
- You must request a DMV hearing within 10 days from the date of your arrest, otherwise you will be subject to an automatic license suspension
- Your attorney will obtain a copy of the police report for your DUI arrest, then will use that report to build your defense
- Your attorney will clearly lay out your DUI defense options
- Based on your discussions with your attorney, he or she will either negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf, or you will proceed to trial
Hiring a knowledgeable Berkeley DUI defense attorney who has a great deal of experience with California DUI charges is your very best line of defense. Your attorney will thoroughly evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case, ensuring your rights and your future are protected.
Call the Oakland Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to set up a free review of your case. Call us at (510) 907-6600 for a free consultation.
If you are already detained, we are also available for phone consultations and jail interviews.