Union City was a settlement built in 1850 by entrepreneurs William and John Horner, chosen for its oasis-like landscape. When disappointed gold miners found the fertile soil of Union City was more suited for farming, other thriving industries grew in the area, including beet sugar factories, flour mills, and salt manufacturers.
As a resident of Union City, you may occasionally visit Chaplin’s Sports Bistro on Kohoutek Way. Chaplin’s big-screen televisions, happy hour specials, and comfort foods from the bar are complemented by a bold décor. Maybe you and your friends prefer Peppertree’s Lounge on Whipple Road as a place to unwind after a tough work week.
Imagine leaving the bar after a great evening with friends to find yourself being pulled over by a Union City police officer on suspicion of DUI. Or you might find yourself in the middle of an unexpected DUI checkpoint after having a couple of drinks. If you keep up with the checkpoints in your city, either through an app on your phone or on your computer, then you know that Dyer Street in Union City is one of the locations chosen by the police for DUI checkpoints.
If you’ve been charged, you might be tempted to believe your case is open-and-shut. Regardless, you should always fight your charges. Read below to learn why!
The Consequences for a Guilty Plea Are Incredibly Harsh
If you end up being arrested for DUI—whether you believe you were impaired or not—it is important to remember that the penalties in the state of California are fairly severe, even for a first conviction. You could face up to 6 months in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, the loss of your driver’s license for 6 months, mandatory alcohol counseling, and more. You could even have your car impounded.
For all these reasons, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced Union City DUI attorney as soon as possible. You may believe that it would be easier to simply plead guilty to the charges, and have it over and done, but you may be unaware of the long-term consequences of a DUI.
The Consequences of Pleading Guilty
If you plead guilty to DUI in California, you could:
- Be placed on probation for 3-5 years
- Be hit with heavy fines
- Lose your driver's license
- Be ordered by the court to attend a DUI treatment program
Further, if you are caught driving at any time with any detectable amount of alcohol in your blood, you will be in violation of your probation and will incur a second drunk driving charge—even if you were below the legal limit.
If you violate your probation, you have also waived your right to a jury trial. Keep in mind that a judge operates by a much lower standard for finding you guilty—judges do not need to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, but only be "swayed by the evidence."
Not Fighting Charges Will Result in Conviction
Before you decide to plead guilty to a DUI charge, be very aware that the result of not fighting these charges will almost certainly result in a verdict of guilty, with a DUI conviction on your record that will follow you for the rest of your life.
Here’s the truth:
If you don't fight your DUI charges, you can't win.
If you only succeed in a reduction of charges and penalties, you are still far ahead of where a guilty plea will land you.
Yes, possibly you were drinking while driving, but entering a guilty plea effectively relinquishes your Constitutional rights. An experienced DUI attorney can find many valid defense arguments relevant to your particular case.
Not Fighting Your Charges Has Deep Financial Costs
If you plead guilty to your DUI charges you will almost certainly be subject to the following charges:
- Towing charges for your vehicle, anywhere from $100-$1200 depending on the location. (If you can't afford to pay the towing charges within 30 days your vehicle may be auctioned)
- A huge increase in your insurance premiums. If your company doesn't drop you, your rates could double or even quadruple for the next 3-5 years
- Court fines and fees of anywhere from $300-$1000
- Up to $2,600 in assessments and fees
- Alcohol Evaluation charges of $150-$200
- Alcohol Education and Treatment Program--$350-$2000
- License reinstatement--$100-$250
- An ignition interlock device for $90 per month, plus installation costs
Losing your license could also impact your job, leaving you without a monthly paycheck. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, so do not, under any circumstances, plead guilty to a DUI charge without benefit of an attorney's expertise. The prosecution bears the burden of proof, and you only need one juror to vote not guilty.
If you’re looking to fight your charges, call the Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed. Our firm serves clients in Union City, the East Bay, and Northern California from our Oakland office. Call (510) 907-6600 for a free consultation as soon as possible. We can get you answers and begin building your defense.