Fremont DUI Lawyer

Fighting DUI charges in California

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DUI Attorney

For over two decades, we've successfully defended thousands in DUI cases, safeguarding their livelihoods, liberties, and futures. Our deep understanding of the stakes involved empowers us to effectively assist you through this challenging time.

Being accused of DUI doesn't automatically make you guilty. The state must prove its case, a task that becomes significantly harder when they're met with strong opposition at every step. Our team is fully equipped to provide that challenge, ensuring a rigorous defense on your behalf.

When working with Walia Law Firm, you can expect:

  • Comprehensive and in-depth support
  • Determined effort for the optimal outcome
  • Transparent updates on your DUI case
  • Presentation of all available legal strategies
  • Expertise in Alameda County court practices

Best DUI Lawyers Fighting For Your Freedom

Dealing with a DUI in the San Francisco Bay Area can be daunting, but criminal defense attorneys at Walia Law Firm ensures you're not alone. Our Fremont DUI attorneys are here to guide you through the legal system, aiming to maintain your driving privileges, minimize penalties, and safeguard your future. With a personalized defense strategy, we strive for the most favorable outcome, helping you move on from this challenge. For top-tier DUI defense, contact Walia Law Firm.

When a person is arrested for DUI, there are two cases that proceed. The first is the criminal case in which a person can be found guilty of violating the law and be sentenced to jail, fines and probation. The second is the administrative case, which can lead to the loss of driving privileges. Each of these cases has their own unique procedures, burden of proof and purposes.

Many of the DUI-related penalties can be minimized or completely avoided if the DUI charges are either dismissed or downgraded to a less severe offense. Our DUI defense attorneys have a proven track record of successfully challenging DUI charges, securing favorable outcomes for our clients in Hayward, Fremont, San Jose, San Francisco, and throughout the Bay Area.

DUI Offenses We Handle

A poorly handled DUI can have serious, lasting consequences such as jail time, employment loss, significant fines, and driving restrictions. It's essential to have a skilled attorney to navigate the complexities of DUI charges. Walia Law Firm has extensive experience in DUI defense, offering comprehensive guidance through all aspects of DUI-related legal processes.

  • First Time DUIs
  • Second Offense DUI
  • Multiple DUIs
  • Marijuana DUIs
  • Underage DUI
  • Felony DUI
  • CDL Holders Charged with DUI
  • Ignition Interlock Devices
  • DUI License Suspension
  • Physical Control
  • Reckless Driving
  • Boating Under the Influence
  • Vehicular Assault
  • Vehicular Homicide

California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) VC: DUI - What You Need to Know

In every state, driving under the influence is illegal, including in California, where the law (California Vehicle Code Section 23152) extends beyond driving to include being in "actual physical control" of a vehicle while intoxicated. This means you could face charges for simply being in the driver's seat of a parked car while under the influence.

In California, there are two different ways that a person can be considered guilty of DUI. This includes:

  • Under California law, specifically section 23152 (a) VC, you can be charged with DUI simply for operating a vehicle while affected by alcohol, without a specific BAC level requirement. Police assessments of impairment can include observations of erratic driving, the smell of alcohol, or poor performance on sobriety tests, which together may lead to a DUI charge based on the overall evidence of impairment.
  • Under section 23152 (b) VC, being found with a BAC over .08 automatically deems you intoxicated by law. Law enforcement uses breathalyzers, blood, and urine tests to measure BAC levels, determining DUI law violations.

For commercial drivers in California, the BAC limit is lower, at .04%, reflecting stricter standards. Meanwhile, drivers under 21 years old face even tighter restrictions under the "Zero Tolerance" law, with a limit of just .01%, emphasizing the state's stringent approach to underage drinking and driving.

DUI Checkpoint

California DUI Penalties

Anyone facing criminal charges needs to understand what a conviction could mean for them. It's important to know what kinds of penalties might be applied if found guilty.

Understanding these penalties is key to figuring out the best way to defend yourself in court. In California, the law is particularly strict on those who have been convicted of DUI before. For these individuals, the consequences for a subsequent offense are significantly more severe. This means if you've been convicted of a DUI in the past, facing another DUI charge could lead to much harsher penalties than for someone without any prior offenses.

Below is a table that outlines the DUI penalties, sentence, and costs. For more detailed information, read our Penalties for DUI in California guide.

DUI OffenseJail/PrisonFineProbationary TermsLicense SuspensionIIDDUI School
First DUI≤ 6 mos$390-1,0003 - 5 yrs4 mos - 1 yr6 mos3 or 9 mos
Second DUI96 hrs - 1 yr$390-1,0003 - 5 yrsUpto 2 yr1 yr18 or 30 mos
Third Offense≤ 1 yr jail or 16 mos in state prison$390-1,0003 - 5 yrsUpto 3 yrs2 yrs30 mos
Fourth or Subsequent16 mos to 3 yrs in state prison$390-1,0003 - 5 yrsUpto 4 yrs3 yrs30 mos

Aggravating Factors

Certain circumstances can increase the amount of time that a person is sentenced to jail or prison. These are considered aggravating factors and include the following:

  • Refusing to submit to a chemical test
  • Causing an accident
  • Having a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher
  • Driving with a child under 14 in the vehicle
  • Driving at excessive speeds
  • Being under age 21

Possible DUI Defenses in California

The consequences of being convicted for DUI in California are serious and can result in long-lasting consequences. An experienced California attorney can analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding the case in order to determine plausible defenses. Some defenses may include:

  • Improper stop: Arguing that the officer had no valid reason for the traffic stop can nullify any evidence obtained during that stop if it's proven there was no probable cause.
  • Faulty Breathalyzer Test: Questioning the accuracy of the BAC reading due to lack of maintenance or calibration of the breathalyzer machine can undermine the prosecution's case.
  • Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests: Demonstrating that the field sobriety tests were not conducted correctly can cast doubt on the reliability of the results.
  • Chain of Custody Issues: Identifying gaps in the chain of custody for blood or urine samples can question the integrity of the sample and its court admissibility.
  • Contamination of Blood Sample: Proving that the blood sample was contaminated, through improper storage or handling, can invalidate the results.
  • Expert Testimony: Utilizing expert witnesses to dispute the reliability of the breath test machine or the impact of medical conditions on BAC tests can strengthen your defense.
  • Rights Violations: Showing that the arresting officer did not read your Miranda rights or otherwise violated your rights can lead to evidence being excluded.
  • Medical Conditions: Highlighting certain medical conditions that might falsely elevate BAC readings, such as acid reflux or diabetes, can challenge the breathalyzer results.
  • No refusal: Sometimes people are arrested because they refuse to take a chemical test. However, if the defendant did not actually refuse, this can be a defense against allegations to the contrary. Additionally, the officer is required to explain to the defendant what the consequences are of refusing to submit to testing.

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Secondary Impacts of DUI Convictions in California

Beyond legal penalties, DUI convictions carry additional repercussions:

  • DUI offenses in California may impact professional credentials, insurance rates, and certifications.
  • Convictions can affect child custody and visitation rights.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device is compulsory.
  • Car insurance premiums increase and necessitate SR22 documentation.
  • Employment candidates often face questions regarding past convictions, which are revealed during background checks unless the conviction is sealed.
  • California DUI convictions can influence college admission processes and eligibility for financial aid.
  • Signing a Watson Advisement is typically required, which can be used in subsequent DUI-related incidents.
  • Non-U.S. citizens are required to disclose details of DUI arrests to the Department of Homeland Security during visa applications, status adjustments, green card applications, or when entering the U.S.


[1] California Vehicle Code 23622 – California DUI penalty statute that discusses the effect of prior conviction on sentencing.

[2] See California Vehicle Codes VC 23536, VC 23540, VC 23646, and VC 23566 for discussion on the possible sentencing of these crimes.

[3] California DUI can be charged as a felony if it is a fourth offense, an injury was caused to a third party or the defendant had a prior felony DUI for any reason.

[4] See California Vehicle Code Section 23153 for the treatment of California DUI with injury. The penalties largely depend on whether the offense is a first, second or subsequent offense.

[5] See California Vehicle Code 23153.

[6] See California Vehicle Code 23566 – “If a person is convicted of a violation of Vehicle Code 23153 and the offense occurred within 10 years of two or more separate violations of Section 23103 vc, as specified in Section 23103.5 vc, or Section 23152 vc or 23153 vc, or any combination of these violations, that resulted in convictions, that person shall be punished by…a fine of not less than one thousand fifteen dollars ($1,015) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000).”

[7] See California Vehicle Code 23568 — DUI Probation. Additional conditions of probation for persons punished under VC 23566. (“(b) In addition to Section 23600 and subdivision (a), if the court grants probation to a person punished under Section 23566, the court shall impose as a condition of probation that the person enroll in and complete, subsequent to the date of the underlying violation and in a manner satisfactory to the court, an 18-month driving-under-the-influence program licensed pursuant to Section 11836 of the Health and Safety Code or, if available in the county of the person’s residence or employment, a 30-month driving-under-the-influence program licensed pursuant to Section 11836 of the Health and Safety Code, as designated by the court.”)

[8] See California Vehicle Code 23566 — DUI sentencing. Three or more offenses; punishment.  (“(d) A person convicted of Vehicle Code 23153 punishable under this section shall be designated as a habitual traffic offender for a period of three years, subsequent to the conviction. The person shall be advised of this designation pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13350.”)