Do you need a DUI defense lawyer?
As California law enforcement officers continue to crack down on intoxicated drivers in the state, more and more methods are being developed to help them do so. One such method is what has commonly come to be known as DUI checkpoints. At these checkpoints, drivers are systematically stopped and assessed for impairment by the law enforcement officers stationed at the designated stopping points. Drivers who are stopped here and found to be driving under the influence can be charged with Vehicle Code 23152a, or Vehicle Code 23152b (driving with a BAC of .08 or higher).
DUI checkpoints are so frequently used and so widely recognized by both law enforcement officers and drivers alike that they now go by many names. Whether you were stopped and charged at a DUI checkpoint, a DUI roadblock, a sobriety checkpoint, or a drunk driving sobriety checkpoint, the information found on this page could be of tremendous help. As an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney, I am well aware of the ins and outs of DUI law in the state of California, particularly as it applies to drivers in and around the San Jose area. Therefore, I encourage you to read more about the DUI checkpoints in San Jose and how a resulting arrest from this type of stop can be challenged in court.
Understanding the Rules & Regulations of DUI Checkpoints
As determined in the landmark case, Ingersoll v. Palmer, sobriety checkpoints are expected, by dictation of the Supreme Court, to adhere to a very specific set of requirements. If these requirements fail to be met, the DUI checkpoint will not be constitutionally recognized. This is an important distinction to make, because the right San Jose DUI checkpoints defense lawyer can bring to light any inappropriate or unconstitutional operations being conducted at a particular checkpoint, thereby eliminating an arrest that was subsequently made.
Specifically, the requirements of a DUI checkpoint in California include who is and is not allowed to make decisions regarding how these operations will be run; when and how these types of DUI roadblocks will be operated; and the level of intrusiveness used when stopping a driver at a designated checkpoint. As indicated by a ruling of the Supreme Court, there must be a supervising offer in charge of the checkpoint – a field officer will not suffice.
DUI roadblocks are also required to be in an area of reasonable location. Checkpoints are only allowed in areas where a significant number of DUI-related incidents have occurred in the past. If there is not a precedent for DUI arrests and / or accidents, then there is no reasonable cause for the checkpoint to exist in that location. Furthermore, these checkpoints must be publicly advertised prior to the date of the roadblock. If there was no warning sign, flashing lights, marked police cars, sufficient lighting, or presence of uniformed law enforcement officers, the checkpoint cannot be legally recognized.
One of the most important tenets of the regulations set forth in regard to DUI checkpoints is that of a driver’s opportunity to drive away. This facet of the law is little known among drivers throughout the state, however, it is true nonetheless. If a driver does not wish to stop at an approaching designated checkpoint, they must be given the opportunity to drive away.Drivers who choose to forego the sobriety testing point cannot be stopped for doing so unless they commit a traffic violation in the act of bypassing the stop or they display obvious signs of intoxication.
How to Fight Your Case and Avoid Potential Penalties
The requirements described above are very specific, a fact that can be used to the benefit of drivers who are charged after being stopped at one of these checkpoints. With the right legal defense on your side, a DUI arrest that resulted from a designated sobriety checkpoint in San Jose can be challenged in court. In many cases, the resulting charges can be reduced or dismissed altogether. If any one of the following can be proven by your San Jose DUI checkpoints lawyer, it is very possible to turn the case in your favor:
- There was no sufficient warning of the upcoming checkpoint
- There was no supervising officer present who was in charge of the checkpoint
- There was no alternative route for a driver who would want to bypass the checkpoint
As you can see, knowing the legislative rules of DUI checkpoints could significantly help you fight the criminal charges that are imposed upon you after being determined to be under the influence. It can also be argued that because the checkpoint was mandatory, there is no evidence that the driver exhibited any signs of impairment while operating his or her vehicle. Whether it is the validity of the checkpoint that is being challenged, or the nature of the checkpoint, there is merit to hiring a DUI defense attorney who will remain by your side in the aftermath of an arrest that was made at a sobriety stop in San Jose.
Why You Need Edward N. Ajlouny
At the law office of Edward N. Ajlouny, my clients are provided with the aggressive defense they need to effectively challenge DUI charges of every nature. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, my methods have proven to work for the clients I defend in San Jose, including those whose charges developed from being stopped at a DUI checkpoint in the area.
At my firm, clients are provided with a free evaluation of their case, during which time we can discuss together the best way to challenge your case in court. My knowledge of DUI law and my understanding of how DUI checkpoints work can be of great benefit to your case, so don’t wait to contact the firm today.