DUI, Driving Under the Influence

Northern California DUI Lawyer - DUI Attorney

Based in the Northern California Bay Area, including San Jose, Leon J. Mezzetti Jr. is a DUI defense attorney with over 30 years of experience handling DUI cases from both sides of the courtroom. That depth and breadth of experience brings a powerful edge to his defense of clients charged with drunk driving.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, time is not on your side. You have only 10 days from the arrest date to request a DMV Administrative Hearing or your drivers license will be automatically suspended. Hiring a skilled DUI Lawyer to fight your DUI significantly increases your chances of keeping your license.

DUI Defense Attorney ∙ Former County Deputy DA
Call 1-877-791-1836 ∙ 510-791-1836 ∙ Contact Us

If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving (DUI), there a number a DUI defense strategies available. We strongly recommend getting a lawyer on your side as soon as possible. The sooner we get to work on your case, the sooner we can begin to protect your rights.

  • Our law firm can investigate your DUI arrest to see if the police violated any procedures. If they did, we can often get the charges reduced or the case dismissed.
  • Your DUI defense lawyer can challenge the results of breathalyzer tests, blood alcohol concentration tests (BAC) or other sobriety tests.
  • Mr. Mezzetti can negotiate for a lesser charge (dry reckless driving, for example) or help you with related charges. If a traffic violation was added to the charge, or if you are facing a drug charge related to the stop, we can represent you.
  • We can work with you to protect your driving privileges by scheduling an early DMV hearing.
  • If this is your first offense, second offense, third offense or more, you will want a defense attorney who will work hard to limit the consequences of your arrest.

Defense attorneys appointed by the state, as talented as they may be, frequently are overloaded with clients and do not have the time to build a strong defense. Mr. Mezzetti will do what it takes to protect your rights.

If You are Cited for a DUI Offense, Leon Mezzetti and our Experienced Attorneys can Help You Fight to Protect Your Freedom and Your Driving Privileges

DUI arrests are fairly commonplace in the Bay Area, and it is never a good idea to risk driving if you have been drinking or have ingested any alcohol or drugs that impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle. In particular, several law enforcement bodies have been particularly vigilant in enforcing California’s DUI laws.

The terms DUI and DWI refer to the illegal act of driving a vehicle while an individual’s driving capabilities are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Technically, a DUI charge is generally “less” serious than a DWI charge; however, under California law, these terms are not legally meaningful, even though California law specifies that different Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels can carry with them different legal consequences.

The important point is that California essentially makes any level of intoxication a serious offense, and failure to comply with all the requirements of the law can result in grave legal implications. For example, a first-time DUI conviction will result, at a minimum, in a 4 month suspension of your license, fines, a jail term or community service, and a mandatory DUI class, the length of which will depend upon the tested BAC. Penalties can be more severe depending upon a driver’s BAC level and upon the circumstances surrounding the arrest (such as if the offense included property or bodily damage). For drivers below the legal drinking age, California has a zero tolerance policy: any BAC level will have serious consequences.

Various law enforcement bodies are extremely diligent in enforcing California’s DUI laws, and have been known to periodically set up DUI Checkpoints or roadblocks, particularly on holiday weekends. For example, every year from December 15 to January 3, law enforcement agencies carry out a campaign called “Avoid the 21” in which they set up sobriety (DUI) checkpoints. This program, run during periods when many people attend parties at which drinking may occur, has resulted in a significant numbers of arrests during the periods when the campaign is in progress. They have also operated their “Avoid the 21” campaign during other holiday periods, such as Labor Day weekend.

Under California law, signing your driver’s license constitutes “implied consent” to getting tested for alcohol or drugs if you are arrested by local police or by the California Highway Patrol on suspicion of DUI. These tests may include breath tests, blood tests, or urine tests. Once an arrest is made, refusal to take the test will result in immediate suspension of your driver’s license by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Moreover, if you are later convicted of a DUI despite your refusal to take the test, the penalties you face will be enhanced due to your refusal, and positive test results are not necessary to obtain a conviction when the arresting officer can testify to driving behavior that indicates alcohol impairment.

To put this in perspective, in 2005, there were a total of 7,241 DUI arrests in Alameda County alone. Furthermore, in 2009, Alameda County law enforcement agencies carried out a “sweep” of 850 older DUI charges that, for one reason or another, had not been carried through to full enforcement and punishment, in some instances issuing arrest warrants for violations that had occurred many years in the past. As these facts illustrate, one way or another, a DUI charge in any city can have affects far into the future, and your best bet is to resolve a charge as quickly as possible, and to take very seriously the legal consequences of how you handle such a charge. If you are confronting a DUI charge, Leon J Mezzetti, Jr. can assist you.

A DUI offense in California is a very serious affair, and the law is very complex, depending upon the circumstances of your particular situation, and there are hard deadlines that must be met in order to preserve your rights. It is very difficult for people unfamiliar with DUI laws and with the court system to successfully navigate their way through the process.

For example, every DUI offense has both a criminal aspect and a civil aspect. The criminal aspect is handled by the law enforcement mechanisms of the county in which you commit the offense. The civil aspect relates to California DMV’s treatment of the offense. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you have only 10 days to contact the DMV, or your license will be automatically suspended. Nevertheless, the county’s proceedings and the DMV’s proceedings are entirely separate; therefore, the proceedings in one case will not influence the outcome of the other, and failure to observe the proper requirements in either case can lead to separate and serious penalties.

Without the advice and assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, an individual may get tripped up very easily, and the mistake could have costly legal consequences. At the Mezzetti firm, we have many years experience assisting clients in successfully resolving DUI offenses, and we are conveniently located to help our clients.

Don’t risk losing your license and facing other serious penalties. If you are arrested for a DUI offense in the Northern California Bay Area, contact the Leon J. Mezzetti, Jr. to get the advice you need right away.

Free Initial Consultation ∙ Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer

For a free confidential consultation, and for further information regarding how an ex-prosecutor and expert DUI defense attorney can put over 30 years of experience to work for you, please contact us, call us at 877-791-1836 or 510-791-1836, or visit us in San Jose, Fremont, Pleasanton, Stockton, or Watsonville.

Experience really does matter - don't trust your DUI defense to an inexperienced criminal defense lawyer.

For further reading: California DMV DUI Information