East Bay Traffic Violations, Citations
Helping Clients in the East Bay with Traffic Offenses
If you are cited for a serious traffic violation in Pleasanton, Fremont, Newark, Union City, Livermore, Dublin, Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, or anywhere else in Alameda County, Leon J. Mezzetti, Jr. can help you. Our firm handles criminal defense work, and, in particular, we help clients facing serious charges in traffic-related offenses, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI)/Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).
Leon J. Mezzetti, Jr. can also help you with lesser traffic offenses that may affect your license privilege, such as speeding tickets, photo-enforced stop-light violations, driving without a license, reckless driving, or other traffic misdemeanors.
If You are Cited for a DUI Offense in Alameda County, the Experienced Attorneys at the Leon J. Mezzetti. Jr., P.C., Can Help You Fight to Protect Your Freedom and Your Driving Privileges
DUI arrests are fairly commonplace in the East Bay, and it is never a good idea to risk driving in Alameda County if you have been drinking or have ingested any drugs that impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle. In particular, several law enforcement bodies in the East Bay, such as the Pleasanton and Livermore police departments, 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.
Alameda County’s various law enforcement bodies are diligent in enforcing California’s DUI laws, and have been known to periodically set up check points for DUI observations, particularly on holiday weekends. For example, every year from December 15 to January 3, twenty-one different law enforcement agencies in the East Bay carry out a campaign called “Avoid the 21” in which they set up sobriety 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 East Bay 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 Alameda County’s 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 in Alameda County, and we are located in both Pleasanton and Fremont to help our Alameda County clients.
Don’t risk losing your license and facing other serious penalties. If you are arrested for a DUI offense in Pleasanton, Fremont, Newark, Union City, Livermore, Dublin, Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro, or anywhere else in Alameda County, contact us to get the advice you need right away.
Traffic Offenses in Alameda County
Even though traffic citations are very common, different traffic offenses are handled through several different law enforcement mechanisms within Alameda County. Parking citations are handled by the cities wherein the infraction occurred. DUI offenses are handled by the Criminal Division of the Alameda County Court system, with courthouses located in Pleasanton, Fremont, Hayward, and Oakland. The appropriate court will depend upon where the violation occurred. Juvenile misdemeanors generally are handled by the Probation Department, while normal traffic infractions of minors are handled by the Alameda County Traffic Court.
Recently, Alameda County changed locations for its Traffic Court. Since September 12, 2011, the Traffic Clerk’s Office, which used to be in Hayward, is now relocated to Fremont. Furthermore, due to budget cuts, the Traffic Clerk’s Office hours are limited as of October 3, 2011, operating from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Traffic Clerk’s Office is located at:
Fremont Hall of Justice
39439 Paseo Padre Parkway
Fremont, CA 94538.
The Alameda County Traffic Court handles: traffic infractions (that is, traffic offenses that do not carry punishments that involve imprisonment, and where fines do not exceed $250); traffic misdemeanor violations (offenses punishable by imprisonment up to six months, or fines not to exceed $1,000); Mandatory Appearance violations (offenses that require an appearance in court, where failure to appear will lead to an arrest warrant and a hold on a driver’s license), and Proof of Correction violations (POC, commonly called “fix it” tickets, which require proof that the issue has been corrected, accompanied by a fee).
Department of Motor Vehicle Hearings
As noted above with respect to DUI’s, many traffic offenses have both a criminal and a civil aspect. The civil aspect generally refers to how the California DMV handles different traffic- and vehicle-related offenses. Because the DMV has ultimate authority to suspend or revoke your California Driver’s License, it is important that you do not neglect to address the legal consequences your traffic offense may have with respect to the DMV. These proceedings may include Administrative Hearings before a DMV board. DMV Administrative Hearings for Pleasanton, Fremont, Livermore, and other Alameda County cities are handled at the DMV Office in Oakland, located at:
DMV Driver Safety Office
303 Hegenberger Road, 4th Floor, Suite 400
Oakland, CA 94621-1452
Contact Leon J. Mezzetti, Jr., for Competent, Timely Advice on How to Address Your Traffic Offense in the East Bay
Most drivers, at one time or another, will be cited for traffic violations that may or may not involve accidents, property damage, injury, intoxication, speeding, and so on. In the usual case, the matter may be very minor—a “fix it” ticket for a broken light, a stop-light violation, or a speeding ticket. In these instances, it is relatively easy for people to resolve the matter quickly and easily, by getting something fixed, paying a fine, and/or going to traffic school. And even when these matters are bothersome or costly, we tend to take them in stride.
But when the matter is more serious, don’t make the mistake of treating it lightly, or just viewing it as a bothersome technicality. Some serious offenses, like a DUI, or repeated speeding violations, can involve the risk of losing your license, which could in turn affect your ability to retain your employment, particularly if your job requires driving, and consequently lead to other more grave problems in your life.
Take serious traffic offenses seriously, and make sure you get competent, timely legal advice from an attorney with the experience to make sure you will get the best possible outcome to your legal problem. If you are facing a serious traffic offense charge in Alameda County, contact Leon J. Mezzetti, Jr. The Mezzetti firm is conveniently located in Pleasanton, Fremont, San Jose and Stockton to help all residents of these areas who may face traffic violations in the East Bay.