SANTA CLARA COUNTY DUIs ARE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COUNTIES
Santa Clara County has many wonderful cities: Palo Alto, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Cupertino, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos and Mountain View are just some of them.
Santa Clara County handles DUI cases in its unique way. California has 58 different counties. Each county has its own way of implementing DUI laws and each judge has his/her unique way of interpreting them. Over time, patterns emerge as to how a particular county and its judges handle DUI cases. Some counties are more punishment oriented. Others are more treatment focused. Others are simply mavericks, destined to be unrepentantly different. Santa Clara County is by far the most punitive county for DUIs in the Bay Area but it is also one of the most enlightened for considering the disproportionate impact that a DUI can have on a particular person to offer a reduced charge.
Santa Clara County has three courthouses handling DUIs: San Jose, Palo Alto and Morgan Hill. No matter where you go in Santa Clara County on a DUI case, you should be prepared for a much more punitive seeming offer to settle your case in comparison to an offer you would receive in other Bay Area counties with similar facts. To illustrate this point, please consider that Santa Clara County sentences are at least three times longer in the jail/work program in lieu of jail than any other Bay Area county. Judges are typically more inclined in Santa Clara County to order an interlock device (breath device you must blow into before you start your vehicle) than judges in other counties.
At the same time that it is extremely punitive, Santa Clara County is equally and admiringly open minded to consider a reduced charge, such a “wet reckless”, instead of a DUI. The county calls this approach “a collateral consequences review by which a defense attorney submits a package of information prepared by the defense attorney and other lawyers in support of a reduced charge.
Santa Clara County does not have much reciprocity with other counties that allows a person who may live outside Santa Clara County to convert the jail time/sheriff’s work program in lieu of jail to be done in the non Santa Clara County setting.
Santa Clara County judges are more receptive than judges in other counties to requests to reduce the length of probation and even to terminate probation early.
The prosecutors are an extremely zealous group and pursue additional potential punishments for facts unique to each case. Punishment for DUIs is routinely increased for DUIs involving an accident, young children in the vehicle, high alcohol levels, drivers under 21 years old, high speed and refusals of chemical tests after arrest. However, there are ways of handling such cases that any potential additional punishment can be avoided or substantially reduced.
Attorney Mark Blair has regularly practiced in Santa Clara County for many years and has successfully handled many hundreds of DUI cases in Santa Clara County. Mark knows how to work the Santa Clara County system to your advantage. To get the best result for your Santa Clara County DUI case, please contact Attorney Mark Blair for a free, confidential and informative consultation at (408) 295-4343.
DISCLAIMER: The results of any person’s DUI case described on this web site and/or in the Bay Area DUI Law newsletter depend on factual and legal circumstances that are unique to a specific person. Information provided by this web site and/or the Bay Area DUI Law newsletter does NOT constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. Any reference to laws, procedures, punishment or license consequences at court or the DMV in this web site and/or Bay Area DUI Law newsletter is NOT intended to be complete description of what can and will happen in any or every DUI case but instead is a simplified summary to facilitate the reader’s understanding of general issues involving DUI law. The law is in constant change; penalties and consequences change; as such, the reader should not and cannot rely upon anything mentioned in this web site and/or Bay Area DUI Law newsletter. The reader is strongly advised to seek competent legal counsel to ascertain the law, penalties and consequences that apply to his/her unique circumstances.