Arrested for a DUI in San Diego, CA? Call our office at 619-357-6677 as soon as possible. You do not have time to waste!
Initial Questions and Concerns.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, you will have a number of questions and concerns. We understand your frustration and are here to answer any of your questions. If this is your first DUI, the good news that you are statistically unlikely to serve any time in jail. Further, hiring an expert attorney in the DUI field results in better plea deals, reduces the magnitude of the punishment, and reduces the time without a license. If you have further questions please call us at 619-357-6677. One of our attorneys will be happy to discuss the specific of your case over the phone or in person (free of charge).
Can I drive a vehicle?
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), your driver license was likely taken away from you and the police officer provided a pink slip titled “Administrative Per Se, Suspension/Revocation Order, and Temporary Driver License.” This piece of paper is your 30-day temporary driver license. You are allowed to drive with this temporary paper. A person charged with a DUI needs to realize that every DUI has a civil and criminal component. The outcomes of the DMV hearing is independent from the outcome of your criminal case.
Do not notify your insurance company.
A driver has no duty to notify his/her insurance company of the DUI arrest. If you do notify the insurance company, you premiums are likely to rise or insurance canceled. Your insurance company can find about the arrest by requesting a driving record, but it is unlikely that it will do so until your renewal comes up. Obviously, if the company asks, do not lie.
10 Days to Request a DMV Hearing?
You have 10 DAYS from receipt of the notice (usually day of the arrest) to request a hearing to show that the suspension or revocation is not justified. Do not miss this 10 days deadline! If you do not request the hearing your driver license will be automatically suspended. This will mean that you will not be able to drive after the initial 30 day temporary license OR after DMV officer’s decision.
If you request the hearing, then the driver license cannot be suspended until the outcome of the hearing. Requesting the hearing at a later day will provide you with extra weeks/days of having a valid driver license, even after the original 30 days of temporary driver license expire. Your attorney will be able to request that the revocation be stayed until the DMV officer renders a decision. You will be mailed an new temporary license when your attorney schedules a hearing on your behalf.
The DMV officer will not take all aspects of your case into account. In fact, he/she only looks at three questions during the hearing. Your criminal defense attorney will be able to question all the witnesses at the hearing and evaluate the evidence. If you would like to learn more about DMV hearings, please click here.
As previously mentioned, the outcome of the DMV hearing is independent from the criminal aspect of the DUI prosecution. The criminal process roughly lasts between several weeks and six months. The better your attorney is prepared for each stage of the process, the better will be the outcome of the case. It is important to seek good evidence from the start. The police report is likely to consist of your blood/breath read out and the field sobriety tests. For the most part, these reports consist of only bad evidence.
Finding Good Evidence.
In the article “Do I have to do field sobriety tests?”, we explain why a driver should always refuse to perform the field sobriety tests. If you have already been charged with DUI, the tips found in the article might not be very helpful. But the article will still help you understand why the reports are likely to contain only bad evidence of your case. And even if you might have already submitted to field sobriety tests, do not worry. We will work extra hard to bring in the good evidence.
It is our job to find all the evidence that will help you get the best outcome in your case. This means that we need to find all the evidence that is not contained in the police reports. We will go out on the field and evaluate whether the field sobriety tests were performed up to national standard. We will investigate and evaluate the scene where you were arrested, taking into account the conditions such as the type of roadway (gravel, pavement, shoulder, grade, etc.), the lighting conditions, the weather at the time of the arrest. We will collect statements from all the witnesses that might have been with you. Due to time restraints, case load, and funding, many attorneys do not evaluate the DUI cases properly. (Read “Public Defenders vs Private Attorneys” to find out why you should always hire the best attorney you can afford). For example, many attorneys do not travel the distance to look at the scene first hand and discuss the case with good witnesses. But this is precisely why we have a good track record when it comes to DUI cases. We put in the work at the forefront in order to get the best possible outcome.
If you would like to see how we compare to other attorneys, click LawsatcheAttorneyComparison.
The following is quick guide on the criminal process. If you would like to read the guide in more detail click here.
You were arrested on suspicion of DUI. The defendant is taken to jail, where h/she can post bail and be released. Defendant may be released on his/her own recognizance with date for future hearing. OR, Defendant remains in custody until court hearing.
At the arraignment, the defendant is informed of the charges against him/her, advised of his or her constitutional rights, appointed an attorney, if he or she cannot afford one. He/she can also enter a plea: Not Guilty – he or she did not commit the crime OR
Guilty – admits that he or she committed the crime. No Contest plea (Nolo Contendere) – the charge is not contested. Same effect as guilty plea.
Our clients are always advised to enter a plea of NOT GUILTY for many reasons. First of all, a prosecutor may dismiss the case before the next court date. By entering a guilty plea, you have eliminated the chance of the case being dropped. Even if you intend to enter a plea of guilty, you might be able to receive a reduced charge or a reduced punishment by signing a plea deal with a prosecutor at the next court date. All pleas may have negative implications of your immigration status. It is best to consult with an attorney who deals with both criminal and immigration law if you are a non-citizen.
At the arraignment court hearing, bail is set and defendant is remanded to custody if it was not set earlier. or, defendant is released on their own recognizance
At the readiness hearing, the discovery is exchanged between the prosecutor and defense attorney. The attorneys may file pretrial motions, such as set aside complaint, dismiss the case, suppress evidence, etc.
The defendant will have another opportunity to enter/change his/her plea. Depending on the offer, we will advise you of the risk and benefits of accepting the plea agreement or going to trial.
A typical DUI trial takes several days. The prosecutor will attempt to convince 12 jurors that you have committed a DUI. Your attorney will present the evidence in the best light, in order to help your case. If the defendant is found guilty, the case may be continued for sentencing or sentenced immediately. If the defendant is found not guilty, defendant is released.