San Diego DUI Lawyer

San Diego DUI LawyerFor Illustration Only. No Crimes Committed.
Being arrested and charged with DUI is a scary process, but also one that many people in San Diego find themselves in.  Drinking even small amounts of alcohol before driving can lead to arrest and other serious consequences.  With a strong emphasis on DUI enforcement, the San Diego Police Department and the California Highway Patrol conduct DUI Checkpoints, Saturation Points as well as other targeted DUI enforcement procedures to target drivers who have been drinking alcohol.  California law is tough on DUIs, with no diversion programs and very few breaks along the way for those arrested for and charged with driving under the influence.

Those arrested for DUI in California are typically charged with two separate misdemeanor offenses.  As is true in every state, California has a legal limit of .08% BAC.  This means that driving while having a BAC of .08 is illegal, regardless of impairment.  You could perform perfectly on field sobriety tests and demonstrate complete alertness and ability to operate a motor vehicle, and still be guilty of DUI under Vehicle Code Section 23152(b).  To make matters worse for drivers, being below the legal limit is not enough!  Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) makes it a crime to drive while impaired by alcohol.  Since the government can get a DUI conviction by proving either that the driver was above the legal limit or that the driver was impaired, DUI defense can be quite complex, requiring a strong grasp of constitutional law, science, persuasive trial tactics and strong negotiation skills.  If you are facing DUI charges in California, you need a skilled San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney to fight for you, asserting your important constitutional rights and the correct defenses in your case.

If facing two criminal charges in court is not onerous enough, drivers arrested for DUI are also typically subject to an administrative suspension of their driving privilege by the California DMV.  Generally, when a driver is arrested for DUI and the arresting officer believes that the driver's BAC is above .08, or if the driver refuses chemical testing.  It is important to note that California drivers have only 10 days from the date of a DUI arrest to schedule a DMV hearing to stop an automatic suspension.  Your attorney can fight the suspension at a DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing and work to have your administrative suspension set aside, and allow you to continue to drive pending that hearing.  In addition, a conviction of either DUI charge

Fighting a DUI case and working to keep you on the road and out of jail is a complex process and every case is different.  Our office has experience with each and every step of the process and can easily identify the best means to fight your case and help you get a great outcome.  We have helped Californians charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, DUI causing injury, felony DUI and DUI Manslaughter.  You need a skilled, knowledgeable and aggressive San Diego DUI lawyer to closely examine the evidence against you and find and exploit the weaknesses in the government's case.  Call the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar now for a Free Consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney.  888-200-9454

FREQUENTLY ASKED DUI QUESTIONS:
Will I lose my driver's license?  How long?
How do I get a restricted license?
How do I get my charges reduced to a "Wet Reckless"?
Can I win my DMV Hearing?
What can a lawyer do for me?
Will I go to JAIL?
WAYS TO DEFEAT DUI CONSEQUENCES:
Winning Your DMV Hearing
Winning Your Trial
Motion to Suppress Evidence
Negotiating for a Wet Reckless
Protecting Your Professional Licenses
Avoiding Negative Immigration Consequences
SERVING ALL SAN DIEGO COUNTY COURTS:
SD Central Courthouse - Downtown
SD South County Courthouse - Chula Vista
SD North County Courthouse - Vista
SD East County Courthouse - El Cajon
SD Juvenile Courthouse - Birdland/Mission Valley
DUI enforcement is a higher priority for law enforcement than ever before.  Penalties are harsher, and enforcement and prosecution are more aggressive.  If you are convicted of DUI, you face a fine of nearly $2000, possible jail time, a license suspension, a long term of probation, mandatory DUI classes and more for a first time conviction.  A second or subsequent conviction comes along with mandatory jail time, even higher fines, longer license suspensions and longer alcohol education classes.  If you or a loved one is facing DUI charges in San Diego, you need a passionate, aggressive and experienced San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney on your side to fight for you.

Sequence of a DUI Arrest
The government has the burden of proving that a driver charged with DUI was (1) under the influence of alcohol,  (2) under the influence of a drug, or (3) above the legal limit of .08 at the time of driving.  Before the driver even realizes they are being stopped, the police officer is already gathering evidence to build a case for DUI.  Officers observe the driving pattern, hoping to spot drivers weaving on both sides of the lane, or maybe even touching or crossing over a line.  This gives the officer the first piece of evidence that the government can use to say that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Upon initial contact at the driver's window, the officer is looking for signs of alcohol or drug consumption and impairment, including the odor of alcohol, glassy or bloodshot eyes, the odor of marijuana, drugs or alcohol in plain sight, slurred speech, and more.  These initial observations help the officer determine whether to conduct a full DUI investigation.  If the officer has smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage, observed bad driving or has even the slightest reason to believe the driver is impaired, they will begin a DUI investigation.

At this time, the officer would ask the driver to step out of the vehicle.  The officer is already observing the driver's balance and agility.  The officer will then request that the driver perform a series of field sobriety tests ("FSTs").  FSTs are VOLUNTARY, and you may REFUSE to comply with these traps.  After the FSTs to blow in a handheld breathalyzer called a "Preliminary Alcohol Screening" ("PAS") device.  You should (and may) refuse this voluntary test as well.  At this point, an officer must have enough evidence to have probable cause that you are guilty of DUI.  Without field sobriety tests and without a PAS test, it can be difficult for the government to prove that the officer had probable cause to arrest.  If there was not probable cause at the time of arrest, even if a later-performed chemical test yields a reading above the legal limit, the case in court can be thrown out and the DMV suspension can be set aside. 

If arrested for DUI, a driver will be given the option to provide either a breath or blood sample.  A blood test is generally more accurate than a breath test, but often takes longer to perform.  One benefit of a blood test is that a sample is retained, and can be re-tested by the defense.  If the government fails to properly preserve a blood sample, then that failure by the crime lab can be used to call into question the validity of the test performed by the same technicians in the same lab.  If there are multiple chemical tests (possibly including a PAS test or both breath and blood), the pattern between the different results may give rise to a Rising BAC defense.  That is, the government must prove that your BAC was above .08 at the time of driving.  A .10 two hours after driving might very well mean that you were at a BAC of .05 while driving.  This would not be against the law. 


Whether guilty or innocent, you have a strong interest in fighting the charges against you and avoiding the negative consequences associated with a DUI conviction.  Your San Diego DUI Lawyer can analyze your case, point out flaws in the government's evidence and take the right steps to get the best possible outcome in your case.  Being arrested for DUI, and even charged with DUI in court does not have to mean a conviction.  The evidence the government plans to use against you may have been obtained in violation of your rights or may not be reliable enough to secure a conviction.  You need an attorney who can explain the science behind your defenses, fight for your constitutional rights and aggressively negotiate with the prosecuting attorney.

Call the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar for a free consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney and DUI Lawyer.  888-200-9454.  We can discuss the details of your case, your defenses & case strategy, and get started fighting for you.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
San Diego DUI Lawyer
www.iDefendSanDiego.com
Toll Free: 888-200-9454
By Nicholas Loncar
 


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