San Diego is cracking down on DUIs (Driving Under the Influence), so it’s more important than ever to know what you’re up against when it comes time to defend yourself. There’s a wide array of penalties, and having the right attorney on your side can make a world of difference.
The consequences vary, and there are multiple defenses that your lawyer can use to help your situation. Having an experienced lawyer in San Diego will help ensure that you get the best possible defense.
What Consequences Do I Face for a San Diego DUI?
If you’re convicted, you may face one, or a combination of several penalties. The exact outcome depends heavily on if someone was hurt, and whether it was your first offense. The laws vary by state, but here’s what you can expect to face in San Diego, CA.
- Jail Time: About half of the states in the US require mandatory jail time for a DUI. In California, you have the option of a 48-hour jail sentence or a 90-day restriction on your license that allows you to drive to and from work only.
- License Suspension: Plan on having your license suspended. The DMV is known to suspend licenses even when your attorney clears you in court if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was over 0.08% when you were tested. If you are found guilty, your license will be suspended for between 30 days and 10 months.
- Fines and Penalties: In California, the fine is $390, plus more than $1,000 in other assessments. On average, you’re looking at about $1,800. Keep in mind; this sum is the minimum amount. The maximum total can be three times this much. Your lawyer will be able to work with you to help minimize this amount.
- Ignition Interlock Devices: Think of this as a Breathalyzer for your car. It won’t allow your car to start if the device detects any alcohol on your breath. These IIDs cost approximately $800.
If you are facing a repeat charge, someone was injured or killed, or you had a minor in the vehicle with you, these consequences dramatically increase. Having an experienced attorney on your side to navigate your options is critical.
What Defenses are Available?
There are several ways to defend against a DUI, also referred to as a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). Here are three of the most common:
- Field Sobriety Tests are Inaccurate: These tests of balance and coordination can be failed easily, even if you’re not intoxicated. If you’re feeling nervous, tired or have a physical impairment, it can be nearly impossible to pass this test.
- Bad Driving Doesn’t Equal Drunk Driving: It takes a skilled attorney to argue this one, but it can be done.
- The Arresting Officer Didn’t Comply with California’s Title 17 Regulations: There’s a rigid procedure that must be followed, including an observation period, calibration and testing of equipment, proper handling and storage of blood samples, etc. If not strictly adhered to, your lawyer can argue on your behalf that you be found not guilty.
How Our San Diego DUI Attorneys Can Help
If you’re facing a DUI charge, be aware that you have plenty of options. One of our DUI lawyers in San Diego can work with you to determine the best defense. Contact our office for a free consultation today.