Driving Under The Influence (DUI)

The Right Advice In Tough Situations
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ach arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) is based on the unique facts of that case. As such, a review of the facts by an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential. At EVLG, we will review your reports with you and advise you on the best way to proceed with your case.

When you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you can be charged with criminal (misdemeanor) charges in the Superior Court and face a license suspension from the DMV. There are separate hearings for both the court and the DMV. Typically, to avoid a license suspension you must win both the DUI in court and the DMV Hearing.

DUI In Court

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nce you have been stopped by an officer and he believes you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he will place you under arrest and take you to the station. Once you are released from custody you will likely receive a notice of when you are to report to court for your arraignment on the charges. The arraignment is your opportunity to enter a guilty or not guilty plea to the charges. It is wise to retain an attorney prior to your first court hearing so the attorney can appear for you at the arraignment and protect your rights. However, if you have not retained an attorney prior to your first hearing, you can ask the court for a continuance of your arraignment to give you time to hire an attorney.

If you decide to fight the DUI charges, the court will set another hearing called a readiness conference. If your case is not resolved at the readiness conference, it will be set for trial.

When you retain our office, we make all of your court appearances for you. The only time you would need to step in to court is when you take the case to trial. After each court appearance, we will let you know what transpired and we can discuss how to proceed with your case.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)​

Administrative Per Se Hearing (APS)

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hen you get arrested for a DUI, the arresting officer is required to issue you a temporary license–a pink form that allows you to drive temporarily. Unfortunately, lots of people fail to read and understand the entire form. If you look at the middle of the form you will see in bold that you are given 10 days to request an administrative per se (APS) hearing with the DMV. If you fail to request the APS hearing within 10 days, it will be too late, and your license will be suspended without having an opportunity to defend yourself. When you retain our office prior to the 10 days, we will contact the DMV and set up an APS hearing.

The hearing is conducted by a DMV Hearing Officer. The Hearing Officer reviews the police reports and may call the arresting officer to testify at the hearing. During the hearing, the DMV must prove that (1) the arresting officer had reasonable cause to believe that you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of the Vehicle Code, (2) you were placed under lawful arrest, and (3) you were driving when you had .08 % or more of alcohol in your blood.

The Hearing Officer acts as both prosecutor and judge, determining whether your license should be suspended. Needless to say, you are at a disadvantage.  To help level the playing field, you are entitled to have a criminal defense attorney represent you at the hearing. When you retain our office, we will obtain the police reports prior to the hearing, review those reports for objectionable evidence, attend the hearing, cross-examine any witnesses, and argue against the evidence presented by the hearing officer.

If you win the hearing the DMV does not suspend your license.

A DUI offense in San Diego County can have serious and lasting consequences.

If you are convicted of a DUI, the court will impose certain conditions against you. You will be placed on 5 years summary (informal) probation. The court will also order you to pay a fine of approximately $2,000. Further, you will be ordered not to violate any laws, and comply with standard alcohol conditions which include not driving with any measurable amount of alcohol. The court may also order public work service depending on your blood alcohol concentration at the time you were arrested for the DUI. The court will also order you to attend a First Conviction Program which is either 3 months, or 9 months, long depending again on your blood alcohol concentration. Finally, the court will order you to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) class.

In addition to all the conditions set forth by the Court, you will also have your license suspended and your vehicle insurance will increase significantly. The conviction can also be used as a prior DUI conviction against you for the next 10 years.

As expected, the punishment for a second DUI conviction in a 10 year period has more severe consequences than a first DUI.

For a second DUI conviction, the court will place on 5 years probation, sentence you to 96 hours of custody (which can be served on weekends or through the Sheriff’s Work Release program), order you to pay a fine of approximately $2,400, order public work service depending on your test results, the MADD class, and order you to perform an 18 month Multiple Conviction Program.

A third DUI carries the same 5 years of probation, a mandatory 120 days of custody, a fine of $2,674, the 18 month Multiple Conviction Program, MADD class, and a likely a vehicle impound and you may be designated a habitual offender.

A fourth DUI may be charged as a felony conviction and possibly several months in custody.

If you have any questions about DUI charges, please contact our office to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about both your criminal case and your DMV hearing.

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