Frquently Asked Questions About DUI

Frequently Asked Questions About DUI

  • Why Do I Have Two DUI Charges?

    Upon arrest the arresting police officer likely put you in jail on two separate DUI charges.  Specific details on these charges are located under Vehicle Sections 23152(a) and 23152(b)). This is very standard in DUI cases.  Specifically, the (b) sections refer to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading of .08 or higher, and the (a) section what we call the “catchall” because it states that a person is impaired for driving purposes because of their consumption of alcohol or drug intoxication or a combination of both of them.  A defendant can only be sentenced to one of these charges, however you can be charged convicted on both counts.

  • What Happens if My Blood Alcohol Content Was Below .08?

    The District Attorneys’ office will normally only file the VC 23152(a) charge but no the (b) charge if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is below .08.  Additionally, your drivers license will not be taken by the arresting officer if your BAC Is below .08.  This means that your DMC administrative action against your driving privilege will not start.  However, even if your BAC level was below .08 the prosecutor’s office can still process both the (a) and (b) section depending on a theory called retrograde extrapolation(this means relation back doctrine) to demonstrate that when you were driving your BAC was actually .08 or higher.

  • If an Arresting Officer Asks, Should I Perform Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) or Preliminary Alcohol Tests?

    Do no perform field sobriety tests (FST) or preliminary alcohol tests (PAS).  You do no have to perform any FST or PAS test.  Additionally, you do not have to answer any questions that the officer asks you about your alcohol consumption.  Always be polite and tell the officer that you are willing to take a breath test or blood test at the police station or jail.  Refusing to take the blood test or breath test at the station could end up with the police offer charging you for a “refusal” allegation, which has a serious impact with the DMV administrative action, and also your court case.

  • Is My Court Date and DMV Hearing at the Same Time?

    No, the timing of your court date and DMV hearing are not the same.  If the police officer took your drivers’ license and also provided you with at pink 30 day temporary license you have to call the DMB driver safety office and request a DMV hearing.  This is time sensitive matter because if you fail to call the DMV within 10 days of your arrest, then your driving privileges will be suspended. If you contact our firm within this 10 day window of your arrest, we will call the DMV and schedule your DMV hearing.

    Jail staff will give you your initial court date when you are bailed out of jail, or your arresting officer will tell you about your court date if you are only given a citation and sign a promise to appear. Note, DO NOT wait for the court date to initiate your DMV administrative action.  If this happens it is already too late and your driving privileges will already be suspended.

  • Do I Really Need a Lawyer for My DUI Case?

    Yes! DUI charges can be brought up against you for ten years and sentences are unforgiving and costly. Additionally, DUI sentences increases in length if you have more than one conviction.  This means the more DUIs you have within a 10 year time period the more the court can punish you with mandatory jail sentences.

    In San Diego, the DUI court takes a lot of time, can be intimidating and often confusing. In many cases, I will make all the appearances for you in your DUI case and you won’t even have to appear in court.  I will only have you appear in court if you would like to or if it benefits your case.  Remember, a DUI arrest does not mean you are automatically guilty.

    Likewise, In San Diego, the dui court process in time consuming, intimidating and confusing. In most cases, I make all appearances for you in your DUI case and you will not have to go to court. I will only have you appear if you want to or if it will benefit your case. Please remember, a DUI arrest does not mean you are Guilty!

  • Do I Also Need a Lawyer for My DMV Hearing?

    Yes, if you would like the opportunity to maintain your drivers’ license and not end up with your privileges suspended.  Without a lawyer representing you at your DMV hearing it is likely that you will lose your drivers’ license and also your driving privileges will be suspended. A driving privilege suspension lasts 4 months on your first DUI.  There is an allowable restriction that will allow you to go to and from work after thirty days of actual suspension. There is a one year suspension that will occur on a second DUI offence which does not allow work restrictions. A competent DMV lawyer will have a fighting chance to save your driving privilege! My firm understands all of the issues at the DMV and the defenses to these issues so that you can be best prepared in keeping your license.

  • If Someone is Arrested for DUI What is the Best Test to Take?

    The best tests to take are the chemical tests which normally include a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) breath test on the roadside, and a breath or blood test at the jail or police station. You will not be asked to provide a urine test unless the officer believes you are under the influence of drugs.

    Choosing which test to take is a very delicate matter.  Do not take a preliminary alcohol test roadside mainly because you have the right to refuse this test, therefore it will be used against you in court. Selecting between the blood or breath test at the station or jail is complicated.  This decision requires a very specific understanding knowledge about whether you are in pre or post absorptive phase of alcohol ingestion.

  • What is the Difference Between a Wet Reckless and Dry Reckless?

    Dry and Wet reckless charges are smaller crimes than a DUI charge.  While a wet reckless is an alcohol related driving charge, it will save you expenses in fines and also in probation terms.

    A wet reckless will also help your employment and can be very important if you are in the military.  Note, that you will likely have to complete the alcohol awareness program and a prosecutor may use a wet reckless for the prior purposes for 10 years. This charge also carries 2 points on your driving record against the negligent operator status per Vehicle Code section 12810.5.

    A Dry reckless is not an alcohol related crime and will not be used as a prior conviction for a later DUI case.  It also does not have the same penalties or carry the same terms of probation as a DUI and wet reckless.  Note, this charge does carry a 2 point conviction.

  • How Must Does a DUI Cost?

    There are a lot of factors to take into consideration when evaluating the cost of a DUI. Costs include:

    • Attorneys fees
    • The increase in auto insurance rates
    • Fees, fines, and penalties
    • The DUI program costs
    • Admin costs and court fees
    • Blood retesting costs and expert consultation
    • If necessary, accident reconstruction costs
    • Fees associated to an investigation
    • Criminal and victim restitution

    The severity of your case plays a factor are closely related to the total cost of your case.  We recommend that you discuss your case with an experience DUI lawyer in our firm promptly so that you can get the most accurate cost analysis possible and best prepare yourself for the circumstances in your individual matter.

  • What Do I Do If I have a Commercial Drivers License?

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