Sometimes good people make mistakes. Nonetheless, if you are found guilty of DUI in San Diego, you could face penalties like jail time, community service, fines, or withdrawal of driving privileges. Moreover, you could be closed out from educational and employment opportunities, or even your insurance rates could be increased. With the stakes so high, it is essential to engage the assistance of a DUI defense attorney. The legal team at the San Diego DUI Attorney can assist you in understanding the charges, knowing your rights, and determining what defense will work for your case. Read the article below to learn the different services we offer.

Understanding DUI

While the various services offered by an experienced Camp Pendleton North DUI attorney may look straight forward, it is best first to discuss driving under the influence in California. It will help you have a better understanding of the services.

Most DUI defendants in California get charged with either of the following misdemeanor crimes:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (VC 23152a), or

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher (VC 23152b).

To be convicted of DUI, the prosecution team should present evidence that:

  • You drove your car, and

  • That you were under the influence of alcohol when you operated the vehicle

Some movement of the motor vehicle is needed, and circumstantial evidence can be used to establish this movement to prove that you drove. The term under the influence, on the other hand, means your mental and physical abilities are impaired to a level you cannot drive the car with caution like a sober driver under similar circumstances.

Our Services

Our attorneys have the skills and resources to offer you the representation you require to fight your drunk driving charge. For many years, we have provided clients in San Diego with the following services:

Failure to Read Miranda Rights

Miranda rights are the warnings the police should read to persons they arrest before interrogating them. The rights originate from protection against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the United States.

The police might or not give you your Miranda warning when arresting you for DUI in California. It is because the police may have adequate proof to justify your arrest without interrogating you. In case there is no custodial interrogation, then Miranda rights are not necessary. The police might not read you Miranda rights at the time of a traffic stop, even if they are asking you to take a field sobriety test or preliminary breath test.

After being arrested and the arresting officer is asking incriminating questions, the police officer is supposed to read you the Miranda rights. Nevertheless, the police don't always play by the rules. They could violate the rights by:

  • Completely failing to give any warning

  • Failing to read you your rights before starting custodial interrogation

  • Continuing to question you even after you invoked your right to remain silent

  • Coercing or threatening you so that they can induce you to waive rights

  • Continuing to question you even after you have requested an attorney

If you have queries about whether what the police officer did was a violation of your rights, ask a competent Camp Pendleton North DUI attorney about what that could mean to your case.

Plea Bargaining

If you have been charged with DUI, a proficient Camp Pendleton North DUI attorney could review the details of your case and advise whether you should accept a plea bargain or seek an acquittal trial.

If a defendant is innocent, they need to fight the charge and seek an acquittal. However, if the evidence against them is substantial and the defendant is likely to be convicted if the case proceeds to trial, accepting a plea bargain could be the best decision.

A plea bargain is a negotiated alternative to taking a criminal case to trial. Typical it involves:

Sentence Reduction

To get a sentence reduction, you have to plead guilty to DUI. In return, you receive agreed-upon penalties. It saves the uncertainty of waiting to see what consequences the court will impose should you be convicted at trial.

Charge Reduction

On the contrary, charge reduction involves you pleading guilty to a lesser crime that carries less stigma and less severe penalties compared to a drunk driving conviction. The reduced charge is an outcome of negotiations between the prosecutor and your defense.

The following are the common charge reductions offered in DUI plea bargain negotiations:

  • Wet reckless

  • Dry reckless

  • Exhibition of speed

And if the prosecution case is weak, your defense attorney should be in a position to negotiate a charge reduction to:

  • Drinking alcohol in a car

  • Traffic infraction

  • Drunk and disorderly

How to Beat DUI Charges with Illegal DUI Checkpoints as Defense

The police who are operating a checkpoint will section off a part of the road, causing cars to merge into a lane before stopping. The police will ask you to roll down your window before asking to see your registration and license. The officer will also engage you in a brief dialogue that will help them determine if you are driving under the influence.

A DUI sobriety checkpoint should comply with stringent legal requirements. If these requirements are not met, your attorney can effectively challenge the drunk driving arrest and beat the charges. They include:

  • The supervising officer should make operational decisions

  • The criteria for stopping drivers should be neutral

  • The checkpoint should be reasonably situated

  • Sufficient safety precautions should be taken

  • The sobriety checkpoint duration and time must demonstrate good judgment

  • The checkpoint should reflect its official nature

  • Motorists should be detained for the least amount of time possible

  • Roadblocks ought to be publicly advertised in advance

How a Split Blood Motion Can Assist Defend Against a DUI Charge

Under Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations, drivers who submit a blood test can get part of the blood sample for independent testing by filing a blood split motion.

As the name suggests, the blood split involves diving blood samples into two. The police will use one portion when testing your BAC. The remaining portion is preserved should you want to have your blood retested independently.

A blood split motion can assist beat your DUI charge by casting doubt on the chemical test results' accuracy. Results obtained by the police are presumed to be correct. Therefore, it is the defense's burden to prove that the results aren't.

The simplest method to achieve this is with an independent test result that shows you had less BAC in your blood. It's especially true when your BAC is higher than the legal limit. However, it is useful in any DUI case.

Here are instances of positions, you could take and how a split motion can help:

  • You had a blood alcohol content below 0.08 percent when driving

  • The sample didn't have adequate preservative or anticoagulant

  • Your sample was contaminated

  • Your blood sample was switched with another person's

Usually, a blood split motion starts with your Camp Pendleton North DUI attorney asking the prosecution team for a portion of the blood sample. The prosecution should agree to the request. In case, the prosecution fails or refuses to issue the blood split within 15 days, the court could order the prosecution to do so. Additionally, the prosecutor will receive the following punishment:

  • Contempt proceeding against the prosecutor

  • Inform the judge of the delay

  • Prevent the prosecution from using the chemical test results at trial

Military Diversion Program

If you are currently serving or have served in the U.S military and have been arrested for drunk driving, you probably have a lot of questions about your future. On top of the seriousness of the DUI laws, there are special laws like the Military Diversion Program that apply to you.

Per California PC 1001.80, the program in question is an alternative to a jail sentence in misdemeanor charges against active members of armed forces or veterans. To obtain diversion, you don't plead guilty. Rather, the court postpones your court proceedings while you engage in treatment and education programs. After completing the programs, the DUI charge against you is dismissed.

It is worth noting that you only qualify if you're charged with a California misdemeanor. You are also eligible even if you are accused of several crimes provided, they are all California misdemeanors.

Other qualifications include:

  • You should be servicing in or have formerly serviced in the armed forces

  • Suffering from traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), drugs or alcohol addiction, or a mental issue that is due to service in the military

  • Shouldn't have joined in the military DUI diversion program before

  • You must waive your entitlement to a speedy trial and consent to join in the program in question

Getting Into the Program

If you qualify for the program, notify your Camp Pendleton North DUI defense attorney straight away. It allows the attorney to submit the Military Diversion Request and other necessary enrollment paperwork before the determination of your case.

After the judge obtains the Military Diversion Request, he/she will cancel the court hearing date and set another hearing date to determine eligibility. Moreover, the District Attorney's (DA) office will receive both the Military Diversion Request and the court hearing date.

The attorney must serve the DA with both a motion of admission to the program and a statement with qualifications proof. The lawyer should also present all the necessary documents such as:

  • Proof of service in the armed forces,

  • Professional assessment that you have either of the conditions highlighted above, and

  • Treatment recommendation and plan from a qualified doctor

At least fifteen days before the hearing date. In case the court opposes your admission, the DA must bring their objection five days before your hearing date.

And if the judge deems you suitable for the program, the request for admission is granted as well as your DUI charges put off until you complete the military diversion program. The court will not only attract conditions to the admission but also set a hearing date that confirms you joined and adhered to the conditions imposed.

Acquiring an SR-22 Form

If you require help in understanding the legal aspect of an SR22 filing process, the experienced attorneys at San Diego DUI Attorney are at your service. You have a better chance to obtain your driver's privilege back if you are informed about the SR22 requirements.

An SR22 is presented by your vehicle insurance provider to the California Department of Motor Vehicles to prove you have satisfied car insurance liability requirements. In other words, it is a proof of your motor vehicle insurance coverage. It is essential when you want to continue operating your car with an ignition interlock device installed or want the driving privilege reinstated.

If the DMV asks you to have an SR22, the insurance policy must cover all vehicles you regularly drive or cars you own. You do not have to obtain the SR22 form if your drunk driving conviction bans you from operating a car. The DMV requires you to apply for a Non-owner's policy if you do not have a motor vehicle but have constant access to your loved one's vehicle.

Your Camp Pendleton North DUI attorney should also help you file a Broad Coverage Policy Certificate and Operator's Policy Certificate.

DUI Above 0.15 Percent

In San Diego, the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. That means you could be arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher. So, what happens if you drive with a significantly high amount of alcohol in your system?

Driving your car with a BAC above 0.15% is an aggravating factor that carries enhanced penalties like a possible jail sentence, hefty fines, being required to install an IID, DUI school, and more extended probation. It is worth noting that these penalties can be applied even if it is your first drunk driving offense.

There are numerous advantages of engaging a qualified defense attorney. They include:

  • Collecting evidence about your case

  • Performing legal research and filing motions on your behalf

  • Negotiating a favorable deal on your behalf

Chemical Test Refusals

If you refuse to take a breath test after being legally arrested for DUI, you face the consequences of chemical test refusal. You will face enhanced and additional penalties on top of the DUI penalties and a compulsory withdrawal of your driving privileges irrespective of the case's outcome. The increased penalties include:

  • An additional forty-eight hours in jail and nine months in DUI school for a first DUI offense

  • Anextra ninety-six hours in jail for a second-time DUI offense

  • An additional ten days inprison for a third-time DUI offense

  • Afurther eighteen days in prison for a subsequent DUI crime

This is because when you drive in California, you're presumed to have consented to BAC chemical testing as long as you are legally arrested for drunk driving (implied consent law).

Fortunately, there are several legal defenses that your experienced criminal defense attorney can use. They include:

  • Your arrest was not legal - A drunk driving arrest is illegal if the arresting officer did not have probable cause for the stop or DUI arrest. If your arrest was illegal, it means you weren't given implied consent to the chemical test. After the DUI charges are dismissed, or the judge finds you innocent, the chemical test refusal charge will also be dismissed.

  • The arresting police officer did not inform you of your responsibility to take the chemical test - The law requires the police to tell you of the effects of refusing to take the breath test. The police's failure to do so is a significant mistake in the investigation that could lead to charge dismissal.

  • The refusal was due to a severe injury or a disease that isn't associated with drugs or drinking - The law recognizes that sometimes you might not be able to give a meaningful refusal or consent to a breath test. A perfect example is when you are suffering from a health condition or an injury. Nonetheless, if your inability originates from a voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol, this defense is not valid.

Drunk Driving with a Minor as a Passenger in Your Car

You will face enhanced penalties if you drive under the influence with a child below fourteen years of age in your car. Per VC 23572, the sentence carries an additional compulsory jail sentence on top of the drunk driving penalties. In other words, if found guilty of drunk driving with a minor in your vehicle, you will serve a jail sentence:

  • A first-time DUI conviction carries forty-eight hours

  • Ten days for a second-time conviction

  • Thirty days for a third drunk driving conviction

  • Ninety days for a fourth-time or subsequent drunk driving conviction

It is worth noting that this penalty enhancement only applies to a case where the defendant is found guilty of driving under the influence or driving with a BAC above 0.08 percent. Therefore, if your Camp Pendleton North DUI attorney can successfully beat the DUI charges, the judge can't impose an enhanced penalty for having a minor passenger, and Vehicle Code 23572 VC won't apply.

Get Legal Advice Near Me

When charged with DUI in San Diego, your finances, livelihood, driver's license, and future are at stake. A single mistake could turn your future upside down. Bearing that in mind, after being arrested for drunk driving, you've options with a San Diego DUI Attorney. Our competent DUI attorneys can take your blood alcohol concentration, probable causes, and previous offenses into consideration and develop a legal defense. To know more about how our lawyers can assist you in fighting for your freedom and rights, contact us today at 619-535-7150.