California Driving Under Influence (DUI) laws are among the strictest in the country. As a first offender who does not cause any bodily harm, you can receive about $2000 in penalties and jail time. You might also be punished by spending 48 hours in jail, suspension of your license, as well as enrollment and completion of a three-month alcohol training program. As a third and subsequent offender, you are more likely to be sentenced to up to 16 months in state prison and receive about $18,000 in penalties and assessments. You are also required to enroll and complete a 30-month alcohol treatment program. If you have been arrested in California for a DUI offense, you should contact a DUI attorney. At San Diego DUI Attorney, we advise you to contact our local Tierra del Sol DUI attorney. Our team has vast experience in DUI cases, skills to navigate the local court processes, and defense strategies related to these types of offenses.

DUI Investigations and Arrests in California

Being pulled over

The initial step in a DUI investigation entails being pulled over by a law enforcement officer. While the officer can ask questions regarding your sobriety, you are not inclined to answer any incriminating questions. The best reaction to any question is that you would rather have your Tierra del Sol DUI attorney before giving any statements. In California, the blood alcohol content of 0.08 or below is not considered a DUI offense. Therefore, stating that you had a single drink to explain any alcoholic smell in your breath would not incriminate you.

Field Sobriety Assessment Tests

The field sobriety tests are the second phase of a DUI investigation. While you lack the right to inquire from your lawyer before submitting to the tests, it is your right to turn them down politely. According to California law, you are not mandated to submit to these tests, and declining them is a wise choice. The reason is that a law enforcement officer might have a subjective perception regarding the tests and record that you have failed even if the results are inconclusive. Such results can be used as evidence to convict you in court for a DUI.

Preliminary Alcohol Screening

This is the third step of a DUI investigation, and it is a breath test that is used prior to and after the arrest. It is the typical test that an officer will use to identify if you are driving under the influence. Note that you can refuse to submit to these before getting arrested. However, if you think that you have a high blood alcohol level, you can take the breath test with the possibility of challenging them later.


When you get arrested for a possible DUI, California’s Implied Consent Law stipulates that the officer should give a chemical test to assess your blood alcohol content. At this point, you are given the option to submit to a breath or blood test. You should note that breath tests can be unreliable, for they use an indirect method to assess your blood alcohol concentration. Considering blood tests are more accurate, it is appropriate to have them if you think your blood alcohol level is below the 0.08 legal limit. The extracted blood samples have specific preservation rules so they can be later available for independent testing by the attorney and later assessments. While you are not inclined to adhere to chemical tests, any declination attracts the suspension of your California Driver’s License for one year. This applies whether or not you are convicted of the alleged DUI offense. The best way to prevent this suspension is to request a hearing within ten days since the date of arrest.

After the ten days deadline after your arrest, you give up your right to the hearing, and the license will be suspended for 30 days. If you want to maintain your driving privileges and foster your possibility of getting favorable results in the DUI case, the first move would be to contact a skilled attorney. A Tierra del Sol DUI attorney, understands how confusing it can be after getting arrested for a DUI offense. Contact our office and get step-by-step help in dealing with your DUI case to get the best outcome.

Two Individual Charges of DUI

Traffic stops and DUI checkpoints are the two common areas where DUI arrests happen. The officer who pulls you over commences a DUI investigation and asks questions regarding your drinking and drug abuse. Note that the officer might attempt to convince you to submit to a breathalyzer test as well as field sobriety assessments to identify your level of intoxication. You should be aware of your rights under California’s law when you are pulled over for a DUI in Tierra del Sol. This helps you avoid doing or saying anything that ends up incriminating you.

Under California’s law, DUIs are charged as two different offenses. Vehicle Code § 23152 (a) VC stipulates that it is a crime to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Besides, Vehicle Code § 23152 (b) VC is a law that makes it an offense to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above. While these are two separate charges, they emanate from the same act, and most people arrested on DUI charges in Tierra del Sol note these violations on their tickets. It is also a crime in California to operate a vehicle under the influence of any drug or combination of an alcoholic beverage and drug.

DUI penalties

Drunk driving offenses in California are very strict and attract stringent punishments in case of conviction. However, all DUI charges are different, and if arrested in Tierra del Sol, the penalties you will experience depend on various characteristics of the case. California has specific sentencing frameworks; hence there are a variety of penalties that a judge can impose depending on the conviction characteristics. Note that the range of penalties is significantly influenced by the number of past DUI convictions recorded under your profile. DUI offenses remain on your criminal record for ten years and are considered as prior offenses. Therefore, any additional DUI offense occurring within ten years of prior offenses are regarded as subsequent offenses.

First-Time DUI violations

If you are the first offender in California and your past record is clean of DUI convictions, you will face misdemeanor charges that are punished through the following potential punishments.

  1. a maximum of 6 months in the county prison

  2. Probation

  3. A six-month suspension of the driving license

  4. A maximum of $1000 in fines

  5. Fixing an ignition interlock device in your car.

Second-Time DUI violations

If you have a prior DUI conviction and you get arrested for a similar case within ten years, you experience charges as a second-time DUI offense. This is also considered as a misdemeanor in Tierra del Sol, and the potential punishments include the following.

  1. A maximum of 12 months in a county prison

  2. Probation

  3. Two-year suspension of the Driver’s license

  4. A maximum of $1000 in fines

  5. Between 18 and 30 months of alcohol education program

  6. Fixing an IID

Third-Time DUI violations

If you are arrested on DUI offence within ten years since your two prior convictions on the same charges, you face a third-DUI violation. This is considered as a misdemeanor in Tierra del Sol and it includes the following punishments:

  1. A maximum of 12 months in county prison

  2. Probation

  3. A three-year suspension of the Driver’s license

  4. A maximum of $1000 in fines

  5. An alcohol education program of 30 months

  6. IID installation

Fourth and Subsequent DUI violations

Considering that the DUI punishments escalate with each new conviction within ten years, the fourth and subsequent offenses attract the harshest penalties. Note that a fourth time DUI can be charged as a felony violation that attracts the following potential penalties:

  1. Between 16 months and four years in state prison

  2. Felony probation

  3. A four-year suspension of the Driver’s license

  4. A maximum of $1000 in finesse as well as additional costs

  5. Completion of a 30-month alcohol education program

  6. IID installation

  7. Engagement and completion of an addiction treatment program

  8. Designation as a habitual traffic offender

Things to Do if you are arrested on a DUI offense

Exercise the right to remain silent

When you get arrested for a DUI, you might feel frightened, confused, and uncertain about your rights. During this time, law enforcement officers might capitalize on your situation and ask questions regarding your DUI offense with the hope that you might say something incriminating. You should always remember that you have the right to remain silent. This means that you do not need to say anything without a Tierra del Sol attorney present.

Contact a Skilled Tierra del Sol DUI Attorney

While the police might attempt to convince you that they want to assist you and are on your side, be aware that they have their agenda. Their primary objective is to collect enough evidence that the prosecution can implement to get a guilty verdict. The best move to undertake is to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer who will help you to understand your rights under the law. The step helps you to prevent any mistakes that could jeopardize your case. DUI law is complex, and it keeps on changing. More so, the facts of each case are unique, and therefore, you should seek the opinion and advice of an experienced DUI lawyer.

In a DUI case, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offense. This means that the prosecutor is mandated to demonstrate each component of the crime to the point that no sensible individual could feel that you are not guilty. The primary elements of a DUI case involve the following:

  1. You operated a motor vehicle

  2. During this time you were under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drugs, or you had a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher

While these might seem like simple matters to demonstrate, it might not be the case. Regardless of how convincing the prosecution’s evidence might seem, it is uncommon for DUIs to be hopeless. With a reasonable DUI attorney, it is possible to beat the DUI charges put against you. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the higher your chances of winning the case.

Experienced attorneys use various strategies to challenge a DUI case. At our local offices at Tierra de Sol, we can use any of the following to maneuver the case and challenge the prosecution’s case:

Illegal arrest – If you were arrested on unlawful grounds, you can get your DUI case dismissed

Unlawful DUI checkpoint – You should know that law enforcement officers are required to adhere to strict guidelines in establishing and operating a DUI checkpoint. With a skilled attorney, it is possible to get these charges dropped if it can be proven that there was a violation of any of these guidelines.

Miranda violation – California law stipulates that a law enforcement officer has the mandate to read you the Miranda rights. If the officers failed to do so, an attorney could get the case dismissed.

Violation of Title 17 – Title 17 of the California law affirms various regulations on how the government should conduct the DUI breath, blood, and urine tests. If an attorney can prove to the court that the law enforcement officers did not collect and store the evidence associated with your test, the prosecution will withdraw the chemical test results as evidence.

False-positive results – Note that breath and blood DUI tests are not entirely accurate. Therefore, an attorney can get the charges dropped if he or she can prove that the outcome was a false positive.

You should note that the California law stipulates that there are some aggravating factors that, if present at the time of a DUI arrest, might increase the penalties. Such circumstances escalate the penalty you get regardless of the previous number of DUI offenses. Some of these include:

  1. When you have a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher

  2. Causing an accident

  3. Declining to submit to a chemical test

  4. Driving at excessively high speeds

  5. Having a minor in the car

Under California law, there are alternative sentencing options. These are alternatives to a county jail or state prison. Some of these include:

  1. Roadside duty

  2. house arrest

  3. living in a sober environment

  4. Private jail incarceration

Note that lawyers that have no experience in California DUI might not know that such sentencing alternatives even exist. Even though they do, they might lack the skills to convince the prosecutor or the judge to agree. If you need more knowledge of these alternatives, please contact our local attorney office at Tierra del Sol for insight. In other words, it is crucial to have an experienced DUI defense attorney to advocate against your drunk driving case.

How a DUI Attorney can Assist

DUIs have hefty penalties in California, even for first-time offenders. An experienced DUI attorney can devise a solid defense and advocate for you to get the case dismissed. Conversely, you can lose the case and tarnish your record and even face penalties, and even jail term. Having a DUI attorney is crucial to help you understand and navigate the DUI laws in California. Such people understand the criminal justice system and have experience. While there are public defenders who have a reputation in criminal matters, they have various limitations. In this case, they have limited time and resources to devote themselves to your case properly. While the court might provide you with a random attorney, he or she might not represent you appropriately because of a lack of trust. Therefore, it is significant to hire a skilled DUI attorney even though it will cost you money. This will help you to evade the hefty penalties associated with DUI conviction.

DUI proceeding

The procedure commences after the arresting officer notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles that your license will be suspended for thirty days after you get arrested. Before the suspension, you will be using a temporary driver’s license that is provided by the officer. Note that the DMV proceedings are different from the DUI court, and the license revocation might still take place whether the judge found you guilty or not. After getting arrested, you have ten days to request a DMV hearing. Failure to this will prompt the DMV to suspend your license for thirty days.

Find a Tierra del Sol DUI Attorney Near Me

If you or your loved one gets arrested for DUI, you need an experienced attorney. At San Diego DUI Attorney, we have experience and skills to navigate California’s complex DUI laws. Our team will discuss all the possibilities and work towards the best outcome of the case. Get in touch with our local offices at Tierra De Sol through 619-535-7150