You could face a stigma that is difficult to handle if accused of DUI. Driving under the influence is an offense that anybody can face. But even though DUI is a common crime in California, that does not make it any less severe. A drunk- or drugged-driving conviction can have stiff and sometimes unforeseen consequences.
Since DUI could result in accidents that can cause severe injury or even death, prosecutors prosecute it harshly to discourage other people from ever drunk driving. If you are facing drunk-driving charges in San Luis Obispo, you could be subject to harsh consequences if you do not hire a skilled DUI defense lawyer for legal representation.
Legal representation makes all the difference between regaining your freedom and going to prison. This is because a knowledgeable lawyer can review the case facts and build a solid defense to fight the charges against you. They have handled many DUI cases, therefore, could obtain favorable results for you.
At San Luis Obispo DUI Attorneys, we are a team of knowledgeable and dedicated lawyers ready to fight for you regardless of your DUI charges. Also, we have solid networks with prosecutors and judges, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) knows us as honest and highly skilled lawyers who work tirelessly to ensure justice prevails. Contact us at 805-321-1000 if you are arrested or under investigation for DUI or to give yourself the best chance of avoiding a conviction.
Being a criminal DUI law firm, we focus exclusively on DUI cases, including defending our clients’ licenses at the DMV, defending against DUI charges, and handling any DUI-related matters. As a result, we know what arguments and tactics will work in our client's favor and what will not, and we are better placed to give expert DUI-related advice.
Our ultimate goal in defending you is obtaining a charge dismissal or not guilty verdict at trial. If a dismissal or a not-guilty verdict is not possible, we will strive to reduce the charges through a plea bargain so you can face lenient penalties. Again, we negotiate plea bargains only in cases where the prosecution evidence is overwhelming, and a court trial will virtually certainly mean a conviction.
Once you seek help, we will review your case carefully to learn about all the facts. Our initial consultation with you will seek to know the case details. You will meet with the lawyer who will take on your case and have the opportunity to interact with them while they also learn more about you. We will also explain your legal options and rights during your initial consultation.
With a lot on the line, you owe it to yourself to be represented by a qualified DUI attorney who can help you navigate the complicated California criminal justice system. Our lawyers will defend your rights at the DMV hearing and in court. When we work with you, we treat you as a person, not a DUI defendant. The questions we ask while analyzing your case include the following:
Apart from the possibility of having a permanent criminal record and serving an incarceration period, we consider other ways your DUI may impact your life. For example, will a DUI have immigration consequences if you are a U.S. non-citizen? We also determine whether your DUI offense can affect your education, family ties, and profession.
DUI is the so-called priorable offense in California, and even though it is primarily a misdemeanor, it can also be deemed a felony. Your criminal record will determine how severe your charges will be. For example, if you do not have any prior DUI offenses and have an excellent driving record, your DUI offense will likely attract lenient penalties. And if you have expert legal representation, the judge will probably dismiss your charges.
Aggravating factors such as driving with a minor passenger, driving with a BAC of 0.15% or more, and causing an accident while DUI will increase the severity of your offense. Instead of a misdemeanor, you could face felony charges even if it is your first DUI offense. We will review your case to determine whether it has any aggravating factors and, if so, how it could affect your case. After the review, we will build a compelling defense strategy considering all the aggravating circumstances present.
Time is of the essence. If you have been accused of DUI in San Luis Obispo, help from a good lawyer is your legal right, and your future may depend on it.
Since we focus exclusively on the DUI offense, we handle every aspect involving this crime. We are highly experienced in every area involving driving under the influence; as you may know, several exist. The key aspects of DUI we handle include:
When arrested for DUI, the arresting officer confiscates your license and issues you a pink ‘Notice of Suspension.’ This notice of suspension acts as a temporary license for thirty days. More importantly, it notifies you that you have the right to DMV administrative hearing to convince the DMV hearing officer why they should not suspend your license.
Note that this hearing does not come automatically. You have to request it within ten days of your arrest. If you do not demand the hearing within ten days, you will lose the right to the hearing. When this happens, your driver’s license will automatically go into suspension once the validity of the temporary license ends.
Note that you have rights at the DMV hearing. For example, you are entitled to legal representation during the hearing. You also have the right to:
Once you retain our services, we will protect your rights at the DMV. First, we help you request the hearing and present compelling evidence that will convince the DMV not to suspend your license. Although the DMV hearing and the criminal court case are two distinct processes, we can use the evidence we present at the DMV to fight your criminal court case.
Although the DMV hearing and the criminal court case are two distinct processes, we can use the evidence we present at the DMV to fight your criminal court case.
One of our primary focuses is DUI defense. Our lawyers employ the team approach when fighting against DUI charges. Additionally, we work closely with clients to ensure we understand their needs. This helps us build a defense that meets those needs and achieves the best possible outcome.
We are always prepared to defend our clients against DUI, thanks to our several years of experience in defending these cases and our knowledge of California DUI laws. We also know how local courts, judges, and prosecutors operate, making navigating the legal justice system easier.
We will explain the DUI criminal process and how we will help at every step. Additionally, we will inform you of the circumstances surrounding your case, what to expect, your legal options, and possible legal defenses.
The initial step of the DUI process is the arraignment. This is the stage where you enter a plea for your charges. We will advise you on how to plead, whether no contest, guilty, or not guilty. In most cases, we advise our clients to plead not guilty so that they can contest the charges against them. Besides providing legal advice, we will protect your rights during arraignment and help you navigate the process quickly.
After arraignment, the pretrial phase begins. The trial phase lasts the longest (from several weeks to months), and it is where we thoroughly investigate your case by doing everything legally possible, including visiting the arrest scene, reviewing the police report, and reviewing the maintenance records of the BAC testing equipment. We will also scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence to find loopholes that may help us discredit the case.
The prosecutor or judge will likely dismiss or reduce your DUI charges if we find substantial evidence that favors you. And if the prosecutor has an overwhelming evidence against you, we will try to negotiate a plea deal or solve the case without a court trial. For example, we may try convincing the prosecutor to charge you with a lesser included offense, such as dry or wet reckless, instead of DUI. If we do not obtain a good plea deal and your case goes to trial, we will fight aggressively to ensure we achieve the best possible results.
Not all DUI cases are the same. Every case has unique challenges and opportunities for the prosecution and defense team. Our goal is to use every opportunity presented to us in your favor. Common legal defenses we may argue based on the case include:
We will keep you involved and informed throughout the criminal process to ensure you understand all your legal options and rights. We will not make any decision impacting you without first consulting you. We will also tell you about the drawbacks and advantages of your case's possible outcomes to ensure you understand the implications of every decision.
We ensure we are well-prepared for eventualities that may arise throughout the process, mainly if the case goes to trial. Usually, court trials are lengthy and time-consuming, but we will not let our guard until your rights are protected and the jury/judge reaches a verdict. Note that you are entitled to a speedy trial, and we will ensure that happens.
A DUI case outcome is not certain. It would be unethical to promise that the judge will not convict you. Although, we promise to dedicate our resources and time to solving your case and obtaining the most favorable outcome. We will consider even the smallest detail when developing a defense strategy and fighting for you, so there is no room for mistakes or the slightest chance that the prosecution will find something to use against you.
A conviction for DUI stays on your criminal record for ten years. For these ten years, it will remain a public record that everyone can access, including prospective employers, landlords, or schools, when they run a criminal background check. Consequently, if you have a DUI conviction on your criminal record, you may have difficulty finding employment, renting an apartment, and furthering your education.
Your professional license may also be affected. For example, if you are a teacher convicted of DUI, you may be required to go on compulsory leave. If you are a commercial driver, you may be incapable of doing your job since your license will be suspended.
Fortunately, you can avoid all these repercussions by expunging your DUI conviction record. At San Luis Obispo DUI Attorneys, we help clients with the expungement process. We will thoroughly review your case to determine whether you qualify for expungement and help you file the petition. Like other legal processes, filing the correct paperwork makes work easier, and your record will be deleted as soon as possible.
Expungement is only possible if you have successfully served your probation or jail sentence, whichever is imposed. Those convicted of a felony DUI may not qualify for expungement. Consequently, if your DUI offense is severe and you are facing felony charges, we will fight to have the charges at least reduced to a misdemeanor so you can later request an expungement.
When you wish to defend yourself against DUI, you must ensure you have made the right decision to prevent you from going to jail. At San Luis Obispo DUI Attorneys, we understand how critical developing a compelling defense is, so there is no room for mistakes. We believe that when our clients hire us for legal representation, they trust us. We value that trust, and thus we do our best to deliver the best possible results.
We devote our time, resources, knowledge, and expertise to all cases, meaning we do not give up until we have fought in every way legally possible to achieve a favorable outcome. We exercise patience in reviewing a case and ensure we do not make decisions that impact our clients negatively. We maintain respectful and open communication with our clients, taking their time to understand their concerns, interests, and general situation.
We will keep you informed all through the criminal process and answer any questions you may have. We are also available 24/7, so you can reach us whenever you have a concern. We also take the time to explain intricate legal concepts to make it easy for you to understand your situation, the criminal court or DMV process you will undergo, and how your case is progressing.
When you are arrested for a DUI, you have many questions you want to ask to ease your confusion and frustration. Here are the most frequently asked DUI questions:"
DUI entails driving a vehicle with a BAC level of 0.08% or higher. This is known as per se DUI, and the 0.08% BAC limit is the per se limit applying to regular drivers. The per se limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%, while that of underage drivers is 0.05%. Underage drivers can also be charged under the zero-tolerance law. This law prohibits underage drivers from driving with a BAC of 0.01%. You may also face criminal prosecution for driving under the influence of drugs. DUI Carries severe penalties and a criminal record. You want to contact a skilled DUI defense lawyer as soon as you are charged to help you fight to avoid a conviction.
DUI is charged chiefly as a misdemeanor. And even though that is true, it is a priorable offense, meaning the severity of the penalties increases depending on how many priors you have. For example, the penalties for a first-offense DUI will be less severe than those for a second offense. The consequences are even harsher when aggravating factors are present in your case. Aggravating factors include driving with a child passenger, refusing to undergo chemical DUI testing, and driving with a BAC of 0.15%, among others.
The general consequences of a DUI include the following:
It is costly to be charged with DUI in California. Once arrested, the costs start accruing. For example, you will have to post bail if you do not wish to spend time in custody. If convicted, the judge could fine you and order you to pay court costs, which vary based on the type of DUI offense of which you have been convicted. You may also be required to pay restitution if your DUI caused an accident and there were injured victims. The amount of restitution you pay depends on the number of injured victims.
You must pay for the classes if the judge directs you to enroll in a DUI education program. The cost varies based on the program duration you will be taking. Also, if you are ordered to install an ignition interlock device, it will have to be at your expense.
Other charges related to DUI include driver’s license reinstatement charges and attorney’s fees if you retain a lawyer. Additionally, you will have to look for other transportation means if the court or DMV suspends your license. Also, your vehicle insurance provider will likely increase your premiums because they will see you as a high-risk driver.
You may refuse a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test unless you are below 21 years or on DUI probation. PAS is the roadside breath test a law enforcement officer administers before arresting you for DUI. But after you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you must submit to chemical testing if the arresting officer requests it. California has implied consent, which means if arrested for DUI, you have already, by law, implied your consent to chemical testing.
The ideal move in this situation is cooperating, submitting to the test, and letting your lawyer deal with the results later. Refusing to submit to chemical DUI testing is unlawful and will increase your sentence if you are eventually convicted of DUI.