San Diego DUI Attorney

DUI & Other Driving Related Offenses

The DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of C. Bradley Patton have aggressively and successfully defended clients charged with DUI related offenses for over 35 years. While a driving under the influence charge is one of the most common in San Diego, it is a serious criminal offense that can have major, far-reaching effects on your everyday life. California has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country.

Penalties include:

  • Jail Time
  • High court fines
  • Loss of Your Driving Privilege
  • Public Work Service
  • Completion of a 3, 9, or 18 month drinking driver program

If you have been arrested for a DUI charge, you are facing criminal action by the court as well as civil action by the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Call our San Diego DUI attorney now for a free consultation at (760) 438-3636.

CIVIL ACTION BY THE DMV

Quick action must be taken immediately following your arrest to ensure that your rights are protected. A request for an administrative hearing must be submitted to the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. If this request is not made in within this narrow time frame, then the DMV’s administrative action to suspend your driving privilege cannot be contested.

Requesting an administrative (APS) hearing is an important first step in handling your case. There are many areas where the APS hearing can be won by a knowledgeable and skilled DUI attorney. In some cases, hiring a qualified Forensic Toxicologist is critical to establish that your blood alcohol level was below a .08 at the time of driving or to prove that you were not “under the influence” of drugs at the time of driving. It is not illegal in California to drive with alcohol in your system. The DMV can only immediately suspend your license if your BAC was above a .08 at the time of driving.

The DMV is required to turn over the police reports prior to the APS hearing. A thorough review of these reports by an experienced DUI attorney is essential to challenging the legality of the detention. DMV actions can be overturned on these grounds if there was not a lawful basis for the initial detention.

CRIMINAL ACTION BY THE COURT

The criminal case starts with the arraignment. If you are charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense, your retained criminal attorney can handle the arraignment and subsequent court appearances without you having to be present in court.

After a plea of not guilty is entered at the arraignment, the next step is the pre-trial readiness conferences. These hearings allow your attorney the opportunity to thoroughly review the police reports and negotiate the case with the District Attorney’s Office and the Court. At this point, a complete legal evaluation is conducted to determine the best options for defending your case. These options include obtaining a court order to re-test the blood, filing a motion to suppress evidence negotiating a plea to a reduced charge, settling the case early to avoid more serious penalties, or preparing for trial. In appropriate cases, using an experienced private investigator and/or forensic toxicologist may strongly enhance the outcome of your case.

WHEN A DUI BECOMES A FELONY CASE

A DUI can be charged as a felony if there is an accident which causes any type of physical injury or if the individual charged has three or more prior convictions. In these instances, hiring an experienced DUI attorney is critical because of the severity of the charges and the potential of a jail or prison sentence. Often times, it is essential to hire an accident reconstruction specialist immediately so that the accident scene can be analyzed before critical evidence is lost or destroyed.

Contact our team of San Diego criminal defense attorneys here for a free consultation. Our Carlsbad, California DUI defense team serve all of San Diego County including San Diego, El Cajon, Escondido, Pacific Beach, Oceanside, Vista, Chula Vista, San Ysidro, San Marcos, National City, Santee, Poway, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Coronado, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Ocean Beach and Hillcrest.