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DUI Articles

How to Choose the Best San Diego DUI Attorneys

San Diego DUI Attorneys

County residents have choices as they look for San Diego DUI attorneys. There is a wide range of expertise as well as cost involved. Driving Under the Influence (DUI) penalties can be severe. Selecting the right defense attorney to protect you and fight for your rights is essential.

How to Choose the Right San Diego DUI Attorney

There are a number of San Diego DUI attorneys. If you have had no experience in choosing a defense attorney, using the following 10 tips can assist you in finding the right DUI defense lawyer:

1. Look for an attorney whose sole expertise is defending against DUI charges.

2. Choose an attorney that has a history of positive outcomes in DUI cases.

3. Your attorney should have jury trial experience, not just plea bargains. Going to trial shows a willingness to fight charges, rather than settling them.

4. You should feel comfortable with the lawyer you choose. Most San Diego DUI attorneys offer free initial consultations. Interview several before making a decision.

5. Ask if the attorney is a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD). NCDD is a non-profit, professional corporation dedicated to improving the criminal defense bar.

6. Determine if the attorney has ever been disciplined by the American or California Bar Association. If so, why?

7. Ask how much the attorney charges and inquire about payment options. Understand all projected fees and payments before hiring a lawyer.

8. Do an internet search to find out as much as possible about your prospective attorney.

9. Be sure the lawyer is licensed to practice law in California. Check with the Bar Association.

10. Is the DUI attorney familiar with the local courts and judges? Familiarity will help your case.

What to Expect
Experienced San Diego DUI attorneys are knowledgeable about the process involved when a client has been charged with a DUI. Part of the attorney's job is to guide the client through the ordeal.

Whether or not you must appear at your first hearing depends on the severity of the charges against you. In some cases, your attorney may appear on your behalf. Qualified and experienced San Diego DUI attorneys know the process from start to finish. Your best defense is contracting a competent attorney who will fight for you.

San Diego DUI Attorney Advice and Representation

San Diego DUI Attorney

A San Diego DUI attorney separates him- or herself from the general representation crowd by legal specialty. Not only does he or she have excellent legal education and training, the attorney possesses in-depth and intricate knowledge of the convoluted statutes, laws and requirements to which the state of California must adhere to uphold DUI charges. The attorney also knows the weak points and technology shortcomings which can cause doubt or dis-allowance of alleged evidence.

How to Choose Representation
All of the above qualities denote competent legal representation by an attorney. However, additional considerations must be reviewed to ensure you retain the right representation for you. A few items accent a highly qualified DUI attorney in San Diego, including but not limited to:

How long has the attorney been practicing law? How much of that has been locally as a San Diego DUI attorney? Try to obtain the services of the most experienced, knowledgeable attorney you can.

How does the attorney stand in the eyes of his or her peers? Is he or she in continuous good standing with the state and national bar association? What external positions does the attorney hold to the legal practice? Generally, those attorneys of good reputation are well-known, well-respected and well-received within the legal community.

DUI Successful Defense:
How many cases has the San Diego DUI attorney accepted, and how many of those has he or she successfully defended the client? How many times have the charges been reduced? How many cases have been dismissed? How many clients have been found not guilty? In other words, what are the attorney's tiered successes?

Additional Training:
DUI defense is a highly specialized, very difficult field in which to practice law. What ongoing training does the DUI attorney undergo, how often and with what results?

DUI Attorney Advice:
Know the difference between attending and passing the training course presented by the National College for DUI Defense given annually. At attorney can pay dues to 'belong' to the organization, but that doesn't mean he or she is a member and attends the annual training.

Client Services
: Look for an attorney tat offers a free consultation. Know fees and charges for all contingencies. Ask questions and be satisfied with the answers you receive before signing the retention agreement. Know that you make all decisions regarding your defense. Your San Diego DUI attorney is an expert, but he or she works for you.

San Diego DUI: Commonly Asked Questions and Misconceptions

San Diego DUI

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can have very serious repercussions, accidental injury or death to another notwithstanding. While some people who have San Diego DUI offenses on their driving records, some are less serious than others, but all have conditions, terms and penalties.

Commonly Asked Questions
People ask a library's worth of questions regarding San Diego DUI charges, but some are asked more often that others; a few of the more important ones include:

What is the difference between Drunk Driving and DUI?

Drunk driving or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in San Diego constitutes a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 or higher. Any alcohol or drugs in the blood constitutes Driving Under the Influence. Imbibing in one beer or joint could generate a DUI charge.

Do I have the right to refuse a breath or blood alcohol test?

You have the right to refuse field tests in California but not jailhouse chemical tests, but even if your BAL is 0, your driver's license could be suspended for one year. A conviction from evidence including a refusal often incurs harsher penalties than one noting compliance; every reputable attorney recommends you take the test.

My BAL exceeded the .08 level. What possible chance do I have to win?

Law enforcement must provide evidence to the prosecuting attorney that will withstand legal challenge from the defense against reasonable doubt. They must prove that all procedures, tests and conclusions were within proper requirements. Many San Diego DUI attorneys are very experienced in preserving clients' drivers licenses and even 'beating' or reducing the charges.

Common Misconceptions

Unfortunately, drivers find themselves embroiled more deeply than expected, because they don't know or understand what is and is not required from them and what is expected from and allowed by law enforcement. Commonly misunderstood issues include:

Traffic Stop v DUI Arrest: You can be stopped for a traffic offense and get arrested for DUI. If arrested, you won't get a traffic ticket, but the offense will be noted in the arrest report; the prosecutor takes that information under advisement during the trial.

Search and Seizure: Law enforcement can, if probable cause exists, search the front, driver's compartment of the vehicle without your consent or a search warrant. Possible issues which may constitute probable cause include empty containers visible or open containers in the front area. Another justification includes the driver admitting he or she has an open container in the front area.

Breathalyzer Acceptance is Self-Incriminating: Because California does acknowledge your right to refuse the field tests, there is no self-incrimination. You permit those; if arrested, however, refusing the chemical tests can incur additional penalty.

For the best outlooks, drive clean and sober. When you don't, remember that San Diego DUI charges are very serious matters. Because of the complexity of the law, the delicate nature of the equipment and individual circumstances, retaining the services of a qualified San Diego DUI attorney is paramount. The specialty knowledge far outweighs the free benefit of a public defender who doesn't specialize in that issue.

How to Find the Right San Diego DUI Lawyer

San Diego DUI Lawyer

If you are looking for a San Diego DUI lawyer to represent you, becoming knowledgeable about what qualifications to search for as well as DUI laws is essential. A DUI conviction can mean severe fines, penalties, and jail time. Finding an attorney who will protect your rights and fight for you can make the difference

How to Find the Right San Diego DUI Lawyer

No one is prepared for a DUI arrest. Choosing a defense lawyer to represent you during this difficult time is vital. It may be tempting to base your decision on whoever charges the lowest fees or appears first in the phone book. It is imperative that you choose the San Diego DUI lawyer who will best represent you.

Below are some tips when searching for a DUI defense attorney:

1. Your San Diego DUI lawyer should be a DUI defense specialist.

2. A competent defense attorney will have experience in both trials and plea bargains.

3. A qualified DUI defense lawyer will have a documented track record of positive and successful outcomes.

Most DUI defense lawyers offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Qualifications are important, but nearly as important is choosing an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. A DUI arrest and the aftermath is stressful. Working with someone you like and feel at ease with is critical. Take advantage of the free consultations offered before making a final decision.

There is no question that contracting a lawyer for your DUI defense is an unexpected expense. Most lawyers recognize that fact and offer payment plans.

San Diego DUI Defense Strategies

Your DUI defense lawyer will likely examine the events that led to your arrest and whether or not the officer acted within the law. For example, in San Diego county, an officer can only pull you over for probable cause. Legitimate probable cause includes driving too fast, being erratic, and committing routine traffic violations.

The accuracy of any field or jail blood alcohol test results may also come in to question. An accomplished DUI defense lawyer will investigate the administering of the tests and how the results were obtained.

Another aspect of your arrest that your defense attorney will delve into is whether or not your rights were respected. Were you read your Miranda Rights? Did you know that you had the right to remain silent? Were you given a phone call?

The right San Diego DUI lawyer will work to ensure you are aggressively defended, giving you the best possible outcome.

San Diego DUI Lawyers: Imperative in Special Circumstance Offenses

San Diego DUI Lawyers

Retaining San Diego DUI Lawyers is always important when facing DUI charges in San Diego County. When faced with Special Circumstances within the offense, however, having a knowledgeable, experienced attorney on your side is imperative.

What are Special Circumstances?

While all San Diego DUI Lawyers will advise that every offense is serious, there are situations which incur much harsher penalties, including higher fines and longer jail terms, if the driver is found guilty.

Minor Passenger, Under Age 14: If convicted of a DUI or DWI charge, and a minor passenger was aboard, you could face in addition to DUI fines and penalties additional mandatory time in jail, ranging from 48 hours to 90 days. Again, that's in addition to the basic charge judgment. Not even the best San Diego DUI Lawyers can appeal for stay or probation. It's mandatory—period. How long depends on how many prior DUI offenses are on your record.

Refusal of Chemical Tests: California law allows refusal of field tests but not jailhouse chemical tests. If you refuse those required exams, you can and probably will be charged with the unlawful refusal and subjected to mandatory jail time from 48 hours to 18 days within up to three years of a prior DUI offense. Your expert San Diego DUI lawyer cannot have that waived. You refuse the chemical tests, and you go to jail. That's all there is to it.

BAL .15% or Higher: Presents of a BAL level at .15% or more will prompt special consideration in sentencing, and it's not favorable consideration. Additional requirements, jail or after jail probation terms are often imposed and within the law. The higher the BAL, the harsher the terms of sentencing.

Reckless Driving While Under the Influence: This offense is defined by driving on streets in excess of 20 or more miles per hour above the posted speed limit and 30 or more miles per hour above the posted limit on highways while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A mandatory jail time of 60 days is added to any sentence for basic DUI offenses.

Additional Penalty Areas: San Diego DUI Lawyers will uniformly advise that driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a construction zone or a designated safety zone will incur double fines if convicted. Depending on other circumstances, extended jail time may be added as well and/or the charge will by statute be elevated one level higher than the offense. Consult a San Diego DUI lawyer for information.


The critical nature of these and other Special Circumstances enhancements to a DUI charge require expertise and dedicated effort that specialists—San Diego DUI Lawyers—can bring over any other attorney in the county.

San Diego DUI Defense Facts

If you have been arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in San Diego County, it is imperative that you select an experienced San Diego DUI defense attorney. It is also essential that you learn as much as possible about your rights, DUI laws, legal actions available to you, and how to find a qualified defense attorney.

California DUI Facts

Over the years, DUI laws have become much tougher. Acceptable blood alcohol levels are lower than ever, sentences are longer, and fines are higher. Below are some facts about San Diego DUI laws:

1. It is illegal for any person who has .08 percent or more blood alcohol to drive a vehicle.

2. DUI laws are not restricted to alcohol use. Drug use is included as well.

3. You can be arrested for a lower than .08 percent blood alcohol level if the arresting officer discerns that your driving is impaired.

4. You can initially be pulled over for other infractions, such as speeding, and, if the officer warrants it, charged with a DUI.

Your Rights

You have certain rights when you are pulled over for a DUI. Some of these include:

1. You may refuse to subject yourself to field sobriety tests. You are required to take to take a blood or alcohol level test at the jail, however, or face increased penalties for refusal.

2. The police officer must have probable cause to pull you over. Reasons include: erratic driving, speeding, traffic violations, and violations of the vehicle code.

3. You have the right to remain silent and demand legal counsel.

4. You have the right to make a phone call.

An experienced San Diego DUI defense attorney should be contracted as soon as possible.

How to Find the Right San Diego DUI Defense Attorney

Finding the right attorney can mean the difference between severe penalties and minimal or reversal of charges. Below is a list of questions to ask when interviewing defense attorneys:

1. Is the attorney's only practice in DUI defense cases?

The best San Diego DUI defense attorney only practices DUI defense.

2. Will the same attorney represent you now and throughout the process?

It is vital that you get to know your attorney and the attorney gets to know you in order to build the best defense.

3. Does the attorney have a record of recent cases and verdicts that you can see?

An excellent defense attorney will have a recent history of cases with positive results.

4. Has the attorney ever been disciplined by the California Bar Association?

If so, find another attorney.

DUI penalties can be severe. In order to protect yourself, know your rights and hire a highly qualified San Diego DUI defense lawyer.

How to Find DUI Attorneys

Finding the right DUI San Diego defense attorney is essential if you require legal representation. A qualified DUI lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected and has the knowledge and determination to get the best possible outcome in your case.

Most DUI San Diego defense attorneys offer free consultations. Before hiring a lawyer, consider the following 6 tips:

1. The attorney should have a documented track record of positive outcomes, including plea bargains and jury trials.

2. The attorney's sole practice should be in the field of DUI defense.

3. The prospective lawyer should have a clean Bar Association record.

4. A DUI defense can be costly. Ask about fees charged and available payment options.

5. Hire an attorney with whom you feel comfortable.

6. The attorney should have extensive experience in the San Diego county court system.

DUI San Diego Law Violations and Your Rights

San Diego DUI laws span from the basic DUI to more severe infractions that carry additional penalties. Multiple DUI charges, work zone violations, bodily injury, prior felonies, and a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit subject the offender to “enhancements” under the law.

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, remember that you have the certain rights including the following:

1. Other than state your identity, you have the right to refuse to answer questions or make statements.

2. You may refuse to submit to a roadside alcohol test.

Note: If arrested, however, you must submit to one or more tests.

3. You have the right to legal counsel.

Be respectful when responding to the police officer, even when refusing to answer questions or take tests.

Why a DUI San Diego Attorney is Your Best Defense

DUI laws are complicated. A highly qualified DUI defense attorney possesses skills that run the gamut, from court procedures to the science of toxicology. The best DUI defense lawyer will also be backed by a team of professionals to assist in your defense.

Penalties from a DUI conviction can be severe. Your work and family life will be impacted from the resulting fines and loss of driving privileges. The right DUI San Diego defense attorney can help you minimize the damage so you can go on with your life.

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