CALIFORNIA DUI LAW If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), you could be facing loss of your driver’s license, heavy fines, skyrocketing insurance rates, a tarnished record or reputation, even jail time. Obviously, this is an extremely serious situation that could negatively impact your job, your family, your future, everything you’ve worked towards your entire life. However, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. By choosing a San Diego DUI defense firm with an aggressive, knowledgeable DUI attorney with a proven track record of success, you can significantly increase the chances of getting your fines, charges, and DMV penalties reduced or dismissed. A DUI charge has a criminal component and an administrative component before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For both you’ll need a skilled San Diego DUI lawyer. This article provides a chronological walk through of the DUI process in California and how our office wins DUI cases in San Diego. Criminal Investigation and Arrest A DUI investigation typically begins either when a police officer pulls you over for some sort of traffic violation or an accident occurs, and law enforcement is called to the scene. The investigation and arrest typically result in two separate charges which brings some confusion for many charged. California Vehicle Code 23152(a) and 23152(b) You may be asking yourself why you have been charged with two separate vehicle code violations for one incident. The short explanation is that the prosecution gets two chances at a DUI conviction based on California Vehicle Code 23152 section (a) and (b). Vehicle Code 23152(a) is the subjective standard for DUI. Vehicle Code 23152(b) lays out the fundamental definition of a DUI, which includes driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08%. These are two separate laws for the same act, meaning you can be guilty of both for driving under the influence of alcohol. See below for a breakdown of each violation and what the prosecutor must prove. Vehicle Code 23152(a) – What does the prosecution need to prove California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle “under the influence” of alcohol. In order to be convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol, the prosecutor must prove the following: 1. You drove a motor vehicle, and 2. At the time of driving, you were under the influence of alcohol. The prosecution will usually attempt to prove these elements with the arresting officer’s testimony regarding your physical or mental abilities during their interaction with you. The arresting officer will typically testify that they witnessed you swerving or driving erratically. They will also testify regarding your physical symptoms of intoxication such as red, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, an unsteady walk, etc. Again, that is why this section is considered the “subjection” DUI charge. Vehicle Code 23152(b) – What does the prosecution need to prove California Vehicle Code section 23152(b) makes it a crime to drive a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. In order to be convicted, the prosecutor must prove the following: 1. You drove a vehicle, and 2. At the time of driving, you had a BAC of 0.08% or more. The key to establishing this charge is proving not only that you had a BAC of 0.08% or higher but that you did so while driving. It is not illegal to simply have a BAC over 0.08 after you’ve driven. The only relevant time period for purposes of this section is while you were driving. Just because it is alleged that your BAC was over the legal limit does not end your case. You must have been over the legal limit at the time of driving. This may be a critical issue in your case and the number one reason why you should consult with your DUI attorney as soon as possible. DMV Administrative Hearing California has some of the strictest laws in the country regarding drunk driving. Prompt action can have a significant impact on a successful defense. Especially as it pertains to the administrative aspect of your case with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). After you are arrested for DUI and your driver’s license is confiscated, you have a 10-day deadline for requesting a hearing with the DMV on your license suspension and to get an extension of your temporary license. For most people the loss of your driver’s license is the harshest penalty associated with a DUI so avoiding this is a top priority. The DMV hearing is separate from the court case. At this hearing, the DMV is only concerned with your BAC when arrested and whether the arresting officer had probable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence. Keep in mind that a public defender cannot represent you before the DMV, but you do have the right to private counsel if you choose. Having a private attorney present greatly increases your chances of avoiding a license suspension. Griffin Law Office has proven strategies for these hearings that have shown time and time again to significantly help the client’s criminal case. Hiring a DUI Attorney San Diego DUI attorney Patrick Griffin has been able to achieve great results for his clients because he understands the science behind a DUI, he graduated with honors from the nations #1 trial skills law school and treats every case with unmatched attention. DUI cases are won or lost with the finer details and the Griffin Law Office has the resources to comb through every piece of evidence to find holes in the prosecution’s case. This attention combined with polished courtroom skills give you the best chance to walk away without a DUI conviction following you. We understand the urgency and importance of your DUI case. Because so much of our practice is focused on DUI representation, our fee is competitive. We offer affordable installment payment plans that allow you to stretch your payments over months. Also, we normally order your police report and set up your DMV hearing the same day you hire us. This goes a long way with our clients, who are normally anxious to see the report, which contains the police accusations and blood results. We regularly appear in court on our clients’ behalf, thus saving them valuable work time, not to mention embarrassment. Most of our DUI clients are first-timers, and we vigorously defend them. Further, most of our new DUI clients come as a referral from satisfied clients who were in the same predicament and were pleased with our office and results. A vigorous and complete defense also gains us respect with prosecutors and judges, in addition to the referrals we receive from happy clients. If you have been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense, a fast, legal response may be necessary. Please call or contact our office now to schedule your FREE CONSULTATION.
What does the prosecutor have to prove?
1. Defendant drove a motor vehicle.
2. Defendant did so while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.
3. When he/she drove, defendant's BAC was 0.08 % or more. [Cal Crim No. 2110 and 2111]
Misdemeanor: 2-180 days
Patrick got my entire case dismissed! I was almost sure we would lose but I am glad that I listened when he told me that the case was winnable. He always called me back the same day, answered my emails in a quick and timely fashion, and kept me in the loop with everything pertaining to my case. He also was helpful in the fact that he gave me pointers on how to handle MY particular case: what to do, what to say, and how to act. Thanks Patrick!!
My husband was referred to Patrick. We are SO thankful we found him! My husband had a case against him where he potentially could have paid big fines or penalties, but Patrick basically got the entire cased dismissed. Everyone else involved in the case had to plead guilty! He worked aggressively, always communicated with us about what was going on and what was going to happen, is very pleasant to deal with and made my husband feel valued despite the situation. If you are looking for a good Lawyer, Patrick is awesome!
A few months ago I was asked by a friend for the name of a lawyer who handles DUI’s in San Diego. As a fellow attorney in San Diego I have many lawyer names in my rolodex who handle such cases, but I thought Patrick would be the best “fit” for my friend. Patrick met with my referral on multiple occasions, always answered his e-mails and calls on a prompt basis, and ultimately achieved an amazing result on a ca se which was definitely an uphill challenge. Great job Patrick!
by Alex Dychter, Employment Law Attorney
Patrick Griffin is an outstanding criminal defense lawyer, who knows both the legal intricacies and interpersonal dynamics of criminal matters essential to mounting a successful defense. Mr. Griffin is a consummate professional, who acts with civility and integrity while achieving the best outcome for his clients. I recommend Patrick’s services unequivocally.
by Kevin Murphy, Administrative Law Attorney
Patrick was great! I hired Mr. Griffin after a friend referred me to him. I met with a few older attorneys who all treated me like another file before I decided to hire Patrick. He was great from the start… he knows his stuff and is a great communicator, both with me and when he is in court. His energy is obvious from the first few minutes of meeting with him. I was kept informed every step of the way and when it was all said and done I couldn’t have been happier with the result. I have already referred two other people to the Griffin Law Office and they both have thanked me.
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