When I was arrested for DUI in San Diego, the police took my drivers license. How can I have it returned to me?
A qualified DUI lawyer can assist you in proving to DMV Officials that there was no basis for your license suspension or revocation, and it can be reissued to you. If you do not request an "admin per se" hearing with the DMV within ten days of your DUI arrest, the DMV will return your drivers license at the end of the suspension or revocation term, provided you pay a $125 reissue fee and provide the DMV with proof of insurance. The reissue fee remains at $100 if you were under age 21 at the time of your DUI arrest and your license was suspended under the Minor DUI Zero Tolerance Law.
How is the DMV drivers license suspension or revocation for my DUI arrest different from the drivers license suspension or revocation imposed by the judge following my drunk driving criminal court conviction?
Two separate cases are triggered by a DUI arrest in San Diego County. One is the criminal court case which you were given a specific date to appear on before being released from custody, and the other is a California DMV Administrative case for which you MUST request to schedule a Hearing on your license suspension or your driving privileges will be automatically forfeited for the applicable length of time, depending on whether it was your first or subsequent DUI offense within a ten year washout period.
The washout period is timed from the date of a previous DUI arrest to the date of a following DUI arrest. If you were first arrested on January 1st of 1996, and received a second DUI arrest on January 2nd, 2006, the 2006 arrest will NOT count as a second offense. In contrast, if the subsequent DUI arrest happened to occur on December 31, 2005, it would fall within the ten year washout period and count as a second offense.
The DMV drivers license suspension or revocation following a DUI arrest is an administrative sanction against your driving privilege only.
The suspension or revocation following a DUI conviction in court is criminal punishment for which jail, fines, and other criminal penalties can be imposed. In many San Diego DUI cases where no extenuating or aggravating circumstances exist, the court may allow for concurrent license suspension terms, meaning you would complete only one term, whichever is longest.
Do I have options if I have been arrested and charged with Drunk Driving in California?
A DUI arrest in California carries serious implications, and depending on the circumstances, may be charged as a felony crime. Your defense options are to hire a private DUI lawyer, depend on a San Diego Public Defender if you qualify financially, or attempt to defend yourself, which is strongly discouraged by Judges and lawyers alike.
Your number one priority should be retain qualified, experienced, and proven legal representation as soon as possible, ideally as soon as you are taken into custody and allowed access to a telephone. The penalties and consequences for DUI can be debilitating, and a DUI conviction will stay on your record forever.
Is a Drunk Driving or DUI conviction considered a felony offense in California?
In California, a first-time DUI / DWI / Drunk Driving violation is typically charged as a misdemeanor, rather than a felony crime. Felony DUI and Drunk Driving charges typically include DUI with Bodily Injury to Another, Vehicular Manslaughter, Second DUI offense, Third DUI offense, or Multiple DUIs.
What are police officers looking for after they have pulled me over and asked me to step out of my vehicle?
They are looking for the smell of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, unsteadiness, watery, glassy, or bloodshot eyes, flushed cheeks and face, dishevelment, disorientation, confusion, fumbling, and an admission to drinking. Click here to learn more about what to do and not do..
What questions should I ask before hiring a prospective DUI attorney to defend my drunk driving case?
A few of the questions you should ask any prospective DUI attorney are if he or she specializes exclusively in DUI defense, if he or she will be the one to represent you in court, whether they know the prosecutors and judges, whether they've ever been disciplined by the State Bar of California, whether they are a member of National College of DUI Defense, whether they ever take San Diego DUI cases to trial, what their recent DUI case results are, whether they have been through Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Training by the NHTSA, whether they are asked to speak at lectures, seminars, and training events on the topic of DUI.
More information on hiring a DUI lawyer.
Why is the California DMV presuming me to be guilty before innocent? Why are they penalizing me before I've even gone to court on my DUI?
The California DMV reserves the right to revoke your license to drive, since it is considered a privilege granted by the government, not a right due all citizens and residents. The DMV proceedings are sometimes deemed "kangaroo courts" as they are held in an informal venue and administered by appointed, rather than elected, DMV officials, vs. a criminal court trial by judge and jury.
What are the Penalties in California for a DUI or Drunk Driving Conviction?
California DUI penalties can include financial punishment such as fines, restitution to victims and property, penalties, attorney fees, bail costs, loss of wages and higher auto insurance premiums, mandatory alcohol and substance abuse treatment, vehicle impoundment and/or sale as a nuisance, incarceration in a jail or prison, revocation, suspension or restriction of your driving privileges, mandatory ignition interlock device in your automobile, and more.
This is my second arrest on DUI charges, but my first drunk driving arrest was 12 years ago. Will my first DUI conviction count as a prior offense?
No. If your prior DUI conviction was more than ten years ago, counted from the time of arrest to the time of arrest, it will not count as a prior offense. Any drunk driving or wet reckless conviction, that is followed by another DUI or wet reckless conviction within ten years is considered "priorable" and will be treated as a second offense and punished more severely.
The "washout period" in California, also known as a"look-back" period, is ten years, calculated from offense date to offense date, at which time the prior conviction "drops off" and becomes "stale", and can no longer be used to add to the penalties of your current DUI offense.
Is there anything that I can do to keep future employers from finding out about about my DUI conviction? Can I have my drunk driving offense expunged from my record?In most cases, a misdemeanor California DUI conviction can be expunged from your criminal record, and a felony DUI offense can be reduced to a misdemeanor offense on your criminal record. Click Here for more information about California DUI expungement.
How Can I Win my San Diego DUI Case?First start with a proven and knowledgeable DUI attorney. A skilled and experienced drunk driving lawyer can often win a case based on police mistakes, breath test defenses, blood test defenses, prosecution mistakes, and more. Click here to learn more about How to Win a DUI Case.
G. Cole Casey is THE top DUI Defense Lawyer in San Diego County. His practice is dedicated exclusively to the defense of persons charged with DUI, DWI and Drunk Driving in Southern California.
Call us twenty-four hours a day at 619.237.0384 or send us an email now to discuss an aggressive and legitimate defense strategy for your DUI case.