DUI Lawyer San Diego

There are nearly 1000 arrests for DUI in San Diego each year and almost 200,000 statewide. The consequences of driving under the influence can be devastating for the driver, accident victims, family members, etc. 

California has strict DUI laws in place. As a result, penalties for DUI convictions can be severe. Fortunately, not all DUI charges turn into actual convictions. What typically separates a strong DUI defense vs. a weak defense is the DUI lawyer in San Diego that you choose to work with. 

If you have been charged with a DUI offense, don’t gamble with your freedom. Bernal Law a call to speak with a proven DUI attorney in San Diego. Learn more about DUI law in San Diego below. 

About DUI Law in California

California’s DUI laws are tough and stringent. Like the rest of the nation, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 percent. There is a zero-tolerance policy in place for those that are under the age of 21. The BAC limit for a minor is 0.02 percent. California also levies enhanced penalties for drivers with a BAC above 0.16 percent. 

Interpreting DUI laws, filing effective motions, scrutinizing police procedures, etc. can all be difficult without the help of an experienced DUI lawyer in San Diego. 

Penalties for DUI Convictions

Penalties for a DUI in San Diego can be severe, even for first-time offenders. Not only can a DUI conviction put your freedom in jeopardy, but it can also affect many other areas of your life. Learn more about the potential consequences of a DUI below. 

First Offense

A first offense DUI (that doesn’t involve bodily injury) is punishable by up to $3,600 (fines, assessments, and fees), up to six months in jail, three to five years of probation, mandatory license suspension, and completion of an alcohol education program. Furthermore, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for at least six months (at your own expense.

Second Offense 

A second offense DUI in San Diego could result in up to one year in jail, up to $4,000 (fines, penalties, and assessments), two-year license suspension, three to five years of probation, DUI school, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for one year. 

Third Offense

A third DUI offense can incur up to $18,000 (fines, fees, and assessments), up to one year in jail or 16 months in prison, three-year license suspension, up to five years of probation, 30 months of DUI school, and installation of an ignition interlock device for two years. 

DUI convictions incur many legal penalties. They also can interfere with your ability to work in your field, find new work, live in certain communities, etc. 

Do I Need a DUI Lawyer in San Diego?

Technically, no. You do not need a DUI lawyer in San Diego. However, representing yourself is not recommended. The prosecution is well-trained, has many resources, and is motivated to win a conviction. A DUI attorney can potentially help to have charges reduced or dismissed, negotiate with the prosecution, and thoroughly scrutinize the strength of evidence against you. 

Can A Lawyer Get me Out of a DUI?

No reputable DUI attorney in San Diego can guarantee that your case will be dismissed or charges will be reduced. However, hiring a lawyer can significantly increase your chances of getting out of a DUI. Many times, charges are brought about that lack sufficient evidence or where the defendant’s rights have been violated in order to obtain evidence. 

An experienced attorney will thoroughly dissect every aspect of your case and fight for your rights. 

Contact Us Today

If you have recently been arrested for a DUI charge, it is in your best interest to contact a proven DUI lawyer in San Diego as soon as possible. A DUI conviction can cause a lot of devastation. So, it’s recommended that you work with an attorney that you can trust. Our attorneys at Bernal Law are detail-oriented, hardworking, aggressive, and ready to handle any type of DUI case in San Diego. 

Do not wait until the prosecution has had months to build a case against you, contact Bernal Law today for your free, no-obligation consultation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Should I Take a Breathalyzer?

Under implied consent laws, you have already agreed to take a breathalyzer if the police suspect you of driving under the influence. In most circumstances, it is recommended that you take a breathalyzer. If you refuse, your license will be automatically suspended for one year. Furthermore, the police may still force a blood draw (with a warrant). 

What is “Implied Consent”?

Every person with a driver’s license in California has already given their consent to a breathalyzer. However, implied consent laws only apply to chemical blood tests. Field sobriety tests do not have to be taken. If requested to do so, it is within your rights to politely decline. 

Can I Avoid a License Suspension?

If convicted of a DUI, no, you cannot avoid a license suspension. However, a DUI attorney in San Diego can significantly increase the likelihood of your charges being reduced or dismissed. They can also negotiate for lighter sentencing. License suspensions can last for six months up to three years (more in extraordinary situations).

How Can I Get My License Back?

Most DUI license suspensions require a “hard suspension” period that typically lasts for 30 days but can be as long as 90 days. During this time you cannot apply for a restricted license. However, afterward, eligible cases can apply to have their license reinstated on a restricted basis. Those with a restricted license are typically limited to drive to school, work, medical appointments, and any other destinations deemed necessary.

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