We have a team of the toughest criminal DUI lawyers in San Francisco, California. We are specialist trial lawyers and we fight to win every case, regardless of how daunting the challenges are. Our primary objective always is to get all charges of driving under influence dismissed or reduced to avoid a criminal conviction. As experienced defense attorneys with unmatched expertise in the full ambit of the California Vehicle Code, we are the best legal representatives of defendants facing the stringent DUI charges in San Francisco.
The ideal outcome of any criminal case is acquittal or complete dismissal of all charges. In scenarios where dismissal of charges is not possible and an acquittal may seem to be unattainable, we can get the criminal aspects of the crime removed so a defendant is held accountable for a much less severe offense. The eventual objective has to be the least severe sentence, if at all. We have the highest success rates of acquittal and reduction of DUI charges in San Francisco, California.
Our DUI lawyers in San Francisco have decades of experience in dealing with all kinds of drinking and driving charges. Our experience and deftness are not limited to trials and plea bargains. We use empirical data, we get to the scene of the incident to investigate and inspect all facts of the case, we examine witnesses and find eyewitnesses if available, we cross-examine the accounts presented by the prosecution and employ all available resources to establish the innocence of our clients using technical avenues.
Drinking and driving charges can be completely removed if the evidence is not conclusive. The prosecutor needs to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was indeed drinking and driving, also that the driver was impaired while at the wheel during the breathalyzer test and subsequent tests. Any flaw in the findings and evidences of the prosecution can be used to get the drinking and driving charges removed. If there is some reason for the prosecution to rely on its evidence, an experience DUI lawyer in San Francisco can get the drinking and driving charges reduced, usually from felony to misdemeanor and often with no mention of alcohol or any other impairment in the case filed.
Fighting impaired driving charges in San Francisco may often seem to be an uphill battle. The technical evidence against an accused may be overwhelming and there may not be any apparent way to counter the facts as presented by the prosecution. You should know that there are various legal ways to fight impaired driving charges in San Francisco. We explore the full ambit of the prevailing law and use various tactics to get you out of impaired driving charges.
DUI charges filed for driving under influence of alcohol are dealt differently and impairment caused by marijuana warrants a distinct approach. Blood alcohol concentration and breathalyzer test are irrelevant in cases of marijuana DUI. Medicinal and recreational marijuana are legal in the state of California but a driver should not be impaired as a result while driving. Field sobriety test and other assessments will be crucial to establish or to counter charges of marijuana DUI. We are not only experts in the ambit of the law dealing with marijuana DUI but are also completely familiar with all the tests and possible defenses that can be mounted to get the charges removed, dismissed or reduced.
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If you are facing DUI charges, your best option in defending the charges is to contact a San Francisco DUI Lawyer. We have experienced DUI lawyers who have consistently delivered favorable verdicts to clients with different types of DUI charges in San Francisco or CA.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients.
What is the maximum blood alcohol concentration or BAC for DUI?
As per the California Vehicle Code, a driver cannot have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more while driving. Drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration of over 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood is a punishable offense. It is a criminal offense and hence dealt with severe punishments. The BAC between 0.05% and 0.08% is the caution phase. BAC less than 0.05% is safe. BAC beyond 0.1% is alarming and an immediate fail in a breathalyzer test. Underage drinking is prohibited in the state of California. The BAC for drivers aged less than twenty one years is 0.01%. Even the minutest trace of alcohol in their system is a criminal offense.
What happens if I get arrested for a DUI?
Your driving license will be confiscated and you will have thirty days to challenge the suspension at a DMV hearing. If you fail to defend yourself, your license will be cancelled. An arrest is followed up with filing of charges and you will have to face trial unless you appoint a DUI lawyer in San Francisco to present your defense and get the case dismissed or the DUI offense reduced.
What are the DUI Laws in San Francisco?
Section 23152 of the California Vehicle Code deals with driving under influence, drinking and driving and impaired driving. The law is not limited to driving a car but also a motorcycle and any automobile or vessel, including boats, trains and aircrafts. The law also covers impaired assistants of drivers or anyone under influence having any role in operating a vehicle or vessel.
What are the DUI Penalties in San Francisco?
Anyone convicted of DUI in California will have their license suspended. There will be a fine and possible jail term, probation and additional penalties. The court may mandate a rehab program or drinking and driving school. There may be community service. Installation of ignition interlock device is also mandated for most offenders.
Here are the minimum DUI penalties in San Francisco:
There could be additional fines for any accident or damage to property, if any bodily injury was caused and worse if there was any fatality. The jail term can be extended for third time and repeat offenders. The probation is usually longer for repeat offenders. Severe cases may lead to permanent license suspension.
What are the Consequences of Drinking and Driving?
There are short term and far-reaching consequences of DUI in San Francisco following conviction. The common consequences of drinking and driving, impaired driving or driving under influence are the following:
How do you beat a DUI charge?
The law enforcement can make mistakes. The arresting officer may commit errors during the entire process. There may be more than one error or flaw that can be used by an astute DUI lawyer in San Francisco to get the charges dismissed or reduced:
How much does a DUI lawyer cost?
If you are wondering what your DUI lawyer cost will be, it is important to keep in mind that the cost of defending your case will depend on some factors. Firstly, the number of days the trial requires is an important element to determining the final cost. However, you don’t need to worry since a trial lasts only a few days in an impaired driving case. Secondly, the amount of disclosure in your case such as the number of witnesses, expert reports, etc., will also matter. Thirdly, the amount of time your lawyer will have to devote to the case is another factor. Fourthly, the cost will also depend on whether you are hiring a private investigator, a toxicologist or another expert.
How do you get out of a DUI charge?
A deft defense lawyer will always try to get you out of a DUI charge without the need to go to trial. Specialized attorneys can find flaws in the cases they take up and cite that the evidence is insufficient to establish guilt. Our DUI lawyers investigate procedural lapses and use such illegality or clear violation of the stated law to dispute the manner in which accused is arrested, charged and treated. The prosecutor can be convinced that the case will get countered at trial and securing a conviction is elusive. These lapses, errors, mistakes or flaws can be used by the defense and you can quickly get out of a DUI charge. Below are two usual defense strategies employed to get out of a DUI:
A DUI defense lawyer highlights flaws, effectively making the entire case unsustainable for a prosecutor to prove the charges at a trial to secure a conviction.
A DUI trial lawyer gets the prosecutor to agree to a reduction in charge and accept a plea bargain. This can shorten the trial is shorter and lead to an anticipated or agreed upon sentence.
What are the chances of getting a DUI dismissed?
When there are flaws in the findings of the prosecutor, procedural lapses due to inefficiency of the arresting officer and other disputes, getting a DUI dismissed is easy and quick. All you need is a good defense lawyer in San Francisco. It is also possible to get a DUI dismissed if the prosecution has a relatively strong case. You need an astute lawyer representing you.
How do you get a DUI dropped?
You can get a DUI dropped if you can find some flaws in the case being prepared by the prosecution. No prosecutor wants to present a flawed case or claims that will get effectively refuted at trial. Our lawyers can get a DUI dropped by highlighting the flaws, agreeing to a reduced charge or entering into a plea bargain. We can convince the prosecution that they are not going to win if it comes to a trial.
How often do DUI cases get reduced?
DUI charges get reduced more often than frequent. The arresting officers make mistakes, the results of various tests are not always sufficient or conclusive, there are borderline findings that can be disputed, the right processes are often not followed and the very premise leading to the checkpoint or arrest is often unfounded and gets quashed at a trial.
What should I say in court to fight DUI charges?
The ideal DUI defense tactic is to counter the technical evidence and use legal grounds like violation of constitutional rights, cite procedural lapses during the checkpoint or abrupt stop and subsequent arrest, question the methods used and employ other means to derail the narrative of the prosecution. What you say in court depends entirely on how your defense is prepared. The case may not even go to court if the prosecution agrees to a plea bargain or just gets all the charges dropped due to effective defense. There are many ways to convince the prosecutor to drop DUI charges or agree to a reduced charge. Here are some common arguments:
What are the chances of winning a DUI trial?
The chances of winning a DUI trial are quite high due to the plethora of defense tactics available at your disposal. All you need is a reliable lawyer who knows the full ambit of the law and is an expert at all possible and hitherto unused defense tactics. Many DUI cases go to trial and there are substantial convictions but there are innumerable acquittals too.
How can I get a DUI plea bargain?
Our DUI defense lawyer will find the flaws in the case of the prosecution to get your charges dismissed. If not, then the prosecution can get the charges reduced in exchange of a plea bargain wherein you may plead guilty but of a lesser crime. A prosecutor will often agree to this if there is insufficient evidence or questionable circumstances leading to the arrest and subsequent processes. It is also possible to enter a plea bargain with no contest to get the charges reduced so the sentence is lenient. A plea bargain can lead to a reduction of charge from felony to misdemeanor, from driving under influence to just speeding or reckless driving and from a wet impairment to dry negligent driving. A plea bargain also allows the defendant to know the quantum of the sentence.
How do I fight a DUI charge?
There are many strategies to defend against driving under influence charges. There cannot be a generic approach. The facts of the case will determine the relevance of every proven strategy. The best DUI lawyers in San Francisco will not only rely on proven tactics but also come up with new ways to defend you. This is why it is imperative to have the best lawyers by your side, whether you want to fight a DUI before a trial or in the court. Even if you want a plea bargain or that seems to be the best way out, it should be contemplated upon seriously so the strategy works to the desired effect.
What is the cost of installing an ignition interlock device?
In San Francisco, CA, there is an upfront fine following conviction. There is also a legal compulsion to install an ignition interlock device. It may be needed for anywhere from six months to three years. The expenses must be paid by the defendant. The installation cost can be up to a hundred dollars. The daily cost will be a minimum of $2.50. This is a recurring expense a defendant has to bear after conviction.
There are other factors influencing the cost, such as:
Will I need to attend a drinking and driving program?
The verdict will spell out the specific terms of attending a drinking and driving program. This is not always mandated by the court. In case it is, you will have to attend one of the licensed DUI schools. You may have to attend the approved program for a minimum of twelve hours up to two years. Completing the program will qualify you to get the license restored.
Driving license is restored in:
First time offenders usually qualify for a restricted license so they can travel to and from the drinking and driving program, work or school and other necessary places subject to the approval of the court.
How long will I need an alcohol breathalyzer in my car?
An alcohol breathalyzer or ignition interlock device should be installed in the vehicle or car for a mandated period of time. It can be up to five months for first time offenders, up to a year for second time offenders and up to two years for third time offenders. Repeat offenders may have their license suspended for life so an alcohol breathalyzer may not be mandated.
What do I do if I am caught drinking and driving?
You should contact and appoint a DUI defense attorney in San Francisco immediately after getting caught drinking and driving. Appropriate legal counsel and representation is imperative to defend against the criminal charges of driving under influence in San Francisco, California.
What is the general DUI arrest process?
An arresting officer can stop a vehicle if there is reason to suspect the driver is drinking and driving, impaired while driving or driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, drugs or other intoxicating substances. A breathalyzer test is conducted followed by a blood or urine test, could be both. The test results are used as evidence to arrest and file the charges. Additional charges may be filed depending on the incidences. The license is confiscated and a temporary one is issued. The accused can seek legal counsel immediately. That is what you should do. Give us a call and you will have the best DUI defense lawyer in San Francisco representing you straightaway.