Experienced DUI Lawyer Serving Clients in San Diego

A DUI arrest can be a very frightening and embarrassing experience, especially for someone who considers themselves to be a law abiding citizen. But alcohol and drugs (illicit or prescribed) can skew your perception and cloud your judgment, resulting in a decision that you would not typically make while sober.

You may be feeling scared about losing your license, ashamed about getting arrested and worried about having to pay steep fines or even serving jail time. It’s also common to have concerns over your inability to drive, which may result in the loss of your job, dramatically increased transportation expenses and other adverse impacts on you and your family.

At The Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter, our goal is to help guide you through the legal process following a DUI arrest. As one of the most experienced San Diego DUI attorneys, Elliott Kanter has more than 35 years of professional experience working with clients like you. It’s Mr. Kanter’s belief that to error is to be human; it’s his goal to help you work through the consequences of your driving under the influence arrest, while minimizing the penalties set forth by California state law.

(Click a statute below for additional information)

Statutes Description
23152 (a) VC Driving under the influence of alcohol Up to 1 year in county jail
23152 (e) VC Driving under the influence of a drug Up to 1 year in county jail
23153 (a) or (b) VC Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causing bodily injury Up to 3 years in prison

 

Ask An Attorney in San Diego If You Have Questions After a DUI Arrest

Many of the people who come to DUI lawyers have never been arrested before, so understandably, they have absolutely no idea of what to expect. This uncertainty can lead to fear and stress, which may serve to complicate an already-difficult situation.

At The Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter, we receive many questions from worried people who need help after a DUI. The following is a look at some of the most common queries that we receive. If you have addition questions, please call us to schedule a free consultation regarding your DUI case.

Will I Have to Go to Jail for a DUI? An Experienced Lawyer in San Diego County May Be Able to Help

A DUI conviction carries serious penalties. In California, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of three days for first-time offenders. If a “not guilty” verdict or dismissal is unlikely, aggressive lawyers will typically work to get your case downgraded to a lesser charge (such as “wet reckless”). Your lawyer may also attempt to negotiate a plea deal that does not entail jail time.

In cases where a client is found “guilty” of DUI, your defense attorney may strive to present compelling evidence and information that supports a request for a more lenient sentence of probation in lieu of jail.

Will I Have to Pay a Fine After Getting Convicted of DUI?

If you are convicted of DUI or plead “guilty”, you may be subject to a fine. DUI fines in California start at $390 to $1,000 for a first offense. Subsequent offenses can carry a fine of $18,000 or more.

How Long Will I Lose My Driver’s License After a DUI Arrest?

The minimum suspension timeframe for a first-time DUI offender is typically four months. In the case of a felony DUI or subsequent DUIs, your license may be suspended or revoked for a period of one to two years or longer.

Generally, your driver’s license will be confiscated by police, who will usually present you with a notice of suspension, and then suspended by the DMV. To fight the suspension, you will have to schedule a DMV hearing. But a temporary license is often obtained in very short order, providing that you had a valid California license prior to your arrest.

Highly Skilled Attorney Explains Restricted Licenses After a DUI

A temporary license can restore your driving privileges for a period of 30 days in most cases. Once this expires, you may seek out a restricted driver’s license. A California restricted license allows for travel to work and to court. This license also carries other conditions, such as a requirement for SR-22 insurance (also referred to as proof of financial responsibility) and the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID is affixed to the ignition and it will not permit the car to start unless the driver submits to a breathalyzer test. You may also be required to take a special DUI-related course.

However, there is no guarantee the courts will approve a restricted license in your case. Seek legal representation from a law firm that can provide legal advice on how you can get approved for this license. With these special driver’s license types, you may be able to maintain some of your driving privileges until your normal license is reinstated.

How Much Does a DUI Cost According to Top Law Firms in San Diego?

Our attorneys find that the total cost of a DUI in San Diego varies dramatically from case to case, as there are many variables involved. Some of the expenses include fines, SR-22 insurance (and higher auto insurance premiums for several years following a DUI), the cost of attending court-mandated classes, the cost to get a restricted license and/or to reinstate your normal license and the cost of hiring a San Diego DUI attorney. You may also be charged an IID fee if the court orders the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

I Wasn’t Drinking and Driving. I Only Took a Prescribed Medication. Is This Still a DUI?

A charge of driving under the influence may be filed if the individual is impaired by alcohol, or any kind of drug, including illicit drugs or even a legally prescribed prescription medication.

I Refused a Chemical Test After My Arrest. Am I in Trouble? How Can Skilled Lawyers Help?

In California, there is an “implied consent” law surrounding chemical tests, which can include a breathalyzer, blood test or urine test. This means that you are essentially required to submit to a chemical test after your arrest; if you decline this test, a police officer must verify that you are, in fact, refusing.

A person who refuses to submit to a chemical test typically suffers mandatory penalties for license suspension/revocation. In addition, you usually become ineligible for a restricted license. If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor is permitted to tell the jury that you declined testing.

It’s important to note that this implied consent only applies to the chemical test that is administered after your arrest. Police may ask you to perform a breathalyzer during the preliminary field sobriety testing phase; you do have the right to decline this test without penalty.

Knowledgeable Attorneys in San Diego Can Defend Your Rights After a DUI Arrest

Finding the Right Law Firm in San Diego for Your Case

Everyone makes mistakes, but you can limit the long-term impact of those mistakes by choosing a qualified San Diego DUI lawyer to help defend you in court. Choosing your attorney is a task that should not be taken lightly, as your lawyer can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.

Elliott N. Kanter offers free, fully confidential case consultations to prospective clients. This serves as a wonderful opportunity to discuss the basic facts in your case and to ask questions. Since many who are arrested for drunk driving have never been arrested or involved with the legal system, they’ve also never hired an attorney. As a result, many simply don’t know what questions to ask.

You may wish to enquire about the lawyer’s experience defending these cases and their recommended defense strategy for your specific case. It’s also wise to ask about the lawyer’s fees and payment terms. You will need an experienced litigator who will present compelling argument, while poking holes in the prosecution’s case. Negotiation skills are also vital, as your lawyer in San Diego can work to negotiate a plea agreement or a more lenient sentence.

Contact A Lawyer in San Diego With Over Three Decades of Experience

As one of the top criminal defense attorneys in San Diego, Elliott Kanter handles DUI cases that may involve additional charges, such as:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon [such as a vehicle] (PC 245);
  • Being under the influence of a controlled substance (1150 HSC);
  • Being under the influence of an unprescribed narcotic medication (California Health and Safety Code 11550);
  • Child endangerment [if a child is present in the vehicle at the time of the alleged DUI offense] (California Penal Code 273).

With more than 35 years of experience in criminal defense and personal injury law practice areas, Elliott Kanter is well qualified to defend you and your interests. He has the knowledge and experience needed to negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf, represent you during court hearings, and fight for the best possible outcome for your case so you can move on with your life.

If you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony DUI charges in California, contact the legal professionals at The Law Offices of Elliott N. Kanter to request a free, no-obligation case evaluation today. Call us by phone at 619-330-5881 or send our office an email by filling out the form on this website.

California DUI Statutes Explained By Skilled Attorneys

Statute 23152.

(a) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle. It is unlawful for a person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.

For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(b)   In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.

(c) It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.

Statute 23153.

(a) It is unlawful for a person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

(b) It is unlawful for a person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after driving.

Penalties for violating DUI laws are harsh in California. They begin with fines of up to $1000.00, plus penalties that go up to $2000.00. First-time offenders are normally fined and placed on probation for several months. Subsequent convictions increase the fines, fees, and jail time drastically. Your case should be handled by a qualified attorney with experience in the field.

Under California statutes 23152 (a) VC, 23152 (b)VC, and 23152 (e) VC, a driver can serve up to a year in county jail if found guilty.

Statute 23153.

(a) It is unlawful for a person, while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

(b) It is unlawful for a person, while having 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle and concurrently do any act forbidden by law, or neglect any duty imposed by law in driving the vehicle, which act or neglect proximately causes bodily injury to any person other than the driver.

If the driver is found guilty of causing bodily injury to another (statute 23153 VC) while driving under the influence, they can receive up to three years in prison.

Many people are under the impression that if a police officer charges them with DUI, they have all the proof they need and there is nothing you can do. This is untrue. There are many factors that can influence and render their proof useless. Among them are:

  • Medical conditions and prescribed medications that could affect blood and breath tests
  • Equipment failures
  • Contaminated blood samples

When a driver is stopped for suspicion of DUI, he or she will be asked to take some simple field sobriety tests. The officer uses his judgment to determine if the driver “passes” the tests. The above mentioned factors (and much more) may make affect the field sobriety test, making a person unable to keep their balance, and not sure on their feet. After the field sobriety tests, he or she may be asked to submit to a blood or breath tests. Refusal is not advised and results in harsh penalties.

The driver has 10 days to request a hearing from the DMV. After 10 days they have forfeited their rights to a hearing and their driver’s license is automatically suspended for 30 days. Their attorney can represent them and sometimes the defendant does not even have to appear in court.