Misdemeanor DUI

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor DUI in San Diego, contact The Law Office of Elliott Kanter for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with an experienced DUI attorney.

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Misdemeanor DUI Defense

Being charged with a DUI doesn’t mean you’re guilty. In 2007, there were 203,866 DUI arrests in the state of California. And of those, 153,348 of these crimes ended in convictions. So if you are facing DUI charges, you might think that it’s pointless to fight the case and plead guilty.

But not so fast. At The Law Office of Elliott Kanter, we’ll take the time to ask the right questions. How much did you drink? How much sleep did you get? Was the officer sloppy in conducting the roadside investigation? Was the testing equipment faulty? With an experienced San Diego DUI attorney on your side, you’ll have a knowledgeable ally. The Law Office of Elliott Kanter will help you deal with both aspects of your DUI charges: the DMV and the court system. The minute your case is entered into the system, the DMV will begin the process to suspend your license. You must respond right away. It’s in your best interest to secure legal representation right away. It’s your freedom.

Should You Take A Breathalyzer Test?

In California, it is unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of any kind of alcoholic beverage or drug. If you have a 0.8 percent or more blood alcohol concentration, you will be charged with DUI. When an officer pulls you over for suspected DUI, he may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. It is at the arresting officer’s discretion whether you submit to a breathalyzer test, blood test, or urine test.  If you refuse to submit to testing, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be notified and will suspend your driving privilege for one year.

There are many things that can result in an illegal reading on a breath test like long term smoking, diabetics that are not under treatment, fasting, certain types of bread products, exposure to gasoline fumes or dry cleaning agents, and inhaling paint, lacquer or glue fumes. More problems with breath testing can come from a lack of specificity in testing, raw alcohol from the stomach or mouth, equipment problems, operator problems, and more.

If you are stopped by the police and suspected of drunk driving, you might consider a blood test rather than submitting to a breathalyzer because the evidence from a breath test cannot be saved whereas a blood sample can be preserved for independent examination at a later date.

Can a Misdemeanor DUI Charge be Dismissed?

There are many reasons why a DUI case may be dismissed by the prosecutor. Here are some common occurrences:

  • Lab Errors: Results of blood tests are often different at different labs. Frequently there is contamination.
  • Roadside Procedures: Law enforcement officers have a standardized set of procedures for roadside investigations. Very often, they do not follow these rules.

What Happens After a Misdemeanor DUI Charge?

What happens when you’re charged with a misdemeanor DUI?

  • The Roadside Arrest: You might be stopped at a checkpoint or if a police car pulls you over on the road. The officer will then ask you to perform some sobriety tests and to blow twice in a handheld breathalyzer. After the arrest, you will most likely be asked to take a blood test or breath test at the police station, jail, or hospital. Please don’t refuse this test. If you do, you may receive tougher DUI penalties or have your license suspended. You should ask to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after you are arrested.
  • Dealing with the DMV: If you’re accused of a misdemeanor DUI, you can usually go home within a few hours. If you have a felony DUI you may have to post bail. Upon release, you should be given two documents: A citation to appear in court and a pink temporary license. The police will usually take your California driver’s license and mail it to the DMV. The DMV will begin the process to suspend your license. A suspended license can greatly impact your life, so don’t delay in securing legal representation.
  • The Pink Slip: Your license will be taken away and you’ll receive a pink slip known as an “Order of Suspension and Temporary License.” Once you receive your pink slip, you have ten days to schedule an Administrative Per Se (APS) hearing at your local DMV. We can schedule this appointment and present on your behalf that you were not driving under the influence. When this is done, the license suspension is postponed pending the outcome of the APS hearing.

Defending Your Driving Privileges After a Misdemeanor DUI

At the APS hearing, in order for the DMV to suspend your license, each one of these conditions must be met. An experienced attorney will review everything to prove that at least one, if not all three of these conditions apply to your case:

  • Was there probable cause for the officer to stop you? Did you violate any laws?
  • Did the police officer notice enough details to make a lawful arrest?
  • Was your BAC at the time 0.08 percent or greater?

Within 30 days, the DMV’s hearing officer will issue a decision via mail. If the DMV finds in your favor, no license suspension is imposed (though a DUI conviction in court could trigger a separate suspension). If the DMV finds against you, your license goes into suspension within a few days of receiving notice.

If your license is suspended: If you do get a license suspension, you can usually get a restricted license within 30 days that will allow you to drive to and from work and any court or DMV alcohol program. But if you violate the limits of the suspension, you might be slapped with jail time or longer probation time.

Going to Court for Misdemeanor DUI

Your first scheduled court appearance is called an arraignment. At this hearing, you will be asked to enter a plea in response to the DUI charges against you. The police report from your DUI arrest and a complaint are also frequently presented to the court.

Often, the matter can be settled before your case ends up in court by you pleading to a lesser charge or agreeing to sobriety counseling. But if your case does go to trial, you will be well prepared if you hire an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney.

Call Us Today

The stakes for a DUI offense can be high. Every case and every client is different. Subtle facts and details can make a difference in the outcome. The attorneys at The Law Office of Elliott Kanter have over 30 years of experience representing people in various types of cases, including domestic violence, theft, sex crimes, elder abuse, and more. If you are in San Diego or any of the surrounding areas, please don’t hesitate to call our law firm or fill out the form on this site for a free consultation with one of our lawyers today.

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Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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