In Oceanside, California, and throughout Southern California and the rest of the country, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is above the legal limit, and the repercussions of an Oceanside DUI can be severe and long-lasting. Any conviction for DUI can be financially costly, and even for a first-time offense, you could pay thousands of dollars in fines and other fees for an Oceanside DUI. However, while the financial expenses stemming from an Oceanside DUI charge can be a significant burden, they aren’t necessarily the most costly part of a DUI. Depending on the outcome of your case, you could also spend time in jail for DUI, which could rob you of your freedom, damage your reputation and cause you to lose your job, among other devastating ramifications. If you or someone you know has been arrested for an Oceanside DUI, or if you have been charged with drunk driving or DUI drugs, our competent and capable DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal can help. Our team of DUI attorneys has more than 40 years of combined DUI and criminal defense experience, and we have an in-depth understanding of the Oceanside criminal court system. Do not hesitate to contact our DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal to schedule a free, no-obligation DUI consultation.
Experienced Oceanside DUI Lawyer
Being arrested for DUI in Oceanside can be frightening and overwhelming, especially if the offense is being prosecuted as a felony DUI, and it is easy to feel like your case is a lost cause. In fact, many people think their only option when facing DUI charges is to plead guilty, pay the necessary fines and serve time in jail. On the contrary, DUI charges are almost always worth fighting, especially if your attorney can identify potential issues with the stop, the DUI arrest, the chemical tests or any other aspect of your case that could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced. A DUI lawyer who will invest the time and resources necessary to aggressively fight for your rights and craft a plausible defense strategy is the key to protecting yourself against a damaging DUI conviction, and when it comes to retaining an Oceanside DUI lawyer, there is very little time to waste. You have a maximum of ten days following your arrest date to arrange a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and keep your driver’s license from being suspended, and the sooner you contact our law firm, the sooner we can begin fighting the DUI charges and helping you retain your driving privileges.
Every state in the U.S. has strict laws against driving while intoxicated, but California has put in place some of the harshest DUI laws and penalties in the country. When you get a DUI conviction in Oceanside, the offense is noted on your driving record with the DMV and it will stay on your record for ten years. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove a DUI from your driving record; you simply have to wait the ten years and avoid getting another DUI during that time, or else risk facing what would be considered a subsequent DUI charge with increased penalties. An Oceanside DUI conviction will also be noted on your criminal record and will remain there permanently, unless you qualify for expungement and go through the process of getting the DUI conviction legally “set aside.” If you fail to beat your DUI charges, the negative consequences of an Oceanside DUI conviction can follow you for years to come, possibly interfering with your personal life, your professional career and your financial well-being. For this reason and more, it is crucial that you understand the scope of your legal rights during a DUI stop and subsequent arrest, so you can do whatever is necessary to avoid the negative consequences of a DUI.
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Most DUI arrests in Oceanside are the result of a traffic stop or a sobriety checkpoint. If you are speeding or driving erratically and a law enforcement officer pulls you over, or if you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint, and the officer who makes the stop has a reasonable suspicion that you have broken the law by driving while intoxicated, he or she may begin what is known as a DUI investigation. During the investigation, the officer will likely ask you a series of questions in order to observe any potential physical signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or the smell of alcohol on your breath. The officer may also use field sobriety tests and/or a breathalyzer test during the investigation, but you do have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test under certain conditions, namely if you are over the age of 21 and not on probation for DUI. The primary purpose of an Oceanside DUI investigation is to establish probable cause to make an arrest, and even without the breath test, if the officer has reasonable cause to suspect you may be under the influence, he or she can still arrest you and order you to submit to a DUI breath or blood test.
DUI – CA Vehicle Code § 23152
For the most part, people understand and refer to the crime of DUI as a single offense, but in California, the criminal act known as DUI encompasses two separate violations of the California Vehicle Code: driving under the influence of alcohol pursuant to Vehicle Code § 23152 (a) VC, and driving with a blood alcohol level that is 0.08% or higher pursuant to Vehicle Code § 23152 (b) VC. As such, if you are arrested for an Oceanside DUI, the prosecution may actually file charges for two separate crimes arising from the same unlawful act.
Oceanside DUI Penalties
The criminal penalties stemming from an Oceanside DUI conviction can vary a great deal depending on many different factors, including the nature of the offense, your criminal history and whether any other person suffered injuries or died as a result of the DUI (known as DUI with injury). Generally speaking, one of the most important things to understand about DUIs in Oceanside is that they are “priorable” offenses, meaning the penalties increase with each new DUI offense that occurs within the ten years that a DUI remains on your driving record.
A potential sentence of 16 months, two, three or four years in state prison,
A maximum fine of $1,000, plus additional costs and fees,
A suspension on your driver’s license for four years,
Installation of an IID,
30 months of DUI school, and/or
Registration as a Habitual Traffic Offender.
What Happens After an Oceanside DUI Arrest?
Do Everything You Can to Remain Silent
Whether the arrest is for a first, second, third or fourth offense, the most important thing you can do upon being arrested for DUI is to exercise your Fifth Amendment right, which protects you from self-incrimination. After your DUI arrest and before the police can question you about the offense, they are required by law to read you the Miranda warning, a type of legal notification stating that you have the right to remain silent. The police may try to convince you that they want to help and are on your side, but the odds are, you will end up saying something that could hurt you later. Your best bet is to stay silent, avoid answering any questions you are asked by the police, and wait to speak to a DUI attorney.
Consult an Oceanside DUI Attorney
If are facing Oceanside DUI charges, you have the right to represent yourself in court. However, DUI law is extremely complex and constantly changing, and unless you have years of trial experience and extensive training in DUI defense, representing yourself will only end up putting you at a disadvantage. California judges and prosecutors are tough on DUI offenders, and without an attorney on your side to help you navigate the criminal justice system and the complexities of DUI law, you are unlikely to obtain a favorable resolution to your case. Your best course of action following an Oceanside DUI arrest is to hire a seasoned attorney who specializes in DUI defense and who can help you aggressively and effectively fight the charges against you.
Oceanside DUI Defense
Drunk driving offenses are taken extremely seriously in Oceanside, and if you find yourself facing DUI charges in criminal court, you may feel like the odds are against you. Keep in mind, however, that DUI cases are rarely hopeless, and as a defendant in a criminal case, you have important rights. Under California law, you are considered innocent of the crime unless you can be proven guilty, and the prosecution is tasked with proving the DUI crime to the extent legally known as “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that no reasonable person could reasonably doubt your guilt based on the evidence presented by both sides during trial. For a simple misdemeanor DUI in Oceanside, the prosecution is required to prove the following elements of the crime:
You operated a motor vehicle, and
When you did so, you had a BAC of 0.08% or higher, or you were under the influence of alcohol.
If the prosecution is unable to satisfy the requisite burden of proof in your DUI case, you cannot lawfully be found guilty of the crime.
Oceanside DUI Defense Strategies
As cut and dry the crime of DUI may seem, and as irrefutable as the evidence against you may appear at first glance, a DUI charge is merely a criminal accusation, not a conviction. In other words, just because you have been charged with drunk driving does not mean you will automatically be found guilty of the crime and punished accordingly. There are many possible defense strategies for DUI that your attorney can present to the court to raise reasonable doubt with regard to the prosecution’s evidence and help you beat the DUI charges, including the following:
Unlawful DUI arrest
Illegal sobriety checkpoint
Misconduct by the police
Unlawful blood draw
“No driving” defense
False positive DUI test
Violation of Title 17
No probable cause
Our Oceanside DUI Attorneys Can Help
If you find yourself facing DUI charges in Oceanside, you need a DUI lawyer in your corner who has a comprehensive knowledge of California DUI laws and the Oceanside criminal court process; one who has the experience and resources necessary to successfully challenge the prosecution’s allegations against you. At Sevens Legal, our DUI attorneys understand how serious a conviction for DUI would be for you and your family, and if you decide to hire our law firm, we will be a tireless advocate for you, evaluating all of your legal options and helping you achieve a satisfactory outcome in your criminal case, whether that means obtaining a case dismissal or a reduction in charges, or negotiating a lighter criminal sentence. Not only will our legal team prepare your case, meticulously examine every aspect of your DUI arrest, file any necessary pre-trial motions, and advise you on the defense strategies available to you based on your individual case, we will also defend your rights and aggressively represent your best interests in court. When you choose our DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal, you get an honest, compassionate and resourceful legal representative who will stand by your side at every stage of the legal process.
Contact an Oceanside DUI Lawyer Today
A DUI charge in Oceanside can be a life-changing event, and unless you are able to beat the charges and clear your name, you could end up with a DUI conviction on your criminal record, which can adversely affect your personal and professional life for years to come. Our legal team at Sevens Legal specializes in DUI defense, and having our lawyers on your side can make all the difference in your Oceanside DUI case. If you have been charged with the crime of driving while intoxicated in Oceanside, San Diego or anywhere else in Southern California, get in touch with our DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin formulating a convincing defense strategy.
“Samantha Green was great handling my case. She got me from a misdemeanor to a fraction. Im happy with that. She also kept me updated on my case and i never had to call her for an update. I would definitely use her again and recommend her to people.” – Amanda K.