The extensive penalties resulting from a drunk driving conviction in Pacific Beach can include jail time, significant fines, probation, driver’s license suspension, alcohol education classes and more, and if you are ever facing Pacific Beach DUI (driving under the influence) charges, you need the guidance of an experienced defense attorney who can help you avoid these devastating consequences. If you have been accused of DUI in Pacific Beach, contact our DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal immediately to discuss the details of your case. Our attorneys have extensive experience defending DUI cases in Pacific Beach and throughout San Diego County and Southern California, and we can assist you in devising a credible defense strategy that challenges the prosecution’s evidence against you and improves your chances of a favorable resolution.
Experienced Pacific Beach DUI Lawyer
A DUI in Pacific Beach requires immediate intervention by an experienced DUI defense attorney who can work to minimize the consequences of a drunk driving arrest or conviction. Most people know that DUI charges can lead to jail time and other serious penalties upon conviction, but there are other important things you need to know about a DUI arrest that a skilled DUI defense lawyer can advise you on. For example, if you are arrested for a Pacific Beach DUI, your license will be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) immediately, before you go to court for your criminal case. And from the date you are arrested, you will have just ten days to contact the DMV and schedule a hearing to contest the suspension
, or you waive your right to a hearing and risk losing your license. There is no time to waste when you have been accused of DUI in Pacific Beach, and the sooner you get in touch with our DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal, the sooner we can put our extensive resources to use helping you protect your driving privileges, defeat your DUI charges and secure your freedom. Contact our Pacific Beach law firm today to schedule a free evaluation of your Pacific Beach DUI case.
Pacific Beach DUI
California’s strict DUI laws prohibit all motorists in Pacific Beach from driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of drugs, and most Pacific Beach DUI arrests occur when the police initiate a traffic stop, respond to an accident, or stop a motorist at a DUI checkpoint and have a reasonable suspicion that the motorist is under the influence. DUI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checkpoints, are stations law enforcement officers set up to randomly check drivers funneled through the checkpoint for signs of intoxication or impairment. San Diego County is ripe with DUI checkpoints and law enforcement agencies have staged hundreds of these checkpoints in recent years, in an effort to both deter drunk drivers and catch them in the act. If you are pulled over by the police or stopped at a checkpoint and the officer who makes the stop suspects that you are intoxicated, he or she may begin what is known as a “DUI investigation” to determine the extent of your impairment.
The two main components of a DUI investigation include a roadside breathalyzer test and a series of balance and coordination tests known as field sobriety tests. If you take a breathalyzer test and your BAC measures 0.08% (the legal limit) or higher, or if you are unable to complete one or more of the field sobriety tests, the officer may have probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving. If you refuse the breathalyzer test (which you can do without penalty if you have not yet been arrested and you are not on probation for a DUI crime or under the age of 21), you can still be arrested for DUI if the officer can identify other facts that satisfy the probable cause requirement for a DUI arrest, such as physical signs of intoxication or visible alcohol containers in your vehicle. The next step after a Pacific Beach DUI arrest is a post-arrest chemical test, which comes in the form of a DUI breath or blood test, or a urine test, in rare cases. Per California’s implied consent law, you are required to submit to this test or else suffer the legal consequences of a chemical test refusal.
California Vehicle Code § 23152 – DUI
California’s Vehicle Code is comprised of a series of state laws pertaining to the operation, ownership and registration of vehicles, and violations of Vehicle Code § 23152 VC are some of the most common code violations in the state. VC § 23152 is the law that covers DUI offenses in Pacific Beach, and there are many different components to this law, which can make understanding your rights under the law confusing for anyone without a background in DUI defense. The two main components of the DUI law are VC § 23152 (a), which states that it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, and VC § 23152 (b), which states that it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle with a BAC measuring 0.08% or higher. Although most people are under the impression that a DUI is one crime, the majority of DUIs in Pacific Beach result in two separate charges under VC § 23152 (a) and VC § 23152 (b).
Penalties for a Pacific Beach DUI
In the past, a California DUI only stayed on your driving record with the DMV for seven years, but the law changed in 2007, and now a DUI stays on your record for ten years. During those ten years, the record can be seen by law enforcement officers and the DMV can use the DUI offense to make important decisions about your driving privileges, including whether you are eligible for reinstatement of a suspended license. Even more devastating than a ten-year blemish on your driving record though, is the fact that a Pacific Beach DUI conviction will remain on your criminal record permanently, unless you are able to get an expungement, which can free you from some of the adverse consequences of a DUI conviction. Furthermore, Pacific Beach DUI offenses are priorable, which means any DUI that occurred during the previous ten years counts as a prior offense under California law, even a DUI that was expunged. The following are the possible criminal penalties that can result from a first, second, third, fourth or subsequent Pacific Beach DUI:
If you have no DUI priors on your record and you are arrested for driving while intoxicated in Pacific Beach, you could face charges for a first-time DUI. According to California law, the penalties for a first offense DUI may include:
If you were previously convicted of driving under the influence, and you are arrested for a new DUI within ten years of the first offense, you could be charged with a second-time DUI offense. The criminal penalties for a second offense DUI may include:
If you are arrested for a Pacific Beach DUI and you have two prior DUIs on your record, you could face charges for a third-time DUI. As a misdemeanor, a third offense DUI carries the following potential criminal penalties:
- A one-year county jail sentence,
- Misdemeanor probation,
- A maximum fine of $1,000, plus additional fees and costs,
- IID installation in your vehicle,
- A three-year driver’s license suspension,
- DUI classes for 30 months, and/or
- Registration as a Habitual Traffic Offender.
Fourth & Subsequent DUIs
Any Pacific Beach DUI crime can result in serious legal consequences, but under California law, a fourth or subsequent DUI conviction occurring within a ten-year period can be prosecuted as a felony, which carries much stiffer penalties, possibly including a state prison sentence. If you are convicted of felony DUI in Pacific Beach, you could face the following penalties:
- State prison for 16 months, two, three or four years,
- Felony probation,
- A maximum fine of $1,000, plus other costs and fees,
- Installation of an IID,
- A four-year driver’s license suspension,
- 30 months of DUI school,
- Participation in an addiction treatment program, and/or
- Registering as a Habitual Traffic Offender.
Know Your Rights After a Pacific Beach DUI Arrest
Your Right to Remain Silent
When you are placed under arrest for drunk driving in Pacific Beach and taken to the police station for booking and questioning, your first impulse may be to try to level with the police or convince them that you aren’t guilty of the crime. It is normal to try to explain your situation, especially if you really weren’t driving under the influence, but your best course of action is to avoid saying anything until you have consulted an attorney. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects you against self-incrimination, and if you were read your Miranda rights, the police notified you of your right to remain silent. However, the police will do everything they can to convince you that they are there to help you, while counting on you accidentally making an incriminating statement that they can use against you. Exercise your constitutional right to remain silent, refuse to answer any questions posed by the police and wait to consult with your attorney.
Your Right to an Attorney
DUI is a serious crime, but a DUI arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. If you are facing charges for drunk driving or another crime in Pacific Beach, you have the right to hire an attorney to represent you, and we always recommend taking advantage of that right. Hiring a Pacific Beach lawyer whose legal specialty is DUI defense is the key to getting the criminal charges dismissed or reduced.
Pacific Beach DUI Defense
Getting arrested for drunk driving in Pacific Beach can be scary and intimidating, especially if this is your first offense, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. DUI is a serious criminal charge, but with the right defense attorney representing your case in court, it is one that you can successfully beat. No matter how justifiable your DUI charges may seem at first glance, the prosecutor is still the one who has to prove to the court that you committed the crime, and the standard of proof in a Pacific Beach DUI case is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” The two main elements of a simple misdemeanor DUI crime
in Pacific Beach are as follows, and the prosecution must establish both elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a guilty verdict at trial:
- You drove a motor vehicle, and
- When you drove, you were under the influence of alcohol or had a BAC of 0.08% or higher.
This may seem like the easiest thing in the world for an experienced prosecutor to prove, but DUIs are not always so straightforward. For example, if the arresting officer didn’t personally witness you driving the vehicle, the prosecution would have to rely on witness statements or other direct or circumstantial evidence to satisfy the “driving” element of the DUI crime, or else fail to meet the burden of proof required for a conviction.
Pacific Beach DUI Defense Strategies
Pacific Beach law enforcement officers and prosecutors take DUIs extremely seriously and the penalties for DUI in California are among the toughest in the nation. As such, many people think that just because they have been arrested for drunk driving, their only option is to plead guilty, pay a fine and go to jail. That is not the case. No matter what charges you are facing, you have important rights and with a competent and resourceful DUI attorney on your side, you can protect your rights and avoid ruining your record with a DUI conviction. Review the following for some defenses your lawyer may be able to present in court for your Pacific Beach DUI case:
- Unlawful arrest
- Miranda violation
- Title 17 violation
- Unlawful DUI checkpoint
- No probable cause
- “No driving” defense
- Misconduct on the part of the police
- Blood drawn illegally without consent or a warrant
- Inaccurate alcohol test results
How We Can Help
At Sevens Legal, we believe that being proactive in defending our DUI clients gives them the best chance at a more favorable outcome, and when you hire our Pacific Beach DUI lawyers, we will get to work immediately to protect your rights, represent your best interests and devise the best possible defense strategy for your specific situation. Our defense attorneys will prepare your criminal case, meticulously examine the facts of your DUI arrest and aggressively represent you in court. Depending on the nature of the alleged Pacific Beach DUI offense, we are often able to negotiate with the prosecutor to get criminal charges reduced or thrown out altogether, and we may even be able to keep you from having to appear in court at all. No matter what type of Pacific Beach DUI charges you are facing, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney in your corner to advocate for you and help you avoid a DUI conviction.
Contact a Pacific Beach DUI Lawyer Today
A drunk driving conviction carries harsh criminal penalties, but there are other consequences associated with a DUI that can have an adverse impact on your personal and professional life and follow you for years to come. A criminal conviction can cost you your job, your professional licensing and your reputation, all of which we believe are worth fighting for. Together, our DUI lawyers at Sevens Legal have been defending clients against DUIs and other criminal charges for more than 40 years, and we know how damaging a DUI conviction would be for your family and your future. If you were recently released from jail or if your loved one is currently in jail for a Pacific Beach DUI arrest, do not wait to hire a skilled DUI attorney to handle your defense. We can help you get your life back on track after a DUI arrest and minimize or avoid the severe penalties and repercussions typically associated with Pacific Beach DUIs. Contact our reputable legal team at Sevens Legal today.