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San Diego DUI Attorney

Were You Arrested for Drunk Driving? Call (619) 377-3722!

Most people who are charged with DUI are ordinary, hard-working citizens who otherwise lead lawful lives. Unfortunately, the price for drinking and driving can be steep. At JD Law, Attorney James N. Dicks believes that one mistake should not dictate your future, and is uniquely qualified to help defend your rights, liberties, and reputation in the face of DUI charges. Prior to obtaining his law license, Attorney Dicks was a police officer, which means that he has first-hand experience in police procedures related to DUI arrests. What does this mean for you? It means that he knows how cops can violate your rights, and he knows how to expose it.

Helping Normal People in Extraordinary Circumstances

Among JD Law's many case results includes one in which a normal, responsible woman was caught up in a misunderstanding that nearly destroyed her life. After making the conscious decision to have a designated driver for a night out, she and her friends were involved in an accident. When cops arrived on scene and saw her standing near her car, they unfairly accused her of drunk driving. Despite insisting that she was not driving her car, the officers didn't believe her and arrested her after she failed a field sobriety test.

Attorney James N. Dicks believed in her. Through dedicated advocacy and efficiency, we were able to find and introduce witnesses who testified that she was, in fact, not driving the vehicle. Not only were we able to help our client keep her license, but additionally, all charges were ultimately dropped. Our client was able to close this shocking chapter of her life and begin anew.

Challenging the Evidence in Your DUI Case

There are many intricate elements in the processing and arrest of a DUI, which means there is plenty of room for error along the way. Any error made by an arresting officer, a lab technician, or any other law enforcement involved in your case can and will be used in your defense. From an improperly calibrated breathalyzer to inaccurate BAC test results, and any unlawful violation of your rights in between, JD Law will make sure justice is upheld.

What is the legal limit in CA?

The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving for anyone 21 years old or more is 0.08%. If you are under 21, the limit is 0.01%.

What Happens After I'm Arrested for a DUI?

After you are arrested, you will be held in custody - or the "drunk tank" - until you post bond or are released on your own recognizance. Soon after, an arraignment will be held, during which you will be read your rights and informed of the charges pending against you. After this point, we will work to submit pre-trial motions to ensure that any and all evidence is lawful or move to have it suppressed.

For certain individuals, it may be wise to consider a plea bargain during this stage, which offers the opportunity to plea to a lesser charge. We understand that this is a difficult decision to make, but if the evidence is heavily stacked against you, losing will have severe ramifications. Plea bargains can help to significantly mitigate the penalties you would otherwise face. Attorney Jim Dicks can provide rational and experienced legal counsel to help you make the right decision. No matter what, JD Law is on your side.

The final stage of the case is the trial, during which evidence and testimony is heard, and a decision is made regarding the guilt or innocence. If the verdict comes back as guilty, a follow-up hearing will be scheduled for sentencing.

If the defendant is found guilty, they may face penalties that include:

  • Fines
  • Jail Time
  • License Suspension / Revocation

Restricted License After a San Diego DUI Conviction

If your driver's license is suspended due to DUI, you may seek a restricted license to permit you to drive to and from work, in the course of employment, to and from school, to and from DUI programs, and to the DMV. However, obtaining this restricted license is not as easy as it may seem. If you failed to ask for a DUI hearing or lost, your license will be suspended for 120 days for a first offense. After 30 days have elapsed of your suspension period, you may seek a restricted license.

You need to be able to show the following:

  • You have enrolled in a DUI education program
  • You have SR-22 or proof of insurance
  • You have paid a re-issuance fee

If you have refused a BAC test or have a prior DUI, you need to wait one year before applying. With a prior DUI, at that time you must show that you are enrolled in an SB 38 18 month education program and have completed a substantial part of it. You must also show an SR-22 and pay a reissuance fee.

About Felony DUI Charges

The majority of DUI arrests that take place are filed as a misdemeanor. However, under certain circumstances the charges will be filed as a felony. These circumstances include:

  • Loss of life
  • An accident and/or injury
  • Habitual offenders with 3 or more convictions in the past 10 years
  • Other serious aggravating factors

Having a felony conviction on your criminal record will be a disaster—not only in the penalties that could be imposed by the court, but in the consequences related to living life as a convicted felon. Before you make a decision about your plea, speak with our San Diego DUI attorney. A felony DUI charge can have harsh penalties under state sentencing guidelines. If vehicular manslaughter or DUI with injury is involved, you may have to serve 3 or 4 years in prison with the worst offenders in the state. The first matter to address is ensuring you hire an attorney who knows how to protect your rights and best interests.

About Federal DUI Charges

If you are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are behind the wheel in a national park, such as Cabrillo National Monument, Switzer Canyon, or Sunset Cliffs, you can be in serious legal trouble. An arrest for DUI while in a national park is a Class B federal misdemeanor. The penalties for a DUI in a national park can include up to 6 months in federal prison, a $5,000 fine, and 5 years on probation. Refusing the breath or blood test can also have serious legal ramifications, including having to spend time in federal prison.

An arrest for DUI on a military base is also a serious legal problem, as this may lead to federal charges. Although the charges are federal, state restrictions will also be imposed upon you, including driver's license suspension. If you were arrested and charged on a military base—whether Miramar, the Army National Guard, Point Loma Naval Base—or on other federal property, don't take any chances with your legal representation. Members of the military need to protect against further legal problems under the UCMJ.

Early involvement in your case can make a significant difference in the final outcome, and allows for the possibility of getting the charges dismissed or reduced.

How your case is tried will be determined by the location. Some cases come under the Code of Federal Regulations, while others may be subject to state DUI laws, on the Assimilative Crimes Act, in which both state and federal authorities get involved in your case.

About Military DUI Charges

When one is in the military, the consequences and ramifications of a DUI are all the more severe. When one compares a civilian DUI charge to a military DUI charge, there are a number of differences. When one is a member of the military, his or her case will be tried in military court. In military court, one does need to have a BAC level of 0.08% or higher to be charged. If the court feels that the individual's BAC level may have impaired their ability to drive, he or she could face charges, regardless of whether it was at or above the "legal limit." It is possible to be convicted of a military DUI even if your BAC level was below the state limit.

A person in the military may face the following types of penalties:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Pay deduction
  • Rank reduction
  • Fines
  • Prison
  • Loss of security clearance

Arrested for DUI When 21 Years or Younger?

Under the state's zero-tolerance law, a driver under 21 can be convicted of DUI if they are found driving with a blood alcohol concentration of just 0.01%. That is one drink. They could lose their driver's license and have a mark on their record. If they are found to have 0.08% BAC, which is the same level as the adult charge, they may be arrested and put in jail the same as an adult. College and scholarship applications frequently ask if an applicant has any criminal record, including a DUI conviction. These charges should not jeopardize your future!

Let Us Protect Your Future, Freedom & Reputation

A DUI conviction can derail your future. Without skilled and knowledgeable legal help, you could be convicted, even if you were not driving dangerously, or another person caused the accident. Many loopholes in these types of arrests include police not having proper cause for stopping you in the first place, errors with administering field sobriety tests, faulty breathalyzers, and the science behind alcohol absorption and how it relates to the timing of your BAC test. We will fully investigate the facts of your case and expose any weak points and take full advantage of these points to your advantage.

We want to keep you out of jail. Call our firm now.

JD Law
San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer
11622 El Camino Real, Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92130
(619) 377-3722 | (760) 630-2000
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San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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