San Rafael DUI Lawyers
Return to California DUI Lawyers
John Stanko: A DWI/DUI conviction can result in jail time, probation, fines, DUI offender school program requirements, and a driverÔs license suspension or restriction. The severity of the punishment will depend on the circumstances of your case and whether you have any prior DWI/DUI convictions.
Defending Your Rights
The first thing you should do if you have been arrested for drunk driving is to call the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your driverÔs license. The DMV hearing is completely separate from the court proceeding for your DUI/DWI arrest. If you do not request this hearing within 10 days of your arrest, your driverÔs license will automatically be suspended, even if the DWI/DUI charges against you are later dismissed.
If you have been arrested for DUI/DWI, you should try to remember as many details about the arrest as you can. You may even want to write the facts down so they stay fresh in your mind. There are two important reasons for doing so. First, if you have to testify in court, the jury will look more favorably on you if you are clear about the facts of your case. Second, certain details of your arrest may help DUI/DWI lawyer John Stanko formulate a defense strategy in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your case, Mr. Stanko may be able to negotiate a dismissal or reduction of your charges. No matter what the circumstances, you can be assured that he will do all he can to get you the best possible outcome.
- Jim McEntee:
A cultural stigma has become associated with drunk driving that was not present in our society even a decade ago. Public perception categorizes people charged with drunk driving as criminals, even before they have been convicted of any crime. A DUI conviction in California carries with it heavy penalties, including:
- A permanent criminal record
- Suspension or loss of license
- Increased insurance rates
- Possible jail or prison time
- Alcohol assessment and treatment
- Vehicle immobilization or forfeiture
- Serious fines
- Possible job loss
In almost every DUI case, a driver has two cases to contend with. The DUI arrest not only results in criminal charges, it also initiates a civil proceeding against the arrested motorist's driving privileges, commonly referred to as a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) license suspension. A DMV license suspension is initiated against an arrested driver when he either refuses to submit to breath or blood testing, or alternatively, fails a breath or blood test. Issues involved in a DMV license suspension hearing include the following:
- Whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the driver
- Whether the officer had probable cause to arrest the motorist for drunk driving
- Whether the officer complied with California implied consent law in terms of offering an opportunity to provide a specimen of blood or breath
- Whether the driver refused to provide a specimen of blood or breath or failed a breath or blood test by registering alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.
If you have been arrested or accused of drunk driving, DUI, vehicular homicide, or any other alcohol-related criminal offense, you are probably frightened, confused, and concerned about your future and that of your family. The selection of an experienced attorney is the first step towards regaining control of your life.
- Lowenstein, Anthony R.I.P.:
If you have been arrested for DUI, you will have to deal with both the criminal justice system and the DMV.
Indeed, you must contact a lawyer immediately so that the attorney can request an Admin Per Se hearing from the DMV. This must be done within ten days of your arrest in order to protect your right to a hearing so that your driving privilege is not suspended for four months.
These matters are difficult, but the can be successfully defended both in court and at the DMV.
Unlike the criminal process at Court, the DMV is a civil matter, run by their Office of Driver Safety.
The DMV hearing officer acts as both judge and prosecutor in this procedure. They are only interested in three issues:
Did the arresting officer have reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence;
Was the arrest lawful, and;
Was your blood alcohol an .08 or higher at the time of driving.
- King, Ryan:
Criminal proceedings will begin if formal charges are filed. California has two basic drunk driving charges: (1) Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; (2) Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher.
- Marowiz, Michael:
80% Criminal Defense
37 years, 55 cases
5% Personal Injury
17 years, 10 cases
35 years, 100 cases
5% DUI / DWI
- Pullman, David:
60% Criminal Defense
20% DUI / DWI
- Katsuranis & Rodriguez: We begin with a simple fact, it is impossible for anyone to detect a person's alcohol level at any given moment. It simply cannot be done - not with the current technology. It is however being done in every state of the union, it is being done by codifying (turning into law) presumptions. Yes you heard it right, and yes it is the truth! Our local governments have, for the sake of saving lives (based on studies that are sometimes questionable), codified presumptions in DUI cases that simply do not apply to you. Why you ask? Well it is the only way that they can stop and convict people who are truly guilty of drunk driving. However in order to do so, many innocent people have and will continue to be convicted. It is one of the only areas of criminal law where the system strays from a well rooted legal jurisprudence principal: We protect and provide rights to the accused, including the guilty, in order to protect and innocent man or woman from being wrongly convicted. So what are these presumptions? Let's start with the most basic one: Allowing the presumption that if you are tested within three hours of driving, such test result will be considered your alcohol level at the time of driving! What they are saying is that we will use the result of your test, even if it's obtained later (up to three hours later) and claim that this was your alcohol level at the time of driving! But this can't be true, how can our legal system allow such a fallacy? Better yet how can our system allow someone to be convicted on such premise.... As they say, this is just the tip of the iceberg! It takes a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to be able to successfully maneuver any criminal case through the Court system. However, It takes an even more skilled and talented Attorney to maneuver a DUI case through the system. It is truly an art form! Many will claim to be masters, but only a handful have a complete understanding of the complexities found in a DUI case and the science behind it.
- Robin Smith: If you are charged with driving while intoxicated and your blood/alcohol content is alleged to be .10% or higher, the judge who arraigns your case will take your license from you and suspend it pending the outcome of the case. A lawyer can request that the judge not immediately suspend your license by asking for a 20-day stay. That would allow you to have a conditional license allowing you to drive to go to school or work pending the outcome of the case.
- Casper & Biddle: DUI, DMV Administrative Hearings, Major Felonies, Multiple Strikes Allegations, Homicide, Robbery, Drugs, Burglary, Sex Crimes, Weapons and Domestic Violence.
- Robert Stewart: Are you now facing your second DUI conviction in seven years?
- Anthony Lowenstein: If one pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, the case is set for sentencing. Often, creative Sentencing options are available for different individuals. In every case, a person is referred to the probation office where a probation officer interviews you and makes a recommendation to the judge as to an appropriate sentence. Since, the probation officer's report largely influences the sentence the Judge imposes, it is helpful to consult your attorney about how to discuss the case with the probation officer.
- Critchlow & Diskint: all criminal matters, including drugs, theft , assault, sexual assault, weapons charges, federal offenses and white collar crime
- Burglin Law Office: Avoiding Jail - Avoiding the Time A first offense DUI in California carries a potential jail sentence of up to 6 months, and up to 3 years in state prison if just one other person is even slightly injured. Multiple injuries or death can result in even longer prison terms. These sentences are not frequently imposed, but many counties do require several days of jail or sheriff-monitored work detail. Your best way to avoid this possibility is to hire a DUI defense attorney who is very familiar with the judges and prosecutorial policies of the county where you are cited. So called standard sentences of 2 or 5 days jail can often be negotiated down to no time in jail, but you need a lawyer who knows how to get these alternative sentencing dispositions. Delays in defending your case can seriously hurt you.
- Schwartz, Jennifer: * White collar crimes, including fraud and embezzlement * Identity theft * Immigration, mail and wire fraud * Homicide * Assault and battery * Domestic violence * Weapons charges * Juvenile offenses * Drunk driving/DUI/DWI * Drug possession, possession for purpose of sale, manufacturing and trafficking, including offenses involving marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, PCP and prescription fraud * Theft * Burglary * Sex offenses * Probation and parole violations * Criminal appeals, writs and motions for post-conviction relief
- Berglin, Paul: The Marin County District Attorney's Office has historically taken a "we don't plea bargain drunk driving cases" policy. The irony behind this political posturing, however, is that they prefer to dismiss a DUI case outright (or not file it at all) rather than reduce it to a less serious offense like reckless driving. This policy enables the Marin District Attorney's Office to keep a statistically high conviction rate on DUI cases, even though they dismiss more of them than virtually any other prosecutor's office in the State of California. Many DUI defense attorneys are unfamiliar with this policy in Marin, mistakenly informing potential clients that they can get the charge reduced to a "wet reckless" (short for alcohol-related reckless driving) charge. When you hear that chant, you know the lawyer is out of the loop. If you are facing a potential DUI ("driving under the influence") in Marin County Superior Court, the best thing you can do is find and retain a local criminal defense lawyer who knows the ins and outs of DUI prosecution and sentencing practices in Marin. Get a lawyer who specializes in drunk driving defense because he or she will know the ramifications of a DUI conviction and how the California DMV will treat a drunk driving conviction. If you have one or more prior convictions for DUI or DWI (some states refer to it as "driving while impaired"), you want an attorney who is knowledgable about the ways to attack prior convictions and the adequacy of out-of-state convictions. The area of DUI defense has become increasingly technical over the years, and you want a lawyer who is up on the most recent developments in this field. Feel free to review the contents of this entire website for further information about DUI prosecution and defense in the County of Marin.
- Pakneshan, Pezhman: If you've been charged with a crime, the District Attorney or the U.S. Attorney's Office will aggressively prosecute you. You need experienced and aggressive legal representation to fight for your rights. Hire an experienced and aggressive criminal and DUI defense attorney who understands criminal and DUI laws, and knows what it takes to get you the best possible results. If you've been arrested, or know someone who has, now is the time to call.
- Ron Blair: Drunk Driving Defense - the "right to drive" is a privilege which is governed by the individual states. Traffic violations are a mix of regulatory and penal (criminal) offenses based on violations of state statutes and city ordinances relating to the operation of vehicles, specifically driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances which impair the ability to drive.