If you have been charged with a DUI, it is critical that you immediately contact a qualified San Diego DUI lawyer to review the facts of your case. Call attorney Alex Ozols to discuss your best legal strategy at 619-288-8357. Ozols Law Firm has handled DUI cases throughout San Diego County and will put this experience to work for you.
San Diego law enforcement officials take drinking and driving seriously. According to the latest data from California DMV’s 2014 Annual Report of the California DUI Management Information System, there were over 45,000 DUI arrests in San Diego County between 2010 – 2012. After an arrest, the prosecution will aggressively seek a conviction.
Most people know that a DUI conviction can include steep fines, losing your driver license, increased car insurance rates, and jail time. What most people don’t know is that an experienced DUI attorney can fight the charges and help you present yourself in the best possible light to the court.
Aggressive DUI Defense
Mr. Ozols sets himself apart from many DUI lawyers in San Diego by not accepting whatever plea deal the D.A. offers. Mr. Ozols will pick apart every aspect of the prosecutions case. He will analyze all the “scientific” data, such as your breath or blood test results. If you have been charged with driving under the influence, Mr. Ozols is prepared to challenge every aspect of the prosecution’s case against you.
Our San Diego office is conveniently located just off the 8 freeway, or we can make arrangements to come to you. We know that dealing with a DUI charge is stressful. Contact us so that we can assist you during this difficult time.
California DUI Laws
Below is useful information regarding DUI laws. This overview covers many topics related to DUIs such as the vehicle code, blood and breath test info, and DUI defenses. If you are being charged with a DUI, we are available to take your call 24/7 to assist you.
California Vehicle Code 23152
Under California DUI VC 23152, to prove a person is guilty of a first time DUI the prosecutor must show the person was
- Driving the motor vehicle, and
- The person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs (Count A), or had a BAC of .08% or higher (Count B).
In San Diego it is common for an individual to be charged with both 23152 (a) and 23152 (b).
Driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol can lead to a DUI. The idea is that the driver must have been impaired at the time they were driving the vehicle. To prove this, the prosecutor will call an expert at trial that will refer to the manner of driving, the field sobriety tests, any statements made to the officers and one’s blood alcohol level. This charge is often hard to prove because there is more subjectivity in it.
Driving above 0.08 occurs when your blood alcohol level is above 0.08 at the time you are pulled over. However, the arresting officer often does not test your BAC until hours after the arrest, which could result in a false positive.
Picture a situation where you are at home and it is a loved one’s birthday. To celebrate you take five shots of alcohol in a row. The next thing you know one of your children hits his/her head and needs to go to the hospital. You go to your car and right as you exit your driveway you are pulled over. If the officer immediately took your blood the results would be 0.00 or 0.01 because your body has not absorbed the alcohol.
The problem with our justice system is it takes hours to get the test done. So the officer would take you to jail, hours later take your blood and the prosecutor would rely on those results. Your BAC must be at the time of driving, so if you are charged with driving above 0.08 it may be due untimely testing. This is a key area that your San Diego DUI lawyer could challenge if trial becomes necessary.
If you would like to know how to calculate your BAC, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has provided a blood alcohol content chart to assist with this.
DUI with a Prior
Sometimes there is an unfortunate circumstance and the worst scenario happens more than once. A DUI with a prior is mandatory jail time but an experienced attorney can sometimes work out a scenario that avoids jail.
These are serious cases and it is a good idea to protect your rights by hiring an attorney.
In regard to the example discussed in “driving at above 0.08,” lets say the individual wanted to take a breath test. Right after they were pulling out of their driveway their breath alcohol level would be extremely high. This is because they literally still have alcohol in their breath after just drinking. Again, producing an inaccurate result. For more information please see about whether to do a blood or breath test please click here.
Drunk Driving Defenses
Some DUI defenses include:
- No probable cause to pull you over
- No Miranda warning given
- Testimony that contradicts officer’s version of the events
Common Scenarios and Defenses:
- The officer says that the individual was swerving in his or her own lane:
The Supreme Court has ruled that swerving in your own lane for a short period of time is not a violation of the vehicle code and therefore the officer would not have a right to pull over the individual.
- The cop says that the individual was swerving into another lane:
The Supreme Court has ruled that a quick swerve over to another lane for a short period may not be a violation of the vehicle code. A skilled San Diego DUI Attorney can show a judge that the individual in a scenario like this was pulled over without reasonable suspicion.
- The officer claims the individual was speeding:
Contrary to popular belief, an officer just saying they thought someone was speeding is not enough. In the State of California the officers are often told they need to provide a land speed survey or results from a radar detector.
- Vehicle Equipment Violations:
It is common for an individual to be pulled over because their windows were tinted. Here the standard is often whether an officer can show that he could not see the driver. A qualified attorney can often show that this is not the case and that there was no cause at all for the stop. To see more examples of when one is not in the vehicle please visit Theft Crimes or Drug Crimes.
- Illegal Detention:
The police often stop people in situations where they should just write a ticket and send the person on their way. However, in criminal law that is not always the case. Either the officer does not have experience in a DUI stop or in any other type of investigation or they want to do more investigation without the probable cause required. The law in this type of situation goes like this. A detention that is too long will turn into a de facto arrest. So if the policeman detains one for to long without doing anything it is the same thing as unlawfully arresting them.
- The Supreme Court has ruled that any type of detention can only be so long as to find out enough information required for the actual stop. So if one is pulled over for speeding, the officer can find out why and let them go. With no other facts, the officer cannot search the vehicle or get a drug-sniffing dog to search the vehicle.In the past the courts have ruled that a 20 minute detention is not exceeding the constitutional boundaries but a 1 hour detention can be depending on the facts. If you are pulled over and an officer takes a very long time to come to a conclusion about your sobriety then you may be the victim of an illegal arrest and should get your case dismissed by a talented San Diego DUI attorney.
- Motion To Suppress
Another common way to get a DUI case dismissed is a motion to suppress evidence.
Drinking and driving under the age of 21
The legal drinking age in California is 21 years of age. Because the drinking age is 21 the penalties for DUI under the age of 21 are much higher and the standard for someone’s BAC is much lower. For driving under the age of 21, all the District Attorney needs to prove is that the defendant’s blood alcohol content was at least a 0.01. They can also be charged with a full-blown DUI if they were above a 0.08. Being above a 0.01 is a very low standard so if you are under 21 and consume alcohol it is not a good idea to drive.
If you have gotten a DUI, you must set your DMV hearing within 10 days or your license will be automatically suspended. You have no time to lose, so call our firm immediately. Mr. Ozols will do everything possible to help you keep your license.
Hire An Experienced San Diego DUI Lawyer
Call San Diego DUI lawyer Alex Ozols today at (619) 288-8357 or fill out our free case evaluation form to see how we can assist you during this difficult time. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your criminal defense needs.
- DUI and Motion to Suppress
- State of California Department of Motor Vehicles Info on DUI
- Expert Testimony in a DUI Hearing
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Attorney Alex Ozols is an experienced DUI attorney. He has handled hundreds of DUI cases and will put his experience of the San Diego system to work for you. By hiring Alex as your criminal lawyer, you put an skilled attorney in your corner that will aggressively defend your rights.