What To Do if You Have Been Arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in California

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs you should know there are many ways to defend against the criminal case and the administrative case at the department of motor vehicles.

That’s right, a DUI case is really two cases – one prosecuted by the District Attorney (or City Attorney), and another case that is decided by an administrative hearing with the DMV. I handle both.

I can help you defend against DUI charges using my experience and creative solutions. Let’s get started right away so we can do everything we can to minimize the impact of this case on your life. Contact me today!

My Experience With DUI Cases

I have dealt with situations ranging from cases with the minimum blood alcohol level that can sustain a conviction, all the up to severe felony cases involving crashes, injuries, and child endangerment. I know how to defend against DUI charges by analyzing both the legal and the scientific issues.

The legal issues begin with the stop. If the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop you, your case could be dismissed. The scientific issues relating to how your blood alcohol level was measured.

I retain expert toxicologists who can determine if errors were made in determining your BAC. I have successfully defended DUI cases by carefully scrutinizing the legal and scientific issues in your case.

Creative Solutions

I have worked with clients to create positive solutions to DUI charges. By using my proven network of investigators, counselors, and expert toxicologists I have been able to get prosecutors to agree to alternative solutions.

For example, I had a client facing an almost certain sentence to a prison term for a third time DUI with a child in the car.

The evidence against this client was overwhelming. However, I was able to get the client into an alcohol treatment program and had the client voluntarily submit to alcohol monitoring.

After much negotiation with the prosecutor, and by showing my client’s commitment to reform, I was able to get the judge to impose a sentence that did not include any prison time.

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What is Driving Under the Influence?

In California driving under the influence can be charged as a misdemeanor, or if there are aggravating factors it can be charged as a felony.

Misdemeanor DUI in California

In situations where there are allegations of drinking and driving, but no injury, the case is most commonly prosecuted under Vehicle Code 23152 (a) and Vehicle Code 23152 (b).

The prosecutor will use these two statutes to charge you with two counts, which are referred to as the “a-count” and the “b-count.”  

Vehicle Code 23152 (a)

It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

Vehicle Code 23152 (b)

It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.

Even though most cases involve alcohol, you can see from the statutes that driving under the influence of drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol is illegal.

In cases involving only drugs, you cannot be charged with the b-count, since it specifies a blood alcohol concentration. These cases are prosecuted under the a-count.

You can see how these statutes cover many situations. You might be charged with the a-count for being “under the influence” even if your blood alcohol content is below 0.08%.

On the other hand, you could be charged with the b-count if your blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08%, even if you don’t exhibit any signs of impairment.

Felony DUI in California

Cases involving injury are prosecuted under Vehicle Code 23153 (a) and Vehicle Code 23153 (b). In the same way as the cases without injury, the prosecutor will use these two statutes to charge you with two counts, which are referred to as the “a-count” and the “b-count.”

Again, the a-count is based on being “under the influence” and the b-count is based on having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more.

These two statutes are “wobblers,” meaning that they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or as a felony. These counts are normally charged as a felony only in cases with serious injuries. However, these counts do not require any great or severe injury.

Almost any injury, even minor injuries are enough to support these charges. However, the injury must be something more than being “shaken up” or a minor headache.

DUI Defenses in the State of California

Because there are so many legal and scientific issues in DUI cases there are many ways to defend against these charges. Your legal defense begins at the very beginning – when the police officer initiated the stop.

Police officers often make traffic stops without the necessary reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct or other valid reason for making the stop. Even after an analysis of the stop, there are almost countless other legal issues that arise in the defense of a DUI case. 

Driving under the influence cases can be defended when there is no proof that the defendant was driving. These “no driving” cases occur when the police arrive at the scene of an accident and find an intoxicated person, but did not actually witness that person driving. 

Another way to defend these cases is to show that you were not intoxicated. There are science-based defenses that are used to examine the accuracy of evidence.

This can be done by discrediting the police officer’s observations of your performance on field sobriety tests, or by showing that the chemical analysis of your blood alcohol concentration is subject to error.

Your case needs to be defended using the proper mix of investigation, legal challenges, expert scientific analysis, and other forms of resolution that can prevent minimize the impact of a DUI case on your life. Let’s get started right away by putting together the strongest possible defense.   

Contact a San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Your best chance for the strongest defense means that we start right now. Remember that an experienced defense attorney can make all the difference.

I have successfully handled DUI cases using a wide range of defense strategies. Also, please remember that time is on our side if you act now. Contact or call my office, Law Office of Mark Greany now at 858-531-6387 to get started on your defense.