(01) What happens at my first court date for the San Diego DUI charges against me?
At arraignment you can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
(02) Will I have to attend the first hearing if I have retained an attorney?
In a San Diego felony DUI case, your attendance at the arraignment is mandatory, regardless of whether you have retained an attorney on the matter. On a misdemeanor case in the Chula Vista Court you must also be present. At the other 3 court locations in San Diego county you do not.
(03) I was not read me my Miranda rights, will my DUI case be dismissed?
“Miranda rights” are only required if you are in custody and interrogated. The California Supreme Court decided several years ago that in the DUI context you’re not in custody until after all the questions have been asked so Miranda doesn’t apply.
(04) How can they charge me with DUI if I was pulled over for just speeding?
A police officer has probable cause to stop you if s/he observes any traffic violation or crime. Once s/he has you stopped if the officer thinks you have been driving drunk you can be subjected to any variety of field sobriety tests and then arrested.
(05) The police misspelled my name on the citation. Will my DUI charges be dismissed?
(06) If the officer doesn’t show up at my initial court date, will my DUI be dismissed?
(07) Will the court count prior DUI convictions in other states against me?
Yes, and you will face more severe penalties if convicted.
(08) What is a wet reckless?
A wet reckless is defined as driving with a blood alcohol level below .08%.
(09) Do I have any chance of winning at my DMV hearing? Yes.
Procedural errors, faulty equipment, improper testing, etc. would be grounds for a dismissal.
(10) Why should I pay for a lawyer?
Public Defenders might not be prepared for all the scientific technicalities and they can’t represent you in front of the DMV.
(11) How long will it take to settle my San Diego DUI case?
San Diego DUI cases vary in length depending on many factors. Most DUI cases typically resolve in 3-4 months.
(12) Will I lose my driver’s license due to my San Diego DUI arrest?
If you do not request a hearing within the first ten days – Yes. If you schedule a hearing and lose – Yes. If you get convicted of a DUI or wet reckless – Yes. If you win at trial – No. If you win the DMV hearing – No. If you get a reduction to a dry reckless – No.
(13) Will my insurance policy be cancelled due to my recent DUI arrest?
Pending charges can not be used by your insurance company to cancel your coverage.
(14) Will the court hold it against me if I hire an attorney and contest my DUI?
It is your constitutional right to defend yourself and because attorneys are familiar with the courtroom procedures most Judges actually prefer that you be represented either by retained counsel or public defender.
(15) Do I have to go to trial?
It is your decision on how to resolve the DUI charges against you. Most individuals make this decision based on the facts, the pre-trial offer to settle the charges that you will eventually see, your budget and your license status at the time. Some attorneys will tell you that the prosecutors only try cases that they are likely to win – that is pure nonsense and is nothing more than a sales tactic. Prosecutors will take every DUI case to trial even if your lawyer isn’t known for his or her “stellar courtroom performance.” Stellar performance on previous cases has nothing to do with the prosecutions offer to resolve your DUI case.