Criminal Charges in Chula Vista
According to the DMV's annual report, in 2010, 1,980 people were convicted of DUI and DUI related offenses in Chula Vista Court. Of these, 87.7% were misdemeanor offenses, 2.7% were felonies and 9.5% were for reckless driving involving alcohol. Police are dedicated to DUI enforcement and receive grant money in order to increase DUI patrol and night and set up sobriety checkpoints.
The South County Regional Center Court is located in Chula Vista. This is a superior court that hears trials for Criminal, Family Law, and Juvenile Dependency cases.
500 3rd Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91910
Phone: (619) 746-6200
The Chula Vista DUI Process
The Stop: In order to be arrested for DUI, you must first be stopped by police. Your vehicle can either be pulled over by police for some valid reason or stopped at a random sobriety checkpoint. Either way, the police have certain protocol that they must follow in order for it to be a valid stop. If the officer observes slurred speech, red eyes or any evidence that you are intoxicated, he or she will ask you to perform a field sobriety test or take a breath test. If you fail any of these tests or refuse to take them, you will be arrested for DUI and taken to jail. In some cases, you could still be arrested for DUI even if you pass all of the sobriety tests. These cases are very unfair but are still legal if the officer suspects that you are impaired.
Arraignment: After you are released from jail on bail, you should contact a Chula Vista DUI attorney. Immediate action is needed to prevent license suspension and you will need advice on your upcoming arraignment. An arraignment is when you are formally read your charges and must plea ‘guilty' or ‘not guilty'. Your attorney will advise you what to do and why; but it is almost always a good idea to plea ‘not guilty' because you can change your plea at a later date if you need to.
The Trial: If you plead ‘not guilty' at the arraignment, your case will go to trial. Trials do not happen right away as courts are busy and both sides need time to prepare their cases. This is when your lawyer will go to work examining the prosecution's evidence against you and building your defense. In many cases your attorney can get your charges reduced or dismissed. In 2010, 190 people were convicted of reckless driving with alcohol in Chula Vista Court. These were likely DUI cases that resulted in reduced charges. In other cases, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain that will offer you a generous sentence if you change your plea. This is often very beneficial to you because you can negotiate the terms and will know exactly what your sentence will be.
Chula Vista DUI Charges
First time DUI – First time DUI charges can still result in serious penalties including jail time and lengthy license suspension.
Second DUI – If you have prior DUI convictions, each subsequent DUI will carry stricter consequences. In 2010, 18.8% of DUI sanctions in Chula Vista court were for 2nd DUI offenders.
Felony DUI – Some situations, such as an accident with serious injury, can result in your being charged with a felony DUI. In 2010, 53 people were convicted of felony DUI in Chula Vista Court.
Juvenile DUI – If you are under the age of 21 and are stopped by police with any amount of alcohol in your system, you can be charged with underage DUI in Chula Vista.
Out of state DUI – Even if you are on vacation of just passing through, a DUI in Chula Vista must be dealt with in the city. DUI and Drugs – DUI charges can result from drug intoxication as well as alcohol. This includes illegal and prescription drugs.
DUI Accidents – A DUI that leads to an accident can mean even greater consequences and may even lead to felony charges.
Chula Vista DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to contact an experienced attorney right away. A DUI can happen to anyone in any place, even in a beautiful city like Chula Vista. DUI charges are not like minor traffic offenses, without quality legal representation you can face 6 months of jail time, $1000 in fines and fees, probation, community service and more. In addition, you can lose your ability to drive for over a year; and that is only for a first time offense.
It is always a wise idea to speak to an experienced defense attorney as soon as you are arrested in order to make sure you fully understand what you are up against. Our office offers free consultations to all potential DUI clients. A DUI lawyer can help you fight the charges and avoid the negative penalties that come with a conviction. Call us today for a free consultation.