DUI in San Diego County
Driving under the influence offenses can have long term consequences regardless of the circumstances of your case. San Diego County police work hard to enforce DUI laws. According to recent information from the DMV, there were 15,615 DUI arrests in San Diego County in 2011. The county has a DUI program that includes 3, 6, 9, 12, and 18-month programs and education that allow offenders to meet the criteria of their sentences. It is licensed by both the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs and Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS). All programs are designed to be convenient for participants and are wheelchair assessable and available in both English and Spanish.
Most criminal offenses are heard in superior courts, since they are the only courts that seat juries. San Diego County has 4 superior courts located throughout the county.
Criminal Courts in San Diego County
West County Regional Center
220 W. Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
East County Regional Center
250 East Main Street
El Cajon, California 92020
North County Regional Center
325 South Melrose
Vista, California 92081
South County Regional Center
500 3rd Avenue
Chula Vista, California 91910
DUI Charges in San Diego County
First DUI Offense in a 10 Year Period
For many people, a DUI arrest is their first experience with the criminal justice system. This does not make them immune from punishment however. Judges want to discourage repeat offenders so they will not hesitate to give you the full sentence even if you have no criminal record. In addition to the sentence you will also suffer increased auto insurance rates and have a DUI added to your criminal record.
Repeat DUI Offense in a 10 Year Period
When you are arrested for DUI in San Diego County, police will check your criminal record. If you have had any prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years, the penalties will be even greater. In 2010 85.4% of second time DUI offenders in the county received a sentence including some jai time. A second or third DUI can result in even greater amounts of jail time and steeper fines.
Felony DUI Offenses
DUI laws and sentences work to discourage repeat DUI offenders. As a result, the more prior convictions that you have, the more likely you are to face significant jail time, high fines and more. After 3 DUI convictions, you could even face felony DUI charges. In 2010, 479 DUI offenders were convicted of felony DUI in San Diego County. Juvenile DUI Offenses If you are under the age of 21 you can be charged with underage DUI for driving with even a small amount of alcohol in your system. In 2010, 1.8% of DUI convictions were for juvenile charges in San Diego County. A young person who is accused of driving with a BAC over .08% will face charges for DUI and for violation of the zero tolerance policy.
Drug Related DUI Offenses
Just like alcohol, illegal, prescription or over the counter drugs are capable causing driver impairment. This is an offense that police take very seriously and is a growing cause of DUI arrests. In 2010, 11.2% of all serious or fatal DUI accidents in the county resulted from drug impairment. A DUI drug crime is subject to the same penalties as alcohol related DUI convictions.
DUI Offenses that Lead to Accidents
If you are found to have been driving drunk and caused an accident, you can face a DUI accident charge. If someone is injured, you can be charged with causing an injury due to DUI. In the most serious of these situations, someone is badly hurt or killed. In 2010, there were 538 vehicle accidents that resulted in fatalities or serious injuries. Of these, over 42% were caused by a driver with a BAC over .08%. These cases can result in vehicular homicide or felony DUI charges.
San Diego County DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in San Diego County, it is important that you call an experienced attorney right away. You only have a 10 day window after a DUI arrest to request a hearing in order to challenge immediate license suspension. A lawyer can handle this process for you as well as work to build a strong defense. We are dedicated to our clients and will stop at nothing to provide the best legal care possible. What sets us apart from other law firms is our dedication to, not only explaining the law to you, but fighting the charges. We will go over every aspect of your arrest and challenge every piece of evidence that prosecution has against you. Best of all, you can speak to an experienced attorney and find out more about our services for free. Call us now for a free, no obligation consultation.