Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Charges
San Francisco DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI, you need to act quickly to save your license. As a California board-certified criminal law specialist, Attorney Christopher F. Morales has handled thousands of these cases. DUI cases are complicated because you are fighting your case in criminal court AND at the DMV.
Sentencing for a DUI conviction varies, depending on your blood alcohol level and whether it was your first DUI offense or a repeat offense. For a first offense in California, sentences may include:
- 3-5 years of probation
- A fine of $1,000 to $2,000
- Mandatory enrollment in an alcohol treatment program
- Jail time
- Suspension of your driver’s license
A DUI conviction will also cause your car insurance rates to skyrocket, and can hurt your chances of future employment. With each additional DUI offense, the penalties become much more severe.
Hiring a lawyer like Mr. Morales, who has vast experience with DUI defenses, makes a huge difference in the outcome of your case. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer like Mr. Morales can examine the evidence in your case, build a solid defense and keep you out of jail.
To find out more about how Mr. Morales can help you fight a DUI charge, contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Mistakes to Avoid After Getting Charged With a DUI
Getting charged with a DUI can be a nerve-wracking experience. Some people may panic and make mistakes that put them in an even worse situation. Here are some common DUI mistakes to avoid.
- Assuming you have to plead guilty. If you did have several alcoholic beverages before you got behind the wheel, you might assume that you have no choice but to plead guilty. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Even if your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit, the police could have made mistakes that may help you avoid a conviction. For instance, if the breathalyzer wasn’t properly calibrated, you may be able to get your charge dismissed.
- Thinking that a DUI charge is no big deal. Believe it or not, some people still believe that a DUI charge isn’t serious. While many people get arrested every year in San Francisco for DUIs, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a big deal. A DUI conviction can carry heavy consequences, like fines, jail time and loss of driving privileges.
- Failing to hire an attorney. A DUI charge isn’t something you want to handle on your own. DUI laws can be very complex and you don’t damage your case anymore. A San Francisco DUI attorney can assess your case and select an appropriate defense. With a skilled lawyer on your side, you have a higher chance of achieving a favorable outcome.
- Hiring the wrong kind of lawyer. When you’re dealing with a DUI charge, you don’t want to hire a personal injury lawyer or family lawyer to defend you. While they may take your case, they likely don’t possess the proper knowledge to help you with your case. It’s important to work with a lawyer who has specific experience defending DUI cases.
- Not being honest with your lawyer. It’s not a good idea to hide anything from your lawyer. If you aren’t completely truthful, your lawyer can’t help you to the best of his or her ability. For example, if you think you may have told the police you were drinking when they pulled you over, let your lawyer know.
- Talking to the police about your case. Under no circumstances should you discuss your case with the police without a San Francisco DUI attorney present. Your attorney will prevent the police from asking illegal questions that could hurt your case.