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First DUI Offenses

First Offense DUI Lawyer in San Diego

Call For a FREE Consultation: (619) 374-1268

California is tough on impaired driving, which means that even a first offense can pose substantial short- and long-term consequences that threaten your future. From hefty fines and potential terms of imprisonment to driver’s license suspensions, the penalties that accompany a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) are nothing to take lightly.

At Premier Criminal Defense, our DUI defense attorneys have cultivated a reputation for providing experienced and aggressive representation to clients facing all types of DUI allegations in San Diego and the surrounding areas of Southern California. This includes clients charged with their first DUI. Because we handle all aspects of DUI cases, we fight for clients during both criminal proceedings and administrative driver’s license hearings with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). When your freedom and future are on the line, you can be confident about placing your trust in our team.

Why Choose Premier Criminal Defense for First Offense DUI Charges?

  • Led By a Former Prosecutor (Attorney Thomas Slattery)
  • Representation in Criminal Court and DMV Hearings
  • Personal Attention & Individualized Service
  • 24/7 Availability & No-Cost Case Evaluations

Call (619) 374-1268 or contact us online for a no-cost and confidential DUI case evaluation with Premier Criminal Defense.

DUI Charges in California: What You Need to Know

California makes it a criminal offense to drive under the influence. If you or someone you love has been arrested and charged with DUI, it will be considered a “first offense” under state law if you have never been convicted of a DUI at any time in California, a DUI in another state, a related prior offense (such as a “wet reckless”), or were last convicted of DUI 10 or more years before the new allegation (California’s lookback period for multiple DUIs is 10 years).

Additionally, law enforcement officers can reasonably arrest you and prosecutors can file first offense DUI charges if any of the following applies:

  • Driving with a BAC (blood alcohol level) of .08 or greater, or with any amount of alcohol in your system as a minor under age 21
  • Driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications, controlled substances, or OTC medicine
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana
  • Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs
  • A law enforcement officer believes you are too impaired to drive, even if your BAC is below the .08 legal limit.

First DUI Offense Penalties

When charged with driving under the influence, drivers face serious repercussions that can have a significant impact on their financial wellbeing, freedom, and future. Although every case is unique, general guidelines for a first time misdemeanor DUI in San Diego call for the following penalties:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Informal probation (3 to 5 years)
  • Court-ordered completion of DUI education, paid for at your own expense
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Potential installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle, paid for at your own expense

While these are general penalties for a first DUI conviction, there are certain aggravating circumstances that can result in elevated charges or penalties, many of which have the potential to create substantial disruption in your life. For example, California courts may increase penalties or pursue more serious charges if any of the following aggravating factors are involved:

  • High chemical test results (.15 or greater)
  • DUI accidents, injuries, or death (felony DUI)
  • DUI with a minor passenger
  • Open containers
  • Driving on a revoked or suspended license
  • Drug possession or other drug-related crimes
  • Chemical test refusals

First Offense DUI Defense & Your Rights

When charged with a crime such as DUI, it is your right to challenge the government’s case against you. As experienced DUI defense lawyers, our attorneys work closely with clients to understand what took place prior to, during, and after their arrests, as well as what prosecutors have alleged in their case. This allows us to tailor defense strategies that seek a reduction in charges and penalties, or a dismissal of the charges. Your defense and available options are dependent on what happened in your individual case, but common examples of DUI defenses include:

  • Challenging law enforcement’s reason (probable cause) to stop, search, and arrest you for DUI
  • Challenging chemical test results
  • Assessing accuracy of impairment assessments or tests, including any results that may have been influenced by medical, mental, or environmental factors
  • Negotiations to plea down to a reduction in charges and penalties, including alternative sentencing

Discuss Your Case with Proven San Diego DUI Attorneys

Time is of the essence after any criminal charge has been filed, and especially so after a DUI. If you wish to learn more about your rights and how our experienced DUI defense attorneys at Premier Criminal Defense can help you, contact us for a no-cost case evaluation.

Trust Our Firm to Fight Your Case

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