Our San Diego law firm can represent you during all phases of your DUI case, and in many cases you won’t ever be required to appear in court.
A person who is charged with a DUI will usually have to deal with two different and separate proceedings. The DMV hearing is the first proceeding. The DUI criminal proceeding is the second one.
You have a limited amount of time (10 days) from the date that you were arrested to ask for a DMV hearing—and you must request the hearing in order for one to take place. During the hearing, the DMV must prove why they are entitled to suspend your license.
Your criminal case may either be one involving a felony or a misdemeanor. The majority of DUIs are misdemeanors. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, our San Diego DUI lawyers can usually show up at most of the court appearances without you.
A DUI charge usually involves two charges: 1) You were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and 2) your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage was greater than .08%. You can be charged with a DUI even if your BAC was below .08%.
At the arraignment, which is the first court appearance, our San Diego DUI lawyers will get the police report and the complaint. We will also enter your not guilty plea.
We will review the police report and other discovery. We will look at what is contained in the report and—this is even more important—what is not in the report. The police officer will only report on the negatives. Our San Diego DUI attorneys will look at why you were stopped, examine the pre-interview process, and study the report about your appearance, as well as your performance on the preliminary alcohol screening test, the FSTs (field sobriety tests), and the actual urine, breath, or blood test you may have taken at the police station.
Our San Diego DUI lawyers will then review your report together and go over your case’s strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind, however, that this is just the start of your case. We still need to work on the exculpatory issues that can persuade a jury to take your side. It is important for you to know that just because your BAC% registered at a certain number does not mean you will be found guilty.
This is an evolutionary process. Our San Diego DUI lawyers will need to go out and procure the necessary evidence to provide you with a successful defense. We can ask a forensic analyst to look at your DUI case and review it for scientific issues. In many DUI cases, we have had to retest the blood and make sure that the correct preservative was used on it or the BAC% is consistent with what was stated in the original report. Our San Diego DUI law firm will examine the breath machine, check its calibration and maintenance, and look at the training the police officer received to operate the machine. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje will go to the scene where your motor vehicle was pulled over so that we are fully informed about these details and prepared for cross examination.
In many cases, we can cite 4th amendment constitutional violations to argue for the suppression of evidence. These kinds of violations happen more often than they should occur. Throughout this process, we will be talking to the District Attorney assigned to your case and negotiating to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Our San Diego DUI lawyers will either negotiate a settlement that is acceptable to you or announce that we are ready to go to trial. Your court trial could run for several days.
The first step the Law Offices of David M. Boertje will take at your trial is to swear in a jury panel. We will perform your voir dire (jury selection) from a group of 30 to 40 people that the judge will bring into the courtroom. By law, we are not allowed to “indoctrinate” the jury, but we will try to get a sense of how they feel and let them know how we feel. We will also try to get rid of any potential jury members that we do not like.
Our DUI lawyers will make different motions, such as trying to get in (or keep out) the PAS test, as well as argue evidentiary matters.
Each side will give an opening statement to the jury and provide a summary of your case. The prosecutor will then present their side of the case, and they may call on any witnesses, the arresting office, a forensic analyst, and the lab technician. It is our role to cross examine their witnesses and arrive at the truth.
For example, a police officer might state that you smelled like alcohol and failed to walk in a straight line. He or she, however, might neglect to tell the jury that you cooperated fully, followed instructions properly, and answered all questions. The cop also might not have disclosed that you followed directions well, stood up straight when talking to him or her, and did not stumble when you got out of the car.
At some point, the prosecution will rest, and our San Diego DUI lawyers may call on witnesses, experts, accident reconstructionists, forensic analysts, or investigators. We will argue additional motions and present our closing arguments. The judge will explain the law to the jury, as well as what we may have argued that the law actually is. The jury will deliberate in private. If all goes well, they will come back in and announce a not guilty verdict. Let us review your San Diego DUI case. The Law Offices of David M. Boertje has offices in Carlsbad and San Diego, and we represent DUI clients throughout San Diego County.