FAQs for DUI and Criminal Defense
During your FREE initial consultation with the San Diego DUI Attorney Law firm, you will be able to ask all the questions you might have regarding the DUI process. While we get questions of all kinds, the most common questions we are asked involve the costs associated with San Diego DUIs. Many defendants wonder why and how DUIs end up being so expensive. In California, the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) have a strong presence, and have worked with the California Legislature to consistently increase California DUI penalties. While these increases are obviously aimed at, and play an important role in, deterring drinking and driving, they have also resulted in expensive fines and assessments. For this reason, it is extremely important to to have a skilled attorney, who can improve your chances of having the charges against you dismissed, or reduced by way of a plea bargain.
As you may be starting to realize, a DUI can end up being quite expensive. In many counties throughout California, a misdemeanor DUI is the most expensive misdemeanor you can be convicted of. Some of the costs you will incur include:
- Court costs;
- Fines ordered by the judge;
- Restitution to any victims of injury or property damage;
- Costs to recover your vehicle from the impound lot;
- Costs of drug/alcohol education programs.
Defendants are often troubled to find out, that a simple DUI (one without any aggravating factors) is likely to end up costing them upwards of $15,000. Many of the associated costs will begin accruing immediately following your arrest, and often become unmanageable quite quickly. It’s important to understand that the actual cost of your DUI will vary depending on the facts of your case, your prior record, and the skill of your attorney.
Where do all these costs come from?
Booking & Fingerprinting
After you are arrested and taken to the police station, you will have a mug-shot taken, be finger printed, and a number of other booking procedures will take place. All of this will cost the police station money. Unfortunately, you will end up footing the bill for these costs. For Fingerprinting and Booking, you can expect to pay around $200.
The court will also end up spending its time and resources as a result of your arrest. Rather than having taxpayers cover these costs, they are assessed to the person guilty of the offense. As such, if you are convicted of DUI, you will be assessed court costs that will be set by the local government. For these Court Costs, you can expect to pay around $1,200.
If convicted, you can expect to be responsible for fine between $400 and $1,000.
Victim Fund Restitution
The state of California, as the result of lobbying by MADD, has created a fund for the victims of DUI related injuries or harms. If convicted of DUI, part of your penalty will be to contribute to this fund. Keep in mind that, even if your specific DUI incident did not cause harm to any individual or property, you will have to contribute to the fund. You can expect to pay about $125 to the Victim Fund.
Towing and Impound Fees
After your arrest, your car will be towed and impounded by the police. Again, the police will not be picking up the bill, and you will be assessed fro these services. The exact costs of towing and impounding will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. These costs usually amount to around $350.
Insurance Premium Increases
After a DUI conviction, you can expect to see your car insurance rates to increase. The exact amount of the increase will vary depending on your provider, and your prior driving record. Over a ten (10) year span, you can expect to pay an increase of about $10,000 for your car insurance.
As part of your DUI penalty, you will be required to complete an alcohol treatment and/or education program. The program will last for a minimum of three (3) months, and can cost up to $800.
Will there be any financial impact in addition to the costs listed above?
Unfortunately, the financial impact of a DUI conviction can be extensive. In addition to the numbers indicated above, you should also be prepared to deal with the following:
Ignition Interlock Device Installation
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle. The devices prevent you from starting your vehicle unless you pass a breath test. If you are ordered to install one, you will bear the installation costs.
Your DUI conviction will likely affect your ability to drive for at least some period of time. As such, you will have to arrange other means of transportation. Public transportation, Taxis, or Uber/Lyft, may become necessary expenses that you are not used to accounting for.
You will also likely incur legal fees for hiring a DUI defense attorney.
How much experience do the lawyers at the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm have?
Vincent Ross serves at the Supervising Attorney and Chief Trial Attorney for the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm. Mr. Ross has practiced DUI and criminal defense law for nearly 30 years. He has represented thousands of defendants in cases ranging from driving on a suspended license, to intentional murder. He has worked on a number of groundbreaking cases that have helped shape the current state of California criminal law. Due to his knowledge of criminal law, and continued success, he has been featured on the front page of the New York Times, and has been interviewed by Dateline and 20-20.
Each of our lawyers have been trained directly by Mr. Ross with one mission in mind: To zealously defend the rights of our clients. Our defense team has the time and resources to provide your case with the individualized attention it deserves. We believe the combination of our experience and resources sets us apart from the rest of the pack.
Does the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm practice other areas of law?
No. Our team prides itself on offering the best DUI and Criminal Defense available. In order to do so, we have limited our practice areas. We do have experience representing criminal defendants in both state and federal court, and against both misdemeanor and felony charges.
How does the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm determine which cases to take?
At the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm, we offer all of our potential clients a FREE, in person, face-to-face, consultation. We value the importance of sitting down with potential clients to discuss the specifics of their case. After the initial consultation, we will thoroughly review the case, and determine whether we feel we can provide the client with assistance. We will not accept a case unless we honestly believe we can help the client.
How much will it cost me to hire the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm?
We get this question a lot. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to give a generic answer, because everyone’s case is unique, and some clients will require more services than others. Having said that, our goal is to provide the best available representation at the at the best possible price. We offer our services on a “flat fee” basis, so you will know up-front exactly how much you will be paying. You will not be hit with any unexpected costs. At the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm, we pride ourselves of offering affordable representation.
I’ve hired attorneys in the past who are difficult to get ahold of, and take time to respond to my calls. How accessible will the lawyers at the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm be?
Our attorneys pride themselves on being available at all times. As our client, you will receive the personal cell phone of the attorney handling your case. We know that DUIs can be extremely frightening and stressful, and understand that questions or issues sometimes arise at odd times. We believe that knowing you can get the answers you need, at any time, will help you breathe a little easier throughout this difficult process.
Who will be the actual attorney handling my case and will it be the same attorney making my scheduled court dates for me?
We will personally handle your case from the very beginning to the deposition. We will not hand your case off to an “associate,” nor will be sell or transfer your case to another law firm for a profit. Our law center values making sure you get the representation that comes with over 27 years of experience.
Do you offer payment plans?
As noted above, we understand that everyone’s case is different and we strive to be competitive, while offering exceptional services. We do all our cases for a flat fee and want you to know the costs upfront so there are no surprises. We also offer a payment plan with 0% interest on approved cases. Please contact our law firm for more information.
Why do you do in-office consultations while other firms do them over the phone?
We get this question often and advise people to be very cautious of hiring someone without being able to physically sit down with them for a consultation. Please make sure you are hiring someone you fully trust. Always meet with a lawyer or member of a legal administration team at a business address. Do not meet with a perspective lawyer at a coffee shop, restaurant, or his/her home. We understand that there are exceptions when a client lives out of state or is unable to travel to the firm. Hiring a lawyer is an important decision so make sure you choose a firm with a reputation of excellence and professionalism.
What are you AVVO reviews like?
We maintain the highest degree of customer service and invite you to see what clients are saying about us. Simply log into AVVO.com and search for Vincent R. Ross to see our reviews.
What are some of the more common DUI defenses that might be available to me?
Title 17 Violations
In California, when breath and blood sample are taken, they must be collected, stored, and analyzed in compliance with Title 17. If they are not, we can argue that the sample should not be admissible.
Illegal DUI Checkpoint
Similarly, California requires that DUI Checkpoints be set up in accordance with several procedures. Even if you were found to be intoxicated, if you were stopped at an illegal Checkpoint, the evidence against you should be suppressed.
Failure to Read Miranda Rights
In a DUI case, if you are interrogated after your arrest, and you are not read your Miranda Rights, we may be able to suppress your answers.
False Positive Readings
Many factors can lead to an inaccurate breath or blood test result. Often times, a person’s diet or a health condition can cause a false-positive breath test reading. Our attorneys know what to look for in determining whether to challenge the results of your DUI test.
Rising Blood Alcohol
In some cases, your BAC can actually be higher at the time it is tested, than it was when you were driving. This may occur if you were arrested very shortly after you consumed alcohol.
Lack of Reasonable Suspicion / Probable Cause
When the police decide to pull over your vehicle, they need a reason. They must have reason to believe you have committed some traffic violation. For example, you must be speeding, swerving, or have a broken tail light. If you are stopped simply because your driving late at night or in a high-DUI area, the stop should not be legal. In such cases, the evidence that results can be suppressed.
Further, if after you are stopped, the police do not have probable cause that you are driving under the influence, you should not be issued a DUI test. If you are, the test results should not be admissible.
If you or a loved one has recently been charged with a DUI, do not wait to contact an attorney. The sooner you contact the San Diego DUI Attorney Law Firm, the sooner we can begin reviewing your case and building your defense.
Contact our office today at 619-535-7150 for a FREE DUI consultation