• DUI

    • I was arrested for DUI – what do I do first?

      Consult an attorney. You have a few matters that must be completed in a short amount of time. When you were released from custody you were probably given a few documents. One should have been a pink temporary license. Even if you have an out-of-state license, this pink piece of paper informs you of your right to an administrative hearing through the DMV. It is important to note that you only have 10 days from the date of arrest to request this administrative hearing. 

      The DMV hearing is our first opportunity to receive police reports and other important documents that will be important in fighting your case. Further, some discovery is difficult to obtain if you have not hired an attorney, such as the video from the police vehicle. 

      If you posted bail, you will receive a bail receipt that will have your first court date. This is your arraignment date. If you do not retain an attorney to help you with your case, you will need to appear in court on that date.

      If you completed a breath test, you may have received a printout of the results. If you submitted to a blood test, it can take several weeks to get your results.

      When you are calling to schedule an appointment to meet with prospective attorneys, be sure to bring all of this information with you.

    • Am I allowed to drive?
      It depends. If you had a valid license at the time of your arrest, your license is still valid. While the officer likely took your license, the pink temporary will be your license for 30 days. If you schedule a DMV hearing, then you may be able to get a temporary license that is good until the DMV makes its decision to suspend or not.

      However, if an administrative hearing through the DMV is not requested within 10 days, your privilege to drive in California will automatically be suspended 30 days after your arrest. This applies to both California and out-of-state licensed drivers.

    • Why do I need to schedule a DMV Hearing if I have a court date?
      A DUI is actually two cases: one case at the DMV and one in court, both of which are completely separate. First, your DMV hearing is the only opportunity you will have to contest your license suspension. You have a right to discovery and you can subpoena the arresting officer at the DMV Hearing.

      The second phase of your DUI is the criminal case. In most DUI cases, the prosecutor will file a complaint against you. Once you are released, you will be given a court date. This is called your arraignment, which you will have to attend unless you hire an attorney.

      The DMV and Court are entirely separate and both will issue penalties if you are convicted. 

    • Should I consult an attorney?
      Yes. Have you heard that phrase “You get what you pay for” or “good lawyers aren’t cheap, and cheap lawyers aren’t good”? Both are true. An experienced DUI Firm will be able to help you determine how a DUI will impact you and whether you need an attorney. People frequently face additional penalties beyond the criminal consequences.

      A DUI can have an impact beyond the courtroom. Many people have a career, education, or immigration status on the line. A DUI can affect your career, education, immigration status, and professional licenses. An experienced DUI Firm can help you avoid or minimize the impact a DUI has on your life and your future. 

      When faced with DUI charges in San Diego, you have options. First, you can hire an attorney or see if you qualify for a public defender. But, even if you think a public defender is right for you, you should consult an experienced DUI Firm because a public defender will not handle your DMV hearing for you. Second, you have your choice on what attorney to hire. You should only hire an exclusive DUI Firm.

      You are not automatically given a Public Defender free of charge—you must meet specific financial qualifications. On the day of court you will have to fill out financial paperwork in court to determine if you qualify for the services of the Public Defender. A Public Defender, however, cannot assist you with your DMV hearing.

      San Diego is fortunate to have some very talented Public Defenders. In fact, DUI San Diego, LLP provides training for San Diego Public Defenders. However, large caseloads tend to require juggling of numerous cases across a broad spectrum of criminal charges.

      We have built our rock solid reputation in the San Diego community by being up-front and honest with people that come in a talk with us. Please feel free to use this site as a resource guide and call when you’re ready to ask questions, we’re here to help.

    • Will I be charged to speak to a lawyer about my DUI case?
      No. Not in our office. You will never be charged for an initial consultation with our office. Speaking with a knowledgeable attorney is important. Our goal is to educate you, to encourage you to explore all of your options, and to allow you to make a well informed decision about the next steps in your case and with the DMV.
    • What will happen on my first court date and do I have to be there?
      Your first court date is called your Arraignment. If you have hired an attorney to represent you on misdemeanor charges, you do not have to be present. However, if you have not hired an attorney, you will have to be in court on that date. If you are being charged with a felony, then you will need to be at every court date—even if you have retained an attorney to help you.

      At the arraignment, your attorney will plead you “not guilty” and set a new hearing date. This next hearing date is called a Readiness Conference. There will typically be a series of these readiness conferences prior to the resolution of your case.

    • I am in the military. Do I need to inform my command?
      Yes. Members of the military often face more severe penalties when charged with a DUI. But, not telling your command that you were arrested for a DUI can exacerbate those consequences and make matters worse. For example, if you fail to inform command, then you can face a court martial without the option for NJP, and you can face additional military charges as well. Therefore, you should speak with an experienced DUI Defense Firm to discuss your options.
    • I was involved in an accident. Do I need to call my insurance?
      You may have to deal with your insurance at some point if you were involved in an accident. But, it is important you speak with an experienced DUI Defense Firm before you make any statements to your insurance. Insurance statements are recorded and any statement you make may be used against you. Not only can this complicate the criminal case, it can cause your insurance to not cover the claim. Also, you do not want to make any inaccurate statements, and we can provide guidance because we assist with insurance statements routinely.
    • Do I need to tell my employer I have been arrested for DUI?
      Probably not. Most private employers do not require their employees to disclose a criminal arrest. However, in some situations, you will need to disclose the conviction to your employer. You will want to speak with an Exclusive DUI Defense Firm to discuss whether or not you have an obligation to tell your employer.
    • I was involved in an accident and someone was injured. Will I be charged with a Felony?
      Maybe. You can be charged with Felony DUI whenever anyone other than yourself is injured. Even if the injuries were to a friend and their injuries are minor, you can still be charged with a felony. Penalties for a Felony DUI can be severe because your can face time in prison.
    • Aren’t the police supposed to read me my Miranda rights?
      It seems like common sense that an officer must read you your Miranda rights. Although this is true in a situation where you are being interrogated, for purposes of DUI, you don’t have that same right. Many times an officer will ask you questions prior to administering field sobriety tests and placing you under arrest. These questions have been classified as “pre-investigatory” questions and are not subject to Miranda. Therefore, it is important you speak with an experience DUI Defense Firm to know whether or not the failure to read you your rights will affect your case.
    • I was not drunk. Can I be charged with DUI for smoking marijuana or taking prescription medications?
      If you were arrested for DUI but didn’t have alcohol in your system, you can still be charged with DUI. There are a number different charges associated with misdemeanor and felony DUI. You can be charged with an (f) count if you consumed any intoxicating drugs, regardless of whether they are illegal or prescription. But, if you were under the influence of both alcohol and drugs, then you can be charged with an (e) count for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
  • About the Firm

    • Is your firm an Exclusive DUI Defense Firm?
      DUI San Diego, LLP has been an exclusive DUI Firm from its inception. The San Diego Union Tribune DUI San Diego the “absolute gold standard” for DUI defense in San Diego County. DUI cases are complex and require an attorney to be knowledgeable about the area of law and to work diligently to get results. A DUI is really two cases: the DMV Hearing and the Criminal Court. Unlike many other firms that will accept murder, drug, or other cases, DUI San Diego is an exclusive DUI practice and will not be distracted with other types of criminal or civil cases.
    • Are you ever asked to teach other lawyers how to properly defend DUI Cases?
      Mr. Casey has been invited by numerous organizations of attorneys to address their members. They have done so locally, statewide and nationally. They have both been asked by the San Diego Public Defender’s Office to teach their deputy public defenders how to properly defend a DUI case, and continue to do so.
    • Are you on the teaching faculty for the prestigious National College for DUI Defense?
      Cole Casey is one of only five (5) California attorneys, and the only San Diego attorney ever to hold a seat on the teaching faculty for the prestigious National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) held at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The NCDD is the oldest and most prestigious DUI Defense educational entity in the world, providing training and seminars to DUI attorneys nationwide. The NCDD only invites the most respected, skilled, and knowledgeable attorneys to be on the teaching faculty, as their mission is that of teaching other attorneys how to defend DUI cases. In fact, an attorney may only be a member of the teaching faculty if they have first lectured to the student body at an NCDD conference within the last two years.
    • Have you ever been invited to teach at National College for DUI Defense Conferences?
      Cole Casey is the only San Diego DUI Defense attorneys that have been asked to speak/teach at NCDD conferences. Mr. Casey was asked to speak at NCDD conferences because of their experience and proficiency in the very specific field of DUI Defense. Mr. Casey has spoken at numerous NCDD conferences, has conducted workshops for lawyers from all over the United States, and he most recently spoke at the NCDD 2014 Winter Session.
    • Have you been selected as one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys by the San Diego Daily Transcript?
      G. Cole Casey has been selected as Top Attorneys in San Diego by their peers right here in San Diego. Both have been listed in the San Diego Daily Transcript, San Diego’s legal publication, as such. Once again, they are the only San Diego attorneys specializing in DUI Defense that have ever been selected for this honor.
    • Have you been designated a Super Lawyer?
      Only the top 5% of attorneys in each state are selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers registry. G. Cole Casey has been named a Super Lawyer, and is the only lawyer in San Diego who specializes in DUI defense to receive this honor.
    • Have you been named the Best of the Bar by the San Diego Business Journal?
      G. Cole Casey was designated as the “Best of the Bar” by the San Diego Business Journal in it’s inaugural selection process in 2014 and 2015. Once again, he is the only San Diego attorney specializing in DUI defense to have been awarded this prestigious honor.
    • Are you a “Specialist Member” of the California DUI Lawyers Association (CDLA)?
      The CDLA designated G. Cole Casey as a “Specialist Member” because of his extensive experience, skill and expertise in the area of DUI Defense. The CDLA designates only certain members to be specialist members because of their recognition and most importantly their results in defending DUI cases. Mr. Casey served on the Board of Directors for the CDLA for 7 years.
    • How many active cases are you currently handling?
      A common rule of thumb is that no individual law firm should be handling over 30 cases per lawyer at any given time. That is the upper limit. So, a solo lawyer should have no more than 30 cases. A two-lawyer firm should have no more than 60, and so on.

      IMPORTANT: Most solo practitioner DUI lawyers run what is called a “volume” practice. It is very common to see these lawyers in the San Diego courts with 10 or more cases on calendar at a time, every day of the week. In reality, they take virtually every case that comes through the door, whether they can actually help the client or not, whether the client needs their services or not, and they typically charge a low fee that is representative of the amount of time they actually expect to spend working on the case. In fact, with regularity they use what are called “contract attorneys” or “appearance attorneys” to help them deal with the large volume of cases they have. Contract attorneys are not employees of the attorney, and will know nothing about your case at all. Rather, they are usually young, inexperienced lawyers hungry for any time in court, and typically will appear on a lawyer’s behalf, working for many lawyers at once, for a fee of around $50.00 per appearance. Their role is simply to be a warm body showing up in court, to fulfill the most basic obligation of the lawyer (just showing up) and nothing more.

      DUI San Diego, LLP never, under any circumstances, use contract attorneys or appearance attorneys.

    • How many DUI Trials have you done as a defense attorney?
      Many so-called DUI lawyers attempt to create the illusion of their proficiency as a DUI trial lawyer by telling you how many DUI trials they have done. They may also tell you that they spent a brief stint as a prosecutor and prosecuted DUI cases. Please be aware that trying a DUI case as a prosecutor is a far different thing than doing so as a defense attorney. As a prosecutor, you are provided with all of your necessary witnesses, everything is prepared for you, you are given a script to follow, and you know that there is always an inherent bias by jurors against a DUI defendant. A prosecutor, after reviewing the evidence and hearing the testimony, always has the power to reduce charges, or completely dismiss a case if the evidence just isn’t there for them. So, prosecutors are usually trying only those cases that are solid and easy victories for them. Therefore, a prosecutor should never lose a DUI trial. Ever.

      However, trying and winning a DUI case as a defense lawyer requires an entirely different skill set. It requires creativity, tenacity, and an ability to get a jury to overcome their inherent disdain for someone who drank and drove. The defense does not have built in law enforcement witnesses, investigators, and expert witnesses from the local crime lab. The defense attorney must build a new trial team for each individual case, and build that team based on the evidence of each client’s unique situation. Only attorneys who have mastered this, with results readily available, can call themselves true “DUI Trial Lawyers.” Yet, many lawyers will advertise that they have done a certain number of trials, and won most of them, when in reality most of those trials and wins were done while they were a prosecutor. This is very misleading and should be clarified with the attorney up front.

      So, ask any lawyer you meet with exactly how many DUI trials they have done as a defense lawyer.

    • Of the DUI cases you have taken to trial, as a defense lawyer, how many have you actually won?
      Again, many so-called DUI trial lawyers may tell you they have tried 40, 50, even 100 DUI trials. That’s impressive, until of course the follow up question has been asked as to how many they actually won. How many resulted in full acquittals, (meaning Not Guilty ALL charges)?

      In a typical DUI trial, there are 2 charges brought by the prosecution. They will charge violations of both Vehicle Code section 23152(a), which is “driving under the influence of alcohol” and 23152(b), which is driving with a .08 BAC or greater. These are two separate charges, and a DUI jury is asked to reach verdicts on both counts individually. This means a jury can find a DUI defendant Guilty of both, Not Guilty of both, or Guilty on one charge while Not Guilty on the other.

      Sadly, many lawyers will mislead the public by proclaiming they achieved something like “.12 BAC—Not Guilty !!” Be careful here. What that typically means is that the jury found the driver Not Guilty on one of the 2 charges, but Guilty on the other. Be advised, this is still a Guilty verdict. The driver still ends up with a full-blown DUI conviction.

      Until you see “Not Guilty ALL CHARGES,” you are not seeing a win by the defense. You are seeing a half-truth, and more importantly, a conviction for DUI. Please visit our Case Results page. Please, match them up against any firm in San Diego County.

    • Do you have an A+ rating with the San Diego Better Business Bureau?
      DUI San Diego has consistently been rated A+ with the Better Business Bureau because we strive to give clients not only the best result possible, but we also focus on providing excellent service and communication as well. Just as any other business, if the attorney you are speaking to is not rated or is rated below an A+, you should ask why not.

      Note: If the attorney or firm you are speaking with is unable to answer any of these questions, then you are not speaking with a firm that is qualified to defend you in your DUI case.