VISTA DUI LAWYER:
DRUNK OR DRUGS DRIVING DEFENSE
I am Vista DUI attorney Peter M. Liss. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including a DUI involving a car accident or a felony DUI in Vista or elsewhere in San Diego County, I can help you. I have personally defended hundreds of individuals following their DUI arrest in Vista and I can promise you top quality representation for a reasonable fee.
DUI Charges in Vista
Under California law, when someone is arrested for driving drunk and they have a Blood Alcohol Level above 0.08%, they will actually be charged with two different offenses, “driving under the influence of alcohol” and “driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.” You cannot be convicted and sentenced for both crimes, but you may be found guilty of one, both or neither of the charges.
Those who have been accused of driving under the influence of drugs, will only be charged with “driving under the influence of drugs.” If both drugs and alcohol are present, the charge will be “driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.” There is no legal limit defining how much marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine or other drugs someone may consume while behind the wheel. It is important to recognize that you can be charged with driving under the influence when taking prescription drugs as long as they affect your ability to control a vehicle, so trying to explain to the police that you have a prescription for a medication can be used as evidence against you.
DUI cases in San Diego involve very specific types of evidence, including:
- The testimony of the police officer
- Field Sobriety Test Results
- Preliminary breathalyzer results
- Breathalyzer or blood test results
While some of these tests are optional, the sad truth is that many people are unaware of these facts, so they still take them. The good news is that a top DUI lawyer in Vista can often successfully fight these types of evidence under the law, but what you say can hurt your case, which is why it is so important to call a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible when you have been arrested.
DUI Sentences and Enhancements in Vista
If you are found guilty of driving under the influence in San Diego County, you could face jail time, fines, alcohol treatment programs, vehicle impoundment, a suspension of your driver’s license and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device when you are permitted to drive again. Subsequent DUI cases will leave you with additional penalties, which may include longer jail sentences and higher fines. Additionally, some circumstances may leave you with longer sentencing, for example, if you were speeding at more than 30 miles an hour over the speed limit; had a child under 14 in the car; had a blood alcohol reading over .15; had a prior DUI conviction in the past 10 years; or if you refused to take a blood or breath test.
There are two situations where a California DUI may be filed as a felony. If a drunk driver was negligent and violated a traffic law, and, as a result, someone else was injured even just slightly, it could be charged as a felony. This is why DUIs involving car accidents are so serious. Alternatively, if someone is charged with their fourth or subsequent DUI within the past ten years, the crime could be filed as a felony.
For more on California DUI sentencing and enhancements, click here.
DMV License Suspensions after a DUI Arrest
Most people charged with driving under the influence will have their license suspended. This can be a real problem in a car-centric county like San Diego as it can make it particularly difficult for a person to get to work or class on time. If you are arrested for suspicion of drunk driving and refuse to take a blood or breath test, you will automatically lose your driving privileges for one year. If you do take the test and your BAC is above 0.08%, the police officer will take your driver’s license and you will then be given a 30-day temporary driving permit.
You have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing with the DMV or you will lose your license for four months on a first time DUI. If you are convicted of a DUI, the suspension increases to six months. Your Vista DUI attorney can help represent you at this hearing, which will not only give you the opportunity to fight this license suspension, but also allow you and your attorney to get a sneak peak at the evidence that will be presented against you at your criminal trial, which could make fighting the charges easier.
If you lose the DMV hearing or are convicted of driving under the influence, your DUI lawyer in Vista can help you go through the process of obtaining a restricted driver’s license so you can get to work or school.
Fighting the Charges With Vista DUI Lawyer Peter Liss
While many people believe drunk driving charges are something they just have to accept, it is possible to fight against these accusations and win, even if you failed your breathalyzer test. Your Vista DUI defense lawyer can mount a successful defense based on some or all of these factors:
- 1 Improperly calibrated or operated breathalyzer machine
- 2 Incorrectly administered blood test or poor storage of blood samples
- 3 Evidence that your blood alcohol level was actually lower than the legal limit when you were arrested (the rising alcohol defense)
- 4 Mistakes or inaccuracies on the part of the officer performing the arrest, including lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause
- 5 Proof that you were not behind the wheel
- 6 The police officer failed to notify you of the potential penalties associated with blood or breath test refusal
When fully fighting the charges isn’t a reasonable strategy, your Vista DUI defense attorney may instead negotiate a plea bargain that can help you avoid jail time. Or if your case involved circumstances which could result in additional sentencing, a carefully negotiated plea bargain could allow you to avoid added penalties.
How DUI Attorney Peter Liss Can Help You
Peter M. Liss has over 35 years of experience successfully fighting hundreds of DUI charges, including those involving high BACs and felony DUI. Over the course of your case, he will advise you about the best course of action based on your circumstances; keep you updated on any changes to your case; argue for lower bail; help investigate your case and collect evidence for your defense; make court motions on your behalf; represent you at the DMV license revocation hearing; seek reduced criminal charges; negotiate a plea bargain or represent you in trial; and seek out alternative sentencing or the lowest possible sentencing. He can also help you if you are facing other charges outside of DUI, including drug possession, gun charges and more.
He previously supervised a staff of 10 lawyers who handled driving under the influence cases in California, and he has defended clients in over 100 criminal jury trials. Peter Liss graduated from the top ranked University of California, Berkeley Law School. In his current practice, he is the only attorney and he personally handles every case that comes through the doors. He has successfully obtained the best possible results for his clients in both criminal DUI trials and DMV license revocation proceedings. If you need a Vista DUI attorney, please call today for a free consultation.
Peter Liss offers 24 hour-a-day live answering services and prompt responses. His rates are affordable, he accepts all major credit cards and his service is highly-rated by past clients on Yelp, Google and AVVO. You can schedule a free initial consultation that will take place in his South Melrose Drive law office directly across the street from the Vista courthouse and jail.
How to Contact Attorney Peter Liss
For skilled IMMEDIATE help with a Vista DUI or driving under the influence of drugs defense,
call Vista DUI Lawyer Peter M. Liss:
Call 24/7, any time, any day. I can help you.
For more information on DUI’s, please see: