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What are the Penalties for a First Offense DUI in Vista, San Diego Superior Court?

Posted by Joel Bailey | Oct 31, 2023 | 0 Comments

Many of my Clients ask what to expect when facing a DUI in Vista, North County Superior Court.  Many factors determine what you can expect (especially if you have an aggressive, experienced, local criminal defense attorney.)

If you are over 21, have no prior convictions, were not involved in an accident with bodily injury to anyone (except yourself), and successfully completed a chemical test with results above (or below) .08% BAC, you are likely facing  a misdemeanor DUI (23152 CVC.)

What are Potential Defenses for DUI's in Vista?

Many DUI's have potential defenses such as:

1.  I wasn't driving;

2.  I wasn't impaired;

3.  My BAC was under .08% at the time of driving; or

4.  I was stopped without Probable Cause.

What is the worst-case scenario for a DUI in Vista?

Although a first-time, misdemeanor DUI in Vista carries a punishment of up to six (6) months in jail, a $3,700 fine, a license suspension, and a mandatory DUI program, many of these terms are negotiable either based on the facts of the charges.  An experienced Vista Criminal Defense attorney knows the best strategy to either win your case or reduce your punishment and exposure.  After thirty (30) years of practice, I still hear clients gasp in disbelief at the thought of jail time on a first time DUI, but it IS possible.  (though a good attorney should be able to avoid it)

What is the best-case scenario for a DUI in Vista?

A dismissal and an apology is the best-case scenario.  (This is rare.)

Does a grant of probation for a DUI mean I don't have to go to jail?

Not necessarily.  Even with informal probation of three or five years, you can still receive custody in addition to the probationary period.

What should I do immediately after being arrested or cited for a DUI in North County, San Diego?

Call a good, experienced local attorney as soon as possible (760 643 4025).  You only have ten (10) days to request a hearing on your driver's license suspension with the DMV.  My office can handle both the DMV and the court appearances, usually without your presence.  Having your attorney reserve the DMV allows us to receive discovery (police and lab reports) quickly and secures a stay on your suspension, allowing you to drive unless or until an adverse ruling after a hearing with the DMV.

Call our Vista and Carlsbad Criminal Defense Office to help with your DUI Today!

About the Author

Joel Bailey

ATTORNEY BIO & EXPERIENCE Attorney Joel W. Bailey was born and raised in San Diego, California. He graduated from La Jolla High School, and earned degrees in Psychology, Sociology and Political Science from UC Santa Barbara, as well as completing a semester at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain....


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