Santa Barbara DUI Attorney ‚Äč

Contact Our Santa Barbara Criminal Lawyer Today At (805) 467-6060!


Reasons To Choose Our Firm Handcuffs on Table - Santa Barbara DUI Attorney

  • We provide free case consultations
  • We have extensive trial experience
  • We provide flexible appointment availability
  • We are a husband and wife duo
  • We employ a former district attorney
  • We are backed by 30+ years of experience

Begin Building Your Defense Today
Schedule Your free criminal consultation

In California, a DUI is a misdemeanor that carries a minimum 48 hours in jail for a first offense. Repeat convictions will translate into harsher punishments. Any DUI within the last 10 years will be considered a prior conviction. Even with incriminating evidence such as a high BAC and blood tests, DUI charges are beatable. Furthermore, a DUI can jeopardize your immigration status, potentially resulting in your removal.

If you have recently received a DUI, we strongly advise you to retain our immediate representation. Do not navigate through the complexities of the legal system with our personalized legal solutions and supportive assistance.

The penalties for a 1st offense DUI for a person 21 years of age or older include:


  • Immediate suspension of driver's license
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • DUI programs
  • Up to $1,000 in fines, plus additional penalties/fees
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

Probable Cause for DUI

According to California DUI laws, police are required to have probable cause in order to pull you over. If you have been pulled over for DUI, understanding whether the police had probable cause can be a vital piece of your defense.

In order to understand probable cause, it is important to remember the following:

  • Probable cause is when the police have enough facts or evidence to support a reasonable belief that a crime was committed. Probable cause for suspicion of DUI could include:
    • Speeding
    • Swerving
    • Drifting within your lane
    • Failing to stop.
  • Police can use accidents or injuries as probable cause. If you were in an accident or caused an injury to someone, and the police observe the accident, they can use the accident, or injury, as grounds for probable cause to suspect you were driving under the influence.
  • Police can use behavior as evidence for probable cause. Once the police observe a driving behavior that could trigger them to pull you over, they continue to observe and gather information about you based on your behavior. For example, if you were pulled over for rolling through a stop sign and, as you open your window, marijuana smoke exits the car, the police have probable cause you were driving under the influence.
  • You can fight a DUI charge if the police pull you over without probable cause. If the police have truly pulled you over without probable cause, and you are later arrested for DUI, our Santa Barbara DUI lawyer can help you fight it with a motion to suppress.

The DMV Hearing

If you were arrested for a DUI, you may be scheduled for both a DMV hearing and an arraignment. These are two separate proceedings handled by different entities.

The DMV hearing focuses primarily on the circumstances of your arrest; it is not for determining whether you are guilty or innocent. During the hearing, the results of your chemical test will be discussed, as well as the lawfulness of your arrest. If you did not submit to a chemical test, the DMV officer will ask about the reason for your refusal and if you were told that you would lose your driving privileges for refusing to take the test.

Although, you are not required to have a DMV hearing, appearing for one could help prevent a driver’s license suspension. Your attorney can attend this hearing on your behalf. Our lawyers will fight to keep your driving privileges from being suspended or revoked.

The Trial Process

The trial process is separate from the DMV hearing, and the outcome of the hearing does not affect your case. During the trial process, you will be scheduled for an arraignment where the prosecutor will inform you of the charges against you. At this stage, you will have the opportunity to plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest.

Keys And Alcoholic Drinks - Santa Barbara DUI Lawyer

If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced, and a judge will issue penalties. If you plead not guilty, your case will enter the pretrial phase, during which your attorney will scrutinize the prosecutor's evidence. The pretrial phase also allows the defense and prosecutor to enter into negotiations and attempt to resolve the case out of court.

If negotiations fail, your case will be taken to trial, where you will have the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s case.

At Appel & Morse, our DUI lawyers in Santa Barbara can look into the details of your case and explore ways to fight your charges. Our priority is to keep you out of jail and to protect your driving record and license. Whether we are scrutinizing the validity of chemical test results or questioning whether the arresting officer had probable cause to pull you over, we exhaust every option to help you secure the best possible outcome.


Discuss your DUI charges during a free criminal consultation. Call (805) 467-6060.


Our DUI Lawyers Will Serve As Your Aggressive Advocates

When you retain our services, our Santa Barbara DUI defense lawyers are prepared to work for you. We can visit the location, study the arresting officer's background, reanalyze blood samples, examine a breathalyzer, subpoena and cross-examine officers, and look for any weaknesses in the prosecution's case. As your DUI attorneys in Santa Barbara, We are also prepared to help you fight for your driving privileges. After you are arrested and given a temporary license, you need to schedule a DMV hearing immediately, if you want a chance at having your suspension lifted.

Our Santa Barbara DUI attorneys handle a wide range of DUI cases, including:



Over 30 Years of Proven DUI Defense, Contact Us at (805) 467-6060

With more than 30 years of combined legal experience and a background that includes serving as a former deputy district attorney, we have the knowledge and skills necessary to fight for you. Our DUI attorney is intimately familiar with our local courts and the dynamics of the judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials. We are ready to use our insider knowledge to help our clients even the playing field.


For a free, criminal consultation, call Appel & Morse today at (805) 467-6060!