Santa Barbara DUI Attorneys
Arrested for DUI? You’ve Come to the Right Place.
Unlike other criminal charges, a conviction for DUI can result in both administrative and criminal penalties. You could lose your driving privileges, be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle, pay fines, go to jail, and more.
Luckily, our Santa Barbara DUI attorneys are prepared to defend you when you retain our services. With more than 40 years of combined legal experience and a background that includes serving as former deputy district attorneys, we have the insider knowledge and skills necessary to fight for you, helping you level the playing field. Our DUI lawyers are intimately familiar with our local courts and the dynamics of the judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials. As such, you can count on us to:
- Visit the location of the arrest
- Examine the arresting officer’s background
- Reanalyze your blood samples
- Examine the breathalyzer test
- Subpoena and cross-examine officers
- Identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Fight to maintain your freedom and driving privileges
- Negotiate for reduced or dismissed fines
If you’re looking for a proven DUI attorney near you, look no further. Appel & Morse is your first line of defense when you’re facing accusations. To get started, contact us at (805) 467-6060!
DUI Cases We Handle in Santa Barbara
Drivers of all ages and backgrounds are vulnerable to DUI accusations, and once an arrest has been made, it is critical to get a lawyer who can handle every stage of the case. For these reasons and more, our Santa Barbara DUI services include but are not limited to:
- Under 21 DUI
- Commercial DUI
- High blood alcohol level DUI
- DUI & child endangerment
- Prescription or illegal drug DUI
- Misdemeanor drunk driving
- Felony DUI
- DMV hearings
- DUI causing injury
- DUI causing injury
What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time in California?
A first-time DUI in California is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail, $5,000 fines or more, license suspension for up to 6 months, and participation in a 3-month or 9-month program. As you can see, California does not treat first-time DUI convictions lightly and imposes steep punishments in the hopes of deterring drunk drivers.
Penalties for a Second DUI in California
A second DUI within 10 years of a first DUI offense in California carries mandatory jail time of 96 hours up to 1 year. You may be required to pay about $5,000 or more in fines, lose your driver’s license for 6 months, and participate in a 3-month or 9-month program.
What happens if You Get a DUI under 21 in California?
Under 21 DUIs in California are particularly serious because they not only involve driving under the influence but also underage drinking, both of which are illegal. The BAC limit for someone under 21 in California is under .01%, meaning anyone under 21 cannot operate a vehicle with a BAC of .01% or higher. Depending on the driver’s BAC level and prior offenses, a DUI conviction for someone under 21 could result in the following consequences:
- Immediate driver’s license suspension for 1 year or more
- Mandatory participation in DUI programs
- Jail time
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
Probable Cause for DUI
First and foremost, a police officer must have probable cause to pull you over for DUI in California. Without establishing probable cause, an officer cannot legally pull you over and a DUI case may get dismissed altogether. For this reason, you should understand whether the police had probable cause to pull you over. To better understand this, take a look at the following information:
When the police have enough facts or evidence to support a reasonable belief
that a crime was committed, they have probable cause.
Probable cause for a DUI could include:
- Drifting within your lane
- Failing to stop
- Police can use accidents or injuries as probable cause: If you were in an accident, whether or not it resulted in injuries, the police can use the accident or injury as probable cause to suspect you were driving under the influence.
- Behavior can establish probable cause: If the police observe a certain driving behavior and pull you over as a result, they will continue to observe and gather information about you and 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 will have probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence.
- You could fight a DUI charge with or withoutprobable cause: If you believe the police pulled you over without probable cause and you got subsequently arrested for DUI, our Santa Barbara DUI attorneys can help. If we learn that the police did, in fact, have probable cause to pull you over, you can trust our lawyers to build a strong defense strategy to help get your charges reduced or dropped completely.
DMV Hearing for DUI
After a DUI arrest, you will likely be scheduled for arraignment as well as a DMV hearing. Although you aren’t required to schedule a DMV hearing, you are strongly advised to do so. This is because having a DMV hearing after a DUI arrest can help prevent driver’s license suspension. You can choose to attend this hearing or have your attorney attend the DMV hearing on your behalf. Should you retain our firm, our DUI attorneys can attend your DMV hearing and fight to prevent your driving privileges from being suspected or revoked.
The DMV hearing mainly focuses on the circumstances of your arrest rather than whether you are guilty or innocent. During the DMV hearing for your DUI, the hearing officer will evaluate your chemical test results and the lawfulness of your arrest. If you did not submit to a chemical test, the hearing officer will ask why you refused and confirm that you were informed about losing your driving privileges for refusing to take the chemical test.
DUI Court Process
Many clients wonder if most DUI cases go to trial. The answer is sometimes. The prosecutor may offer a non-DUI resolution for a defendant, but if the resolution isn’t favorable to you, you may go to trial. The DUI trial process is separate from the administrative DMV hearing, as the result of your DMV hearing does not affect your trial.
The DUI court process starts with an arraignment, where the prosecutor will read your charges. You will then have the chance to plead guilty or not guilty, or no contest. If you please guilty, you will be sentenced, and a judge will issue criminal penalties. On the other hand, if you plead not guilty, your case will go to the pretrial phase, where your defense attorney will scrutinize the prosecutor’s evidence against you. The defense and prosecutor will negotiate resolutions to avoid going to court.
If you are unhappy with these negotiations, your DUI case will go to trial where you will have the opportunity to challenge the prosecutor’s case.
How Do I Get My License Reinstated After a DUI in California?
Among the first things people want to know is how to get their license back after a DUI. To get a license reinstated after a DUI in California, follow the steps below:
- Wait until your license suspension has passed: If you received a one-year license suspension, then you must wait for at least one year to get your license reinstated.
- Serve the entire prison sentence: If you were sentenced to incarceration, you must serve your entire sentence.
- Finish DUI school: DUI school can last 3 to 30 months, depending on the terms of your conviction. Once you have completed your DUI school, you will then need a Notice of Completion from the school.
- Finish all other sentencing conditions: Some conditions may require you to complete treatment or rehab.
- Purchase the correct car insurance: Your insurance requirements will change after a DUI conviction. You should talk to your insurance agent about the special type of plan you will need and get a copy of your SR-22 form to prove you have the correct insurance.
- Apply for Reinstatement: Your attorney can help you gather all the correct paperwork to bring to the DMV when you apply for license reinstatement.
What Sets Us Apart
Choosing a DUI attorney to protect your freedom and driving privileges is an important decision, so choose wisely and retain Appel & Morse for your defense. With decades of legal experience on both sides of the system and a track record for proven results, you can count on us to handle your case. Our priority is to work towards minimizing the impacts of your case by helping you stay out of jail, avoid fines, and maintain your driving privileges.
Other reasons you should turn to our DUI defense lawyers include:
- 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 40+ years of experience
Do not make the mistake of navigating the complex legal system alone. You deserve a committed team of attorneys who prioritize your best interests, like us.
Wait no longer to schedule your free consultation online or by calling (805) 467-6060!
“Ian is awesome and I highly recommend him to anyone in my circumstance.”- Jeff E.
“He is the perfect lawyer for criminal cases. Thank you Ian.”- Anonymous
“MOST Patient & kind! Clients are a priority!”- Natasha