DUI Defense Lawyers


DUI Overview

We assume that since you are researching DUI lawyers, you or a family member has been arrested for driving under the influence. Hopefully, you notice right away some important differences about our site. No cop pictures, handcuffs or flashing lights. First, we’re here to lower your stress, not increase it. We strive to make a prospective client feel both comfortable and confident, and we do our best to alleviate any stress they may have about the uncertainty of the criminal justice system. Second, when you call our office, your call will be put through to an attorney not a sales person. No high pressure sales approach riddled with scare tactics and half-truths. Instead, we will give you an honest explanation of the charges, your situation and your options. Third, we strive to provide our clients cutting edge DUI defense. DUI law and science is complicated, but we have the resources and experience to successfully handle even the most complex DUI matter. Fourth, we are not a “DUI Mill” looking for a high volume practice by charging cheap fees upfront, just for a quick guilty plea. We limit the cases we accept, so as to provide unsurpassed service. Our mission has been a simple one: to be the absolute gold standard of DUI Defense. For over 25 years we have strived to provide our clients with the highest quality representation and a level of customer service that is unparalleled by any firm anywhere.


Misdemeanor DUI Defense Lawyers

Almost all DUIs in California are misdemeanors. There are of course, some exceptions where a DUI may be charged as a felony, such as a case where someone is injured or the driver has three prior convictions in the last 10 years. Generally, misdemeanors are viewed as less serious crimes and carry lower penalties than felony convictions. More importantly, on misdemeanors most (if not all), of the jail time can be substituted for alternatives or treatment.

Felony DUI Defense Lawyers

When arrested for a DUI, one of the first questions people who have never been in trouble often ask is, “Is a DUI a felony?” In most cases, people arrested for driving under the influence are not charged with a felony DUI. Most DUI's, even though they are traffic offenses, are considered misdemeanors. However, in California, there are three main situations in which the district attorney might choose to charge someone with a Felony DUI.

DUI Manslaughter Defense

Unlike a lot of lawyers accepting misdemeanor DUI clients, we have significant amount of experience successfully representing individuals in felony manslaughter DUI charges. Although these types of matters demand the most proficient and aggressive legal representation, we never lose sight to be supportive and compassionate during this difficult time. Often, a DUI involving serious injury or even death is the first time the person has been arrested, and we recognize they may never intended to hurt anyone. Rather, sometimes a single momentary lapse of good judgment results in a life-changing event. For that reason, we are committed to striving to provide the highest level of DUI defense while offering thoughtful and non-judgmental understanding.

“Watson” Murder DUI Defense

"Watson murder" is a form of California Penal Code 187, second-degree murder. It can be charged when someone with a prior California DUI conviction kills someone while driving under the influence. “Watson murder” takes its name from a 1981 California Supreme Court case called People v. Watson. In that case, the court held that a DUI driver who causes a fatal accident can be convicted of murder (Penal Code 187) if the driver acted with “implied malice.” If a family member or loved one is charged with DUI murder, you should not trust their future to a ‘general’ lawyer or misdemeanor DUI lawyer. With over 50+ years combined experience and hundreds of actual jury trials, we have the experience and judgment when it matters most.

California drunk driving laws

Vehicle Code 23152(a), driving under the influence.
Vehicle Code 23152(b), driving with a BAC of .08% or greater.
Vehicle Code 23152(c), driving while an addict.
Vehicle Code 23152(d), commercial vehicle DUI.
Vehicle Code 23152(e), taxi/limo/ride-sharing driver DUI.
Vehicle Code 23152(f), DUI of drugs (“DUID”).
Vehicle Code 23152(g) driving with combined influence of alcohol/drugs.
Vehicle Code 23153, DUI causing injury.
Vehicle Code 23140, underage DUI (BAC of .05% or greater)
Vehicle Code 23103.5, “wet reckless” plea bargain to a California DUI.
Vehicle Code 23103, “dry reckless” DUI plea bargain.
Penal Code 187, second-degree murder. ( “Watson” fatality ).
Penal Code 191.5(a), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Penal Code 191.5(b), vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

California DUI Penalties and Sentencing

The penalties for a DUI conviction in California vary depending on two main factors. First,whether you have prior DUI convictions on your record. Second, whether anyone was injured as a result of your driving under the influence. There are also numerous “sentencing” enhancements such as blood alcohol level, refusal of a breath test or minors in the car. Most drunk driving cases are prosecuted as misdemeanors, although a DUI may be charged as a felony if someone was seriously hurt or this is your fourth DUI in the last 10 years. Also, California DUI law has certain mandatory minimum penalties and sentence requirements.

DUI Arrests, the CA. DMV and Drivers License Suspensions

Although there are perhaps lots of lawyers who will accept a DUI case, many have little knowledge about license suspension issues. For many individuals, avoiding loss of a driver's license is the most important goal. We work closely with our clients to get them through the confusing and sometimes overwhelming DMV process. For individuals who live out of state and are charged with a DUI in California, the license suspension process can be especially complicated. IMPORTANT: you only have 10 days from your arrest to call the DMV to schedule a hearing to contest the suspension, so you should speak with a qualified DUI attorney immediately.

California DUI Arrests and Out of State Drivers

Drivers arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with an out-of-state driver's licenses should be aware of specific rules and pitfalls that may complicate their cases. A California DUI arrest may jeopardize the driver's privileges in the state that issued the license. Most DUI lawyers have little to no experience helping clients keep their out of state driving license. At NorCal Criminal Defense, we will work hard to protect an individual's driving privileges both here in California and in the state that issued the license. We have successfully helped hundreds of out of state residents maintain their license. IMPORTANT: even out-of-state drivers need to contact the CA DMV within 10 days of their arrest to protect their drivers license!

Drug DUI Defense Lawyers

Also referred to as DUI drugs, drugged driving, or DUID, driving under the influence of drugs (or both alcohol and drugs) is a crime. In California, it is an offense that often has the same consequences as driving while intoxicated. Vehicle Code section 23152(f), the specific law that discusses driving under the influence of drugs.

Boating DUI Defense Lawyers

Also known as boating under the influence, boating DUI, BUI, DUI boating, or drunk boating. Boating under the influence can happen in a lake, a river, or on the ocean. A BUI offense is almost identical to the California Vehicle Code's explanation of operating a car or truck with a BAC at or above .08%. The details of the regulation can be found in California Harbors and Navigation Code Section 655: (b)

DUI and Commercial Truck Drivers

In addition to the standard DUI punishment, truck drivers face significant penalties to their commercial license even if the DUI was in their private car. A commercial license holder faces a 1-year suspension of the commercial license for a first offense, the hazardous materials transport commercial license suspension is 3 years. For second or subsequent offenses, there is a LIFETIME BAN on each type of commercial license. We have helped hundreds of commercial truck drivers avoid license suspension. Call to find out how we can help.