San Diego DUI Attorney - Michael Rehm
Free Consultations - (619) 787-3456
San Diego DUI Lawyer Michael Rehm provides representation on all driving under the influence matters. Once a DUI arrest occurs, a hearing must be set with the California DMV within 10 days of the arrest. This hearing allows the defense an opportunity to contest any potential license suspension, as well as obtain the police report and any chemical test results from the DMV, generally before the first court date.
Once the arrest occurs, law enforcement will complete the arrest report and forward that report to the Prosecutor, at which point the prosecutor will review the report and decide which charges to file. There is a general misconception that the charges you were arrested for are the same charges you will be facing in court. That is generally the case, but not a certainty. It can be a benefit to get an attorney involved as soon as possible to advise whether there are other potential charges you could be facing in court, and how that may affect your case.
Vehicle Code 23152(a) and (b) are the most common charges associated with a DUI case. There are also felony DUI charges, wet reckless, and several enhancements that can be added to your case. However, generally the San Diego City Attorney will not charge a wet reckless in the beginning, a reduction to a wet reckless is normally the result of plea bargaining.
In San Diego County, all four courthouses hear DUI matters. In the city, court is located at 1100 Union Street San Diego, CA 92101. Misdemeanor DUI arraignments are normally heard in Department 201 and 202. Felony DUI arraignments are normally heard in Department 101. As of right now, there is no set Judges for these departments.
In North County, the court is located at 325 South Melrose Vista, CA 92081. Most misdemeanor and felony DUI and criminal arraignments will be heard in Department 14. As of this writing, the current judge in Department 14 is Judge Wendy M. Behan.
In El Cajon, the court is located at 250 East Main Street El Cajon, CA 92020. Misdemeanor DUI arraignments are normally heard in Department 3, currently assigned to Judge Sheeren J Charlick. Felony DUI and criminal arraignments are routinely heard in Department 2, currently assigned to Judge Steven E. Stone.
Information for Chula Vista can be found here.
No matter which court your case is in, on misdemeanor matters, your DUI lawyer should normally be able to appear for you. If you have felony charges, you must appear. One of the more common questions clients ask is if it will benefit them to be physically present at the court date, and the answer is normally it will not. If the case is on for a jury trial or an evidentiary hearing, then it can be a benefit, but most misdemeanor DUI matters do not reach that stage, at least first offense cases, and many times on routine court dates, the prosecutor (who is ultimately who your attorney will be negotiating with) is not even aware if the defendant is actually present. In San Diego County, many times the arraignment can be done by fax, to give some idea of the level of informality the initial court dates bring.
There are several defenses to DUI cases, and numerous pages on this website explain the law and the defenses that apply. A good start is here. The main point to understand at this point, is that an arrest has just occurred, no charges have been filed yet, the DMV needs to be contacted within 10 days of the arrest, the DMV will then provide the police report and chemical test result to the defense as soon as they receive it, which generally will be before the first court date.
At the first court date, your attorney should normally appear for you, and take it from there. Ideally, your attorney will have received the police report and chemical test results from the DMV prior to the first court date, and had the chance to review everything before walking into the courtroom. Most of these misdemeanor DUI cases end up resolving. Normally, most defendants simply want damage control, they want the lowest possible penalty, and they want to move on with their lives. Generally, on a first offense at least, no actual custody time is ordered, and that fact is normally enough for most defendants to desire a plea bargain and move on.
There are times when the facts of the case call for more than a plea bargain however, and in that situation San Diego DUI Attorney Michael Rehm has no issue fighting the case, at any type of evidentiary hearing or trial. There are other times where the collateral consequences can be so great, that the client has no real choice but to fight the case. Collateral consequences include immigration or professional consequences. All of the facts of the case, and the collateral consequences to the client need to be considered to determine the best path to take in providing the best possible defense.
San Diego DUI Lawyer Michael Rehm has significant experience doing just that. For more information on his practice, or how he can assist you in your DUI or criminal matters, call (619) 787-3456 for a free, confidential consultation and learn how the law applies to your case.
The Law Office of Michael Rehm serves all of California, including the areas of San Diego, El Cajon, Vista, Chula Vista, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, North County, Escondido and surrounding cities and counties.