SAN FRANCISCO DUI LAWYER - CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
MICHAEL REHM - (415) 230-2346
San Francisco features some of the nation's most celebrated restaurants, nightclubs, cocktail lounges, and wine bars. Until the pandemic arrived, alcohol flowed freely in the Bay Area. With the easing of restrictions on businesses that serve food and alcohol, drivers should expect local traffic officers to resume their vigilant search for impaired drivers.
San Francisco County DUI Arrests
The most recent statistics regarding San Francisco arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) were compiled before the pandemic. Those statistics showed that, over the course of one year, 841 people were arrested for DUI in San Francisco County.
A driver arrested for DUI may be taken to the San Francisco County Intake and Release Center for booking. The Intake and Release Center is located at 425 7th Street in San Francisco. Most drivers are released from custody before their first court appearance.
Drivers can preserve their rights by contacting a lawyer immediately after an arrest. San Francisco Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Rehm help drivers complete the necessary paperwork to challenge the DMV's automatic license suspension and begin building a defense to the DUI charges.
San Francisco County DUI Prosecutions
Most drivers will be charged with DUI and the related offense of driving with a prohibited blood alcohol concentration (driving “over the limit”). The exact charges will depend on whether and when the driver had prior DUI convictions and on whether the driver caused an accident. About 8.2% of DUI cases in San Francisco County are charged as felonies.
The charges are typically prosecuted by a member of the San Francisco County District Attorney's office. Fortunately, prosecutors in San Francisco County are less aggressive than other county prosecutors about obtaining DUI convictions. In the most recent year analyzed by the California DMV, only 42.7% of DUI arrests resulted in DUI convictions. That is a much lower conviction rate than the statewide average of 73.6%.
About 10.3% of DUI charges in San Francisco County are plea bargained to a “wet reckless,” a form of reckless driving that carries lesser penalties than a DUI charge. Another 4.7% are reduced to a less serious charge. The remaining 42.3% of drivers avoided any conviction at all. The first goal of a DUI defense attorney is to avoid convictions.
San Francisco County DUI Court Proceedings
The District Attorney's office files DUI charges with the San Francisco County Superior Court. There may be several court appearances in a contested case, but a lawyer may be able to attend some of them without the driver.
Contacting a lawyer at the earliest opportunity will allow the driver to obtain advice that can help avoid convictions and multiple court appearances. When the accused driver does need to appear, hearings are usually held at the Hall of Justice, located at 850 Bryant Street in San Francisco.
The median time from arrest to disposition in a San Francisco DUI case is 155 days. Some cases take longer, particularly if the case proceeds to trial.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in San Francisco, call Attorney Michael Rehm at (415) 230-2346 to discuss your options, and find out how the law will apply to the unique facts of your case.
San Francisco County Court - Criminal Division