At the beginning of 2022, the law regarding DUI diversion changed. DUIs are no longer eligible for diversion in California. Please contact our office with any questions. Email us at OR Call us at: (415) 523-7878

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What Factors Can Work In Favor Of My DUI Case?

A conviction for a DUI requires that the prosecutor be able to prove the elements of the offense you are charged with. In a DUI, the first element is driving. If we have a no driving defense, that would extremely helpful. This could be if officers do not observe driving, or if someone else was driving—there are many different things that could have happened, especially when the officers did not view the driving. The other elements are typically that someone was either impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combined influence, at or over a 0.08 alcohol level. If someone has a lower blood alcohol level, we can show problems with the testing, rising blood alcohol levels, and margin of error with the breath or blood testing. There are many different types of defenses that can get brought up, and those are just some of them to try and get a dismissal or to win a case.

Sometimes, the defense is we have videos. This could be someone doing perfect on the field sobriety tests, and his or her driving wasn’t bad, and yet they blew into a machine or did blood testing and the number was extremely high. That can be a disconnect situation where we may put that in front of a jury and say, “Look with your own eyes, did this person look impaired? Look how they’re driving, look how they’re doing on these tests.” Someone who is two, three, even four times a legal limit is going to be able to do this well and that can put reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors as to whether or not this person was impaired, or at or over the legal limit.

What Can I Expect At Different Stages Of The Process In My DUI Case?

There are two different battles that we’re fighting in DUI cases. One is through the court; the other is through the DMV. At DMV, what you can expect is for the attorney to request a hearing and get a notice. It typically says you need to be at a hearing, but that’s usually not the case. I often will continue my DMV hearings at least a few times before we’re ready to proceed with the actual hearing if the hearing does occur. In the meantime, as long as we submitted the request for the hearing within 10 days of the arrest, you’ll be able to keep driving. You’d get a lot of dates in the future for the DMV, and at some point, the driving issue will get resolved with DMV.

For the court case, the first appearance is an arraignment. In most cases, the attorney can appear for the client at the arraignment, enter a not guilty plea, get the police report, and then set a new court date and request discovery.

That additional discovery would be breath testing machine records, video, audio, and other things that need to be investigated. Depending on the county, it can take a while for charges to be brought, and it can take a while for a case to be resolved. The attorney may go back to court two, three, four, five, 10 times or more. While your case is going on, you should be able to contact your lawyer and check in for an update, if you’re not sure about what’s going on. The lawyer should be able to get back to clients in most cases, unless they are in the middle of the jury trial, within 24 hours. When you are looking to find an attorney, someone who represents you and your rights here, it’s very important to find someone that you are comfortable with, someone who listens to you, cares about you, wants to fight for you, and someone who will respond to you.

The person that you talk to on the phone and go over all the facts of your case, or the person you meet in the office and go over everything with, is hopefully the person who is involved with your case and who is communicating with you throughout the entire case. If you call a lawyer’s office and do an intake with another lawyer or a paralegal, and then other lawyers are taking care of your case, can present a problem. They don’t have all the information they need to be able to personalize you and your situation to the prosecutor that they’re dealing with down the road. I would look for someone who you can build a relationship with, who protects you and walks you through this complex legal system of DUI in the Bay area.

Will Anyone Else Be Working On My Case?

Whether anyone else will be working on your case depends on the office or the attorney you hire, and that’s a question that you can ask. Typically, clients who hire me have me as their lawyer. If someone else is going to be doing any work on the case, I am going to let them know ahead of time. Having another attorney appear at the arraignment, or at the first court appearance, is somewhat common for a lot of lawyers because we set our own schedules from the time we go to court the first time. We usually have a say in what date we’re going to be there and set a case in a courthouse, in a county where we’re already there on the future date, or where our schedules open to be there. However, that first court appearance is one that’s usually set by the police or the jail when someone is arrested or released, when they get their ticket or citation.

It’s very common for an attorney not to be able to beat that first appearance and have someone else cover for them. But I would hope that anyone who you hire lets you know who is going to be working on your case. Sometimes when I get too busy, there are other attorneys that I can refer the case to. There is another attorney who shares the office with me, and there are a few other attorneys I work very closely with, who are fantastic lawyers and do a lot of DUI work. If I am too busy, or in the middle of a trial that’s taking up a lot of time, I may recommend that someone talk to one of these other lawyers who would have more time than me, which would be the reason that I might refer a case out. But typically, when someone contacts me about a DUI case, I am able to get back to him or her fairly quickly, to go over everything and answer all his or her questions.

For more information on Factors In Favor Of DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (415) 523-7878 today.

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Aaron Bortel
With 30 years of specialized experience in DUI defense, Attorney Aaron Bortel is a dedicated advocate for those facing DUI charges in the Bay Area. Committed to helping clients avoid jail, save their driver’s licenses and jobs, and prevent permanent criminal records, he combines deep legal expertise with genuine care for his client's welfare. Trust in a lawyer who not only defends but truly supports you through challenging times.

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