I Was Just Arrested for a DUI In San Diego California

I was Just Arrested for a DUI In San Diego California. What in the world do I do next? What in the world is going to happen to me? What is going to happen to my license? Is this a felony or a misdemeanor?

These are just a few of the questions people often have after getting arrested for a DUI. Do not worry, Seneca Law Group and its experienced professional attorneys are here to help answer those questions and fight for you along the way! Here is a preview of what you need to know.


In California the Vehicle Code (VC for short) governs driving under the influence cases. There are multiple code sections that could apply to your case. In most DUI cases they will arrest you and charge you for at least 2 code sections. The most common are listed below.


  • VC § 23152 (a) – is what you would think of as a traditional DUI. Its section says that it is illegal to drive a car while being under the influence of alcohol. Take note that this code section is silent to how much alcohol is in your blood.
  • VC § 23152 (b) – is the other code section that states that you are per se under the influence of alcohol if your blood alcohol content is over a .08 at the time of driving.

DUI with Injury

  • VC § 23153 (a) – This code section is related to a DUI where there is an accident and someone is injured and the driver was “under the influence”.
  • VC § 23153 (b) – This code section is related to a DUI where there is an accident and someone is injured and the driver had over a .08 blood alcohol content at the time of driving.

Drug DUI

  • VC § 23152(e) – This is a DUI for someone who has used drugs and is too impaired to drive.


The answer to this question is “It depends”, which ironically is the answer to most legal questions. There are many factors that influence how you are charged and the severity of the charge. Each case’s facts and circumstances differ and so do the potential charges.

In general if you have a straight forward DUI then it will be a misdemeanor. If you have had 3 prior DUI’s in the last 10 years then it will automatically be a felony. If you were in an accident and someone was hurt, depending on the severity of the injury it could be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

It is important to remember that what the police arrest you for and what you are charged with are different things. It is the officer’s job to arrest and the District Attorneys job to charge you with a crime. That being said, you could be arrested for a misdemeanor DUI and end up with felony charges and vice versa. An experienced attorney like attorneys at Seneca Law Group can help you understand the differences and help you prepare your defense.


The bail schedule here in San Diego sets bail for a standard DUI under vehichle code vc 23152 (a) or VC 23152(b) at $2,500.00. So if you want to bail out before your first court hearing then be prepared to either pay the $2,500 up front or you can pay a bail bondsman somewhere between 8-10% of that cost to post the bail for you. It is recommended that you bail out of jail.


In the State of California the legislature has decided to separate the punishments for driving under the influence between the DMV and the court system. The court deals with crime and punishment and the DMV deals with the license. In order to save your license you must schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest or you waive the right to that hearing. This hearing is called an administrative per-se hearing. It asks three questions.

  1. Were you driving the car.
  2. Did you have a blood alcohol content of over a .08 at the time of driving and
  3. Did the officer have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to contact you and then make an arrest?

You should also keep I mind that the DMV can effectively take your license in at least three places.

  1. If you do not sign up for the DMV hearing within 10 days
  2. If you lose the hearing.
  3. If you win the hearing but lose the court case.

The next questions you should ask is if the DMV does take your license, how long is it suspended for?
If it is a first time DUI then they will suspend your license for 4 months but only 30 days of it is a hard suspension and you could be eligible to get a restricted license. If this is a second time DUI then they will suspend it for one year and a restricted license is only available after 90 days.


There are many different ways to successfully fight a DUI in San Diego. Like all court cases, the defenses you can use are often fact driven. You can utilize a vast variety of experts and methods in winning the case against you or at least minimizing the damage done. Only an experienced attorney can properly evaluate your case and put you in a position to be successful. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI in San Diego California, you should call us and set up a free consultation today. The sooner you can get a professional involved, the better your chances are at beating the charges against you. Call 619 630-8529 for a free consultation.

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