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What to do when arrested for a San Diego DUI. What is the process? What is the next steps? How to get no jail and the best outcome. San Diego Attorney Defense Lawyer and former senior prosecutor explains the process APS hearings DMV Suspensions

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2016 | Firm News |

Not all attorneys are the same.  People think calling one lawyer is the same as calling the other.  It is not true. You have to make sure the attorney you are teaming up with will give you the best resolution you can have.

I receive a lot of inquiries from people who were just released from jail or their loved ones are in jail after a DUI arrest. The situation usually comes out of the blue and it involves someone who has never been through the process.

People start remembering all the stories about DUIs they got from friends, news, etc. Some of them are true with most being myths. People then start googling and get a slew of information, with a lot of the information being too general or conflicting.
When I left the prosecution side of DUIs I spent a lot of time making a website that had true content that could assist people with answering questions. There is no website out there that has all the answers to DUIs. Every DUI case is unique and you can “what if” yourself to death. What I recommend you check out local attorneys who have DUI experience with solid reviews. You be proactive and begin working on your case. You have 10 days from the date of arrest to have the attorney to contact the DMV to stay the license suspension and six weeks until your first court date. You want to be proactive. Contact our office now for a free consultation at 858-751-4384. Below is a little on the San Diego DUI process.


The information that follows will save you time searching for all of the pertinent information that applies to your case. Additionally, there is subject matter on this site that applies to specific issues within a DUI case as well as different types of DUI. The DUI frequently asked questions page that I have put together will also be very helpful in understanding your rights, situation and next steps.

This page is a solid start to finding out about the San Diego DUI process itself and some considerations to have when choosing an attorney.

Know Where You Are In The San Diego DUI Process

When you were arrested, you likely received a pink slip of paper from law enforcement. This serves as your temporary driver’s license because the police likely took yours. Your license is valid for 30 days from the arrest date. The pink slip also states you have 10 days to call the DMV/APS to contest the impending suspension.

It is advisable to find and retain an attorney within those 10 days to set your DMV/APS hearing. If you go with a public defender, he or she will not advise you on your DMV/APS. To me, the license suspension is one of the toughest consequences of a DUI.

It makes a lot of difference to have an attorney navigate you through the DMV process to get your driving privilege restored as fast as humanly possible. This is one reason (among many) why I recommend, if at all possible, not using a public defender. He or she cannot help you with the DMV issues. A proactive DUI attorney will use the DMV hearing to help the criminal side of the case.

If it is past the 10 days to set a DMV/APS hearing and your court day is coming up, my suggestion is to obtain an attorney as soon as possible to get you back on course.

Finding An Experienced, Proven Attorney

There are hundreds of San Diego DUI attorneys out there. As a former veteran prosecutor, I was able to come into contact and work with hundreds of them. I saw the good and the bad. After handling thousands of cases, I learned how best to approach a DUI case. To make it easy, I created a pre-hire checklist to make sure a prospective attorney qualifies as the right attorney for your San Diego DUI case.

Some considerations when hiring an attorney should be:

  1. Find one you are comfortable with (in the end this is most important).
  2. Make sure the fee setup is reasonable. Make sure you are not being charged “a la carte” style because it often ends up costing more than it should. I would also hesitate and review the “one cost for everything” charge. It usually ends as a windfall for the attorney. Make sure the attorney works with efficiency and discretion.
  3. Make sure the attorney is worth the cost of the services. Find an attorney who can answer “yes” on all (or almost all) of the pre-hire checklist.

Follow These Steps And Read The DUI Overview Section To Learn More

The DUI overview sections will give you a strong base knowledge of the aspects of a DUI case and what issues may pertain to your case. Once you retain an attorney, he or she should begin working on getting you the best result possible.

Also, make sure to speak with your attorney about terminating probation early and expunging your case. No matter the result, ultimately you want this charge off your record at the end of the rainbow.

Introduction To The DUI Process

There are two branches to a San Diego DUI case, including the DMV hearing and the criminal court process. These may run simultaneously and are entirely independent of one another. The Law Offices of Mark Deniz can represent you in both hearings.

  1. The legal process begins with the initial arrest. A law enforcement officer will typically make an arrest for DUI after observing erratic driving behavior, outward signs of intoxication and poor field sobriety test performance. The driver will then be arrested and taken to the police station, where he or she will be asked to submit to a breath test or blood test to determine his or her blood alcohol concentration.
  2. The DMV process: After a DUI arrest, a driver has only 10 days to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles and schedule a DMV hearing to challenge the suspension of his or her driver’s license.

The driver’s first court appearance will be the arraignment, at which time the judge will inform the driver of his or her charges. The driver will also then enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.

After the arraignment, a DUI defense lawyer, such as attorney Mark Deniz, can file pretrial motions to suppress evidence, or similar actions that will be taken to build your defense. The prosecuting attorney may also offer a plea bargain at this time. A prosecuting attorney will try and convince you that he or she has an airtight case. This is not always accurate. You have many criminal defenses you can use to defend yourself from the DUI charge. A highly trained lawyer will be able to look at your case and choose the best defense possible. Each of our attorneys is dedicated to arguing your case and preventing a conviction.

DUI Charges

  • No probable cause to make the traffic stop
  • Mishandling of evidence on an administrative level (procedures involving breathalyzer and blood tests)
  • Individuals ability to pass field sobriety tests
  • Violations involving a person’s Miranda rights
  • Illegal arrest or detainment
  • Not enough evidence to support the charge

The above defenses may apply to your case. If you have been charged with a DUI in San Diego, one of our experienced attorneys can evaluate your case and determine which defense is best suited to be used in fighting your charges. Any arrest is time sensitive. You should contact usimmediately after your arrest.

A Proactive Defense
Strategy For DUI Cases


  • You have only 10 days to
    request a DMV hearing
  • Your license is valid for only 30
    days after your DUI arrest
  • The DMV hearing and the
    criminal case are separate
  • Make sure your attorney will
    handle both effectively

Final Step Of DUI Court Process

The final step in the DUI court process is the trial. Depending on the particulars of the case, you may or may not have a jury trial. Evidence will be presented to a jury who will make a decision of whether or not the prosecution has met the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

For the aggressive, dedicated legal representation you need through the entire San Diego DUI court and DMV process, contact The Law Offices of Mark Deniz by email or by phone at 858-429-9982.

I value your business and look forward to serving you with efficiency and discretion.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges. Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, Chula Vista DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI, San Diego Expungement, San Diego Bench Warrant, San Diego Failure to Appear, San Diego Restraining Orders, San Diego Terminate Probation, San Diego Minor Possession of Alcohol, San Diego Probation Violation, San Diego Prop 47, Lakeside DUI, Lemon Grove DUI, National City DUI, Cardiff DUI, Racho Santa Fe San Diego DUI, Rancho Bernardo DUI, Spring Valley DUI, Solana Beach DUI, Leucadia DUI, Golden Hills DUI, North Park DUI, Torrey Pines DUI, Eastlake DUI, Paradise Valley DUI, it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case. Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384 or send an email to [email protected].

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