Drunk Driving / DUI


DRUNK DRIVING / DUI  California Vehicle Code section 23152(a) states that it is unlawful to drive while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug, or under their combined influence.  Section 23152(b) states that it is unlawful for any person who has .08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.

Drunk driving convictions stay on your record for a period of 10 years.  Penalties vary depending on whether you have suffered any prior DUI convictions and the circumstances of your case.  Prosecutors will seek jail time even for first time offenders in certain situations.  Felony DUI charges can be filed and prison sentences sought in cases involving injuries.

DUI arrests trigger two separate cases being filed.  First, the criminal case in court. Second, the ADMIN PER SE HEARING at the DMV.  A DMV hearing must be requested within 10 days of the arrest in order to contest the suspension of your driving privilege. The court will decide issues of criminal conviction, probation terms, jail time and fines. The DMV will decide the issue of drivers license suspension.

Sal Ciulla has over 35 years experience in handling DUI cases.  As a deputy district attorney in Orange County he prosecuted hundreds of drunk driving cases.  As a defense lawyer he has defended hundreds.  Contrary to what most people think, these are not always lost cause cases.  Don’t go to court unprepared.  In the courtroom, there is no substitute for experience.

DUI defense

Recent victory

People v. Timothy H.  Freeway accident where defendant’s vehicle flipped upside down.  Five passengers in vehicle.  All pulled out by good Samaritan.  Police arrive on scene.  Defendant admitted to driving and drinking.  Arrested for DUI.  Trial verdict: Not guilty.

People v. Sylvia S.  Defendant drives a block from bar and realizes she’s had too much to drink. She pulls over and has friend get behind the wheel.  Officer sees this and arrests defendant for DUI.  Blood alcohol level .16.  After presenting the “wouldn’t you want your daughter to do the same thing?” defense, case dismissed.

People v. Meaghan G.   Officer sees defendant driving away from the scene of a fight.  Vehicle has broken tail light.  Officer stops defendant, who is under 21 years of age.  Blood alcohol level .08.  Prosecutor files under 21 years of age DUI infraction and defendant allowed to attend a drug and alcohol awareness program.  Case dismissed.

Sal Ciulla has over 35 years experience in handling Orange County DUI and Drunk Driving cases. Contact him today at 714.542.0500


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