San Diego Driving Crimes Attorney
Driving crime is a category of criminal law that covers many different violations. In general, it involves operating a motor vehicle in an illegal manner. People charged with these types of crimes can face anything from a fines and probation for driving on a suspended license to jail and the suspension of their driving privileges for more evading or more than one DUI.
If you have been arrested for a driving crime, getting an experienced San Diego driving crimes attorney on your side is a good idea. Violations and convictions for driving crimes will show up your record for years. In our experience, these cases are often the result of a bad decision by otherwise law-abiding people. They should have a lawyer to help them through this process.
We are dedicated to helping people like you. For over the past 20 years, San Diego driving crimes attorney Stephen G. Cline has diligently succeeded in getting driving charges dropped or reduced for many of his clients.
Stephen Cline handles a wide range of driving crime cases, from misdemeanor driving under the influence to felony evading, and believes everyone is entitled to an attorney. Call Stephen Cline today at (619) 235-5638 for a free case evaluation. There is no obligation.
Types of Driving Crimes
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen G. Cline have handled all kinds of driving cases in San Diego, including:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) (Vehicle Code 23152)
DUI means “driving under influence”, or usually called drunk driving. A driver in California is typically considered DUI if his/her blood alcohol level is .08% or higher. DUIs can also be for legal or illegal drugs. This can also apply to prescription drugs issued to you that could impair your driving ability. DUI is most often a misdemeanor and depending on the offense (1st, 2nd, 3rd) is punishable by 4 days to 16 months in jail, $1,000 – $18,000 in fines, license suspension, and in some cases an Interlock Ignition Device (IID). A good driving crimes attorney will be able to reduce these penalties or plead down to a lesser charge if the circumstances allow.
- Hit and Run (Vehicle Code 20001 and 20002)
In California, driving a vehicle is considered a serious responsibility and the law has certain expectations of drivers. One of those expectations is that if you are involved in a collision, you stop your vehicle and exchange information with the other driver. If you don’t stop, you can be charged with “hit and run.” Failing to follow these rules where property is damaged can result in a misdemeanor charge, up to six months in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000. A hit and run involving personal injury the penalty can be up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Reckless Driving (Vehicle Code 23103 and 23104)
Reckless driving occurs when you drive a vehicle either on a road or a parking lot “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This is more than just negligent driving. This requires an intent to do something and a reckless disregard for the consequences. If a police officer stops you for reckless driving, the officer may arrest you and impound your vehicle.
In California, a “wet reckless” conviction occurs as a result of a DUI plea agreement. Wet reckless is not an offense that you are charged with but rather a crime that you may plead guilty to instead of DUI, which carries harsher penalties. Reckless driving is a violation of Vehicle Code 23103 and means that you drove “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
- DUI with Marijuana (Vehicle Code 23152)
A DUI with Marijuana is treated by the prosecution similarly to a DUI involving alcohol or other drugs. However, in California, the use of medical marijuana is legal for those with the appropriate authorizations. And there are now laws on the books at this time defining the amount of marijuana that can or cannot be in a medical marijuana patient’s blood while driving. For these reasons, an experienced driving crimes attorney will challenge a DUI with Marijuana aggressively and push for a dismissal or reduction of charges.
- Driving on a Suspended License (Vehicle Code 14601)
Driving on a suspended license is never a good idea. But the attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen G. Cline understand the circumstances that may lead you to this situation. You may not have even know it was suspended until you were pulled over. In California, the penalties range from fines which increase for repeat offenders to jail and/or prison time depending on why your license was suspended in the first place.
The charge can also escalate to a felony if you have several misdemeanor priors for the same conduct. This will also affect your driving record, adding more points and leading to high auto insurance premiums.
- Evading (Vehicle Code 2800)
You may be charged with evading if you attempt to flee in a motor vehicle from a peace officer who is perusing you in a motor vehicle or bicycle. The prosecution has to prove several things in order to convict someone of evading including: you intended to evade, their lights were on, the car was clearly marked and a peace officer was the identifiable driver. Evading can be punishable by a fine and up to one year in jail.
- Driving without a License (Vehicle Code 14601)
Driving without a license is treated very similarly to driving on a suspended license. Depending on why you did not have a license in the first place, a conviction can lead to hefty fines, jail time and the inability for you to apply for a license in California for an extended period of time. An unlicensed minor caught driving without a license can be forced to wait until the age of 18 before getting a valid driver’s license.
All of These Cases Call for a Driving Crimes Attorney
A conviction for any of these crimes will lead to a criminal record that can interfere with a variety of important parts of your life- jobs, rental applications, credit, school, professional licenses, the cost of your car insurance and your ability to drive. If you have been charged with a driving crime in San Diego, there is no excuse not to do everything you can to fight the charges for a dismissal or reduction. That means hiring a driving crimes attorney.
California criminal statues are much more complicated than described above. The severity of the crime is often based on a variety of factors such as property or bodily injury, repeat offenders, children in the car, speed, and perceived danger to others. An experienced driving crimes attorney knows how to make these arguments.
You need an attorney who has successfully handles all types of driving crimes cases. The Law Offices of Stephen G. Cline has represented clients on all kids of driving crime cases in the last 20 years.
Driving Crimes Defenses
The prosecution, District Attorney or City Attorney, must prove several things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be convicted of any driving crimes. For example, in a Hit and Run case, the prosecution must prove:
- that you were involved in a vehicle accident while driving,
- that the accident caused damage to someone else’s property,
- that you knew either that:
(a) someone else’s property had been damaged, or
(b) that the accident was of such a nature that it was probable that another’s property was damaged, and
- that you “willfully” failed to perform any of the duties outlined above.
If you are charged with a driving crime like Hit and Run in San Diego, there are several ways your attorney can defend you such as only your car was damaged, you didn’t realize you had been involved in an accident, or it was actually someone else, not you, driving the car.
Due the specific of each individual case, we explore all the details in order to build the best possible defense.
Contact Stephen Cline
Facing any of these driving crimes in San Diego can lead to serious consequences. Stephen Cline has the experience you need to defend your case. If you want a private defense attorney that will vigorously build and present a case on your behalf, our law office should be your first call.
An attorney consultation is free without any obligation. The prosecution isn’t waiting and neither should you, so act quickly to get a lawyer on your side.