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DUI IN SAN DIEGO- I just got a DUI. I am in process of hiring an attorney. Few questions:

San Diego, CA |

1.. Can i get enrolled in the First Conviction Program right away? If so what do i need to do
2. A bunch of attorney are telling me i have to pay to subpoena the officer to the DMV hearing. How much to have the officer testify at the DMV hearing?
3. What exactly is an SR22? Should i tell my insurance company?

Attorney Answers 9

  1. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to go to trial. Consider seeking a confidential consultation.

    Call 410-415-1400 to speak with someone and set an appointment 24/7. Answers to questions are not legal advice but information for general use only and do not form an attorney-client relationship.

  2. You can enroll in first conviction program after losing DMV hearing or if you did not request one you can enroll in program right away. The program may give you a hard time about enrolling before a conviction- tell them you need program for dmv purposes.
    Yes, you would need to pay for officer to be at hearing. Usually starts at around $150 to have officer there.
    Sr22 insurance is a supplemental auto insurance for people who have a DUI. If you tell your own insurance about your DUI your rates will increase. If you get SR 22 insurance through another provider your insurance may not learn of DUI which would save you money. You will need SR22 insurance if you lose dmv hearing or are found guilty or plead guilty in court.

  3. First of all these are great questions. The answer to whether you enroll in the first conviction program is very fact dependent. I always try to be proactive and get things started as early as possible, however you do not want to enroll in something that you don't have to do or you have to do a different program. SR 22. Is a document that the DMV requires for you to get your driving privilege restored. I would highly recommend obtaining representation from one attorney who You feel comfortable and agree with their approach to DUI defense. Find the attorney at who has the fees and the personality that you feel most comfortable with.

    This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply

  4. 1. There is no need to enroll right away. Also, depending on the circumstances and facts of your case, you may have to take a six month class instead of a three month class.
    2. You usually do have to pay the agency that arrested you in order for the office to show up to the DMV hearing. You only have ten days to do so, so don't delay!
    3. SR-22 is insurance you would need to obtain in order to reinstate your driving privileges and/or stay on the road. As stated, it's probably best to go to a different company. If convicted of the DUI (or you plead to it) you would probably need to hold the SR-22 policy for at least three years.

    You don't want to go at this alone. Make sure to at least consult with an attorney or two.

    The information above is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and any attorney. Such Legal Information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. It is not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely upon such Legal Information.

  5. Sorry to hear about your recent DUI arrest...keep in mind that arrest DOES NOT mean you are guilty of anything. That is why it is so important to hire an experienced DUI Attorney. To answer your questions:

    1. Not sure what you mean by enroll right away, but most likely not if you are referring to close in time to arrest date. The school will not accept you unless DMV has suspended your license and/or the Court refers you.
    2. Since DMV is an administrative hearing, you do not have the same rights that you do in criminal court. If you want to subpoena the police officer, law enforcement agencies will require a $275 witness fee deposit. Keep in mind that it could exceed that amount if the officer is on overtime or there are other factors that can affect final cost.
    3. SR22 is proof of financial responsibility outside of your primary insurance. DO NOT TELL YOUR PRIMARY INSURANCE COMPANY ANYTHING if you do not have to. This is something you will need to discuss with your attorney as there are ways to save you money in this arena.


  6. Questions 1 and 3 do not need to be addressed until at least the results of the DMV hearing. Yes, you have to pay to subpoena the officer to a DMV hearing.

  7. 1. Yes, you'll need a H6 print out and ask to enroll as a volunteer. Once you get proof of enrollment, make sure you take it to court once your case has been filed.

    2. Depends on the case facts. It's $275 initial deposit to have the officer testify, however, the end bill could be over $800 bucks depending on the situation. No attorney should be advising you to have a witness testify or not to testify without first seeing the evidence and/or police report. Dictating case strategy before you've even read the police report, is an irresponsible practice in my opinion.

    3. SR22 is a special insurance filing and you can either get it through your insurance company or through a third party insurance company. Sometimes its cheaper via third party. What it essentially is, is a electronic link between DMV and your insurance which ensure you have insurance all the time. (Instead getting insurance when you renew your registration only to dump the insurance a day later). Once required, if your insurance lapses, you'll license will suspend immediately.

  8. As several attorneys have mentioned already, do NOT assume you are automatically guilty, and therefore must complete DMV and Court requirements right away. The ability to contest the APS suspension is why the DMV hearing is available, and the foundation of our criminal justice system is "innocent until proven guilty" (although it does not always seem that way).

    That being said, you can "voluntarily" enroll in the Alcohol Program without being convicted, but it can occur after the DMV has taken action on your license (post-APS hearing, or after the temporary license expires if no hearing was requested). Normally, the program will want a Court referral (post-conviction), but if you let them know it is "voluntary" for the DMV, then the class should allow it. Remember, they will likely enroll you in a 3 month class, and if you are later convicted in Court, then you can be required to complete up to a 9 month program for a first offense.

    As to your second question, you do have to pay the arresting agency in order for the officer to testify at the DMV hearing. It usually requires a $275 fee, but you can be billed by the agency for any additional costs of the officer (overtime, travel, etc.) after the testimony is given.

    Finally, an SR22 is a form that must be provided to the DMV following a suspension and prior to them granting a restricted license or completely reinstating the license. It can be provided by your insurance company, but you can get alternative insurance to provide it. This was mentioned by a prior response, and it some instances it can save money.

    Good luck, and I would agree with most of the responders that it is important to retain a qualified attorney to help defend and navigate through this complicated process.

  9. It is sometimes beneficial to enroll in the alcohol program early. If you are of the mind frame of trying to get this matter behind you sooner rather than later, it is very helpful to get this process started. But do make sure that it is very likely that you are ultimately going to be required to complete the program. An attorney appearing for you at the first court date can obtain an order from the judge allowing you to enroll in the program early. Just make sure that if an order is obtained, that you enroll.
    The cost of subpoenaing an officer to a DMV hearing depends on where the officer is located and the agency for whom s/he works. So giving a specific answer to that part of your questions if difficult.
    An SR-22 is proof of liability insurance. Sometimes contacting your insurance company and asking for an SR-22 filing may prompt them to review your driving record, and then perhaps raise your rates. You can shop around for an SR-22 before speaking directing to your carrier.
    Best of luck with your case.

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