Skip to main content

How can an attorney help me with a DUI charge, first offense?

Woodland, CA |

I was recently arrested for DUI, while parked, answering a cell phone call. I was a few blocks away from home. Blew a .08, barely. I drive for a living and though I understand my fault in this instance, I will almost certainly be out of work if I cannot drive. Is there a way to keep my license with the provision that it will only be for work? I will gladly submit to classes, AA, whatever it takes. I have many years invested in this position and it would be a grave blow to my family should I lose it. I'm ready to fight to keep it.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 9


What I suggest you do is search Avvo for some DUI attorneys. There are many highly qualified attorneys who regularly contribute to this site. Most provide a free consultation. Find one with whom you are comfortable. You sound like you have some good facts with which to work. Good luck.


If you have no prior DUI's, which it sounds like you don't, you will be eligible for a restricted drivers license if the DMV rules against you administratively. You should know two things: 1) You only have ten days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing, and 2) If the DMV does suspend your license you will have to serve a 30 flat suspension until you are eligible for a restricted license. That said, given how low your BAC was it sounds like you may have a good case to challenge the DMV and the court course against you. I would not automatically assume you will have to have a DUI conviction on your record. Which court is your case out of?

Contributions on in no way create an attorney-client relationship nor are they intended to be relied upon as a course of action without having first consulted directly with an attorney, where the specific facts and circumstances of your case can be fully discussed.


An attorney can help in many ways one is to work you through the process
you have a marginal alcohol level that accuracy is not absolute and your
license may not be suspended or restricted if you successfully fights the
administrative DMV action. Even if license is suspended it will only be
suspended for 30 days and a five-month restriction. You also have to worry
about the court case and experienced attorney can help you defend yourself
against the charges


I can offer you some insight on DUI cases in Woodland. Your choices are fairly simple. You can go to trial and if you are acquitted on both counts, you will not lose your license from a court conviction. The difficulty, as you well know, is that the Yolo County court case will not be on calendar for a couple of months following the arrest. In the meantime, the APS hearing date (if you requested a hearing within 10 days of the date of the arrest) will have come and gone. In other neighboring counties like Sacramento (with the right facts) a case might be resolved in a way that saves the CDL. Yolo County has a policy that they will not help with an acquittal (what we call a Helmandollar Motion) on the charge of VC23152(b).

My suggestion, if it's not too late, is to book an APS hearing. The local drivers safety office has some peculiar policy in place on these marginal cases though. Give us a call Monday or Tuesday and we'll share them.


There's a good chance the DMV will impose a 4 month suspension on a first-time DUI, but that can usually be converted to a1 month actual suspension and 3 month restriction if you show DMV proof of financial responsibility (SR-22), proof of enrollment in a DUI traffic school for first-timers (AB 541) and, in some counties participating in a pilot project, proof of ignition interlock device installation. This is if the DMV hearing officer finds by a preponderance of evidence (50%+) that the cop had probable cause for a stop, probable cause for arrest and that your BAC was .08 or greater. Good luck.

California attorney Sarkis Jacob Babachanian handles criminal defense, personal injury, civil litigation and bankruptcy (ch. 7) matters in the greater Los Angeles area. To discuss possible representation, feel free to phone Mr. Babachanian at 818-500-0678 or email him at The information provided is as a public courtesy only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Only a formal written agreement establishes an attorney-client relationship. In criminal cases, speak with nobody except privately with an attorney about your case facts. In personal injury cases, all cases are governed by statutes of limitation which create deadlines to bring your case, and if you miss the deadline(s) you risk forever losing your rights.


I write to warn you of a different issue than your post identifies as on your radar. My concern is based on your statement that "I drive for a living" (no further details).

Based on this statement I am concerned that your employer will terminate you from your employment even if you do not lose your CDL based on this arrest and potential charges. It may be that your employer's insurance coverage and carrier put your employer in a position of having no meaningful choice -- that would be a typical result based just on these bare facts. It may also be that you have a DOT license or that your employer has DOT or other licenses, permits, certifications, etc. that will affect whether the employer can field a driver with charges pending or a conviction.

You haven't provided enough detail or specific info for anyone here to make a careful and reliable determination. And my purpose is not to raise your level of anxiety. But if any of these consequences are potentially applicable here, you may be obligated to make an immediate formal notification of this matter to your employer. You do not want to be in a position where your employer's ins coverage or business affairs are compromised or affected by the employer's lack of knowledge about this situation.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.


You are facing a first offense DUI in Yolo County. Since your blood alcohol concentration is right at the legal limit you have many defenses that may result in your case being dismissed or at least reduced in court, in order to save your license you will need a strong legal defense at the DMV. Again, because your chemical test is at the legal limit you have many defenses, good things happen.


You have a better chance of preserving your job, license, etc., if you have an experienced DUI attorney. I suggest you give one a call. There are many good ones here on AVVO and have already responded to your post. Good luck.

This is not intended as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship exists because of this response.


An attorney can help defend you against charges, and also help with your DMV issues.

Navigating the court system and fighting against the resources aligned against you in this situation is not a job for the layperson.

This is not the time to go it alone. Time is of the essence in protecting your license, as my colleagues have pointed out.

Consult with several attorneys willing to discuss your facts and the strategy that is best for you. Licensing issues can be complicated. Fortunately, there are many good attorneys who practice locally in your area. Why not take advantage of a free consultation?

Good luck.

Get Avvo’s 3-part DUI email series

A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.

DUI topics

Recommended articles about DUI

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer