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First DUI was 7 years ago at 20 years old. Now 27, second DUI plus hit and run MINOR PROPERTY DAMAGE (mail box hit)

Vista, CA |

High alcohol level, chemical test several hour after arrest. No recollection of hit and run. No cars/people were hit. Definitely over .08, what happens if BAC is much higher?
Damage includes a broken mail box and about a 3 inch skid mark on the corner on the driveway. We cleaned up what we could as far as disturbed gravel etc., owners are not at house, clearly an expensive vacation home. We have tried to contact, no response, their gardeners have done regular maintenance since incident as well.
Probable continued drinking in period between hit and run and arrest later that evening.
First lawyer was highly recommenced specializing in DUIs sounds very optimistic.
First hearing in 2 month, plan on attending AA meetings regularly before.
Advise? Realistically, will there be jail time?

** After contacting the property owner and apologizing, we have agreed to compensate them for damages and offered our help. The owner was happy to talk to us and even offered to write a letter of retribution on my behalf saying that we contacted him immediately and covered the damages (est. at about $300) ** Arresting time was around 10.30pm and booking did not occur until around 12.30 am

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Attorney answers 9


Best advice you'll get without being able to review your report and additional evidence - follow the advice of your lawyer who can review those things.

Any information provided through in response to a question is not, and cannot be considered a formation of any Attorney-Client relationship. Questioner understands that the nature of this system allows only for a cursory review of case information, and more detailed information should not be divulged in this public forum. As such, Questioner is recommended to contact an Attorney in order to discuss the full details of their case and a more specific advisement of potential rights and liabilities.


Any conviction for a second time do you I get a minimum 96 hours Chris
today in Vista it's about a 2600 fine and multiple conviction program since
you're a 7 year old prior you probably good with that however the hit and
run is problematic. The drinking after dropping is good and a factor a lot
depends on what you told the police when they came for you and that may be
an issue to have the case thrown out with I would look around for other
attorneys and get other opinions before deciding on the one to go with


There will be a minimum of 96 hours of jail time, but you might face more with the hit and run and the high BAC.

Yet before thinking about any punishment, what about dismissal???? If you drank more after the incident, but before being arrested, your BAC is meaningless toward what your BAC was when the incident took place. And the test was "hours" after? More than three hours? If so, the presumption under 23152(b) does not apply at all. There is no reverse extrapolation of your BAC, using normal ethanol metabolism rates, according to some of the most-used prosecution experts.


If you have an attorney speak to them.
If prior was SD county…and there indeed may be custody time involved.
It is key that you hire the best locally experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you that you can afford. You should obtain a free consultation as soon as possible. Good luck.

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


There are a number of issues to be addressed that depend on the evidence against you for each charge. The DUI reuires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time you were driving you were under the influence of alcohol and/or a drug , or .08 blood alcohol level or more. Drinking after driving can be a defense because it becomes impossible to show what your blood alcohol level was at the time of driving. However, if you were stopped while driving and over a .08 or under the influence, it does not matter whether you drank after the hit and run. Any DUI within 10 years of a prior, offense date to offense date, is a second offense for purposes of sentencing and carries significantly greater penalties than a first offense. There is a minimum 96 hours to 1 year in custody. In North San Diego County Court, Vista, California, any custody may be done on home supervision with a SCRAM device, (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) at your expense. It monitors your house arrest and detects any alcohol used. Additionally a second offense involves 5 years informal probation, do not drive with any alcohol in your system, take a chemical test if requested, do not drive witout license and insurance and violate no laws other than minor traffic. Sentences also involve fines usually start about $2600 and can be paid in payments, SB-38 multiple offense 18 month program is required if you are ever going to drive again, and there can be additional public work in lieu of custody for the blood alcohol level and accident. There is a one year loss of license by DMV for the conviction and also as a result of being .08 or more at the time of driving. You do have a right to A DMV Hearing to challenge the suspension for the .08 or more as indicated in the pink Notice of Suspension and temporary license if you set it within 10 days of the incident. Regardless, the conviction will cause a one year suspension. However, if you were not on probation on your first DUI, you would be eligible for a restricted license after 90 days, SB-38, SR-22 insurance proof, reissue fee and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device requiring a breath sample to start your car.
The "hit and run" misdemeanor property damage requires evidence like paint transfer and damage, that you drove a vehicle damaging property and failed to provide information, including insurance, name and address of the driver, owner of the vehicle, or contact law enforcement concerning the incident. If no one is there, you must leave a note in a conspicuous place with the info. If, based on the physical evidence or witness statements they can prove you were involved and failed to do as required by law and left, it is always very important that the damages be paid for and full restitution be made. You insurance may pay for it, Many times we are able to get a hit and run charges dismissed with a resolution of the DUI and restitution. The "hit and run" is a misdemeanor which carries up to 6 months jail, a $1000 fine, and 2 points on your driving record. The DUI is also a 2 point offense. You are allowed 4 points per year, 6 points in 2 years and 8 points in three years before a negligent operator suspension is imposed by DMV. An attorney can make all the appearances without you, the first appearance or arraignment, a "not guilty" is entered, police reports and copies of any evidence are requested, plea bargaining or negotiation dates are set in the future. This allows the attorney time to review the evidence, get the clients version, do any investigation necessary and discuss with the client defenses, chances at trial and the best possible settlement through negotiations. The client can then authorize the attorney to settle the case for the charges and on the terms agreed with the client without the client having to go to Court. Ultimately, if the case cannot be resolved, then a jury trial is available. Most cases resolve without trial.


Stop admitting guilt to the alleged victim of the property damage and on public forums such as, setup your DMV APS hearing within 10 days of your arrest, and hire yourself the best (locally experienced) criminal defense attorney you can afford.

The law requires at least 96 hours custody for 2nd time DUIs within 10 years. The property damage and high BAC aren't going to help.


If you already retained an attorney you should speak with them. If not then interview a few and hire an experienced local DUI attorney. A prior DUI within 10 years requires a mandatory 96 hours in custody. Vista is allowing SCRAM instead of custody for some of these case. The hit and run and a high BAC will add additional custody time. You could have a defense of continued drinking and a higher BAC but that could be ruined by what you admitted to the police that night. Custody time is extremely likely if you take a plea but as I said alternatives to jail may be available. Fighting the case is always an option too.


You seem to have "two cases" - a hit and run (with property damage) and a 2nd DUI.
If the DA tries to go with "DUI at the time of the H&R" then there's more to the story than is revealed here. (How'd the police track you down? Any witness to not only the H&R but to "impaired driving ability at time of H&R?", etc.)
High BAC (>0.15) = enhancement = DA wants more custody, longer DDP class.
Your H&R restitution actions and your AA meetings will help. But, you're still looking at a high BA second.

If you have an attorney, and you trust that attorney - then listen to that attorney. Follow your attorney's advice - that's what you pay him/her for.
If you want "security", then contact a few of us local attorneys who know the drill and ask for a free consultation. (Some may talk to you, some may not, once they know you're represented. The worst that can happen is we can decline to talk to you. Most lawyers are reluctant to step on the toes of fellow lawyers. If your lawyer is recognized as top-notch in our community, then odds are other lawyers won't talk to you - but you'll know your lawyer is respected by his/her peers.)

Finally - calm down. You'll get through this. Focus on getting through it one piece at a time.
Good luck.


Courts vary widely in penalties for DUI. Good that you have a lawyer since this is your second within a ten-year span. More than likely, if you're convicted, you will have to perform work-release for a certain number of days, attend an eighteen month alcohol class, a fine of around $2000 and a one-year license suspension. You will not be put in jail for this. There was a time when you might have, but today, jails don't have room to house misdemeanants. Good luck

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