Oceanside Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyer

Oceanside Criminal Defense and DUI Attorney
Oceanside is located just south of Camp Pendleton in San Diego County, and is known for its classic, Cape Cod-style harbor village. The beach community is located about 39 miles north of San Diego, and has a population of more than 175,000. With attractions like Lego Land, SeaWorld, and the San Diego Zoo, Oceanside is one of southern California’s top tourist destinations. In addition, Oceanside is ranked by U.S. Today as having the second most ideal climate in the entire country. Oceanside also has a very family-friendly atmosphere, and several tight-knit communities. Unfortunately Oceanside, like any other tourist destination, sees its fair share of crime. Crimes like theft, DUI, and domestic violence are present in every U.S. city, but Oceanside has been the scene of several high profile, serious crimes.

Oceanside Law Enforcement
Oceanside is served by their own police department, which is located on Mission Avenue. The department is also equipped with officers who patrol the harbor, and safeguard Oceanside’s beaches. The Oceanside police department focuses on working with the community in order to prevent crime, instead of addressing crime as it occurs. The department’s attributes their declining crime rates to the implementation of prophylactic techniques within the community. In 2007, the city’s crime rate was the lowest it had been in 30 years. Oceanside PD also stations resource centers throughout the city, which is staffed with volunteers who assist the public with crime reports and similar police-related objectives.

Oceanside Court
The North County Regional Center, located on South Melrose Dr. in Vista, is the nearest courthouse for Oceanside residents. Although there is a juvenile court located on Mission Avenue, the North County Regional Center is a full service branch. This court hears all cases, including: criminal, civil, family, probate, small claims, appeals, adoption, traffic, and other minor offenses. In addition, this court virtually the same operations and functions as the downtown San Diego courthouse – which is located nearly 40 miles away from Oceanside. The North County Regional Center is shared by the Superior court, sheriff, probation, district attorney, revenue and recovery, and the board of supervisors.

As part of Oceanside’s focus on preventing crime and keeping their community safe, they often plan DUI checkpoints. The San Diego Police Department and California Highway Patrol reported five deadly alcohol-related crashes from June 1 to August 27, 2015. Oceanside reported no fatal alcohol-related crashes in this timeframe, which may be due to increased checkpoints and comprehensive patrolling. If you or someone you know has been arrested in Oceanside for DUI or another crime listed on our Practice Areas page, contact us immediately for unparalleled criminal defense.

Below are some commonly asked questions regarding DUI charges.

The police used a Breathalyzer and my BAC was high, do I still have any defenses?
Although most people assume that a high BAC results in a definite DUI conviction, a good attorney may either negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction in charges, or even get the case dismissed based on constitutional issues. For example, if the attorney can prove that there was no reasonable suspicion for the police to pull you over in the first place, any subsequent evidence will not be permitted (including your BAC). There are also several other defenses that are commonly used in DUI cases, including rising blood alcohol levels, failure by the police in conforming to field sobriety procedures, and even medical issues that can affect BAC’s.

Do I need an attorney for my DMV hearing?

Many people do not retain an attorney for their DMV hearing, which is separate from the court hearing and criminal charges. However, the DMV hearing can be an important component in the entire process, to keeping your license, and to setting up for success at trial. For example, if your attorney subpoenas the police officer that pulled you over, the attorney can then find inconsistencies or credibility issues before the court hearing. In addition, this lets the police and the prosecutor know that you are prepared to fully defend yourself against the charges, which may have an effect on their willingness to negotiate.

What happens if I refused to take a chemical test?
California has something called an implied consent law, which means that once you are arrested for DUI (and the officer has probable cause for the arrest), you impliedly consent to a chemical test in order to obtain your BAC. This implied consent law does not apply to the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device test that is performed on If you refuse to take the chemical test, and are later convicted of a DUI, you will be subject to fines, lose your license, and may even get jail time. Additionally, the fact that you refused to take a chemical test may be used against you in court.

Do I have the right to an attorney while taking a field sobriety test?
The Fifth Amendment gives you the right to an attorney during custodial interrogation. Unfortunately, however, field sobriety tests are neither custodial nor interrogative under the law. You do not have the right to an attorney until after you either submit to the field sobriety test or refuse to submit to the field sobriety test.

What symptoms and behaviors do police look for when they pull you over?

Police will look for the common symptoms of intoxication: slurred speech, glossy eyes or bloodshot eyes, the inability to answer questions, and of course, the smell of alcohol.




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