San Francisco DUI Attorney

If you are facing charges for driving under the influence in the SF Bay Area, our San Francisco DUI defense attorneys are here to help. First, we will try to dismiss your case or reduce it to something less serious. Failing that, we will take matters all the way to trial. On this page, our SF Bay Area drunk driving lawyers will discuss the following topics about California DUI laws and what we can do for you:

San Francisco DUI lawyer Jim Hammer
The DMV Hearing
The Criminal Case
San Francisco Jail & Courthouse Information
San Francisco DUI Schools

Call our San Francisco DUI Defense Law Office at (415) 333-0300 for a free consultation with an SF drunk driving lawyer, and you can find our office at:

425 Market Street
Suite 2200
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: (415) 333-0300

San Francisco DUI lawyer Jim Hammer, Esq.

A former prosecutor himself, San Francisco criminal defense lawyer Jim Hammer knows all the "tricks of the trade" that the state uses to prove someone guilty, and this "insider knowledge" allows him to craft the most thorough and strategic defense possible for his clients. Jim Hammer is effective at negotiating with D.A.s to dismiss or reduce SF DUI charges. But he is also a seasoned courtroom attorney with more than ninety percent of his nearly fifty jury trials resolving in his favor. You have probably already heard about him when he served as the head of the San Francisco D.A.'s Homicide Unit and made front-page news as the victorious prosecutor in the Diane Whipple dog-mauling case.

San Francisco criminal defense attorney Jim Hammer graduated from UC Berkeley and Hastings Law School. He has taught Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Santa Clara University Law School, which awarded him "Professor of the Year" in 2004. His expertise encompasses all areas of SF DUI law, from misdemeanor DUI and DUI causing injury to felony DUI and California gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charges.

San Francisco DMV Hearing

Driving under the influence is one of the few California crimes that opens not only a criminal case but also a civil case -- with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Once you are arrested for DUI in SF, the police will make you give up your driver's license and replace it with a temporary one (good for thirty days). Meanwhile, you have only ten days from the date of your arrest to contact your DMV and request a hearing to contest the suspension of your license.

As we all know, the DMV is very difficult to deal with, and DMV hearings are like "mini-trials." So it is recommended that you hire a San Francisco DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to request the hearing and appear on your behalf. If it is your first DUI, the most the DMV can do is suspend your license for a few months, and we can usually get you a restricted license to allow you to continue commuting to work or school. Moreover, depending on the circumstances, it may be possible avoid the driver's license suspension altogether.

Note that the DMV and courts may allow DUI defendants to continue driving as long as they install an ignition interlock device (IID) for a predetermined period of time. (California Senate Bill 1046)

For more information, please read our article on DMV hearings in connection with a California DUI arrest.

The Criminal Case stemming from a San Francisco DUI arrest

San Francisco DUI arrests typically result in two charges being brought against you: 1) DUI under Vehicle Code 23152(a), and 2) Driving with Excessive Blood Alcohol Content under Vehicle Code 23152(b). However, if you have already been convicted of three DUIs in the past ten years, the next one will automatically be charged as a California felony DUI. SF driving under the influence cases tend to span many months and several court appearances, but we can usually appear on your behalf for most (if not all) of them.

San Francisco DUI Penalties & Sentencing

The standard penalties and sentencing for a first-offense San Francisco DUI are:

  • fines of $390 to over $1,000, but community service may cover some of it
  • at least three years of probation
  • a six-month driver's license suspension with the possibility of obtaining a "restricted license" for work purposes (and you may be able to drive anywhere if you get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed)
  • California DUI School (see below for more information)
  • two days to six months in jail (which we can usually get suspended)

Penalties for successive SF DUIs are much harsher, including longer jail sentences and alcohol education programs, high fines, and required ignition interlock devices in your vehicle.

San Francisco Jail & Courthouse Information

The Bay Area has several jail facilities, but most people arrested for DUI in the city will get booked at the San Francisco County Jail located at 425 7th Street.1 The phone number is (415) 575-4410.

The SF District Attorney's Office prosecutes DUI cases, and the San Francisco Superior Courthouse administers them. Your case will likely be handled in the Hall of Justice Building at 850 Bryant Street. The phone number is (415) 551-0651.

Initial arraignments are heard in one of four courtrooms, at which point the case may be transferred to other judges. Room 101 of the courthouse provides information about court programs, including DUI School, and can be reached at (415) 551-0651.

San Francisco DUI Schools

As previously mentioned, SF judges always order that defendants complete a drug and alcohol education program as part of a DUI plea or conviction. First-time offenders are usually sentenced to a three-to-nine month program while second- and third-time offenders may be ordered to do eighteen- or thirty-month programs. The judge may also consider your blood alcohol content when determining the length of your California DUI School program.

Four San Francisco DUI Schools are:

Driver Performance Institutes, Inc.
Programs: First Offender DUI School
350 Townsend Street, Ste. 205
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 905-5555

The Mission Council on Alcohol Abuse for the Spanish Speaking
Dry Zone M.O. DUI Program
Programs: Eighteen-month DUI School
820 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 826-6767

Institute of Advanced Driver Education and Training, Inc.
Programs: First Offender DUI School
2111 Mission Street, Ste. 205
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 255-0371

National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Addictions - Bay Area, Inc.
Programs: First Offender DUI School
944 Market Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 296-0500

Arrested for DUI in San Francisco?

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Call us for help...

We will not rest until we have done everything we can to help keep you out of jail and let you hold on to your driver's license. For a FREE consultation with our San Francisco DUI defense lawyers, call us at (415) 333-0300 as soon as possible.

1Please visit our page on the San Francisco County jail for more detailed information about the facility.

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The attorneys at Shouse Law Group bring more than 100 years collective experience fighting for individuals. We're ready to fight for you. Call us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 855-LAW-FIRM for a free case evaluation.

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Shouse Law Defense Group has multiple locations throughout California. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

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Shouse Law Group has multiple locations all across California, Nevada, and Colorado. Click Office Locations to find out which office is right for you.

Call us 24/7 (855) 396-0370