Criminal Defense (DUI)

Our Objective

Our primary goal for clients facing criminal charges is the protection of their rights and keeping them out of jail.

No one is immune from accusation and possible prosecution. We represent our clients in court and administrative proceedings relating to criminal allegations against them. If a dismissal of all charges is not possible, our objective is always to get an acceptable plea bargain.

We provide our clients with knowledgeable and experienced representation so they can make informed decisions with respect to their overall options and the final disposition of their case.

Facts About DUI (Driving Under the Influence)

Each year, the consequences of a DUI conviction get more and more severe. Even being suspected of driving under the influence can result in a suspension or restriction of your driving privilege by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

What if you are charged with a DUI?

If arrested for driving under the influence, your driver license must be surrendered to law enforcement immediately and the officer will give you an Administrative Per Se Suspension Order and Temporary Driver License.

It is very important that you read the entire order as your rights and responsibilities with respect to your license are set out in the form.

You have a right to an administrative hearing to review the legality of the officer’s arrest and whether your blood alcohol level warrants the suspension of your driver license. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to contact the DMV to request a hearing; otherwise, your license will be suspended by the DMV. Please note: The DMV rarely will delay your hearing once it is scheduled so, if you wish to have an attorney represent you, it is very important to have your attorney contact the DMV on your behalf to avoid a conflict in the attorney’s schedule.

What criminal charges can I face?

Regardless of the opinions of an arresting officer, prosecutors can file a criminal complaint against you for any and all charges that they feel the evidence warrants. Charges such as Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or Higher, Reckless Driving and other violations can be filed against you if the arresting officer’s observations and your test results justify same. Criminal charges will depend on several factors including (but not limited to) your observed driving behavior, your alleged blood alcohol level, whether you were involved in an accident while driving, your cooperation with law enforcement (whether you refused to submit to a test), and whether you had children in your car while you were driving. Additionally, if you have one or more prior convictions for DUI, or are on probation for another criminal conviction, the prosecutor can file additional charges against you.

What if I’m convicted of DUI?

Possible consequences of a DUI conviction include jail time, years of probation, thousands of dollars in fines and court fees, substance abuse counseling and other alcohol education programs, public work service (picking up trash), additional court-ordered driver license suspension, court-ordered impound of your vehicle and an ignition interlock device that would require you to blow into the device to start your car. Some of the above consequences are discretionary and a plea bargain negotiated by an experienced defense attorney will reduce, and occasionally remove, certain terms from a person’s sentencing.

The Law Offices of Ian S. Topf, APC represents clients throughout San Diego County, including all branches of the Superior Court of San Diego (San Diego, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Vista, Kearny Mesa and Ramona). Our office is centrally located in Mission Valley.