If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you should reasonably expect to pay at least several thousand dollars for all of the various expenses, even if your case is dropped. These costs include: court costs, fines, attorneys fees, expert witnesses, DUI traffic school, and increased insurance premiums. More complex DUI cases may exceed ten thousand dollars total.

Kapsack & Bair, a prominent DUI firm in the San Francisco Bay area, offers all of their clients a flat fee that varies depending on the case.

1. Not driving DUI defenses – people are often convicted of a DUI  even though the police office did not see them driving. If the driver willingly steps forward and testifies that they were driving, you have a strong defense.

2. Drinking after driving DUI defenses – An example of this would be when someone’s car breaks-down or they have had an accident and they then go into a bar or store to get alcohol. In these types of situations, there will often be a receipt to establish that the alcohol purchase occurred after driving. Even better is if a bartender or clerk will testify that the defendant did not appear intoxicated.

3. Drinking right before driving DUI defenses – Since it takes the human body awhile to absorb alcohol, someone might be perfectly sober while driving but under the influence by the time they get tested for DUI. The strongest “rising alcohol DUI defenses” have a few properties. First, it is important for the defendant to be close to their destination, so it can be argued they would arrived perfectly sober. It is also very helpful to have the field BAC test return a lower value than the official chemical one.

4. Failure to follow procedure for breath tests – Most police officers wait at least 15 minutes before issuing a breath test, but if they don’t, one might have a fairly strong DUI defense. Other errors including failure to calibrate or maintain equipment in compliance with California regulations or accepted scientific practices which can invalidate breath measurements.

5. Failure to follow procedure for blood tests – Handling blood is an extremely complex task. Blood can spoil, it can ferment, it can be contaminated with other samples or substances. A California DUI lawyer can help you to understand if there might be grounds to get blood results excluded. For borderline BAC levels it might be recommended to get the blood tested by an independent lab.

6. Improper Stop – Your constitutional rights require police officers to have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Weaving and other poor driving do not necessarily indicate intoxication. A broken tail-light says nothing about the quality of person’s driving, but can provide the justification for a stop that leads to a DUI arrest. Rules for DUI roadblocks are especially complicated and often can be challenged. For a police officer to get from the reason for the stop to determination of impairment involves a lot of judgment and gray area. Determining the strength of fighting DUI charges based on an improper stop requires a lawyer with a lot of experience reading police reports and who knows what arguments the local courts will find reasonable. If there were issues with your stop, a DUI lawyer may recommend filing a motion to suppress it which can result in a dismissal of charges.

California DUI cases are rarely hopeless. Good DUI defense lawyers, like those at, capitalize on errors made by police officers and faulty testing devices to win cases.

Don’t assume the evidence against you is insurmountable. Contact us for a free DUI Consultation today!

To understand the DUI process in California, please see our DUI Process page for a step-by-step explanation.
If your driver’s license is suspended, you can often get a restricted license within 30 days so you can drive to and from work, work related driving and to and from the DUI school.
If you have been arrested for a DUI offense in California, you likely have a lot of questions about what to expect. A first offense DUI can have significant consequences and can be painful financially. For those who are found guilty in their first California DUI, the base fine ranges from $390 to $1,000 plus “penalties and assessments” which add to the total fines paid to the court. Typical fines can range anywhere from $1400 to $2500, include court costs and fees on top of that. When it is all said and done, the AAA estimates that you can expect to pay upwards of $10,000 for first offense conviction in California, though payment arrangements can be made with the court to make this burden a little bit easier.

Apart from fines and a suspension of your driver’s license, you may be facing other penalties for your first California DUI. Many courts require a minimum 48 hours in jail for all first offense DUIs, though it may be possible to get this converted to a community service sentence. You will need to complete anywhere from 12 to 45 hours of DUI school, and anywhere from 3 to 5 years of probation that will most likely not involve a probation officer, but in some cases may.

The best offense is a good defense – contact us today and put our experience to the test!

Depending on the facts of your case you may be facing “enhancements” (bad facts like speeding, high blood alcohol concentration, refusing to provide a chemical test, children in the car, etc. for which there are harsher penalties) or additional charges.