How to Fight a DUI in California

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Driving under the influence (DUI), otherwise known as driving while intoxicated (DWI), is a serious violation of the law. However, it is also a charge for which there are possibly strong defenses.

Read on to learn general information about DUIs, including how to beat a DUI in California. 

What Is a DUI in California?

If you receive a DUI charge, it means law-enforcement believed you to be driving with alcohol or other substances in your system and that your driving was impaired. The California Vehicle Code makes it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater, or while under the influence of any drug (including a legal prescription drug).  

Signs of being under the influence include:

  • Slurred words or talking too fast,
  • Stumbling or indicating disorientation,
  • Nodding off,
  • Bloodshot or watery eyes,
  • The smell of alcohol, and 
  • The presence of open alcohol containers in the vehicle.

On the other hand breath, blood, or urine tests provide proof of BAC levels. 

If you receive a DUI charge, it is important to get legal help right away. Don’t trust the advice of friends or of an attorney who does not specialize in defending DUIs in California. If you are involved in a DUI, contact the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, an experienced DUI criminal defense firm located in San Diego County.

What Are the Punishments for Your First DUI in California?

For a first DUI, California Vehicle Code sections 23500-23675 outline the possible punishments. These laws classify a first-time DUI in California as a misdemeanor as long as there was no accident resulting in an injury, which is less severe than a felony. Still, the consequences can be significant and may include:

  • Three to five years of probation,
  • Fines of up to $1000,
  • Additional penalty assessments (which can amount to over $1000), 
  • DUI school of either three or nine months, 
  • A six-month driver license suspension, and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

Additional offenses result in more drastic punishments, including imprisonment.

Contact a defense attorney immediately upon involvement in a DUI so that they can begin preparing your defense. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC attorneys will work to limit your consequences or even get your charges dismissed.

Are There Ways to Beat a DUI in California?

Expert defense attorneys know how to beat a DUI. In California, some of the more common defenses include arguing that there were:

  • Violations of the rules by the police, such as an improper stop or illegal interrogations or searches;
  • A lack of actual driving (car parked on side of the road); ;
  • The real driver got away and the police arrested someone who was not actually driving; 
  • Improper blood sample testings or storage; and
  • Medical conditions that created an appearance of being under the influence.

Your attorney will discuss with you the circumstances surrounding your charges and present the best defense options.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, understand the anxiety, fear, and sometimes embarrassment clients face. They will show you compassion–not judgment. Having tried criminal cases for nearly forty years, our firm knows how to get out of a DUI in California or have the prosecutor reduce the charges.

Your DUI Defender: Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC 

Kerry L. Armstrong, at the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, is board-certified in California as a legal specialist in criminal law. We don’t back down from complex or challenging cases, because we believe that everyone deserves a strong defense. Contact the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, for a free and confidential consultation.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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