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Sonoma Arrest and Prosecution Information

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Wine Country Drunk Driving Charges Can Have Significant Consequences

Sonoma County utilizes federal grant money for special DUI enforcement patrols and prosecution of local residents and wine country visitors. The Sonoma County Superior Court judges have approved higher bail amounts for those booked into jail on alleged violations of California Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) (driving under the influence of alcohol), 23152(b) (driving with a .08 percent or higher alcohol content), and similar DUI offenses involving the suspected use of drugs (prescription and non-prescription). Bail of $50,000.00 or more may be required where an individual is booked on one or more felony charges (felony DUI charges may be based on an injury accident, three or more prior DUI misdemeanor convictions, a prior felony DUI conviction, or child endangerment for having a person under the age of 18 in your vehicle).

Additional or alternative conditions of release at the first court appearance frequently include alcohol monitoring and travel restrictions.

The Sonoma County District Attorney is known for filing DUI charges even where breath or blood-alcohol test results are below the .08 percent or higher per se limit. Because persons may be deemed too impaired to safely operate a motor vehicle even after just a few drinks, or after legally using marijuana or prescriptive medication, it is deemed legal and ethical for a prosecutor to exercise this discretion. However, the discretion to file criminal charges does not necessarily equate to the reasonable likelihood of obtaining a conviction. Thus, Sonoma County prosecutors can usually be persuaded to dismiss a case or reduce a DUI offense to reckless driving or some other vehicle code violation where circumstances warrant the dismissal or reduction and the defense attorney is a persuasive advocate for them.

If you were stopped in the City of Sonoma, and many drivers are after having dinner in the Sonoma Square, your case will be prosecuted by the City Attorney as opposed to the Sonoma County District Attorney's office.

It is advisable to retain a lawyer who is Board-Certified in DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, as approved by the American Bar Association. These lawyers have passed a rigorous examination that includes technical aspects of the law and science, appellate advocacy, and a demonstrated record of trial and law and motion experience in DUI defense.

Feel free to review the contents of this entire website for further information about DUI prosecution and defense in Sonoma County. You may wish to order a copy of California Drunk Driving Law, a two-volume treatise co-authored by Napa DUI attorney Paul Burglin of Burglin Law Offices, P.C.

IMPORTANT ADVISORY FOR OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS: If you are an out-of-state resident arrested for driving under the influence in the Sonoma wine country on a business or pleasure trip, then you have already suffered some unpleasant consequences (a night in jail, towed car, missed flight, etc.). Do not compound the problem by hiring an inexperienced lawyer or one who does not focus on DUI defense. You want a lawyer knowledgeable about how a license suspension and court conviction in California can impact your home-state driver's license and how to avoid or mitigate these consequences. Out-of-state drivers can avoid having to return to the jurisdiction for court appearances if they retain legal counsel, and a lawyer knowledgeable with interstate ramifications can be of invaluable assistance in mitigating home state licensing problems.

If you need help with your Sonoma DUI arrest contact Board-Certified DUI defense attorney Paul Burglin today at 707-320-4007.

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