National City Criminal Defense Attorney & DUI Lawyer
Whether you have criminal charges hanging over you or you have been arrested in National City, or are currently being investigated for a crime, our criminal law firm is prepared to help you beat the charges, safeguard your reputation and assist you in moving forward. David M. Boertje does not make judgments or discriminate in terms of who we defend. Whether you are falsely accused or you have engaged in an unlawful act out of desperation, Mr. Boertje represents first offenders, repeat offenders, citizens and undocumented individuals ensnared by the criminal justice system.
At our National City criminal defense firm, we know that being stopped by a police officer is unsettling for everyone, but the prospective consequences can be especially ominous for those who are not U.S. citizens. A criminal conviction can result in serious adverse immigration consequences that include removal (i.e. deportation), permanent exclusion from re-entry, loss of lawful permanent resident status and denial of citizenship. Whether you already have your “Green Card” or you are undocumented, it is important to immediately seek legal advice if you are arrested and/or charged with a criminal offense. Some dispositions of cases that would be considered successful outcomes may be less desirable options depending on an individual’s immigration status. When Mr. Boertje represents clients with potential immigration related issues, he negotiates plea agreements with an eye toward potential adverse immigration consequences.
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers provide dedicated and tenacious defense in drug trafficking cases, state felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, white collar crimes, homicide cases, sex crimes, theft crimes, probation violations, domestic violence cases, assault and battery cases as well as all other felonies and misdemeanors. Mr. Boertje works diligently to investigate the facts, interview witnesses, evaluate law enforcement procedures, and consult with experts with specialized knowledge so that he can prepare a compelling defense strategy. When you retain the services of a National City criminal defense lawyer at our law firm, we explore and employ all viable procedural and substantive defenses, including but not limited to the following:
- Seeking exclusion of evidence obtained in violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure
- Contesting aggravating factors like gang allegations
- Using experts to establish that the accused lacked mental capacity to stand trial or required specific intent to commit the alleged offense
- Demonstrating the failure of the prosecutor to establish every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt
- Self-defense or defense of others
- Filing pre-trial motions to exclude evidence
- Disputing the veracity or perception of the state’s witnesses
Many people presume that the probability they will be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely low, but more than 1.2 million people per year are arrested for DUI in the U.S. according to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics. Most drivers subjected to a DUI investigation are stopped because the police officer observes the driver violate a traffic safety law or observes erratic driving.
Once you are pulled over, the officer will likely attempt to engage in you in a conversation. While you are required to provide your driver’s license, insurance information and vehicle registration, you should politely decline to answer questions like the following:
Have you been drinking?
Where were you tonight?
How many drinks have you consumed?
Can I take a look inside your vehicle/trunk?
The purpose of such questions is to obtain admissions that will provide a legal basis to initiate a DUI investigation. Police officers also ask such questions so that they have an opportunity to observe what are referred to as “indicia of intoxication.” These signs include red watery eyes, the odor of alcohol on one’s breath, slurred speech and lack of coordination. Incriminating answers along with these physical traits may be used to extend the duration of the stop and commence a DUI investigation. Generally, you should not answer these types of questions or engage in a discussion with the officer.
One way to handle the officer’s attempt to ask questions is to ask whether you are under arrest or free to go. The officer probably will not let you drive away, but you should politely indicate that you would prefer to talk to an attorney before answering any questions. The officer will probably not let you drive away or speak to a National City DUI attorney. The officer then will likely request that you perform field sobriety tests (FSTs) and take a roadside portable breath test. You are not legally obligated to perform either of these types of tests, which are simply designed to provide evidence constituting probable cause for a DUI arrest.
Typically, there is nothing to be gained from participating in these tests so you should politely decline. A polite way to refuse is to ask if either FSTs or the portable breath test are completely accurate. Because the officer will not confirm that the tests are a hundred percent accurate, you can indicate that you want to speak with an attorney before participating in the tests. You will be required to participate in a chemical test other than the portable breath test, which would be the chemical breath test or blood test as this is a requirement of the implied consent laws in California. If you don’t voluntarily take one of these tests, you will be subject to penalty enhancements which could add additional punishment, such as a one year mandatory license suspension, and also jail time. While the above probably will not prevent you from being arrested for DUI, it may provide effective defenses for your National City DUI attorney.Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses in National City
When you are arrested for a misdemeanor or felony in National City, you can face serious penalties that may include some or all of the following:
- Imprisonment or incarceration in county jail
- Substantial costs like fines, fees for classes/counseling or restitution
- Requirement that vehicles be equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Criminal record
- Compulsory participation in drug rehabilitation, anger management classes and similar programs
- Registration as a sex offender
Even if a person serves his or her time and fully satisfies all terms of a sentence, probation and/or parole, there are long-term consequences that may still be experienced depending on the nature of one’s conviction, such as:
- Potential civil liability for financial damages
- Loss of constitutional rights including firearm use/ownership
- Ineligibility for licenses to obtain certain occupational licenses
- Adverse impact on higher educational opportunities
- Housing restrictions and denial of applications by landlords
- Disqualification for certain professional licensing
- Adverse impact on immigration rights and privileges
David M Boertje works diligently to seek a not guilty verdict or dismissal of charges prior to trial. If this is not possible, he will pursue a plea bargain that results in a favorable outcome, which might include diversion, reduction in the charges and/or mitigation in sentencing. We construct our defense to fit the specific circumstances of your situation, so you should call us as soon as you know that you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation. If you or a loved one has been arrested in National City, we invite you to contact us to discuss your case. If you call, email or visit us, we can evaluate your case, explain your rights and outline potential defense strategies. National City criminal defense lawyer David M. Boertje can meet with you during regular business hours as well as on weekends or evenings and returns calls 24 hours/7 days per week. Call us today at (619) 229-1870 or (760) 476-0901 to arrange a free no obligation confidential consultation. You also can also submit an inquiry by completing the form on our Contact Us page or emailing us.