DUI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are the most frequently asked questions our office receives about DUI's in San Diego. The information listed below, while accurate in a general sense, is not intended to be a substitute for actual legal advice. We recommend scheduling a free consultation so we can discuss the specifics of your case.


Will my DUI/border bust affect my green card status?
A first-time arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) will not generally affect your Green Card or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status, if the arrest is not associated with drugs. However, if you are facing a second DUI charge (or more) it becomes more complicated and there may be questions involving moral turpitude or alcoholism as a disease. It is best to call an attorney that is located near the court hearing the case or Port of Entry (POE) where you were arrested.
I was given a 2-page “pink paper” at the time I was arrested for DUI, Can I still drive?
Yes, the “pink paper” is a 30-day temporary permit. However, you or your DUI Lawyer must request a hearing within 10 days of the day of your arrest to get that time extended!
Do I go to the Downtown Courthouse since I was taken to the downtown San Diego Jail after I was arrested for DUI at the Border?
No. If you are arrested at the San Ysidro Border Crossing at Tijuana or Otay Mesa POE, then your DUI court case will be heard at the Chula Vista Courthouse (Superior Court South County Division, Southern District of San Diego) located at 500 3rd Ave. Chula Vista, CA 91910
If my family member was arrested for DUI at the border, could my SENTRI get taken away?
This depends on if they applied for the SENTRI using a different home address or not.
Can I go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to request an Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing within 10 days of my DUI arrest?
No, you must contact a DMV Driver Safety Office, which is not at the local DMV.
Can I still go to Mexico if I got a DUI?
Yes, as long as there are no active warrants and you or your DUI lawyer goes to court for you on the time and date given to you when arrested.
I think I am guilty of DUI, should I plead guilty with a Public Defender to represent me?
Public Defenders are overworked and busy. If your future would be affected by a DUI on your record or you get nervous in court, find an affordable DUI lawyer who will make a payment plan available to you.
Why should I hire a private DUI attorney?
Private DUI lawyers go to court for you, find a defense you did not know about, and can usually be the quickest method to get your life back to normal.
Can a DUI lawyer reduce my penalties?
Yes, a good DUI lawyer will explain your situation to the District Attorney and the Judge and can help reduce penalties or get the charges dropped, reduce the number of days you have to pick up trash on the side of the road and set up payment plans and get you the time to get things done without the issuance of a bench warrant.