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Hiring a DUI Lawyer – The Truth About a DUI Conviction

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or medication the most important decision you will make is whether to hire a DUI defense lawyer to represent you. This decision should be made within one week of the DUI arrest. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will automatically suspend or revoke the driver's license (or driving privilege if an out of state driver) thirty (30) days from the date of the DUI arrest for a minimum of four (4) months.

For those with a first time DUI arrest, the common belief is that no defense is available and that pleading guilty or no contest will save money on attorney fees, while quickly getting the incident behind them. For some people, this may make sense.

However, a DUI conviction is a serious criminal offense which can affect a person for life if not properly handled.

San Francisco prosecutors and the California Legislature have made DUI convictions a high priority and are under increased pressure from political action groups to secure convictions and impose severe penalties on individuals arrested for drunk driving. Anyone who has been arrested for driving under the influence should be represented by a competent attorney specializing in DUI defense in the county where the arrest occurred.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in San Francisco and you have a prior DUI arrest leading to a conviction for driving under the influence, driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, or for reckless driving with alcohol involved within ten (10) years of the present arrest, your case will be considered a second offense DUI. Such cases are serious and carry far more serious penalties than were imposed in the previous case.

San Francisco DUI Penalties

Those arrested for a DUI are most often charged with violating two separate criminal laws. The first violation is driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (a). The second violation is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater in violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152, subdivision (b). If a person is convicted of either violation, they have lost their DUI case.

A DUI conviction will remain on a person's criminal record as a misdemeanor or felony conviction for life, unless the person has obtained an Expungement. Most employers view a criminal conviction negatively and can impact a person’s professional license, particularly if you are a physician, lawyer, nurse, pharmacist, x-ray technician, pilot, police officer, teacher, or hold professional licenses with the SEC. Additionally, a person who is convicted of a DUI is subject to harsh legal consequences such as jail time, fines, driver's license suspension, mandatory DUI School, and probation.

Robert Tayac has represented hundreds of people who have been arrested for DUI in San Francisco. Every client has obtained the best possible result. In many cases, charges have been dismissed or sentences significantly reduced.

DUI and the San Francisco DMV

A police officer, California Highway Patrol officer, or other law enforcement officer making a DUI arrest in San Francisco will confiscate any California driver’s license the person possesses. During the arrest or upon release from the San Francisco County Jail, the person will be served with a Notice of Suspension, also known as DMV Form DS-367. It is critical to know that a DMV Hearing must be requested within 10 days of the DUI arrest with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to contest an automatic driver's license suspension. Failure to schedule a DMV Hearing within ten (10) days will result in automatic license suspension thirty (30) days from the date of the arrest.

As well, a driver arrested in California for DUI who has a license issued by another state must request a California DMV Hearing within ten days or that person's privilege to drive in this state will be suspended thirty days from the date of the arrest. The state which issued the driver a license may be notified through the Interstate Driver's License Compact or Driver License Agreement.

When you hire Robert Tayac to represent you, his office will request your Hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles in writing. Robert will represent you at the Hearing, challenge evidence and will do everything that can be done to prevent your license from being suspended. If your license is suspended by the DMV, Robert will work with you to have it restored at the earliest possible date.

How a DUI Conviction Can Impact Your Life

Among the many life changing experiences a person will face after a first time DUI conviction are the following:

  • Drunk driving classes (3 months – 30 months)
  • Suspension of your California Drivers License
  • 3 - 5 years probation
  • DUI conviction as a prior conviction for 10 years
  • $390-$1,000 fine (actual DUI fines, fees and penalties will total over $1,750)
  • Increased auto insurance premiums
  • Stigma among friends and family for being a convicted drunk driver
  • Ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Possible jail time

Expert San Francisco DUI Lawyer

When it comes to fighting San Francisco DUI charges in court, having a knowledgeable DUI attorney on your side can make the difference. An experienced DUI lawyer will protect your legal rights, investigate the circumstances of your arrest, properly handle your case and inform you of your legal options. Additionally, a qualified San Francisco DUI attorney is essential to provide the quality representation necessary to effectively mount a defense against DUI charges or minimize the impact of a DUI conviction.

Robert Tayac and the investigators and experts working him have received specialized training in field sobriety tests, breath alcohol tests, and blood alcohol tests administered by law enforcement officers operating in San Francisco. With this specialization, he is often able to challenge the results of DUI tests and the circumstances surrounding the arrest. Robert is a committed DUI defense attorney who has the trial and appellate skills and specialized knowledge of California DUI law to defend you against your DUI charges.

All Lawyers Are NOT the Same

The common misconception among people that are not familiar with the criminal justice system is that all criminal defense attorneys are the same. This cannot be further from the truth. While many criminal lawyers handle DUI cases from time to time, the vast majority of them do not specialize in handling DUI cases. Because Robert Tayac and his team specialize in DUI defense in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area counties, their knowledge of the courts and legal system can help you. Robert is in court almost every day and has a solid reputation among prosecutors and judges as being a fierce advocate for his clients.

Robert commonly takes cases to Trial, conducts Hearings seeking to have evidence unlawfully obtained by the police or Highway Patrol suppressed, and Appeals what he concludes may be errors of law made by Judges of the Superior Court. Accordingly, Robert has a track record of getting exceptional results in the courtroom and obtains the best possible result when settling a case, which oftentimes includes securing reduced charges, penalties, or consequences of a DUI conviction.

By hiring Robert Tayac, you will be obtaining a dedicated and highly skilled lawyer whose focus is DUI defense. You will know that you will be obtaining the highest quality defense available at a good value and that your case will be given the utmost attention from start to finish.

To learn more about how Robert Tayac can help you, call the office, talk with him and start working toward a solution to your DUI today.

Why Choose Our Firm?

Attorney Robert Tayac Puts a Long, Decorated Career to Work for You
  • Puts Over 20 Years of Experience Toward Your Case

  • Specialized Education in DUI Defense

  • Has Trained Other Attorneys in San Francisco

  • Former San Francisco Police Officer & Police Inspector

  • Certified by the SFPD on the Intoxilyzer 5000 Testing Device

  • Co-Authored the 4th Edition of California Drunk Driving Defense

  • Boasts a Successful Record Achieving the Best Result for His Clients

  • Takes the Time to Understand You & Your Case

Client Testimonials

  • “Co-Author of the "first word" in DUI Defense law in this state...”

    D.C., Attorney at Law

  • “I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful work on getting my conviction expunged from my record.”

    N.D., DUI Attorney

  • “He's professional, honors his promises, and gets excellent results for all his clients.”


  • “I sincerely appreciate both the work you did and your professionalism.”


  • “Without Mr Tayac's knowledge and drive to succeed, I most likely would not be able to write this review today.”


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