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What To Do First

If you, a family member or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, you need accurate information to help guide you through the first steps of the process. People are not prepared for what follows after being stopped by California Highway Patrol Officers, Police Officers, or Sheriff's Deputies and no one expects to be arrested for driving under the influence. California DUI arrests are highly stressful events and a lot of time can be saved and aggravation avoided if a person follows the steps outlined here.

Finding a Driver in Jail

After a person is arrested for driving under the influence, they are usually taken to a police station, California HIghway Patrol office, or other police facility and then to the county jail. Locating a person in jail can be difficult if you do not have information that the Sheriff's Deputies require. There is at least one jail in each county including several jails in San Francisco and Alameda County. If you are trying to locate someone who has been arrested, feel free to visit the "Finding Someone in Jail" page of this website. Having that person's full name and date of birth will make finding them easier.

Release Following Arrest

Usually a person arrested for DUI is booked into the county jail. Almost always, he or she will be released on their written promise to appear in court after several hours of confinement which is used to conduct a finger print check for warrants. This is called Own Recognizance or O.R. Release. In some cases, however, a person will not be released from jail unless and until bail is posted.

Bail is an amount of money or bond posted with the court as security to ensure the arrested person's subsequent appearance in court. In a minority of cases, the arrested person will be released to a responsible person without being booked into the county jail after signing a promise to appear in court on a future date. Sobering facilities called First Chance are maintained in San Mateo County and most people arrested for DUI are taken to First Chance rather than being booked into the San Mateo County Jail.

If bail is required, finding a bail agent will be necessary. A bail agent provides the bond to ensure the appearance of the arrested person in court. Mr. Tayac has relationships with bail agents and is able to obtain bail at a substantial discount for his clients. This is particularly important in DUI arrests involving a collision and the claim of injury. The San Francisco Bail Schedule sets bail in an injury driving under the influence arrest at $50,000 per charge or count and two counts are almost always charged. A bail agent will typically charge a ten (10) percent premium, which can make the total amount due to obtain release at $10,000. Therefore, it makes sense to contact Mr. Tayac's office (even after regular business hours and on weekends) before contacting a bail agent.

Hiring an Experienced DUI Attorney

Hiring a experienced and locally based DUI attorney is an important step in the DUI criminal process. A San Francisco DUI lawyer should be hired within the week following a DUI arrest. A qualified attorney will immediately request a DMV Hearing, protect the arrested person's rights, investigate the circumstances of the arrest, represent the accused in court and in the DMV case, and inform the client of important legal and practical options while attempting to win the criminal and DMV case or minimize its impact.

A skilled DUI attorney should have specialized knowledge and access to the resources necessary to competently defend you and successfully fight your DUI charges.

Scheduling the DMV Hearing

The California Highway Patrol, San Francisco Police Officer, or other law enforcement officer is required to confiscate the California driver's license of a person 21 years of age or older if their blood alcohol level measured 0.08 percent or more on an evidential breath test, they submitted to a blood alcohol test, or they refused to submit to a chemical test. The officer is also required to issue the arrested driver an Order of Suspension and Temporary Driver's License. This Temporary Driver's License allows the arrested person to drive for thirty (30) calendar days following the DUI arrest.

The California driver's license of a driver under 21 years of age will be taken if any measurable amount of alcohol (0.01%) was detected in their blood as measured by an evidential breath test or Preliminary Alcohol Screening Device (PAS). An out of state driver will not have their license confiscated. Nonetheless, an Order of Suspension and Temporary Driver's License will be issued.

Law enforcement officers are required to issue an Order of Suspension and Temporary Driver's License (DMV Form DS367 or DS367M) to any driver who tests 0.08 percent or greater or any driver under the age of 21 if they test 0.01 percent or higher. The Order of Suspension and Temporary Licence document contains important information.

Regardless of whether the person has a California driver's license or a driver's license from another state, there are only ten (10) calendar days from the date of the California DUI arrest within which to request a Hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Safety Office to contest the automatic suspension of driving privileges. Failure to request a DMV Hearing within ten (10) calendar days of the DUI arrest ordinarily waives the right to a hearing and will result in an automatic suspension thirty (30) days from the date of the arrest for a minimum of four (4) months.


The arresting agency forwards a copy of the DUI police report, lab reports and suporting documentation to the county District Attorney or United States Attorney's office who then prepares and files a Complaint with the court having juridiction over cases stemming from arrests in the particular geographic area. It is the filing of the Complaint, not the arrest, which initiates court proceedings. The arrested person must appear in court for Arraignment or have an attorney appear at the Arraignment for them on the date selected by the arresting officer. (In the case of a felony DUI charge or a Federal DUI charge, the arrested person must personally appear. This date cannot be changed and a person's failure to appear at the Arraignment will result in a warrant being issued for their rearrest.

At the Arraignment, the arrested person (now called the Defendant) or attorney must enter a plea of Not Guilty, Guilty, or No Contest. If a person pleads Guilty or No Contest, a sentence may be imposed immediately or at an agreed upon future date. In extremely rare cases, a person can Demurer to the Complaint or plead Once in Jeopardy. Usually, the Arraignment is the appearance used so that the judge may set release conditions and future court dates. Release conditions may include checking in with a pretrial service agency, requiring bail, wearing an ankle bracelet (sometimes called a SCRAM device) which will detect the consumption of alcohol and may include a GPS tracking device indicating a person's location, and attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings.

Remember, a person is innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many defenses available in DUI cases. Only by working with a qualified and skilled DUI attorney can a person increase his or her chances of building a defense which could prevent a DUI conviction or minimize its impact.

San Francisco DUI Attorney

The Law Office of Robert Tayac has been helping people charged with DUI in San Francisco and the surrounding counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma for well over twenty years. Mr. Tayac has the specialized education, training, and experience to defend you, your loved one or friend who has been arrested for driving under the influence in San Francisco or any other Northern California county.

His office will also schedule and represent you at the California Department of Motor Vehicles' license suspension hearing. Remember, you only have ten (10) calendar days from the date of the DUI arrest to prevent your California license to drive or privilege to drive (if licensed in a state other than California) from automatically being suspended.

Contact The Office

Mr. Tayac and the DUI investigators and experts working with him stand ready to help you or your family member. A member of the office is available to speak with you regarding the case any day of the week between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at 415-552-6000.

If you hire the Law Office of Robert Tayac, you will know that you have retained the services of the most knowledgeable and experienced DUI defense team.

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

  • “...you achieved for me an outcome exceeding what is typical for Santa Clara County.”


  • “His in depth knowledge and expertise within his field, along with deep and lasting relationships with the District Attorneys office and everyone involved are without a doubt unmatched.”


  • “Very professional and has a great human element that many lawyers don't have.”

    Former Client

  • “I am very happy with his professional expertise that he provided during this stressful time.”


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


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