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Sacramento DUI Attorney

How to Choose the Right Sacramento DUI Attorney for You

Not all of the DUI attorneys in Sacramento are created equal. Some attorneys who advertise in Sacramento have NO personal experience in Sacramento. Not every attorney who advertises in Sacramento, actually practices regularly in Sacramento. Other Sacramento DUI attorneys, have local experience, but they charge way too much money, and make grand promises that they can’t back up with performance. *Please Read On. But Be Sure to Check out the Frequently Asked Questions Section at the Bottom of this page*

In my opinion, the Sacramento DUI attorney you hire should meet the following criteria:

1. The best Sacramento DUI Attorney for you will have experience personally handling DUI cases in the Sacramento Court, including Sacramento DUI trial experience. I have been personally selected as a member of an elite group of criminal trial attorneys included in the Top 100 Trial Attorneys by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

The National Trial Lawyers

2. The best Sacramento DUI Attorney for you will have a track record of the highest levels of customer service. Check out their online reviews. Here is the link to my reviews for example. These are all real reviews collected from various online review sites. You will see that my clients are pleased with the service and results I provide them.

3. The best Sacramento DUI Attorney for you should make themselves personally available to you. They should not hide behind their secretary or a salesman. If the attorney will not speak to you before you hire them, they will most certainly be unwilling to talk to you after you hire them.

4. Trust your gut. When you speak to the attorney, do they make you feel better? Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they carefully explain themselves? Do they speak knowledgeably? Hiring a Sacramento DUI attorney is like selecting a new car. Go with your gut and pick one you actually like.

5. The attorney you choose to defend you against a Sacramento DUI should be both highly experienced in the technical aspects of DUI law, AND they should have experience with the local customs, procedures, and practices unique to the Sacramento courthouse.

6. Finally, choose a DUI lawyer with the integrity to charge you a fair price. Watch out for attorneys that make incredible promises and charge extreme fees. A good local Sacramento DUI attorney will charge reasonable prices given the complexity of your case.

My prices are among the best you will find. I do not need to overcharge, because I keep my overhead low, and I genuinely like defending people charged with DUI. It is my pleasure to take on the District Attorney (DA)

URGENT: If You Have Been Arrested for a DUI You Only have 10 Days to Take Action. Call Me at (916)277-8299. I Am Happy to Schedule Your DMV Hearing For You.

If you have been arrested for a DUI time is of the essence. You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to contact the DMV to schedule a DMV hearing. After the 10 days has passed this right is lost. I can schedule a DMV hearing for you, but you must call me immediately while we still have time. If you fail to schedule a DMV hearing, your driving privileges will be suspended automatically, 30 days from the date of your arrest. If I schedule a DMV hearing for you, I can stop this automatic suspension, and they will postpone any action until after the DMV hearing is held. Even in the worst cases,this can often buy you a few extra weeks of driving time, before any DMV penalties are handed down.

There Is No Substitute for Local Experience In Selecting a Sacramento DUI Attorney

Every day when I walk into Department 3 (the primary DUI department) to defend my clients, everyone knows who I am. The judges, the district attorneys, the court clerks, and the bailiffs all know me. This is because I am in Sacramento court successfully defending DUI cases every single day. If you have been arrested for DUI in Sacramento County, you should call me to discuss your situation. I am one of the most recognized and successful DUI attorneys in town. I know I can help you. I know how to win DUI cases in court and with the DMV. Call me today.

Peace of Mind is One Phone Call Away. Call Me Today, and Be Glad You Did.

Getting arrested is one of the most frightening things that will ever happen to you. Almost worse than getting arrested is the anxious anticipation after you have been arrested as you wait to find out what will happen. One of my favorite aspects of my job is the opportunity I have every day to meet people who are scared and to give them peace of mind. In my experience, things are rarely as bad as they feel following an arrest. The anxiety and fear we feel tends to get exaggerated in our minds, and this can be the worst part. If you call me, I can help you put your situation into perspective and help you understand your options. We can work together to develop effective DUI Defense Strategies for you. Call me today and I promise you will feel much better after we speak.

I Help Clients Avoid Jail.

I have literally helped more of my clients avoid jail than I can count. For the past decade I have spent nearly every day the courts are open fighting to keep my clients avoid jail. In most circumstances, even when my clients were found guilty, I have been able to help keep my client out of jail. Many times, if an experienced attorney fights he can arrange jail alternatives in lieu of time behind bars. In circumstances where jail cannot be avoided I can often find ways to shave sunstantial time off my clients’ jail sentences. If you are facing criminal charges in Sacramento, I would love the opportunity to help you avoid jail. Call me today.

Can A DUI Charge Really Be Defended Against?

One common misconception I hear frequently is that DUI’s cannot be defended. That is simply not true. Just this week, a friend of mine won a DMV hearing in which the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over three times the legal limit. Now, I admit this does not happen all of the time, but my point is that it is worth it to fight these charges, because good things can happen when you fight, even when things seem difficult.

The fact of the matter is that DUI’s are highly technical crimes. Consequently, it takes a very experienced DUI attorney to know how to break down every element of the case and analyze where the State’s case is weak and subject to a defense. Most DUI cases have some basis on which they can be challenged. DUI cases are not simply open and shut. In my opinion they are worth challenging and you should not simply go to court and plead guilty. If you are facing a second, third, or fourth DUI the penalties can be especially steep. But even determining what constitutes a Prior DUI can be technical. If you have been arrested for a DUI previously you should definitely hire an experienced sacramento DUI attorney.

Sacramento DUI: Resources and Topics of Interest

DUI Defense Strategies
The DMV Hearing
The Drivers License Suspension Resulting From a DUI
DUI Priors
DUI Refusal Cases
Felony DUI’s
The Wet Reckless
Commercial Drivers and DUI’s
Boating Under the Influence or BUI
3rd DUI’s and the 10 Year License Suspension
Can a DUI Be Expunged?
Former Client Testimonials
State Approved Alcohol Classes
Nursing License Defense Following a DUI

The Parkhurst Difference

I am a very different type of attorney than most of those you will encounter on the internet. My legal service is defined by personalized customer service to each one of my clients. My clients work directly with me and I am personally familiar with each aspect of their cases. You will find no “one size fits all” approach here. My service is personal and exemplifies the highest levels of professionalism. I treat my clients the way I would want an attorney to treat my mother, if she met with one. I believe in providing aggressive legal representation coupled with personalized customer service. That is the Parkhurst difference. Call me and meet me personally. You will see what I mean.

DUI Attorney Sacramento- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Updated: 6/19/24

I Was Arrested for DUI in Sacramento.  Should I Hire a DUI Attorney?


Many people facing their first DUI will wonder if it is a good idea for them to hire a private Sacramento DUI Attorney, or whether they should just to plead guilty, or if they should use a public defender. Below are a few factors to consider when making this decision.

First, If you are facing a DUI you should know that in addition to the court proceedings, there is a complicated DMV process which needs to be handled in order to fight the suspension of your drivers license. A public defender cannot help you with this DMV process, and it is a difficult process to navigate without the help of an experienced DUI attorney.

Second, one advantage of hiring a private Sacramento DUI Attorney to represent you is that a private attorney can appear in court for you. For many clients, the DUI arrest was a traumatic event in their life, and avoiding the stress of having to go to court provides great emotional relief. If you use the public defender, or represent yourself, you must go to court.

Third, many people come to our office to consult about their DUI, who have screwed up some portion of their case by trying to save money by not hiring an attorney. In my opinion, it can be “penny-wise, but pound foolish” to try to save money by not hiring a DUI attorney to represent you. I have seen many people who made their situation worse or missed out on an opportunity to improve their situation, by not being well represented. If saving money is your primary goal, find an experienced DUI attorney who fits your budget. Not all DUI attorneys are expensive. Our fees are reasonable and we offer payments.

Fourth, just because you were arrested for DUI, does not mean you will be convicted of a DUI. Give yourself a fighting chance by at least trying to fight back. Even something as simple as reducing a DUI down to a reckless driving charge can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines and fees.

Fifth, Even if you think you want to use the public defender or represent yourself, do yourself a favor and consult with a Sacramento DUI attorney. Most Sacramento DUI attorney’s offer free consultations, so you might as well take advantage of that offer and go consult with a professional. It can only help you.

I Was Arrested For DUI. What is This “DMV Hearing” I Keep Hearing About?


If you are arrested for DUI involving alcohol with a BAC over 0.08, then the DMV will move ahead to suspend your drivers license automatically. The way to avoid this automatic suspension and fight the suspension of your license in general is to request an Administrative Per Se hearing at the DMV where a hearing officer will hold a hearing to determine if your license should be suspended. This DMV hearing can be an important part of your DUI defense for many reasons. For more information about the DMV Hearing, “Click Here” and consult with an experienced Sacramento DUI Attorney.

I Was Convicted For My First DUI. What Do I Need to do to Get a Restricted Drivers License?


Following a DUI arrest, IF you lose your DMV hearing or IF you are convicted of an alcohol DUI, the DMV will suspend your license for approximately 6 months (Four month suspension by the DMV and six months by the court).
The good news is that if you consented to the chemical testing at the time of your arrest, you will qualify for a restricted drivers license.   There are two types of restricted drivers licenses.  The most popular type of restricted license involves the following requirements:

1. Get an ignition interlock device (IID) Installed in your vehicle.

2. Enroll in the appropriate state approved alcohol class.

3.  Get an SR-22 insurance certificate.

4.  Pay the $125 fee to the DMV

Once these requirements are met, a restricted license will be granted that allows you to drive at all times and for all purposes.  This is a great option for most people compared to a license suspension.

The second type of restricted license requirements are as follows:

After your license is suspended for one month (you must endure a 30 day suspension for this version of the restricted license) you can get a restricted license, which allows you to drive to and from work ONLY. An attorney can walk you through this process, but basically you must meet the following criteria after enduring 30 days of suspension:

1. Enroll in your alcohol class. Here is a link to the list state approved DUI classes: “Click Here”
2. File an SR-22 Insurance Certificate with the DMV and
3. Pay the $125 reinstatement fee with the DMV.


I was arrested for a DUI in Sacramento last night. Should I go to my local DMV office to request a DMV Hearing?

Answer: NO

The “DMV Hearing” that needs to occur after a DUI arrest is actually called an Administrative Per Se Hearing, and it is NOT handled by your local DMV branch. In fact, these hearings are handled by the Drivers Safety Division of the DMV, and in my experience, going to a local branch is more likely to create confusion as they are not able to help you. I have had clients in the past go to their local DMV branch location and then mistakenly believe they have requested a DMV hearing. If you are arrested for a DUI in Sacramento, you are best off if you have an attorney schedule a DMV hearing for you. The attorney will set this hearing through a special attorney phone line and then by fax. In the alternative, you can do this yourself, by calling the phone number on the pink temporary license, but you are likely to be left on hold for a long period of time. Likewise, you should understand that if you plan on using a pubic defender, they will not and cannot help you with your DMV hearing. Do yourself a favor and call our office. We can schedule your DMV hearing for you. But remember, time is of the essence, as you only have 10 days.

I Was Arrested for a DUI in Sacramento.  Am I at Risk of Going to Jail?


There are all sorts of DUI cases involving various circumstances and various levels of severity. At the most basic level, there is a statutory requirement of a minimum of 48 hours of jail for a misdemeanor DUI in California.  If you are facing a second or a third time DUI then the risk for jail time is even more substantial.  If you are being charged with a felony DUI (Most commonly a Felony DUI is based on an injury to another person, or having received 4 DUI’s in the past 10 years.)  (See the FAQ below on how to tell if your DUI is a misdemeanor or a felony) then jail, or even prison, is a very real possibility. But felony DUI’s are relatively rare. Most of the DUI cases handled in Sacramento Court on any given day are people’s first or second DUI in the past 10 year. In Sacramento, an experienced Sacramento DUI Attorney can almost always keep his / her clients from doing any time behind bars for a first DUI. If it is your second DUI conviction in the past 10 years, it gets much tougher to avoid at least a few days of jail (While most people convicted of DUI in Sacramento will be sentenced to at least a few days of “jail” this requirement can most often be satisfied by working for the Sheriff or wearing an electronic ankle monitory. We call this “alternative sentencing” as it is an alternative to actual jail). All that being said, there are many factors and circumstances that can change these outcomes. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Sacramento, call an experienced Sacramento DUI Attorney immediately to discuss your various options. We fight every day, usually with great success, to keep our clients from doing any actual jail time.

If My License Gets Suspended for a DUI, How Can I Drive to Work?


For many people charged with misdemeanor DUI, the potential penalties related to driving can be the worst part. However, there is hope. First, you should understand that being charged with DUI does not mean you will necessarily be convicted. If you have recently been charged with a DUI, especially in Sacramento, you should call a DUI attorney to discuss your options. A skilled Sacramento DUI attorney may be able to help you avoid a license suspension and a criminal conviction. But, even in a worst case scenario, if your license gets suspended as a result of a DUI arrest, you may be eligible for a restricted drivers license . If you have been arrested for your first DUI in the past 10 years, and your license is suspended, then you can apply for a restricted drivers license after the following requirements have been met:


1. You must enroll in a state approved alcohol class.
2. You must obtain an SR-22 insurance certificate.
3. You must pay the DMV the $120 restricted license fee.
4. Ignition Interlock Device Must be Installed in Your Vehicle.

This option (Option #1 above)  is nice because it allows you to drive anytime for all purposes.  By comparison, Option #2 (Below) is more restrictive in that it ONLY allows you to drive for work purposes and the total suspension time is double the length of option #1 listed above. 


1. You must enroll in a state approved alcohol class.
2. You must obtain an SR-22 insurance certificate.
3. You must pay the DMV the $120 restricted license fee.
4.  You must endure 30 days of license suspension.

Once these requirements are met, you can get a restricted license . If you are wrestling with these issues stemming from a DUI, contact an experienced Sacramento DUI Attorney immediately for good advice tailored to your exact situation.

How Do I Know if I am Facing a Misdemeanor or a Felony DUI?


Most DUI cases in Sacramento County are misdemeanors. The following are a list of the most common scenarios in which a DUI can become a felony, otherwise, a DUI is a misdemeanor:

1. A DUI in which there is an accident with physical injuries to someone other than the driver being charged with DUI, is likely to be a felony.

2. A fourth 10 arrest in the past 10 years is likely to be charged by the district attorney as a felony.

3. If you have been convicted of a felony DUI previously, subsequent DUI charges will be felony, even if they are “minor” DUI offenses that would normally be misdemeanor.

If none of the criteria above apply to you, then your DUI is most certainly a misdemeanor.

I Was Arrested for a DUI in Sacramento, but I am from out of town / state. What Should I Do?


If you are arrested for a DUI in Sacramento County, but you are from out of town, take comfort. A private attorney can make each of your court appearances for you and can arrange your punishments such that you do not have to return.

Many of our clients who are arrested for DUI in Sacramento, reside out of town or out of state, this is not necessarily a problem. First, you should understand that under California Penal Code Section 977 an attorney is able to appear on your behalf in court (so long as your case is a misdemeanor case) without you being present. Many of our clients who are being charged with a DUI never appear in court. We make all of their court appearances for them. This is one of the advantages of having a private attorney on a misdemeanor case, they can usually go to court for you. If you live out of town or out of state, we can usually help to resolve you DUI in a way that does not require you to return to Sacramento.

If I am convicted of DUI with injuries (VC 23153) will my license suspension be longer?


The Answer is Yes. If you are convicted of a violation of Vehicle Codey 23153, even as a misdemeanor, your license will suspend for one year.

What is a “Wet Reckless”?


Under California Vehicle Code Section 23013.5 a district attorney can offer a plea bargain for a reduced charge of reckless driving instead of a DUI. The term “wet reckless” is slang and refers to this charge as it is a reckless driving conviction in lieu of a DUI. There are many advantages to a “wet reckless” over a DUI conviction including avoiding a drivers license suspension from the court, reduced fines, reduced alcohol classes and less of a blemish on your record. One unique feature of a “wet reckless’ conviction is that it will serve as a DUI for purposes of sentencing on any subsequent DUI convictions within 10 years. In other words, if you were convicted of a wet reckless and then you are charged with a DUI again within 10 years, the new DUI will be treated as a second offense not withstanding the fact that the first conviction was not a DUI conviction.

In Sacramento, a “wet reckless” plea bargain is most often offered when the blood alcohol concentration is low, but it can be offered in any situation where the district attorney has a weak case, even if the BAC is high.  For a more detailed discussion of the “wet reckless” please see the link above under Resources and Topics of Interest section of this page.

Now That Recreational Marijuana is Legal In California, How Does This Affect Marijuana DUI Laws?


In January 2017 a new law passed in California making it legal to smoke marijuana recreationally. However, you should be aware that California Vehicle Code Section 23152 makes it illegal to drive while you are impaired under any type of substance whether it be alcohol, drugs, or medications. That being said, you should know that driving while impaired on marijuana is illegal. If you are stopped by police and the police officer notices a smell of marijuana, or if you admit to smoking marijuana recently, then a DUI investigation will ensue. If you are arrested for DUI, call us to discuss your case with one of our experienced Sacramento DUI Attorneys.

When was the last time one of the Sacramento DUI Lawyers in your firm won a DUI  jury trial? (Aside from  DUI cases, we won two other jury trials in the month of August for Non-DUI’s.  One was a Domestic Violence case and one was an indecent exposure case. In both cases our clients were falsely accused, and in both cases our Sacramento lawyers secured NOT GUILTY verdicts for our clients).


We recently won another DUI case! Sacramento DUI Attorney Steve Schofield just walked out of the Sacramento court with an ecstatic client. Our client was falsely accused of a felony DUI and hit and run.  We took the case to trial, and the jury just came back with a verdict of NOT GUILTY on all counts!  Below is photo of our client who walked out of court as a free man.

Sacramento DUI Attorney Steven Schofield

Sacramento DUI Attorney Steven Schofield

I Was Arrested For DUI, But I Had Not Been Drinking. The Only Thing in My Blood is My Prescription Medications. Can I Be Charged With DUI ?


Under California law, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while you are impaired on any type of substance (alcohol, medications, drugs). If someone is pulled over, arrested, and their blood is drawn, and the blood results show evidence of prescription medications in the blood, then they questions becomes whether the District Attorney can make a case that you were impaired. These are complicated cases that are best handled by skilled DUI attorneys, but suffice it to say that even if you are taking medication within the prescribed limits, it is still possible to be charged with DUI. If this sounds like your situation, call our office to consult with one of our DUI attorneys immediately. These types of cases can often be defended successfully.

I Was Arrested For DUI, When I Was Not Driving. Is That Legal?


We defend many clients in DUI cases in which our client was never observed driving. For example, in many cases our clients are found sleeping in their cars or sitting in a parked car. In order to be guilty of DUI, one must move the vehicle. I you are being accused of DUI and you did not drive the vehicle while you were impaired, you will want an experienced Sacramento DUI Attorney to defend you. Our team of Sacramento DUI Attorneys are among the most knowledgeable and skilled you will find anywhere. We eat, sleep, and breath DUI defense. If you are facing a DUI in Sacramento, do not assume you have to plead guilty, especially if you did not move the vehicle. Call us to discuss your case. You may have a very good defense!

If I am Being Charged with a DUI, Can I Have My Blood Tested Independently?


Yes! Many individuals who are charged with DUI are justifiably suspicious of the blood test perfomed by the Department of Justice blood lab and would like to have their blood tested independently. If you feel like your reported blood alcohol level seems suprisingly high this is something to discuss with your Sacramento DUI Attorney. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to help you analyze whether it makes sense to spend the mone to re-test your blood under a given set of circumstances. In some cases, expecially cases where your reported BAC results are very close to the limit, it may be very advisible. In other cases, you may be better off spending your money on other aspects of fighting your case. Again, this is an option that a skilled DUI lawyer will know how and when to utlilize.

What is a 1538.5 hearing in a DUI case? 

A Penal Code 1538.5 motion is a motion to suppress evidence bases on a violation of someone’s 4th Amendment rights.  Under the United States Constitution if the police violate someone’s 4th Amendment rights the remedy is the suppression of the evidence that was obtained by law enforcement.  In a DUI case that is likely the blood or breath test results.   If you get your blood or breath test results suppressed then the district attorney’s DUI case against you will likely fall apart.  Remember, just because you were arrested for DUI, does not mean you will be convicted.  There are ways to fight many DUI cases.  If you are arrested, call us. 

Contact Me Today

Sacramento Office
701 E Street
Sacramento, Ca 95814