Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense
Criminal Defense 40 + Years Experience

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Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense
Christoph Law Offices, DUI & Criminal Defense


  • Top Lawyers - San Diego Magazine
  • Former Deputy San Diego City Attorney
  • Former USMC Captain
  • Located Directly Across From Vista Courthouse
  • Over 150 Five Star Reviews on Google and Yelp

Attorneys William R. Christoph & Nicholas W. Christoph

Experienced and Effective DUI Lawyers

Last updated on March 18, 2024

If your license was taken when you were arrested for DUI, you should have been given a pink temporary license and notice of suspension which starts 30 days from your arrest. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must be contacted within 10 days of your arrest to delay and challenge any suspension or you lose the right to challenge the suspension. Just setting your DMV hearing extends your driver’s license for about 60 to 90 days or until after the DMV hearing results.

There is no charge for the initial consultation. We service Vista and surrounding areas Oceanside, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Escondido, Fallbrook, Encinitas, and all of North County. We can set and handle your DMV hearing and make all the court appearances without you. Call us for your free consultation at 760-670-3885. You can also contact us online to schedule your appointment.

DMV and DUI Criminal Case Representation

Christoph Law Offices will give you an honest appraisal of your case, review all possible defenses, and advise you concerning what can be done to help achieve the best result in your individual case. For over 40 years located across from Vista Courts, we have worked on a daily basis with local judges, prosecutors, court personnel, and law enforcement and can provide the highest level of personal and professional representation. Listed in “Top Lawyers” in San Diego Magazine.

Nicholas Christoph and William Christoph have represented clients in more than 5,000 DUI cases. Many of our clients have first offenses, or DUIs with priors, accidents, injuries and even death.

We give you an honest, realistic appraisal of your case and provide the highest level of individual professional representation to achieve the best possible result in your case. The Christophs will work with you to assert defenses and negotiate lesser charges or penalties.

Working to Minimize the Impact of These Charges on Your Life

We review your case for all possible defenses and for any facts that may lessen the legal consequences you face. We review the stop, search, seizure, lab testing and drug/alcohol metabolism. It is important to learn about you as a person, how this charge occurred and how it will affect you in the future.

We feel it is important in discussions with the district attorney to personalize the offense. Criminal convictions can stay with you for the rest of your life. A DUI can affect your employment, your career and your future. Potential consequences include license suspension, jail time, large fines and time-consuming education programs. Let the Christoph Law Offices take control and guide your case to the best possible conclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions: DUI

We know that if you have been charged with a DUI, you probably have a lot of questions. Here, our attorneys answer some of the most common questions. We know that each case is different and unique. We offer free consultations so that we can answer any specific questions you may have.

If this is my first DUI offense, will I lose my license?

It depends on your BA (blood alcohol level) and whether you are convicted of DUI or a lesser offense.  There are two different types of suspensions. The first is the DMV Administrative pink sheet called a Notice of Suspension and Temporary License that you are given when you are issued a citation or arrested for having a .08 (or more) BA, refuse to take a chemical test or are .01 BA or more and under age 21 or on DUI probation. That DMV administrative suspension is separate from the criminal case but can run concurrently with any conviction suspension. The administrative .08 BA or more suspension is 4 months for individuals 21 and over – and under age 21 or a refusal is 1 year suspension. You need to set a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest to challenge and delay the DMV administrative suspensions if you were given the Notice of Suspension and Temporary License. There is also a six-month suspension if you are convicted of a DUI – VC 23152(a) or VC 23152(b). Even if a DMV or Conviction suspension is imposed, you may immediately be eligible for a restricted license (except for a refusal suspension) if you follow the DMV guidelines for getting a restricted license.

If I’ve already lost my license because of a DUI, how do I get it back?

If you’ve lost your license because of a DUI, you may be eligible for a restricted license or reinstatement after the suspension. There are also two types of restricted licenses available during a suspension. The first allows you to drive anywhere anytime with an IID (Ignition Interlock Device). The second does not require an IID, but it does require you to wait 30 days after the suspension starts before applying and restricts driving to and from and in the course of your employment or your DUI program. DMV requires proof of enrollment in an approved California DUI program filed with DMV by the program, an SR 22 proof of insurance filed by the insurance company and payment of a license reissue fee whether you put the IID on or not. An experienced DUI attorney can answer any specific questions you may have concerning licensing.

If this is my first DUI offense, will I have to go to jail?

If you are convicted of a DUI, even if it’s a first offense, you are facing the possibility of significant fines, probation, possible jail time, required DUI programs and license suspension. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to discuss the likelihood of each possible penalty based on your individual facts and circumstances. If jail time was being considered in your case, there can be alternatives to actual jail in most cases, like volunteer work, public service or electronic monitoring.

How could a DUI charge affect future prospects?

A drunk driving charge can lead directly to serious criminal penalties and penalties from the DMV, but your criminal record can also impact your life in other ways. Past criminal convictions can impact admission to colleges and universities and limit your eligibility for some programs.

A DUI conviction can also limit your career, showing up on background checks by employers and potentially leading to a denial, suspension or outright loss of professional licenses. As a result, a drunk driving charge on your record can have a profound impact on your education and your career.

When I get pulled over by law enforcement, should I take a breath or blood test?

You are required to take a blood or breath test if arrested for a DUI. You may not have to take the field PAS breath test unless you are under 21 or on DUI probation. Refusing to take a breath or a blood test after you’ve been pulled over by law enforcement and are under arrest for driving under the influence, can result in the loss of your driver’s license for at least a year or more (longer if you have a prior DUI within 10 years). Even if you refuse, the officer can get a warrant over the phone, and have your blood drawn – so you end up with a mandatory suspension (not eligible for a restricted license) and law enforcement gets your blood result anyway. To be a refusal, law enforcement has to advise you of the consequences and requirement to take a chemical test first, then if you refuse, they can get a warrant and draw your blood.

Will I have to go to court for my DUI offense?

If you are facing a misdemeanor DUI – VC 23152(a) or VC 23152(b) and you hire a defense attorney to represent you, the attorney can make all court appearances without you, even if you are out of state. Additionally, the attorney can set up an administrative DMV Hearing by calling within the 10-day pink sheet requirement and handle the DMV Hearing without you present in most cases. The attorney will additionally review your case for any possible issues, mitigation and try to negotiate the best possible resolution or take the case to trial if necessary.

The officer took my license and gave me a pink sheet. What is a Suspension Notice and Temporary License form?

The pink sheet is a DMV Administrative Notice of Suspension and Temporary License. It means that, besides the criminal Court case, after 30 days – DMV will automatically suspend if you were .08 BA or more, refused a chemical test, or were .01 BA or more and under 21 or on probation for DUI. The length of the suspension depends on your circumstance and is separate from the Criminal case. This notice also informs you that you have ten days to request a hearing to challenge and delay the automatic suspension. If you don’t request a hearing within ten days, you lose your right to a hearing to challenge the suspension. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, you will make sure that you are not missing any important deadlines and that your rights are protected.

Contact An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney

Call today for a free initial consultation at 760-670-3885, free consultations allow you to discuss your case and have any questions you may have answered by attorneys Nicholas or William Christoph at Christoph Law Offices in Vista, California. Let us help you to get the best resolution in your case.

Defending Against DUI and Criminal Charges Throughout San Diego County

TOP RATED In The Legal Community
Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating, Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
AVVO Rating 10 Superb Top Criminal Defense