Areas of Practice

We represent clients throughout the state of California and in Federal Districts throughout California and the United States. Our office handles every type of criminal case from misdemeanors to felonies. Although we are experienced trial lawyers, we have the reputation and experience to handle criminal cases at each stage of the process. From investigation to trial, we are ready to do what is necessary to defend your case.



    California has two basic drunk driving laws: (1) Under Penal Code 23152(a) it is a misdemeanor to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; and (2) 23152(b) it is a misdemeanor to drive if your blood alcohol level is .08 or higher.

    Drivers licensed to drive in California are required to submit to a “chemical” test, which only means the official chemical breath, blood, or urine test. Drivers are not required to take field sobriety tests.

    Under California’s zero tolerance laws, drivers younger than 21 who have a blood alcohol reading of .01 or higher may be charged with a DUI. Where an underage driver has a blood alcohol level of .08 or above, they may be charged with DUI as an adult, as well as incurring the zero tolerance drunk driving penalties. Where an underage driver’s blood alcohol results measure between .01 and .05, the offense will typically be charged as a civil offense, while a blood alcohol of .05 or more will result in a criminal offense.

    Owners or drivers of vehicles (including boats, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles) can be charged in violation of the open container law, if law enforcement finds an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

    It is illegal for truckers to operate commercial vehicles if they have a blood alcohol reading higher than .04 percent.

    A DUI may subject you to both a criminal court proceeding and a DMV hearing.

    It is also important to not the if you work for the government t or apply for a government position and/or have a license from the State of California (i.e., Nurse, Real Estate Agent, Medical doctor, social worker, psychologist, attorney, teacher, etc.), consequences of a DUI conviction can include termination of employment, denial of licensure, suspension, revocation, or probation.

  • DMV hearings

    When a person is charged with DUI/DWI, he or she may face two legal proceedings: one in the criminal court; and one with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV hearing allows the person an opportunity to get their driver’s license back, and to avoid future suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.

    Once a person is arrested for DUI, he or she has only ten days to contact the DMV and request a hearing to protest your license suspension. Thus, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately to help get you the best result at the courthouse, and also with the DMV.

    The lawyers at Hanlon & Rief understand the process of DMV hearings, and know how to move through the process efficiently and effectively. We will keep you updated on your case, answer your questions about the process, and help you protect your driving privileges.

  • Driver’s License Reinstatement

    A license suspension can range from 30 days to an indefinite period of time. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, you can get your license reinstated if you make it through your mandatory suspension and/or complete your prison term, complete a DUI treatment program and file a Notice of Completion, and pay your court fines.

    Even before you complete your mandatory suspension period, you may be eligible to obtain a restricted license.

  • Driving with Suspended or Revoked License

    California law prohibits driving when you know that your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked. Driving on a suspended or revoked license could subject you to county jail time and heavy fines.

  • Weapons Violations

    California law regulates who may possess, carry, and use a firearm, and what types of firearms are lawful. Weapons violations include offenses such as discharging a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of an unlawful weapon, and the unlawful sale of firearms.

    No assault weapons, machine guns or ammunition feeding devices with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds can be transported into California.

    New residents who own handguns have 60 days to register or sell their handgun once they move into California. Convicted felons are not allowed to possess or own firearms.

  • Parole / Probation Violations

    Parole is the supervised release of a person before the conclusion of their prison sentence. Although similar, probation is different in that it is part of a sentence for a crime and may include various conditions, such as home confinement.

    If a person violates the conditions set forth by a federal or state court of their parole/ probation they may be sent to jail or prison and their parole/probation may be revoked.

  • Juvenile Proceedings

    Juvenile court has jurisdiction over cases

    1. where minors under 18 years of age have allegedly committed an act, which would be criminal if he/she were an adult;
    2. where minors have allegedly been neglected or abused by their parent or guardian; and
    3. where minors are considered incorrigible (meaning, beyond the control of parents, runaways, and chronic truants, etc.)

    The job of the juvenile court is to protect the minor from him or herself and from others. Juvenile matters are confidential and many proceedings are not open to the public. Juvenile records are confidential and can only be released to officers of the court, specific agencies or by order of the Presiding Judge of the juvenile court. Though juvenile courts are focused more on rehabilitation, a minor still faces the possibility of incarceration in the California Youth Authority, certification to Adult Court, jail time in a local detention facility, and lengthy and restrictive probation periods.

  • "Three-Strikes” Law"

    The "Three-Strikes" law was enacted in the 1994 to more severely punish persons who repeatedly commit crimes. The law significantly increased prison sentences for persons previously convicted of a serious felony. The law also limited alternative sentencing options available to judges.

    A partial list of “Three Strikes” offenses includes: murder, robbery, rape, sexual offenses, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon. There are other crimes which will qualify under the “Three Strikes” law. A person could potentially be sentenced to 25 years to life if they are a repeat offender and the “Three Strikes” law applies.

  • Deferred Entry of Judgment (Penal Code Section 1000)

    A deferred entry of judgment, or DEJ, may be an option for someone convicted of a drug crime. Under DEJ, a defendant must plead guilty to the drug possession charge, but the case is put on hold for 18 months while the defendant takes drug awareness and education classes. During the 18 months, the defendant cannot be arrested or convicted of any other crimes, and he or she must remain drug free.

    If a defendant stays drug-free, successfully completes his or her classes, and stays out of trouble for those designated 18 months, the original charge is dismissed.

    Though DEJ may sound like a wonderful alternative, it is not appropriate for everybody. Because DEJ requires a guilty plea, it is important to talk to knowledgeable attorneys who can help you assess the benefits and drawbacks of proceeding with this course of action. The attorneys at Hanlon & Rief can analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding your case, and can help you decide if DEJ is right for you.

  • Expungements

    California law allows defendants who have successfully completed probation or have been discharged early to petition the court to set aside their guilty verdict or permit withdrawal of the guilty or nolo contedere plea and dismiss the accusation or information. If the petition is granted, the person can treat, for most purposes, their arrest and/or conviction as if it never occurred.

    Some crimes such as child molestation offenses, sex offenses, and certain traffic offenses are not eligible for expungement.

    Even if an arrest or criminal conviction is expunged, it may still be considered as a prior conviction in a future prosecution. Additionally, convictions for certain crimes may continue to prevent an individual from possessing firearms.

    At the Law Office of Hanlon & Rief, we can help you to expunge your record. In some cases, we can also have felonies reduced to misdemeanors and probation terminated early.


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Law Offices of Hanlon & Rief
179 11th Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA

Tel 415-864-5600
Fax 415-865-0376

DUI San Francisco
DUI Bay Area
DUI Attorney San Francisco
DUI attorney San Francisco Bay Area