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The State Bar of California
American Institute of Trial Lawyers


Bay Area DUI Lawyer

The scientific and legal community is increasingly skeptical that breath samples are a reliable measure of blood-alcohol content (BAC). In defending a DUI case we investigate every available science-, fact- and law-based defense to protect your rights. We carefully scrutinize the maintenance, calibration and usage logs of any machines used to test your BAC – and move to exclude the evidence when appropriate.

If you have been arrested for DUI there is no time to lose. The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend your license 10 days after arrest. We immediately halt this automatic suspension by requesting a DMV hearing so you can keep driving while your case is winding its way through the courts.

Since losing the right to drive is an extreme hardship, we will handle the DMV proceeding and the criminal case at the same time for no added fee.

Legal Defenses to DUI

There are many defenses to DUI. Was the traffic stop lawful? Did the police detain you too long? Did the officer give correct advisements and follow protocols? Was breath testing equipment maintained as required by California law? Was your blood taken in a medically sound manner?

Michael Coffino has a successful record of challenging the legality of police conduct in DUI cases. If you have been arrested for DUI you need an experienced DUI lawyer to carefully examine every aspect of the case - from the initial police contact and filing of criminal charges to any evidence the prosecution seeks to introduce in court.

DUI cases are scientifically and legally complex. You may have a defense based on your unique metabolism or medical condition, mechanical defects in the automobile, side-effects of medication and other issues. In 2013 and 2016 the U.S. Supreme Court held that the police in DUI cases need a warrant or consent to seize a blood sample. At trial you have a right to cross-examine the qualifications and methods used by the laboratory technician who actually tested your blood, breath or urine.

The penalties for DUI can be serious, including jail time, fines, classes and license restrictions. The most serious charges relating to DUI are those involving injury or death to another party. This can include gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated (GVMI) or even murder under a so-called Watson theory, if the defendant has prior convictions and was previously warned about the danger to human life of DUI conduct.

The Science of DUI Defense

Michael Coffino has successfully defended DUI cases on a number of grounds.

Breathalyzer tests produce a numerical BAC score by mathematically converting a breath sample to a blood-alcohol number, a process is known as the “partition ratio.” But not all people have the same ratio, which can vary based on body temperature, medical conditions and gender. This calls into question the accuracy of breathalyzer tests.

If you drove a vehicle right after drinking but chemical testing was delayed, the alcohol may not have absorbed from the stomach lining into your blood, meaning your blood-alcohol content (BAC) was under the legal limit at the time of driving. In addition, in most cases the arresting officer must have witnessed actual movement of the vehicle to arrest you and, if he or she not, we can challenge any evidence.

There are many complexities to defending DUI charges. You need an experienced DUI attorney to analyze the case and formulate an effective strategy based on your unique facts. If you choose to retain the Law Office of Michael Coffino, we can start building a defense to your charges. Call our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

If you have been charged with DUI in Marin County, Contra Costa County or anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should immediately seek the services of a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience handling DUI cases. Mr. Coffino has extensive knowledge of the law and the legal system and enjoys an outstanding reputation among judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors.

For more information about how to handle your DUI case, and to schedule a free consultation, contact the Law Office of Michael A. Coffino at (415) 786-9703.

Client Reviews
Mr.Coffino saved me! He and his investigator got evidence that I didn't commit the crime I was accused of: Felony Assault With a Deadly Weapon. Charge was dismissed. Mr. Coffino is highly intelligent, professional, and actually cared about me. This is the attorney that the Marin IJ stated "the best attorney money can't buy" when he worked for the Public Defender's Office. And he really cares about his clients!!! JR
Mike is an amazing, strong, and articulate lawyer that will not only point out the facts that are relevant to one's case but, will make sure that he has addressed every concern that you have to the court/judge. I was also very impressed with Mike's closing arguments. They were strong, very well referenced, and specific to the my case. For those that are wondering if Mike is the man for the job, HE is definitely the MAN you want representing you in your case. EM
I had some experience with lawyers in the past but not like Mike. He was a bulldog in the courtroom. His closing arguments were off the charts and we won. Thanks Mike!!! CH
Best attorney I could of asked for. I never had any doubts about him, I knew from the beginning he was going to do his best to help me and that was exactly what he did. Very informative about what was going on, he would lay out a plan and do exactly as he would say. Very good attorney. Strongly recommended. AM
I’ll never be able to explain everything you did for me. He did so much in my domestic violence case. When I called, he answered every time. He was there for me. He saved my life. What more can I say? I will never be able to repay him. FM