San Francisco Bay Area Lawyer for Criminal Defendants and Social Security Claimants
Facing criminal charges for driving under the influence (DUI) or another offense is a challenging experience that needs to be handled carefully. Sometimes even a traffic violation citation can lead to significant sanctions. If you have been arrested or received a traffic ticket in the San Francisco Bay Area, contacting a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is an important step in protecting your rights. I am John Stanko, and I represent individuals in Marin County and throughout the Bay Area who have been charged with traffic violations, DUI, or other crimes. In addition to my criminal defense practice, which began in 1996, I also guide individuals who have been denied Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through the appeals process. I am dedicated to making sure my clients know their rights, and I advocate forcefully on their behalf.
Assisting Individuals Cited for Traffic Violations
Getting a traffic ticket is most often viewed as a hassle or inconvenience. Unfortunately, these citations can result in hefty fines, as well as a raise in your insurance premiums, and sometimes criminal penalties if they are ignored and pile up. I am committed to helping drivers try to beat tickets, reduce their charges, or seek other alternatives to having points on their licenses.
Many drivers who are subject to traffic citations may not know their options. For instance, if you have been accused of running a red light and issued a ticket generated by footage obtained from a red light camera, you can potentially try to get that ticket dismissed. For red light cameras to be legally relied upon, there must be proper signs as well as an appropriate time period for a yellow light and a clear photograph of the driver. If these criteria are not met, a citation may be dismissed.
Speeding tickets can also result in expenses as well as consequences down the line. California’s Vehicle Code imposes penalties for many speeding-related offenses, including traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour, violations of the maximum posted speed limit, and commercial vehicle speeding restrictions. If you receive a ticket for speeding or another traffic infraction, consulting an experienced attorney may help you explore options of which you may have been unaware.
Fighting DUI Charges in California
If you have been arrested for drunk driving, a conviction could dramatically change your life. In California, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08, and penalties may increase if your BAC is above .15 or if another aggravating factor is present, such as causing an accident in which someone else was hurt. The first step following a DUI arrest is to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles so that you may request a hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. Failure to request this hearing within 10 days of arrest will result in an automatic suspension of your license, regardless of whether your charges are dismissed.
The penalties for a DUI conviction in California may involve a jail sentence, a heavy fine, and a suspension or revocation of your license, depending on whether the conviction is your first offense as well as other factors. However, it is often possible to fight the charges against you by crafting defenses tailored to your circumstances. The device used to measure your BAC may not have been properly calibrated, for example, or the policeman who arrested you may not have used it properly.
In addition to defending clients in DUI cases, the Law Office of John Stanko represents people accused of theft, domestic violence, and drug crimes, as well as other felonies and misdemeanors. I also assist individuals in expunging (dismissing) prior convictions from their public record, so that they may more easily move on with their lives in pursuing jobs and housing options that may be hindered by a prior criminal record.
Appealing a Denial of an Application for Government Benefits
If you are struggling with a disability that leaves you unable to work, you may be left with few options for supporting yourself and your family. Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a complicated process. It is common for an application to be initially rejected, but that denial is not necessarily the end of the road. After an SSDI claim has been denied, there are four levels of appeal that may be pursued. The first step is a reconsideration of your application, whereby the Social Security Administration (SSA) informally reviews the information that you already filed. The next step is an administrative appeal, where an administrative law judge conducts a formal, independent hearing to determine your eligibility. If your claim is still denied, you may file an appeal with the Social Security Appeals Council, followed by an appeal in federal court. No matter how long the process takes or how many steps you need to follow, I will work tirelessly to make sure your voice is heard.
Protect Your Rights by Enlisting a Marin County Attorney
The Law Office of John Stanko, Inc., represents individuals from Marin County and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area counties in all aspects of criminal defense, traffic citations, and the Social Security (SSD) appeals process. If you need a lawyer to assert your rights, I am ready to fight for your needs and goals at every step of the way. I have represented hundreds of individuals from San Rafael, Fairfax, Novato, Mill Valley, Sausalito, San Francisco, Petaluma, Vallejo, and Oakland, as well as throughout Sonoma, Napa, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties. You can call me at 415-755-8899, 707-642-8900, or toll-free at 877-204-8900 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your options, or you can complete our online form.
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