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Bay Area DUI Attorney

San Francisco Bay Area DUI, Traffic Ticket and Criminal Defense Lawyer

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 since 1996 I have represented individuals in Marin County and throughout the Bay Area who have been charged with traffic violations, DUI, or other crimes. As a Marin County DUI attorney, I am dedicated to making sure my clients know their rights, and I advocate forcefully on their behalf.

Traffic Tickets

Getting a traffic ticket is most often viewed as a hassle or inconvenience, since it is generally less serious than DUI. However, this perception can be misleading. 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.


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. Failing 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 working with a DUI attorney in Marin County or the surrounding areas to craft 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 other circumstances, the police may have lacked the necessary probable cause to stop your vehicle. If that is the case, they cannot use evidence from the stop to support a DUI charge. As a Marin County DUI lawyer, I can investigate the events surrounding your stop to determine whether there may be a procedural or substantive basis to challenge the prosecution’s case.

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 traffic ticket attorney may help you explore options of which you may have been unaware.

Criminal Defense

In addition to serving people who need a DUI lawyer in Marin County, 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.

If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to remember that the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to get a conviction. Depending on your situation, there may be many ways to undermine its version of events, leading to an acquittal, the dismissal of the charge, or a favorable plea bargain. For example, a drug possession case may hinge on the prosecution’s ability to provide tangible evidence of the drugs or related paraphernalia. However, the police must follow constitutional requirements when conducting searches and seizures. If a criminal defense attorney can prove that they lacked a warrant or probable cause, the evidence may be excluded from consideration. In another example, your criminal lawyer may be able to help you defeat a domestic violence charge by showing that your accuser’s version of events is not credible or that they may have an improper motive for accusing you.

Protect Your Rights by Enlisting an Experienced, Aggressive DUI Attorney in Marin County or Elsewhere in the Bay Area

The Law Office of John Stanko, represents individuals from Marin County and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area counties in all aspects of drunk driving, traffic ticket and criminal defense cases. Whether you need a DUI lawyer to keep your license, or a drug crime attorney to fight a possession charge, 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, San Anselmo, Sausalito, San Francisco, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, Fairfield, Dixon, Vallejo, Benicia, and Oakland, as well as throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties. You can call me at 415-619-5304 to schedule a free consultation with a Marin County DUI attorney and learn more about your options, or you can complete our online form.

The Court Process

Crimes are categorized by seriousness as infractions, misdemeanors or felonies.

Client Reviews

This letter is written with gratitude, appreciation, admiration, and respect. Going back to October 2004, our family was in a turmoil. With my husband in custody during the early morning hours, and unsure of where I was to turn, you were there for us. You stood beside me, helped us through a most...

Dr. Henri and Evelyn LePre’

Dear John Stanko, I'm sorry this is so late! But I want you to know how much I appreciate your understanding and your expertise in court! You are a great lawyer and I thank-you so much for helping us in a time of need. I wish you much success in all that you set out to do. Sincerely.

Rose B.

Hi John, here is my testimonial. I could have written a book for all you’ve done for me. Hopefully I didn’t leave anything out! I hope you and your family have a happy and safe holidays! When I first called John Stanko for his services, he was professional and courteous. Although I was a first time...

Mark Aguirre

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