Arrested for a DUI?
Being charged with a felony or misdemeanor for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Orange County requires immediate action to protect your rights and minimize the effects on your life. In many cases, action needs to be taken within the first 2 days of arrest. Consequences for a felony DUI include hefty fines, jail time, loss of your driver’s license and the possibility of a felony on your criminal record. All repercussions you or your career likely cannot afford. The sooner you contact an Orange County DUI defense lawyer, the better off you will be. Our highly-skilled DUI defense team represent clients who have been charged in Anaheim, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Santa Ana, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, San Clemente and the surrounding areas.
Los Angeles DUI Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, it’s important to know that the stakes are high. The penalties for driving under the influence can be severe and include everything from fines and community service to jail time.
It’s not enough just to hire a mere Los Angeles DUI attorney; you need a DUI lawyer who has a proven track record and the experience needed to get your DUI case dismissed or reduced. This is where we come in.
Our Law Firm, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, has over 18 years of experience handling these types of DUI cases. So if you’re facing drunk driving charges in Los Angeles, call us today.
We are true to our words and have successfully represented clients charged with DUI in Los Angeles County, protecting their rights and freedom. So, we know how to get results. Call us today at 888-885-8844 or fill out our online form for a free case evaluation with one of our Los Angeles DUI attorneys.
We Are Committed to Protecting Your Freedom And Rights Against DUI Charges in Los Angeles
The odds are stacked against you when it comes to fighting a DUI charge. A DUI conviction for this crime can cost you your freedom and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties. Not to mention the devastating personal implications that come with an arrest on your record.
Even if the charges never go further than a citation, having any sort of criminal charges on your record can have serious repercussions far into the future.
As the top Los Angeles DUI law firm, our experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer has been successfully helping people fight their DUI charges for many years now.
Our Los Angeles DUI defense attorney knows how to build solid cases from scratch and defend those who have already been charged with driving under the influence.
We take pride in our track record as well as our dedication to each client we represent. No matter what they may be facing or where they live, we will do everything possible to ensure they get through these difficult times.
Types of DUI Charges Our Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Office Handles
In Los Angeles, California, driving under the influence can mean anything from alcohol-related charges to other more serious crimes like hit and run. There are many different types of DUI charges that people could face depending on their situation. Below are some common scenarios in which you might find yourself facing a DUI case:
Misdemeanor DUI: In Los Angeles, a DUI offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor charges result in much less severe penalties such as license suspension, a fine, and jail time.
Felony DUI: If you have been convicted of felony DUI or “wet reckless” in the past, aggravating factors will result. These aggravating factors may include whether there were injuries and death involved in your DUI case.
Open Container Law: If you’re driving and drinking, Los Angeles might catch up with you. It’s illegal to consume alcohol while in motion, whether as a driver or passenger. A container of booze may be considered open if there are any missing contents from the bottle. Its seal has been broken, an opening was created, and the alcohol is in a cup.
Manslaughter DUI: In California, Vehicle Manslaughter While Intoxicated Penal Code 191.5 is defined by law covering vehicular homicides due primarily from ordinary negligence where there has been deliberate intention involved with either speeding up excessively or going too slow suddenly without using signals causing collision resulting in killing somebody.
Depending on the severity of an individual’s negligence, they may face a jail sentence as long as one year or prison time up to four years. Driver’s license suspension is another result that can occur from a Manslaughter DUI conviction.
Commercial Driver’s License and DUI: While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers in California is .08 percent, those who hold a commercial driver’s license may be charged with DUI if their blood alcohol level reaches half that amount or 0.04% or above. If convicted, their commercial driver’s license will be suspended for at least one year. This is still applicable even if they’re not driving any commercial truck during the offense, such as driving their own car.
High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): A person’s BAC can significantly impact their DUI offense. When an individual has a blood alcohol content of .15% or higher, they are considered guilty under the law and face enhanced penalties. Prosecutors often seek tougher sentences in high-BAC cases, although there is only one mandatory consequence: completing a nine-month alcohol program. On the other hand, a regular DUI conviction requires the completion of an alcohol program for three months.
Possession of Alcohol in a Vehicle by a Person Under 21: Under California Vehicle Code Section 23224 VC, any person under 21 years old, a driver or a passenger, possessing alcoholic beverages in their vehicle is deemed as a misdemeanor. They can face fines of at least $200 along with possible jail time. In addition to that, those under 21 years old cannot buy or possess alcohol legally. If they’re caught and convicted, they will face more serious penalties than those 21 and older because this offense can be considered an infraction rather than a criminal offense. The penalties can vary depending on how much was found at hand when charged.
Driving on Suspended or Revoked License: Driving with a suspended or revoked license is not permitted for those convicted of DUI. The minimum sentence, in this case, can range between 10 days and 30 days, depending on how many times they’ve committed this offense before then. In addition to that, offenders will also need an installation of an ignition interlock device which requires constant verification from technicians monitoring its operation.
What Happens During a DUI Arrest in Los Angeles?
When you are pulled over for a traffic stop in Los Angeles, an officer will ask to see if your sobriety is impaired. This is done through field sobriety tests and breathalyzer testing. Refusing these chemical examinations may result in more severe consequences, including one-year driver’s license suspension as well as tough fines under the DUI laws of this state.
For most misdemeanor DUI arrests, the police will release you within a few hours of arrest and booking. Upon release, they should give two documents: a citation with instructions on how to appear in court and a pink temporary license that is valid only during this time frame. The cops usually take your California drivers’ license if it’s from out-of-state; they cannot confiscate physical credentials like licenses upon request.
Though the process of getting your license back after bailing out on a DUI is not straightforward, it can be done with help from our Los Angeles DUI attorney. The first step would be seeking legal representation, which will request a DMV hearing within ten days of the following arrest at no cost if qualified under California law.
What Are the Penalties for DUI Charges in Los Angeles, CA?
The penalties for DUI in Los Angeles are harsh, but the punishment doesn’t always have to be jail time. The DUI charges come with fines and other punishments like mandatory imprisonment or license suspension. This depends on how far you’ve driven under the influence before being stopped by law enforcement officers.
These penalties assume no one was hurt or killed:
DUI First Offense Minimum Penalties
- Four months of license suspension
- Minimum of 48 hours jail time
- A three-month alcohol treatment program
- Estimated $1,800 in fines
These are just a few of the potential penalties that you may face if convicted. The total fines and fees could skyrocket to $3600, with jail time going up as high as six months in California State Prison. Your car might also get impounded for 30 days at your expense.
DUI Second Offense Minimum Penalties
- Estimated $1,800 in fines
- Full-year license suspension and two years restricted driving
- Minimum of 96 hours jail time
- Long-term alcohol treatment lasting about a maximum of 30 months
- Required installation of an interlock device on all your vehicles, at your own expense
The fines for these violations are just the beginning. You could face increased maximum penalties. These include a total of $4000 in fines, one year spent behind bars with no chance of parole or early release, and a two-year suspension of your driver’s license. These also include being unable to drive any type of vehicle until its reinstated after serving time. An additional 30-day impoundment if it has not already been done.
DUI Third and Succeeding Offenses Minimum Penalties
- Estimated $1,800 in fines
- 120 days in jail for the third offense or 180 days in jail for the fourth offense
- Long-term alcohol treatment where you must complete a 30-month treatment program. This is mandatory and at your own expense too.
- Total revocation of driver’s license
The maximum penalties for this charge increase to $18,000 if you receive a third conviction—jail time up to one year or state prison time of 16 months on the fourth offense, respectively. The license suspension range increases from two years (plus two additional years of restricted driving). Your car may also be impounded for 90 days at your expense unless paid off beforehand.
The DUI Legal Process in California
DUI arrest in Los Angeles can feel like you’re standing on top of a mountain with no way down. The legal process starts , and many people don’t know what to expect. But this guide will help explain the basics so you have an idea about it.
There are six steps regarding the DUI legal process in California.
- Arrest: When you’re pulled over for driving under the influence, most likely, your arrest will begin with either being taken to a hospital or police station. You’ll be processed and booked in jail overnight where two important things happen: first, they perform chemical tests (either breathalyzer or blood), which can hold up getting home if not done correctly. Second, your license will be taken from you, and you will be given a temporary license valid for 30 days.
- Hiring a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer: A Los Angeles drunk driving lawyer will help you navigate the legal system and create a strong defense for yourself. Hiring a Los Angeles drunk driving attorney is an important step in protecting your rights. Otherwise, be protected by public defenders who have overworked themselves with other cases. The sooner hiring starts after arrest, the greater impact it’ll make on the outcome of trial affirmatively.
- Administrative Suspension and the DMV Hearing: When you receive a DUI case, the state will automatically suspend your driver’s license. This is called “administrative suspension.” But there’s hope if you act quickly and file for an administrative hearing with DMV before ten days elapse from the arrest date. You must show up at this hearing, or else they’ll permanently take away any chance of getting back on track.
- Arraignment: When you go to court for the first time, your criminal attorney and prosecutor will stand before a judge. It’s their chance to make arguments about what should happen next with regard to your case. Whether or not it stays as is (a status quo), how much responsibility someone has taken away from themselves after an event based on evidence given by both parties. But most importantly – at this arraignment- a Los Angeles DUI attorney will fight tooth and nail against any pleas that involve accepting “guilty” as opposed to ideals such as innocent until proven guilty.
- Pre-Trial: During the pre-trial phase, your Los Angeles DUI attorney will work to find any evidence that may help you avoid a conviction. A good Los Angeles DUI attorney will use their “powers of persuasion” and do some research on how they think it could’ve been collected unfairly or improperly. This might include looking into things like whether arresting officers wandered around without consent for too long before testing someone’s breath, as well as checking if there were red flags with regard to how an individual was administering field sobriety tests.
- Trial: Trial is not always the best option, but it may be a necessary event in some cases. If the prosecution refuses to bargain or your case seems weak – going to trial can help secure an acquittal if done right. When facing criminal charges, there are three possible outcomes: guilty, innocent, and mistried. A jury of one’s peers decides whether you committed wrongdoing based on the evidence presented during testimony from each side as well as any other relevant information.
Losing Your Driver’s License When Convicted of DUI in California
Los Angeles DUI laws are tough, and if you’re convicted, your license will be suspended for a while. However, this depends on the outcome in court. It can range from just losing the privilege to an entire year without being allowed behind the steering wheel again. There are three kinds of driver’s license suspension.
- Administrative Suspension: Your license will be automatically suspended 30 days after your arrest by the DMV. However, if you request a hearing within ten days of that period and hire a DUI lawyer to represent yourself, then there are still grounds for hope. You have a more than average chance of stopping these proceedings because it’s important to know how long they last and what other consequences could come from such suspensions.
- Revoked License: If you’re convicted of a DUI case, your driving privileges will be suspended or revoked. During this period, it is illegal for the defendant to operate any motor vehicle at all under California law. For first-time offenses in Los Angeles with no prior related conviction history on record, they must wait two months to get the license back.
- License Restriction: The license restriction means you are allowed to drive only for work and alcohol treatment. You may also be able to do so if your job requires it. But this will depend on the circumstances of what happened during the arrest process. For the first time DUI’s without any other driving-related strikes against them – which would usually mean two months (if unlicensed) or five-month suspensions before being eligible again.
The DMV Hearing
The DMV hearing is often called the “admin per se” (APS) hearing. It’s a short meeting with an officer, and it isn’t part of the criminal court system; this means that the standard evidence requirements for these proceedings are low-just enough to decide your case if you’re found guilty by a preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond reasonable doubt like in regular courts. The police/traffic agent acts as a judge here so be prepared on how best to argue against him or her before things get worse from even starting out bad.
Steps to Do for Driver’s License Reinstatement
The first step to getting your driver’s license back after a suspension is completing all the penalties and conditions for a DUI conviction. This may involve:
- Serving out the full suspension period
- Completing alcohol treatment programs (in some cases)
- Installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
Second, you will need proof of completing your court-ordered treatment programs/traffic school. Certificates should have been mailed to you after completion and if they’re not in the mail, contact any organizations that ran these courses for an update on when or where this document can be picked up from them locally. You’ll also want to show how well behaved you are by installing the interlock device.
Third, you need car insurance. Whatever the kind that suits your needs is more than just an ordinary policy – it’s required to meet higher standards because of how risky drivers like yourself are deemed in this day and age. The DMV will require proof from your current provider stating they know about any high-risk factors before approving for them to take over coverage with another company.
Know What Evidence Can Be Used Against You
Drunk driving is a serious and, unfortunately, common issue in America. There are five main types of evidence used to charge people with DUI:
- Behavior: When a police officer pulls you over, they are looking for any sign that might indicate intoxication. This could include bloodshot eyes or an odor from alcohol consumption in your vehicle; however, it also includes fumbling with car keys and trembling hands on their part which both count as cues of being under the influence.
- Driving Patterns: The most common way for a driver to get pulled over is by an officer noticing that their driving behavior is out-of-the-ordinary. Weaving, drifting, and speeding are some behaviors associated with DUIs, but there are many more reasons they’ll be stopped.
- Self-statement: Police officers want you to admit that there is a chance of alcohol being involved. They will ask directly if they can suspect yes, but may also try tricks like asking how many drinks one has had in their lifetime or since the party started tonight. This does not incriminate anyone unless said aloud without hesitation and could be used against themselves later down the road.
- Laboratory Tests: A blood, urine, or breath test is the holy grail standard for DUI evidence in Los Angeles. But these tests can be inaccurate. Portable devices known as PAS and EPAS units are often used when an officer has decided to arrest you or let you go with only mild consequences such as fines etc.
- Field Sobriety Tests: If you are driving and feel that the officer’s request for field sobriety tests may be too much, then it is your right to refuse them. You have many options in this situation.
Why Choose Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Office to Handle Your DUI Charges in Los Angeles?
A criminal defense attorney from the Los Angeles Criminal Defense law office will fight on your behalf. We will ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law and avoid harsh penalties such as jail time, fines, court fees, and other expenses associated with a DUI conviction.
Our goal is always to get charges dismissed or reduced so our clients do not have a permanent criminal record following them around for years after their case has been resolved.
We understand how stressful it can be to face these types of charges without proper legal guidance, which is why we provide each client with personalized attention throughout their entire case to help them make informed decisions regarding their future well-being and career prospects.
When facing charges of DUI/DWI in Los Angeles, trust our experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney who knows how to navigate this complicated criminal justice system with experience and expertise. Call us today for a free consultation.
Los Angeles DUI FAQs
Having a DUI case is expensive. You have three types of fees that need to be paid. These include fines, court assessments, and sentence-related costs. Given the circumstances mentioned above, the minimum money spent on these fees is $2,000 and a maximum of $10,000.
The officer will sometimes test for your blood alcohol level if you are arrested for DUI. The test is not optional, and refusing it can result in jail time or fines depending on where he/she takes place because California law follows the doctrine of “implied consent.”
There are two points at which DUI defendants face potential jail time: immediately after arrest and if convicted. If you’re arrested, there’s concern over whether or not this will harm your career. And even though most people only serve a few days in lockup before being released, due to the pending trial proceedings, some might find themselves stuck going to court every day until their case is finished up fronting all that collateral damage.
Los Angeles DUI lawyers can win their clients’ DUI cases. They do this by using various strategies that include:
- Comparing statements of witnesses
- Violations of your rights
- Looking for the mistakes of the arresting officer
- Manipulation of data of the tests conducted
- Inadequate certification from lab technicians
- Evidence that contradicts the officer
- The alternative narrative for a failed breath test
Talk to a Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next.
You need an experienced DUI lawyer who can help protect your rights under the law. You want someone who will fight for justice on your behalf and keep you informed every step of the way.
At the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney law office, we have over 18 years of experience helping people just like yourself get through this difficult time with as little hassle as possible. We are available anytime to speak with our clients about their cases and offer them legal advice whenever they need it most. Call us today at (888) 885-8844 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can review your situation together.
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