When an evening on the town turns into a night in jail thanks to a drunk driving arrest, it’s best to hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney as soon as possible. It is only with the assistance of an experienced California drunk driving lawyer that a defendant can hope to have the charges against them reduced or dropped. Act now if you have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles or the surrounding area.
Maybe you were out with a bunch of friends and didn’t realize how impaired you were. The police pulled you over and administered field sobriety tests. They may have also given you a Breathalyzer test to assess your blood alcohol content. Based on the outcome of these tests, you were arrested and booked at the jail. It sounds like an open and shut case. Is it worth going to the trouble and expense of hiring a Los Angeles DUI lawyer?
Hiring a California drunk driving attorney is always a good idea when you are arrested. No matter how convinced you are that you were in the wrong and that the police have you dead to rights, you should not plead guilty without at least consulting with an attorney. It’s not unusual for a DUI defense attorney to be able to get the charges against their client reduced or dropped, especially in the case of a first-time offender. Even people who have been convicted of a DUI before may find themselves receiving a lighter sentence thanks to the efforts of their Los Angeles drunk driving attorney. Considering the potential consequences of a guilty plea, you really can’t afford to risk not defending yourself.
Penalties for Drunk Driving in California
Even for a first-time drunk-driving offense the penalties are serious. The sentencing guidelines for a first offense allow for between four days and six months in jail along with fines of up to $1,000. In addition, your driver’s license could be suspended for anywhere from 30 days up to 10 months. People living in some counties may even be required to have an ignition interlock device installed. The penalties only get tougher for second, third and subsequent offenses. Sentences of up to 16 months, fines of up to $18,000 and a four-year license suspension are all possible.
Defendants who are convicted of drunk driving offenses in California face even more long-term consequences. Some people lose their jobs as a result of the conviction or the loss of their driving privileges. Others may find that employers reject their application after learning of the conviction. It is genuinely in your best interests to do everything you can to fight the DUI charges you are facing. There is no such thing as “just pleading guilty.” That guilty plea can have far-reaching consequences that you may not be aware of or may not fully understand.
Fortunately, people who have been arrested on DUI charges in Los Angeles may have an opportunity to have the charges against them reduced or dropped if they work with a defense attorney. Drunk driving attorneys like the ones at this firm are exceptionally adept at conducting an independent investigation. This means that they will go over every detail of your arrest. They’ll interview you and any witnesses in addition to thoroughly reviewing the police report of your arrest.
Frequently, this investigation uncovers evidence that can help you get your DUI charges reduced or dropped. Perhaps the arresting officer violated your Constitutional rights, did not administer the field sobriety tests correctly or acted without probable cause. Defenses may also include malfunctioning Breathalyzer equipment or severe weather conditions that may have affected your ability to comply with the instructions for sobriety tests. Even when this kind of evidence is not uncovered, your attorney can rely on a clean criminal history and solid reputation to help get the charges against you reduced. There are many opportunities for improving your position, but you won’t know about any of them unless you contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney today.
Start Working With a Qualified Los Angeles Drunk Driving Attorney
It’s important to act quickly when you are facing DUI charges in California. The sooner you retain legal representation, the sooner your lawyer can begin an investigation and start negotiations with the District Attorney. Do not wait to look for an attorney until your court date. This may severely limit your attorney’s ability to get the best possible outcome for you, and it may only prolong this difficult, stressful experience.
When you are facing DUI charges in Los Angeles, you need a competent, experienced attorney fighting for you. The practitioners at this firm have helped dozens of people preserve their driver’s licenses and their personal and professional reputations. Drunk driving charges do not define you and they do not have to shape the rest of your life. You can perform an active role in taking back control of your life by hiring one of the experienced Los Angeles DUI attorneys at this firm.
Every minute is important when your day in court is looming. That is why you need to hire a DUI defense attorney who is efficient, confident and skilled. Contact us today to start fighting for your rights and your future. A Los Angeles drunk driving lawyer can help you reclaim your life and your reputation.
Defenses to a DUI/DWI Charge Consequences of a DUI or DWI Conviction
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are both charges that can have a serious impact on your life. If you are convicted, then you could face a range of consequences depending on what happened. You should understand some common defenses for a DUI or DWI charge and the consequences you could face if convicted.
You Were Not Driving
One defense against a DUI or DWI is to show that you were not technically driving. The definition of driving is different in some jurisdictions. If you were sitting in a running car or sitting in a car turned off, then you might not be technically driving under the law.
Test Results Are Incorrect
Another defense is to question the results of the tests used to determine you were intoxicated. Breath, urine and blood tests are not perfect. The equipment used could be defective, the readings could be explained by something else or laboratories might make a mistake. Arguing this could lead to exclusion of the test results as evidence.
Law enforcement needs a good and defined reason to stop and arrest you when driving. This is called probable cause. If the officer did not have probable cause to make an arrest, then nearly all of the evidence that was collected during the incident can become inadmissible. This can leave prosecutors without a case.
A possible defense is to claim the officer made procedural errors during the DUI stop or arrest. Law enforcement must follow specific rules when dealing with you and your vehicle. If the arresting officer does not do something as simple as informing you of the Miranda warnings, then some evidence from the scene could be suppressed.
Your Behavior Is Explainable
A final defense is to explain your behavior during the stop. You might have looked intoxicated because of prescription medications or being tired. You might have failed a field sobriety test because the officer was unclear about what to do. This defense can help to show you were not actually intoxicated.
The main consequence of DUI or DWI for many people is a suspended license. Your driver’s license could be suspended for a month to a year or more. If you have repeated convictions for a DWI, then your license could be revoked permanently.
The judge could order that you pay a monetary fine for a DUI or DWI conviction. The fines vary from small sums into the tens of thousands of dollars. The judge will determine the amount based on the facts surrounding the arrest.
There is always a chance that you could be sentenced to time in jail after a conviction for a DWI or DUI. Some jurisdictions have mandatory jail time requirements for repeat offenders. Jail sentences could be as short as a few days or up to a year in some cases.
Impound of Your Vehicles
If the events leading up to the conviction are particularly egregious, then your vehicle might be impounded. You will have to pay money to get your vehicle back. If you cannot pay for your vehicle, then it could be auctioned by the state after a certain period of time.
You might be able to negotiate an alternative sentence with the help of a lawyer to avoid jail time and fines. These sentences can include completing a rehabilitation program, performing community service or probation. An alternative sentence could also allow you to get your license back quickly.