Have you been unreasonably stopped by a police officer? Did you fail a field sobriety test and are now facing DUI charges? It might feel like the end of it all when you're dealing with a DUI case. However, your charges can be lowered or even dismissed with the right legal representation. Schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Los Angeles DUI lawyer today!
In 2019, over 120,262 individuals were arrested for DUI charges in California. This growing number of incidents is the reason why the state of California continues to fortify its DUI laws. With countless bills and regulations passed to strengthen the law, getting a DUI charge in Los Angeles can be a true challenge.
Despite the state's stringent legislation against drugged and drunk driving, it doesn't mean that you don't have the chance to fight for your freedom. All you need is the right legal representation and expert advice to help you win your freedom back.
At our criminal defense law firm, we understand how difficult it is to deal with these cases on your own. With over ten years of experience in the field, our Los Angeles DUI attorneys know precisely how to handle your case and which strategies will work best in your favor based on the nature of your case.
Start your free and confidential consultation with our legal team today. Schedule an appointment and tell us your story. We'll work together to create the best defense strategy possible and get you the representation you deserve.
It's common to feel scared and overwhelmed when facing a DUI charge in Los Angeles. That's why our experienced Los Angeles DUI attorneys are here to help. We'll provide you with the unique legal advice and representation you need in any type of DUI case.
We enumerated below some of the most common DUI cases in Los Angeles, California:
In California, operating a car with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or above is a criminal act. This action violates Vehicle Code 23152(b) and is generally considered a misdemeanor crime unless you have pre-existing felony DUI charges.
Penalties for this type of DUI charge include around three to five years of informal probation, up to six months in Los Angeles county jail, and around $390 to $1000 in penalty fines. The penalty will be harsher if you have prior DUI convictions.
Hurting a pedestrian or another driver while driving with a high BAC is a criminal offense in California. The crime of injury-causing DUI is detailed in Vehicle Code 23153. This crime is a wobbler offense and could be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the victim's injuries.
As a misdemeanor, causing minor injuries while driving under the influence will cost you up to one year in Los Angeles county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. On the other hand, if you cause significant injuries or death due to your DUI, you will be charged with a felony act and have to face much longer prison terms and more expensive penalty fines.
If you hit a pedestrian or another car while driving drunk, you must stop and call the emergency services to your location. However, if you leave the crime scene, you will be charged with hit and run DUI in California. The crime is detailed in Vehicle Codes 20001 and 20002.
Violating Vehicle Code 20001(a) is a felony offense. This statute covers the crime of injuring a pedestrian or another motorist and running away from the accident scene. This criminal offense entails up to four years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000.
For Vehicle Code 20002(a), the statute states that you will be guilty of a misdemeanor if you hit an unattended vehicle or property and flee the scene. The penalties for this act include up to six months in Los Angeles county jail and fines reaching up to $1,000.
When a police officer has reasonable suspicions that you are driving under the influence, you must comply with the officer's requests. Refusing to pull over or attempting to flee from the officer can lead you to face additional charges of evading a police officer, which violates Vehicle Code 2800.1.
This criminal offense is a misdemeanor offense with penalties of up to one year of county jail sentence and a maximum fine of $1,000. Additionally, you could get deported if you're an immigrant. This offense could also prevent you from owning a gun in the future.
The severity of your penalty varies significantly depending on your past DUI convictions of ten years, and you could face harsher punishments if you have any pre-existing DUI convictions.
In Los Angeles, the following levels of DUI charges apply:
If you have had no prior DUI offense for the past ten years, you will be charged with a first-offense DUI. This criminal act is considered a misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:
A second DUI offense would cost you roughly a similar set of penalties as a first-offense DUI. However, some of it comes with additional harsher punishments than those for a first DUI offense. Here's what you can expect with a second-offense DUI:
If you have two previous DUI charges in the past ten years, you will be charged with a third-level DUI. This criminal act is still considered a misdemeanor offense and carries serious consequences for your future, such as:
If you've committed three DUI convictions in the past or severely injured someone while driving under the influence, you will be charged with a felony DUI. The criminal act is considered a serious offense and carries the following penalties:
If the accident resulted in a wrongful death, you could be imprisoned for life, and this is counted as a strike under California's Three Strike Law.
When dealing with DUI charges in California, you must understand the criminal defense process and its nuances. Here's the general structure of California's DUI legal process:
Your DUI case will start with an arrest. An arresting police officer will ask you to stop your car if they witness you driving erratically or under the influence. Some of the indicators they use to spot drunk drivers are:
An officer can conduct a field sobriety test to check your level of intoxication if they suspect you are drunk or subject you to a breath test to verify your blood alcohol concentration.
If you fail the field sobriety test or the breath test, the officer can arrest you and take you to the police station for further booking.
After your arrest, your next step should be to consult with a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in DUI laws and legal procedures. A DUI defense lawyer can help you understand the complexities of your case, review evidence, and advise you on the next best step to take moving forward.
A skilled criminal defense attorney will also represent you during all court proceedings, negotiate with the prosecution for lesser sentences or even get your charges dropped. The earlier you secure a lawyer, the better.
In California, the DMV will suspend your California driver's license as soon as you are arrested. This automatic driver's license suspension is called administrative suspension.
However, this is not permanent unless you fail to set up an appointment with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days of your arrest.
In the DMV Meeting, the agency body will review and scrutinize the evidence to determine whether they should reinstate your license or not. Your DUI defense lawyer can represent you during this hearing and help you understand the DMV hearing and how it will affect your case.
The arraignment is the first step in your criminal court hearing. The arraignment is where you will enter a plea of no contest, guilty, or not guilty.
During the arraignment, the judge will inform you of the charges filed against you and the potential consequences if found guilty. Additionally, the judge at this phase may assign bail conditions and set other deadlines for your case.
After the arraignment is settled, you will undergo the pre-trial phase. In the pre-trial phase, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution to obtain more favorable plea bargains or even drop your charges.
During this period, your lawyer will analyze evidence, understand witness testimonies, and look for weak points that can help prove your innocence in court.
Some DUI cases never go beyond this point because the defense is able to pinpoint legal loopholes and get the charges dismissed.
Although some cases never reach this point, some cases do, and you should be ready for it. The trial will be presided over by a judge, and the prosecution and defense attorneys will present their cases on your behalf.
A jury panel will decide on your case based on the evidence presented. If the jury finds you guilty, the court will render a sentence based on the severity of your offense.
The court may suspend or reduce your sentence if this is your first misdemeanor DUI offense. If not, you may face more serious penalties like imprisonment and hefty fines.
With the right representation and defense strategy, you can beat these cases. Because of this, it's highly critical that you seek representation from some of the best criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles county.
In the following sections, we covered some of the most utilized legal defenses in a DUI case.
Questioning the integrity of the test result is one of the most common legal defenses used in DUI cases. Your party could raise this argument if there was a mistake made by either the officer administering the test or the testing lab.
Most testing kits or other mediums must be adequately calibrated to provide precise and accurate results. An experienced lawyer can investigate and cross-examine the device to help clear your name.
Sometimes, the results from a breathalyzer test may be inaccurate because the level of alcohol in your bloodstream has risen since your stop and arrest. This can happen if you consumed alcohol after you were pulled over but before you took the test. This phenomenon is called the rising blood alcohol level.
In these cases, your blood alcohol level continues to rise despite the fact that you are no longer consuming alcohol.
Even if you're not impaired, or your driving is not affected, the test results may still show a higher alcohol level than when you were driving. Your attorney can utilize this argument to challenge the results of your test.
Many arresting officers rely on the result of field sobriety tests to convict DUI suspects. However, a significant challenge to these tests lies in their subjectivity and complexity.
For instance, if an officer asks you to walk in a straight line and touch your nose with the opposite hand, this can be difficult for individuals who suffer from back problems or physical disabilities.
Your attorney can challenge the result of any field sobriety tests given to you by the police officer if evidence suggests that you were not impaired.
Many products you put in your mouth contain alcohol, and they can affect the results of a breathalyzer test. Your breath freshener, mouthwash, and even cough syrup can produce a false increased BAC result if they are not given enough time to evaporate.
If you used one of these and the police arrested you for a DUI, your attorney can raise the argument of mouth alcohol to help prove your innocence.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from illegal searches and seizures, which means that police officers must have probable cause to stop or search your vehicle.
If they do not have one, then any evidence obtained after the incident is inadmissible in court, and your case could be dismissed. Your attorney can review the details of your arrest to determine if they had probable cause.
These are just some legal defenses you can use in your case. However, keep in mind that some or most of these defenses won't work on the unique nature of your case.
It's critical to have a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side to defend you and ensure that you get the personalized treatment your case deserves.
Hiring a skilled and knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. Their knowledge of DUI cases and laws in Los Angeles county is invaluable when it comes to fighting your charges.
A skillful attorney understands the legal procedures, court systems, defenses you can use, and evidence that could help clear your name. They also have access to experts who can testify in your favor.
Here are some of the reasons you should consider hiring a Los Angeles DUI lawyer:
Your license is at risk if you are convicted of a DUI. Hiring Los Angeles DUI lawyers ensure that you will avoid these unfortunate circumstances. With their wealth of knowledge about the Los Angeles criminal justice system, they can help you fight your charges and get your license back.
Your attorney will meticulously review the details of your case to find any potential weak spots in the prosecutor's argument. They will then use this information to develop an effective defense strategy, giving you the best chance of winning or reducing your charges.
DUI defense attorneys have masterful negotiation skills. They will work to get the best plea deal for you and ensure your rights are respected throughout the process. They can compel the judge and the jury to see your side of the story and have your charges reduced or dismissed.
A Los Angeles DUI attorney has the necessary expertise to represent you effectively in court. They have extensive experience handling DUI cases and will be able to provide invaluable legal advice throughout your entire process.
Their vast knowledge of the criminal defense legal system will ensure you get the best outcome possible for your DUI conviction.
By hiring an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands and that everyone in the court will respect your rights throughout the process.
With their help, you can fight your charges and protect yourself from any potential adverse outcomes.
At Shah Criminal Lawyers, our team of Los Angeles DUI attorneys has over decades of experience in the Los Angeles criminal justice system. We are committed to providing our clients with personalized, aggressive representation and ensuring their rights are respected throughout the process.
Our attorneys understand how serious DUI charges can be, and we strive to apply our knowledge of defense strategies to deliver the best outcome for your case. Our team will fight relentlessly until all your charges have been cleared or reduced to the minimum.
Our expertise, a solid team of skilled DUI attorneys, and our dedication to helping you succeed make our criminal defense law firm a cut above the rest.
Were you inappropriately stopped by a police officer or arrested on suspicion of DUI? A DUI conviction can have severe consequences for your life, opportunities, and reputation. However, it is not an automatic guarantee that you will be convicted.
Our knowledgeable DUI defense attorney at Shah Criminal Lawyers is here to ensure that you get the ideal outcome for your case and protect your rights throughout the process. Call us at (909) 549-2280 and schedule your free and confidential consultation with our team today!