Though Encino authorities and the state of California issue severe penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), arrests do not have to lead to a conviction. If you have been charged with DUI, your next call should be to an Encino DUI lawyer from Simmrin Law Group. With superior knowledge of California’s DUI laws and exceptional negotiating skills, your lawyer will work to mitigate the charges or have your case dismissed entirely.
DUI Laws in Encino
In California, it is illegal to drive after consuming alcohol, drugs, prescribed or over-the-counter medications, or other substances that affect your mental and physical capabilities and impair your ability to drive safely. In California, you can be charged with DUI if:
- You are of legal drinking age, 21 years or older, and are driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher
- You are under 21 years of age and are driving with a BAC of .01% or higher
- You are any age, but on probation for a previous DUI-related offense, and are driving with a BAC of .01% or higher
- You are a commercial vehicle drivers and are driving with a BAC of .04% or higher
- You are transporting paying passengers with your vehicle and are driving with a BAC of .04% or higher
- You are of legal drinking age and are pulled over for erratic or unsafe driving. If officers suspect you are under the influence, they can issue a field sobriety test – and if you demonstrate impairment even having a BAC under .08%, officers can charge you with DUI.
For a free legal consultation with a dui lawyer serving Encino, call (310) 896-2723
DUI Arrest Process
When you are pulled over for a traffic offense or accident and officers notice signs of intoxication, along with implementing a field sobriety test, they may issue a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, a breath test that measures BAC. The PAS test is optional unless you are under 21 or on probation for a prior DUI offense. If you are 21 or older and have no prior offenses, you can usually refuse the PAS without penalty.
If charged, you will either be taken to the hospital, police station, or jail. You will be given a chemical test to more formally measure your BAC. You may also be given a urine test to check your system for other drugs.
Refusal to submit to the chemical test has legal consequences. You will still be arrested for DUI but will also face “refusal” allegations. Convictions bring enhanced DUI consequences, including a one-year license suspension and two days in county jail.
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When to Call an Encino DUI Attorney
After the chemical test, you will go through the “booking” process. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be released after booking if you can post bail or if you sign an agreement to appear in court.
California law gives arrestees the right to three phone calls within three hours of an arrest. Whether you are released or held in custody, use your right to call Simmrin Law Group and speak to a DUI attorney in Encino. The sooner you secure legal representation, the more likely you are to see a favorable outcome.
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Penalties for DUI Convictions
DUI charges bring both immediate and long-term penalties from different offices.
Department of Motor Vehicles
Officers will confiscate your driver’s license shortly after your arrest and inform you that your license will be suspended in 30 days. Officers are legally required to send the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a copy of the notice of suspension and your license. You will be issued a temporary license unless extenuating circumstances apply, allowing you to drive until the date your suspension begins.
You can request a suspension hearing with the DMV within ten days of receiving your impending suspension notice. DMV license suspensions range depending on your age, history of offenses, and other factors. The DMV suspension is separate from penalties issued by the court system upon conviction.
Legal penalties for DUI convictions also vary depending on a number of circumstances. Even “minor” penalties can carry long-term consequences. For example, a first-time DUI offender will most likely be charged with a misdemeanor (unless someone is severely hurt or killed).
Misdemeanor penalties can include:
- Attendance at DUI classes for three months, typically, but potentially up to nine months
- Three to five years of probation
- A six-month license suspension
- A jail sentence of up to six months
- Attendance at a victim impact panel session
- $1,500-$2,000 fines
- Ignition interlock device installation
If there are other aggravating factors, charges and penalties become far more severe.
A DUI conviction reaches into other areas of your life. A suspended license means you need to find and pay for new ways to get to work. If your kids need to get school or other events, you will have to make outside arrangements.
Your insurance premiums will increase as well.
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How an Encino DUI Attorney Can Defend You Against DUI Charges
An experienced DUI attorney in Encino has the negotiating skills and legal expertise you need to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Your DUI lawyer in Encino will investigate all aspects of your case, starting from the initial stop by the police. Based on discoveries, your lawyer may use these and other arguments in your defense:
- You were pulled over without probable cause.
- Officers did not properly administer breath or field sobriety tests.
- Chemical tests were improperly administered or faulty.
- Upon arrest, you were not presented with your rights.
- You were not the actual driver of the vehicle.
- You were not impaired when pulled over, but simply showed poor driving abilities.
- You have a medical condition that produces false positives in BAC tests.
Simmrin Law Group Is on Your Side
Simmrin Law Group is dedicated to giving those facing DUI charges strong, convincing defenses to mitigate consequences or perhaps have them dismissed altogether. Contact us today for a free case review. Your Encino DUI lawyer will work for you and with you, collecting evidence to support your defense and protecting you from unfair treatment so you can move forward with your life.
Call or text (310) 896-2723 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form