The court system in Lancaster, CA treats the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) very severely. Even a single conviction can lead to fines, probation, jail time, and the suspension of your license. It is vital that you take a DUI charge seriously because a conviction can have a large impact on your future.
The Simmrin Law Group is here to help you clear your name. An experienced Lancaster DUI lawyer from our firm will understand how to deal with these charges effectively. Our team can help you navigate the legal system in California and offer you a strong courtroom defense.
Steps to Take When Charged with a DUI in Lancaster
After getting arrested for a DUI in California, there are steps you can take directly after that can help you defend yourself from a DUI conviction. Getting convicted can affect whether your license works and whether you can keep your job. Therefore, it is essential to keep a DUI off your record.
Some recommended steps to take after getting a DUI charge include:
- Take notes of what happened: Take highly detailed notes of what happened during the arrest as soon as you can after the arrest. This includes where the police officer pulled you over, the direction you were driving, the police officer’s name and badge number, and whether the police officer read your Miranda rights. Include what you did throughout the day before the stop.
- Contact our Lancaster DUI attorney: A DUI attorney can request a hearing and represent you during the hearing. We can ensure your hearing is scheduled in time so you can keep your license.
- Identify witnesses: Contact anyone who saw you before the arrest to attest that you were not intoxicated when you left them. Also, if anyone witnessed the arrest, they could prove your account of events if the officers did something outside their required protocols at the time of the arrest.
- Obtain a copy of the police report: Our attorneys can review the police report with you. We can use this information to get the state to drop the charges or to negotiate a plea deal.
A DUI lawyer with experience handling these types of cases knows the complexities of these charges. However, our attorneys can work tirelessly to help you avoid a criminal conviction.
For a free legal consultation with a dui lawyer serving Lancaster, call (310) 896-2723
How a DUI Lawyer in Lancaster Can Help
Hiring a DUI attorney soon after your arrest can help your case. Once we gather the details of your arrest, we can prepare a solid defense strategy. Possible defenses can include:
- You did not have a high level of alcohol in your system at the time of the arrest.
- The police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
- The police officers did not follow proper procedures during your arrest.
- The prosecution does not have enough evidence to convict you of a DUI.
Lancaster DUI Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Build a Defense Against Traffic Violation Charges
While a DUI charge can be harsh, it is not the only traffic violation charge you might face in Lancaster. You might have to deal with various traffic infractions, which are not criminal offenses, though they can still come with fines and leave points on your license.
California also charges some traffic violations as misdemeanors or felonies. These acts are treated more seriously by the court system. They can include actions such as reckless driving or driving on a suspended license. Each traffic infraction, misdemeanor, or felony will add points to your license. These points determine whether your license could get suspended.
Working with a traffic violations lawyer can help you defend yourself from these charges so you can maintain your ability to get around. Contact our defense lawyer today to improve your odds in court.
Lancaster Area DUI Charges
An individual over the age of 21 is considered to be driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. Drivers under the age of 21 are seen as under the influence even if their BAC is as low as 0.01%.
Unlike many other traffic violations, you will have your license suspended immediately if you are convicted of a DUI. The length of this suspension will vary based on your age and whether it is your first DUI offense. For example, if you are over 21 and this is your first DUI charge, your license will be suspended for four months.
The courts will also suspend your license if you get pulled over and refuse to take a chemical test to determine your BAC. A first-time refusal will allow the court system to suspend your license for an entire year. You will also have to pay a $125 fine.
In addition to losing your license, a DUI conviction carries other serious repercussions. You could end up paying high fines and end up in jail. You can take steps to handle your DUI charge correctly by hiring a criminal defense lawyer specializing in DUI defense cases. A DUI attorney in Lancaster from the Simmrin Law Group has a proven history of success in helping clients fight these charges and get their lives back in order.
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Traffic Violations in Lancaster, CA
Traffic violations are not nearly as severe as a DUI charge, but they can still add points to your license and cost you money. The state of California will suspend your license if you collect:
- 4 points over the course of 1 year.
- 6 points over the course of 2 years.
- 8 points over the course of 3 years.
Most traffic violations will add 1 point to your license, and these points can add up quickly. Common traffic violations include speeding, running a red light, and driving without insurance.
If you are caught performing one of these acts, law enforcement officers usually will give you a ticket.
Many red lights in Lancaster may utilize cameras to monitor driver behavior. If the camera records you running a red light, you will receive a ticket for the traffic violation. You must take these tickets seriously because traffic violations may come with fines of up to $450 for a first-time offense. Depending on your exact situation, your car could also get impounded.
Misdemeanor Traffic Charges in California
A misdemeanor traffic charge can come with severe consequences in the Lancaster area. These charges typically add two points to your license for a first offense. There are two common examples of traffic charges that the court system treats like misdemeanors:
Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
This charge applies to individuals who drove their vehicle knowing their license was suspended or revoked. Driving while your license is either revoked or suspended carries different penalties depending on the reason why you lost the use of your driver’s license.
Nearly all these penalties result in you spending up to 6 months in jail and paying fines of up to $1,000.
The state of California considers driving a motor vehicle in a way that shows a willful disregard for others’ safety to be reckless driving. There are many actions that the court system considers reckless driving, including:
- Road raging
- Speeding excessively
- Engaging in daredevil behavior
You could spend 90 days in jail if convicted of reckless driving. You might also face fines of $1,000 and deal with probation for a lengthy period.
A DUI Conviction Carries Widespread Consequences
After getting convicted of a DUI, you may face more consequences than just the ones the courts give you. Other consequences can include:
- You could lose your current employment if they find out about your DUI. It is also more difficult to gain employment if potential employers find a DUI on your record.
- Your driving record is negatively impacted, and you might have to install an ignition interlock device.
- Your friends and family could see you in a different light.
- You might have to pay large fines after the conviction, causing you to deal with financial hardship.
- If you fail to meet your required court obligations or pay your fines, you might receive more punishments.
Let our attorneys help you avoid a DUI conviction and all these extra consequences. We can fight to reduce or drop your charges, so you don’t have to worry about the impacts a DUI conviction has on your future.
Preparing Your Lancaster DUI Defense Strategy
DUI charges in Lancaster could permanently alter the course of your life. For this reason, it is crucial that you prepare a compelling defense strategy so you can clear your name and get back to your life.
Consider Your Options
First, consider your options. You may be able to work with the prosecutor to obtain a plea agreement or get them to allow you to enter a pretrial diversion program. Here, you could avoid having your DUI case brought before a judge and jury. You may have specific requirements you will need to meet, such as:
- Community service requirements
- Housing restrictions
- Obtaining gainful employment
- Abstaining from drug or alcohol abuse
- Attending group therapy or mental health counseling
- Completing an alcohol treatment program
- Completing a MADD or HAM program
- Paying restitution to any victims in your case
Once you have fulfilled the terms of your pretrial diversion program, the prosecutor will no longer move forward with the criminal charges against you. The charges against you could be reduced or dismissed completely which will give you your best opportunity to put this experience behind you.
Potential Defenses for Your Case
It is not unusual for DUI offenders to be ineligible for pretrial diversion programs since many of those charged with DUIs have faced similar charges in the past. In other cases, if someone was severely injured or killed due to a drunk driving accident, you may not qualify for a pretrial diversion or a plea agreement.
You must be prepared to present a robust defense to avoid being found guilty of a DUI in Lancaster. Some examples of defenses your DUI attorney may apply include:
- Mistake of fact
- Procedural misconduct
- Unlawful stop
- Illegal search and seizure
- Issues with breath test or field sobriety test results
- Laboratory mistakes
- Medical conditions
Fight Traffic Violation Charges with a Lancaster DUI Attorney
A conviction for a traffic charge can cost you time, money, and even your driver’s license. You can defend yourself from these charges by working with a dedicated Lancaster DUI lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group. We have a long history of successfully winning cases in the Los Angeles County area.
Find out how we can help you by contacting us for a free consultation. You can reach us right away by filling out our contact form or giving us a call.