In California, you can be charged with a DUI if your blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher while operating a vehicle. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04 percent. An exception is if a police officer feels you are too impaired to drive, which opens up the door for many mistakes.
You can be drunk and sit in your car, and that does not constitute a DUI, but many police officers will try to find an excuse to charge you. Many other defenses are available for a DUI in LA, but you must speak with a reputable Los Angeles DUI lawyer at the Simmrin Law Group.
Steps in a DUI
The first phase of a DUI is the arrest and booking process. You will be given a chemical test when you are in an accident or pulled over by police. If you fail the BAC test, you will have your license taken away and be given a pink sheet suspension notice which acts as a temporary license if you have a valid license at the time of the incident.
After a DUI arrest, you will be using a temporary license and can lose your driving privileges unless you attend a DMV hearing. You have ten days from your DUI arrest to request a hearing and defend yourself against an administrative suspension. Thirty days after an arrest without a hearing, you no longer have a license, and your options shrink.
A trial is unnecessary for most DUI cases, and pretrial processes allow the defense to see the plaintiff’s legal strategy. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles will comb through the evidence during discovery and find technicalities to help your defense. Through negotiation, we can find a middle ground or go to trial if that will give us a favorable outcome.
For a free legal consultation with a dui lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 896-2723
Evidence the Prosecution Will Present
When prosecuting you, the state will uncover and use different evidence to prove you are guilty of a DUI. They will rely on a breath test, blood test, the arresting officer’s statement, and video evidence. Simmrin Law will fight the evidence and place doubt in the judge or jury should it get that far.
While they will argue the evidence is strong, we will say the evidence collection process was unconstitutional or that the statement from the officer is biased. We can say that slurred speech is due to nerves, not alcohol. There are many ways to fight the evidence.
Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Types of DUI Charges
A DUI charge is a broad term since many subcategories can affect the severity and your possible defenses. A first-offense DUI is often resolved without a conviction, and if you do not understand your charges, you will take the wrong steps. You should contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney to assess your arrest and determine the best approach to your case.
There are also underage DUIs and those involving drugs which are challenging to handle without the proper experience. Repeat DUI charges are also challenging because you will face steeper charges.
The most severe DUI charge you will face is when there is an accident or a death, and you must have adequate legal representation to fight and keep your freedom. Felony charges are severe and result in imprisonment and steep fines.
Losing Your License
Three types of driver’s license suspension exist, and you can face any of these when you are arrested or convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles. An administrative suspension will happen 30 days after your arrest if you do not attend a DMV hearing.
You will face a full suspension if you are convicted of a DUI for an undetermined amount of time. The court can issue a license restriction that allows you to drive to and from predetermined places like work, school, court, and doctor visits. Results will vary depending on individual factors like your driving and criminal record as well as the arrest and charges.
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Other Consequences Surrounding a Los Angeles DUI Conviction
A DUI conviction will impact your life in more ways than one. Many people are worried about the criminal penalties they will face, including jail time, present, and fines. You may also be worried about the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
However, there are far more significant penalties that you could also be facing even after your release. Some of these include:
- Being required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which can be costly
- Attendance at regular mental health counseling sessions
- Loss of career and housing opportunities
- Damage to your personal and professional reputations
- Temporary loss of voting rights
- Loss of firearm rights
- Court-ordered anger management
- Completion of a court order a drug or alcohol treatment program
You may also find that you are no longer eligible for federal student financial aid, have put your child custody rights in jeopardy, and are stuck dealing with substantially higher insurance rates due to your DUI conviction. So much so that you may no longer be able to afford the costs of insuring your vehicle.
This could put your ability to earn a living in jeopardy. Make sure you have a trusted DUI lawyer on your side who will help you understand the risks you are facing and prepare a compelling defense strategy.
Misdemeanor vs Felony
Misdemeanor charges are easier to fight because they carry fewer penalties and there are more defenses. Multiple offenses or instances with injury or death are felonies and harder to fight. You do not want to have a conviction for either and must speak with a DUI attorney in Los Angeles.
Misdemeanor convictions for a first offense result in four months of license suspension, six months in jail, fines up to $1,000, and five years probation. The DMV will install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and you will need to attend a state-mandated alcohol treatment program.
Repeat misdemeanors have steeper fines and jail time, with the highest penalty being $18,000 and 120 days in jail. Depending on the specific charges, a DUI defense lawyer will work to have your charges dropped, dismissed, or reduced.
Defenses Available for DUIs
Beating a DUI charge is challenging but not impossible. Do not feel hopeless because defenses are available that will allow you to keep your freedom. Police error is a prevalent defense for DUIs because police officers make a plethora of mistakes.
Police officers must be precise when administering a field sobriety test, and one mistake on their part results in a complete dismal or a lower charge. In the rare case that the arresting officer did everything right, we will review the evidence against you and cast doubt on its validity. Conviction rates for DUIs in California are 70%, and the other 30 % are dismissals and charge reductions.
While there is the possibility that you will have a dismissal, there is no guarantee. You must meet with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer to review your circumstances and get a personalized idea of the outcome of your case.
Contact a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
You need a leading criminal defense law firm ready to take on your DUI case. We empathize with our clients and know how scary the situation is, but we will not back down from the prosecutor. Our team at the Simmrin Law Group will answer all your legal questions and find a strategy that works for you.
The faster you contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer, the sooner we can build a strategy that keeps your freedom or some semblance of normalcy. Trust us to fight for you with personalized attention. Fill out our online contact form or call us to schedule your confidential case assessment today.