Although many consider drunk driving charges to be one of the more minor offenses you can face in the state of California, the truth is that driving under the influence (DUI) could carry harsh criminal penalties and collateral consequences. It is imperative that you take steps to protect your future.
With help from a dedicated DUI lawyer in Los Angeles, you may be able to avoid some of the more devastating sentences. Find out more about how to best approach your defense strategy and the significance of the charges you are facing when you contact our office for a confidential case review.
When Drunk Driving Charges Apply in Pico-Union
Your DUI lawyer in Pico-Union, CA, is here to help you understand the criminal charges you are facing. You can be charged with a DUI if you are found to be in control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration BAC level of 0.08% or greater.
Additional penalties could apply if you carry a commercial driver’s license CDL or your BAC levels were found to be at a level of 0.15% or more. In addition to the drunk driving charges you are facing, your DUI attorney may need to be prepared to help you defend yourself against other related charges, including:
- Reckless driving
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Wet reckless
- DUI with injury
For a free legal consultation with a dui lawyer serving Pico-Union, call (310) 896-2723
Pico-Union DUIs Are Wobblers
DUI charges in the state of California are considered wobbler offenses. This is because they can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on several factors, such as:
- Whether a child was involved
- Whether anyone was injured
- How high your BAC levels were
- Whether you have previously been charged with a DUI or other criminal offense
- Whether there was a deadly weapon involved
Generally, if there are aggravating factors present, it is more likely that your DUI will be upgraded from a misdemeanor offense to a felony offense, which carries harsher penalties. However, your DUI attorney in Pico-Union, CA, will be prepared to scrutinize the evidence obtained against you and work to get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
Pico-Union DUI Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
Penalties of a DUI Conviction in Pico-Union
DUI convictions carry more severe penalties with each conviction. Although you might only receive up to six months in a Los Angeles county jail and the order to pay fines as high as $1,000 for a first-time DUI conviction, with habitual convictions, these penalties will increase.
For example, a third-time DUI conviction carries fines as high as $1,000 and up to one-year imprisonment in a Los Angeles county jail. However, someone charged with a DUI with injury could be facing felony-level charges if this is a first offense, which is punishable by up to 16 years in a California state prison and fines not to exceed $5000.
Non-Jail Penalties for DUI
In addition to incarceration and fines, anyone convicted of a DUI could also be facing suspension or revocation of their driver’s license, be ordered to attend DUI school, complete a drug or alcohol treatment program, and install an ignition interlock device (IID) within their vehicle. This will require you to blow into a breathalyzer before your vehicle turns on. Your BAC levels must be below the legal limit for the vehicle to start.
There are also many collateral consequences of a conviction. Your DUI lawyer in Pico-Union, CA, will work tirelessly to review the facts of your case and attempt to help you avoid these harsh penalties. In doing so, we may be able to help you pick up the pieces of your life, find gainful employment, and meet other court restrictions so you can put this experience behind you.
Consider Pre-Trial Diversion Before Court
As you work with your Pico-Union DUI attorney to prepare your defense, it may be in your best interests to consider working out a plea agreement or seeing if you are eligible for a pre-trial diversion program. Similar to the requirements you may face if you were placed on probation or parole after a conviction, a pre-trial diversion program allows you to avoid a conviction damaging your criminal record.
Some of the requirements you will be expected to meet if you are allowed to enter a pre-trial diversion program include:
- Completing an alcohol or drug treatment program
- Finding or retaining gainful employment
- Obtaining housing
- Attending DUI school
- Completing mental health counseling
- Participating in group therapy
- Paying restitution to any victims in your case
- Meeting with court officials at random
As long as you remain in compliance with the terms of your pre-trial diversion program, the prosecutor will then dismiss the charges against you or reduce them to a lesser offense. This way, your record is not destroyed, and you do not need to attempt to move forward with expungement in the future.
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Challenge the Allegations Against You
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for a pre-trial diversion program. In fact, unless you have never been charged with a DUI, it is likely you will need to be prepared to bring your case to trial if you hope to clear your name.
There are multiple ways in which your DUI lawyer in Pico-Union, CA, could address the allegations against you. Some of these defenses include:
- Questioning the validity of the breathalyzer test results
- Questioning the validity of any field sobriety test results
- Prosecutorial or police misconduct
- Issues with law enforcement handling of evidence
- Unlawful stop
- Illegal search and seizure of the vehicle
- Medical conditions that rendered incorrect BAC test results
- Laboratory mistakes in handling chemical test results
- Mistake of fact
- You were not in control of a vehicle
These are only a few of the defenses that could be used to clear your name when you are facing DUI charges in Pico-Union. Learn more about which defenses are most likely to be favorable to your case when you contact your lawyer to discuss the specific circumstances of your DUI charges.
Contact a DUI Lawyer in Pico-Union for Help Today
DUI charges could have a lasting impact on your life. There is no guarantee that you will be eligible for expungement. Do not let your drunk driving charges destroy your future.
Reach out to an experienced Pico-Union DUI lawyer to learn more about how to approach your defense strategy. You can reach us through our secure contact form or by phone to start working on your DUI defense as soon as today.