Getting a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles is crucial to protecting your future after an arrest or charge for such a crime. Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is one of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in Los Angeles and throughout the United States, and if you’re arrested for DUI, you need a Los Angeles DUI lawyer.
Despite strict laws against DUI and harsh penalties for conviction, many people continue to drive while intoxicated, putting themselves and others at risk. However, many people are also wrongfully accused of DUI in various ways.
Whether you have been wrongfully arrested for DUI or you know you broke the law and committed a DUI offense, it is vital to understand the value of having defense counsel you can trust on your side. The right DUI defense attorney may be able to help mitigate your penalties and avoid some of the long-term consequences that a DUI conviction often entails, or they can assist you in securing a case dismissal if you have been wrongfully accused.
California uses the blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) measurement system to determine whether a driver is operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol. The legal limit for BAC is .08% for most drivers, .04% for commercial vehicle drivers, and zero for drivers under the age of 21.
If a police officer conducts a lawful arrest for DUI, the arrested driver is required to submit to a chemical test for DUI, or they face an automatic administrative suspension of their driver’s license and harsher penalties if they are later convicted. Police use alternative methods for testing for intoxication by drugs, such as securing a warrant to conduct a blood test.
A police officer must establish probable cause before pulling over a driver for suspected DUI. In most cases, this will involve observing the driver commit a moving violation, driving erratically, or causing an accident. The officer may then further establish probable cause for a lawful arrest by detecting alcohol on the driver’s breath or observing open alcohol containers and/or drug paraphernalia in their vehicle.
An experienced DUI defense attorney can help determine the optimal defenses available in your case. They may be able to help prove that the police officer failed to properly establish probable cause, that they mishandled your chemical test, or that the lab processing your sample did not do so correctly. You could have more grounds to fight your charge than you may realize, and if you did commit the offense, a good attorney might help you secure a lighter sentence.
It is always worth investing in defense representation you can trust for any DUI charge in Los Angeles. The sooner you connect with a DUI defense attorney after an arrest, the more time your attorney has to gather exculpatory evidence and/or highlight issues with the prosecution’s case.
The penalties for DUI conviction in Los Angeles are likely to extend far beyond what is assigned by the sentencing judge, and having legal representation you can trust on your side is your most viable way to prevent these penalties.
A: The consequences of a DUI conviction are severe and are likely to extend far beyond the penalties assigned by the sentencing judge. You could not only face fines, jail time, and a suspension of your driver’s license but also increased premiums on your auto insurance policy that can add up tremendously over time.
A DUI conviction may also limit future job prospects and cause you to lose your current job if you are unable to drive to and from work after losing your license. It is always worth hiring a criminal defense attorney and fighting a DUI charge.
A: If the defendant did not hurt or kill anyone in an accident, their penalties for a first DUI conviction can include fines up to $1,000 plus penalty assessments, a six-month suspension of their license, three to five years probation, DUI school, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. These penalties can increase significantly and include jail time after the first offense or if the first offense involved an accident resulting in bodily harm or death.
A: Yes, if you caused an accident because you were intoxicated behind the wheel, you not only face criminal prosecution and the penalties for conviction but also a civil lawsuit from the victim and their family. In addition to the penalties assigned by the sentencing judge, you may also face liability for the victim’s medical expenses, lost income, vehicle repair costs, and pain and suffering.
A: It is possible for a DUI to be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in California. If a defendant did not cause harm to any other parties in a first, second, or third DUI offense, they are likely to face misdemeanor prosecution. However, a fourth DUI or any DUI resulting in a great bodily injury or death will count as a felony. Additionally, if the defendant has a record of a past DUI felony conviction, then any subsequent DUI would automatically qualify as a felony charge.
A: Most DUI defense attorneys and other criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles charge their clients by the hour for their representation. Make sure your chosen attorney has clearly explained their billing policy before you sign a contract for their representation. The longer the attorney spends working on your case, the more it will cost in legal fees at the conclusion of the case.
The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can provide robust criminal defense to anyone charged with DUI in Los Angeles. We have a strong record of successful DUI defense cases, and you could have more defenses available to you than you realize at first. Contact our team today and schedule your free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn how we can assist you with your impending case.