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San Fernando DUI Lawyer

San Fernando DUI Lawyer

If you find yourself charged with a DUI in San Fernando Valley, you might be feeling overwhelmed, scared, and unsure how your future will be affected. A DUI is a serious charge that can drastically affect your life with fines, jail time, and license suspensions, so you may be wondering what step to take next.

You should begin by finding an experienced attorney. For over 20 years, the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein have represented clients in court. The team works tirelessly in the clients’ interests, bolstering each defense with powerful strategies. You can rest assured that the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein will approach your case with compassion and legal prowess. They have successfully defended many other clients in San Fernando Valley, and they are ready to work hard for an optimal outcome in court.

San Fernando DUI Lawyer

What Are California’s DUI Laws?

California laws stipulate that a motorist can get a DUI for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Marijuana is categorized as a drug under this law. You are considered under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08%. California’s “zero-tolerance” laws also prohibit drivers under the age of 21 from operating a vehicle with a BAC over .01%.

If your DUI results in harm to others or their property, the case becomes more complicated, and the repercussions become more severe. If someone is harmed or killed as a result of your intoxicated driving, you can face large penalties, including a life sentence.

California also prosecutes those consuming alcohol or cannabis while in a motorized vehicle. These substances must be securely contained and stowed far from the driver and passengers while the vehicle is in motion. However, the law provides exceptions if you are riding in a taxi, bus, or motorhome. An attorney can help you understand your rights while facing DUI charges.

What to Expect When You Get a DUI

Police officers may pull you over for three different reasons if they suspect you are driving while intoxicated. 

  • A routine traffic stop
    If an officer observes your vehicle swerving into other lanes, running red lights, or moving erratically, they have reasonable cause to believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Someone else on the road may also report your erratic driving to a nearby police officer.
  • A DUI checkpoint:
    On a holiday like New Year’s Eve, drunk drivers are notoriously common on the highways. Police officers often set up safety checks along the road and pull over vehicles at intervals. Usually, they stop vehicles after every fifth or tenth driver and perform field sobriety tests.
  • A traffic accident
    If you are involved in a motor accident, police officers have a reason to check you for signs of intoxication. They can perform field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests on the drivers involved in the collision.

Challenging a DUI Case

For an FST, a police officer may ask you to stand on one foot or say the alphabet backward to observe your coordination. However, sometimes, police officers do not conduct the field sobriety tests correctly, so a DUI attorney like those at the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can challenge the test in court in favor of your defense.

If the officer has reasonable cause, they can ask you to take a breathalyzer test. However, in the U.S., you are not required to take a breathalyzer test. You only take the test voluntarily. If you decide to take one, it can be used against you in a court of law. However, the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein can contest the results of a breathalyzer test. They can also seek any possible discrepancies in the chemical results or test administration to use in your defense.

Once charged with a DUI, you should request a DMV hearing. The DMV will suspend your license if you are arrested for a DUI charge. To contest the license suspension, you can request a hearing within ten days and try to reverse the suspension.

After this, you face the pre-trial hearing. If you have an attorney, the prosecution must deliver all evidence of your case to that attorney. Your attorney, if skilled, will search the evidence for any errors or discrepancies in field sobriety test results. If your DUI lawyer finds an error or lapse in proper protocol, they can challenge the prosecution and win the case in your favor before it ever goes to trial.

A practiced DUI lawyer knows exactly what to look for when analyzing the evidence. They are trained in what to say during the hearings, so you can depend on them to walk you through the whole process and be your advocate during the trial. If you find a good attorney, they can determine if your Constitutional rights were violated. They can also check to ensure the police officer found a reasonable cause to pull you over. If you used a vehicle to escape a threat, your attorney can use this in your defense.

How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in San Fernando, CA?

Pricing depends on the scale of the offense, your BAC, and the number of DUIs received so far. Several other factors play into the cost as well. When you schedule a consultation with an attorney, they evaluate the factors involved in your case and create a custom estimate based on your case. An experienced DUI attorney can save you months or years in jail time and save you thousands of dollars in fines. In DUI cases, you also face the potential blow to your reputation and loss of your career. Investing in a good attorney can save you years of heartache, jail time, and a hit to your reputation.

What Should You Look for When Seeking a DUI Lawyer?

Keep the following factors in mind when you research a lawyer to represent you at court hearings. 

  • Area of Practice
    Not all lawyers focus on the type of practice you need. Some attorneys have stronger experience in one area than another. They can usually charge a higher price for their services in one area where they have more training.
  • Education
    You should research an attorney’s education and training when considering their services for a DUI case. If that attorney has focused training in addition to their degree, this could mean more fees. However, a lawyer without additional training to accompany a degree might not be as experienced.
  • Extra fees
    If the attorney you found has specific training outside of their law degree, this could mean they charge additional fees for their services. Keep this in mind when researching DUI lawyers.

While it is not required to seek legal representation for a DUI charge, you could receive a harsher sentence without an experienced defense team at your back.

Is It Worth Getting a San Fernando DUI Attorney?

You may be wondering if getting a DUI lawyer in California is the right step to take. Here are some reasons to consider and why it might be in your interest to seek legal counsel following a DUI offense. 

  • License Suspension
    For your first DUI offense, your license gets suspended for six months. After the second DUI offense, you lose your license for two years. After the third offense, the license suspension lasts three years. However, most DUI offenders can obtain a “restricted license” with the help of an experienced attorney. A restricted license allows you to travel only to essential places, like work, school, or court hearings. Your attorney might also secure you the alternative IID, an “ignition interlock device,” for any essential transportation.
  • Jail Time
    After receiving a DUI ticket, you can expect the following jail times. For a first offense, you could see six months maximum in jail. For a second offense, you may face between 96 hours to one year. For a third offense, you could be looking at between 120 days to one year. Finding an attorney with a strong background in DUI cases could improve your chances of a lighter jail sentence.
  • Fines
    When charged with a DUI offense, you’ll face some large fines on top of possible jail time and license suspension. For a first and second DUI, the fines range between $390 to $1,000. For a third offense, $1,800 is the maximum amount you can be charged. A skilled defense team can mitigate the sum you pay.

Contact the Law Offices of James E. Silverstein

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in San Fernando Valley, you face the above possible jail times, fines, and license suspension, depending on your number of offenses. You may be overwhelmed. You might be wondering what your rights are or where to go from here. You will want a strong strategy to fight the charges against you in court.

The Law Offices of James E. Silverstein represent San Fernando clients in criminal court with compassion and determination. We focus on defending your rights and fighting for the outcome you want. We approach all cases judgment-free and with your interests in mind. Contact us today to speak with an experienced team that cares about you and your future.

Schedule A Free Consultation

Call (747) 230-4468


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Schedule a Free Consultation

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