DUI and DMV matters are some of the most common problems everyday people in California encounter. It only takes a lapse in judgment to have a few drinks and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. It can happen after an office party, a social function or a sporting event. If it happens to you, you need a zealous advocate to try to obtain a dismissal or reduction of charges and to keep you from losing your license or driving privileges.
Defending DUI Cases in Los Angeles and Throughout California
For the past decade, our firm has dedicated itself to providing the best representation for persons accused of misdemeanor and felony DUI offenses. Whenever a person is accused of a DUI, a corresponding DMV license suspension hearing is automatically triggered. As such, persons arrested for DUI need an attorney who can competently guide them through the criminal proceeding and the DMV proceedings in order to ensure your chances of maintaining your driving privileges.
Our firm has obtained hundreds of dismissals and reduction in charges in both felony and misdemeanor DUI cases. Moreover, our office has a high ratio of successful results in DMV proceeding throughout California.
A mainstay of our successful defenses in Drunk Driving cases and DMV hearings is the employment by our offices of a highly respected forensic toxicologist who has succeeded in providing expert testimony to discredit and challenge all technical issues involved in the successful defense of a DUI case. Along with employing an expert toxicologist to assist in uncovering defenses in DUI matters, our office have successfully defended drunk driving cases by challenging the treatment of persons arrested in such matters on constitutional grounds. A person accused of such offenses should always seek advice of a competent defense attorney in order to obtain the best possible result in a DUI/Drunk Driving case.
In the majority of DUI cases, the criminal charges will include two offenses (1) driving while under the influence of alcohol and (2) driving with a .08% or higher blood-alcohol concentration. A person charged with both offenses can be convicted of both but only punished for one. The penalties for the two charges are identical. If you are charged with refusingto take the test you will be charged with driving under the influence and an additional enhancement charge of refusal to take a chemical test. As discussed above, along with the criminal proceeding, you will be subject to a DMV administrative license suspension hearing for either having a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher or refusing to take the chemical test at the time of arrest.
Under the existing California DUI Sentencing Law, a person convicted of a first offense may be sentenced to jail up to a maximum of 6 months. The fine and penalty assessments in a first offense will usually amount to over $1,500.00 depending upon the jurisdiction in California. Further, along with the DMV, the Court can impose a 6 month license suspension. Moreover, a DUI sentence will include a mandatory attendance of 3 months of DUI classes which could be increased for high levels of blood alcohol at the time of arrest. A court may also have the discretion to require an ignition interlock device, attendance at AA meetings, attendance at a MAAD meeting and additional community service.
Persons arrested for DUI may also be exposed for increased penalties if certain enhancements are charged and proved. Increased penalties may be imposed if person was driving in excess of 20 MPH over the speed limit, refused to take a chemical test, had a child under 14 in the car or having on or more prior convictions within 10 years of the current offense. If the prosecution can prove an intentional refusal, a person’s driver’s license is suspended for one year and there is no possibility of obtaining a restricted license within that year. Moreover, a refusal may expose a person to mandatory jail time. A speed enhancement can carry a minimum of a 60-day jail enhancement. In addition, prior convictions can increase jail time and when three or more prior convictions are involved, a person may be charged with a felony and exposed to time in state prison.
On a first offense, the DMV may impose a 4 month license suspension upon proof at a hearing that a driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. It is imperative that within 10 days of being arrested, you must contact the DMV and request a “stay” and “hearing” on your license suspension in order to obtain a temporary license until your attorney can successfully defend you at the later DMV hearing.
Read more about DUI offences in the following blog posts:
In order to avoid jeopardizing your chances of avoiding unnecessary penalties and suspensions, we recommend that you contact our offices immediately so that we may start the necessary steps to protect your rights after an arrest. The smartest thing to do after being arrested for DUI or any criminal defense is to contact an attorney with 24 hours of such arrest. Our offices are always happy to provide a free consultation and can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Contact us about your legal matter today!