What is an DUI Attorney Los Angeles?
If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in the city or county of Los Angeles then you will need a DUI attorney. Los Angeles DUI attorneys that are barred in the State of California , who represents clients who have been charged with Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. A DUI is a serious offense and that is considered to be a misdemeanor violation in the State of California. The ramifications from being convicted of a DUI can be long lasting and include the suspension, or revocation, of driving privileges as well as a serious blemish on employment and education applications. For this reason it is imperative that you be represented by a Los Angeles DUI attorney. Los Angeles DUI attorneys will be able to minimize your penalties associated with a driving infraction as well as keep you from losing your mobility.
A DUI in California is classified as a driving offense where an individual has
(1) been behind the wheel of a motor vehicle; and
(2) has registered a 0.08% blood alcohol content.
You can still be arrested for DUI even if your blood alcohol is below the 0.08% threshold when observations by police show a level of impairment or an individual has failed a field sobriety test. Depending on your weight and gender it could only take as little as 1 alcoholic beverage to put you over the 0.08 threshold. Even people who monitor their alcoholic intake for the sole purpose of preventing a DUI will often find that they have miscalculated their consumption. It is often the case that someone who just goes out to dinner and has a glass of wine, or two, will be pulled over and arrested for a DUI. In the State of California, when you are arrested for DUI you will not only be charged with DUI but also California’s “per se” law. California also embodies a zero tolerance policy for those individuals who are under the legal drinking age of 21. In this situation and individual can be arrested for DUI if his, or her, BAC is above 0.01% alcohol.
If this happens within the city or county limits of Los Angeles you will definitely need the help of a DUI attorney. Los Angeles DUI attorneys know how to represent you in a DUI case, the strategies involved, what questions to ask, how to proceed with witnesses and evidence, the loopholes, and probably most importantly, the judges and prosecutors in the district, so that you will stay out of prison and maintain your driving privileges.
The penalties with a DUI in California include:
1st offense: probation or between 4 days and 6 months imprisonment; suspension of driver’s license for 4 months; and a 30 hour alcohol and drug rehab program. Depending on the specific prosecutor and judge a DUI in Los Angeles may require mandatory jail time where others will often give probation for a first offense.
2nd offense: $390 to $1,000 fine; 10 days up to 1 year imprisonment; suspension of driver’s license for up to 2 years.
3rd offense: 120 days up to one years imprisonment; fines of between $390 and $1,000 ; suspension of driver’s license for up to 3 years; Depending on a number of factors with the Los Angeles courthouse the individual convicted of a 3rd offense may be required to do a minimum amount of jail time.
4th Offense: a fourth offense is considered a felony DUI and will include up to 3 years imprisonment; permanent suspension of driver’s license; and extreme fines.
The fines included in these charges do not consider court costs and other financial penalties that will often exceed the cost of the fines themselves. In addition, there are sentencing enhancements for violations that occur in conjunction with the DUI; such as: speeding 20mph over speed limit; prior conviction within 10 years; having a child under 14 years of age in the vehicle at the time of arrest; having a BAC above 0.15%; or refusing to take a chemical test at the scene.
Why do I need a DUI attorney Los Angeles?
If you, or someone you know, has been arrested for Driving Under the Influence then it is almost required that they immediately contact a DUI attorney. Los Angeles DUI attorneys will help you erase the stigma that is so often attached to it unlike most any other violation, even some felonies. Hiring a DUI attorney will not only keep you out of jail and keep your driving privileges but a DUI attorney can help negotiate pleas where you will be able to maintain driving privileges, if only to get to and from work, and make it so you don’t have to be shamed by a DUI charge, pay higher insurance premiums or risk losing employment or education opportunities.
There are many different ways that of attacking your DUI charge that will require the help of a DUI attorney. Los Angeles DUI attorneys can get the calibration records of the breathalyzer machines, argue the invalidity of testing, illegal searches and stops, studies showing the inaccuracy of breathalyzers, and arguing the disciplinary record of the police officer who conducted the arrest or administered the test. Los Angeles DUI attorneys will also be familiar with the judges that handle these matters in the Los Angeles Superior Courts. A good DUI attorney will notice if the judge you are presenting your case to is harsh on sentencing or is lenient for first time, low violation offenders. By having this knowledge the Los Angeles DUI attorney may be able to get your case postponed until a later date with a more forgiving judge. Every little thing in a DUI case matters and a Los Angeles DUI attoney should be established and knowledgeable, not only of the laws concerning DUI in California and Los Angeles, but also concerning the specific courthouse and its personnel.
Some Los Angeles DUI attorneys will tell you that you should always refuse a breathalyzer test. Although this is something that you will want to discuss with your Los Angeles DUI attorney; refusing to take a breathalyzer test is considered an assumption of DUI and you will be arrested. On the other hand, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test then there will be no evidence of your intoxication other than police reports, video from the police department, results of field sobriety and the testimony of the police officers. A good Los Angeles DUI attorney should be able to explain these forms of circumstantial evidence. A negative breathalyzer result, however, is often found conclusive of the violation. Refusal to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test cannot be used against you in court by law; it is deemed to be a violation of your 5th amendment right against self incrimination and the prosecution may not use your failure to perform the test as a showing of guilt in the same way that he, or she, may not deem your failure to testify in your own trial as an assumption of guilt. Your Los Angeles DUI attorney will know which avenue you should take and have the best answers to determine what is the best route.
Where do I find DUI attorneys Los Angeles?
If you live in Los Angeles, or your offense has taken place in Los Angeles, and you need a Los Angeles DUI attorney then you will have many options. Almost all law firms have their own websites easily accessed through a basic internet search. These websites will often give detailed descriptions of the Los Angeles DUI attorneys areas of practice, certificates, education, and results that they have attained through representing clients charged with DUI. However, these websites are “advertisements” in that they are designed to best represent the lawyer and should not be taken completely by their word.
You may also take advantage of a referral service offered by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. By contacting Bar Association at 213-243-1525 you will be able to get in touch with a reputable attorney who is certified and in good standing with the California Bar Association, as well as the ABA.
Laws.com also has a valuable referral service. By going to the pages and clicking on the “find a lawyer” link you can access the laws.com referral service. By inputting your name, location, contact information, and a brief description of your legal problem laws.com will connect you with Los Angeles DUI attorneys in you area that will help you fight your DUI charge.