Los Angeles DUI Lawyer
You Can Keep Your Freedom—and Your Driver’s License
Getting a DUI in Los Angeles does not have to be the end. A DUI is a serious criminal charge, and can damage your reputation as well as your life. But it’s a charge that defense lawyers routinely beat, and you do have options after your DUI arrest. You may be able to reduce your charges, block evidence against you, negotiate a light sentence or even walk away free.
As you face your DUI, you will have questions. Will you go to jail? Can you keep your driver’s license? How much does a DUI cost in Los Angeles? That’s why we’ve assembled this in-depth guide. You’ll find everything you need to know to understand your DUI case below.
Want a professional to help you? Talk to an experienced LA DUI defense lawyer about your case today—for free.
What to Expect When Facing a DUI in Los Angeles
California state law treats DUI as a misdemeanor, but it carries steep penalties. Here is an overview of what to expect:
- Your license will be suspended 30 days after your arrest, unless you request a hearing with the DMV to try to stop it.
- You will face a criminal proceeding that starts with an arraignment, where you enter your plea, and may then continue to a trial. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a favorable outcome for you without ever needing to go to trial. If you do continue to trial, the outcome will be decided by a jury.
- There are strategies you can use to win your case. This includes finding holes in the prosecution’s evidence, proving that your rights were violated during arrest, and undermining the testimony of the arresting officer. These strategies can be used pre-trial to negotiate a plea bargain, or during trial to try to win your case.
- If you are convicted you will face penalties including jail, fines and court costs, treatment/education programs, a suspended license, and limited driving privileges, among others. The penalties vary depending on whether you have previous DUI offenses, whether anyone was injured, and how severe the judge is. A good lawyer can help you reduce the severity of the penalties even if you are convicted.
Types of DUI Charges
California treats first time DUI’s as less serious than repeat offenses. Thus, the law has separate sets of penalties for first offense, second offense, and third+ offense DUI’s. This makes DUI law very complex, as two drivers with the same blood alcohol content can face different charges.
For the purposes of these penalties, a previous offense counts for up to 10 years. Thus, if you have a prior DUI conviction from 8 years ago, and you’re arrested again for DUI today, the new arrest counts as a second offense. But if your prior conviction is from 11 years ago, your new arrest is a “first” offense. (The date of the arrest is what’s used to calculate how long ago a previous DUI happened.)
- 1 Your driver's license is set to automatically get suspended.
- 2 You only have a few short days to request a DMV hearing to keep your driving privileges.
- 3 Depending on the offense you could lose your driver's license for as long as 3 years.
- 4 Depending on the conviction, penalties can run as high as $20,000.
- 5 You could be looking at jail time with a misdemeanor or felony on your record.
Everything you need to know about getting a DUI in Los AngelesJump To:
- What to expect when facing a DUI
- Types of DUI Charges
- Is It Possible to Win a DUI Case?
- The Legal Process
- Will I lose my driver’s license?
- The DMV Hearing
- Getting Your License Reinstated
- Refusing a Breath/Blood Test
- DUI & Drugs
- The Evidence Against You
- Will I Go to Jail?
- What does a DUI cost?
- Accidents, Injuries, and Deaths
- Winning Your DUI Case
- First Step to a Successful Case