Penalties for DUI have soared, and local courts show little leniency. Sentences include jail time, a suspended driver’s license, mandatory DUI school, and thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines. If you have been arrested for DUI in Arcadia, you need to put up a fight.
The best way to fight a DUI charge is to have a good Arcadia DUI lawyer on your side. A DUI lawyer is trained to spot holes in the case against you, and they know how to turn around even challenging DUI cases. They can save you a lot of money—and they may be able to win your case.
The Cost of a DUI in Arcadia
The entire state of California has been cracking down on DUI, and Arcadia is no exception. The city routinely conducts large-scale DUI checkpoints to get as many arrests as possible.
The reason for this is simple. DUIs are costly. Fines have gone through the roof, and the total price tag for a first-time DUI can be up to $15,649.
Fines are not the only penalty you face. California’s DUI laws are complex, and consequences depend on whether it is your first, second, or third (or subsequent) DUI. Penalties get steeper for repeat offenses but are challenging even for a first offense.
The basic penalties for a first-time DUI include the following:
- Jail time. Even first offenders can get jail time, ranging from 2 days to 6 months.
- Losing Your License. All DUI convictions carry mandatory license suspension. This will last several months and could be up to a year.
- DUI School/Alcohol Treatment. You will be referred to a mandatory “DUI school” class that lasts three months and costs you over $500. You could also be ordered into alcohol treatment.
- Fines. Between the fine and the special DUI fees, the minimum you will pay is about $1,800. It goes up sharply from there.
If this is a repeat DUI, the sentences get much steeper. Jail can be up to a year, or you could be sent to prison.
License suspension and DUI school can both last for years. And the fines and fees quickly go to $10,000 or more.
Essential Collateral Consequences to Prepare For
Unfortunately, criminal penalties are not the only thing you need to be concerned with when you are convicted of a DUI in Arcadia. The collateral fallout could be far more long-lasting and impactful than the criminal consequences. The ways your life will be affected could be far-reaching.
For example, you may be terminated or lose your professional license, be unable to continue supporting your family, or even find yourself at risk of losing child custody or visitation rights.
Your auto insurance rates will climb, your criminal background will reflect your conviction for years to come unless you obtain an expungement, and you may lose your rights to vote, own or possess firearms, and obtain federal student aid.
How to Beat a DUI in Arcadia
You may or may not spend a night in the Police Department Jail. No matter how it starts, all DUI cases have one thing in common: you must take legal action to fight the charges immediately.
As soon as you are arrested, several legal deadlines start counting down. Each of these deadlines has an impact on your freedom and your future. To beat a DUI in Arcadia, you must understand each deadline and be prepared for it. They include:
The DMV Hearing (10 Days from Arrest)
The courts cannot take away your driver’s license unless you are proven guilty. But the DMV can. If you do not act quickly, the DMV will suspend your license until your trial date.
The only way to avoid this is to file a request for a hearing within ten days of your arrest. Your DUI lawyer in Arcadia, CA, can request the hearing for you and can represent you at the hearing.
The Arraignment (7-14 Days from Arrest)
Within two weeks, you will have an arraignment. In this court hearing, you officially enter your plea (Guilty or Not Guilty). It is not a trial.
Although short, the arraignment is your first chance to face the prosecutor in court. The prosecutor is looking to see if you will be easy pickings. They want to get a conviction out of you as quickly as possible.
If you have already hired a good DUI lawyer before this date, they can see that you are serious and will consider giving you a better offer.
The Trial (30-45 Days from Arrest)
Arcadia’s DUI trials are typically held at the El Monte Courthouse. However, you may never have to go to court at all. Your DUI lawyer will work to resolve your case without a trial.
They do this by challenging the evidence against you and putting pressure on the prosecution to offer you a way out. This could include dropping the charge, offering a very light penalty, or even reducing the DUI to a lesser offense.
Consider a Diversion Program
If you can avoid going to trial, you should do so. Sometimes, the prosecutor may be willing to work with you to secure a plea agreement. Here, you could enter a pretrial diversion program.
These programs require you to meet specific requirements. Once these requirements are met, you complete the program, and the prosecutor dismisses the case against you. Some of the requirements you may need to meet include the following:
- Attending court-ordered group therapy
- Completing court-ordered community service hours
- Abstaining from drug or alcohol use
- Agreeing to random drug or alcohol testing
- Following a curfew or housing restrictions
- Dealing with an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Paying court costs and restitution to any victims in your case
Does Having an Arcadia DUI Attorney Make a Difference?
Getting an experienced DUI attorney in Arcadia, CA, is the smartest move you can make. Your attorney will serve as your guide through the legal process.
They will use their knowledge of the legal system to make it work for you—getting you every opportunity available to fight your charge. They can make a dramatic difference in a very short time. Benefits a DUI attorney brings include:
- They know how to challenge the breath or blood test you were forced to take. This crucial evidence could be thrown out.
- They can see errors in police procedure and the arresting officer’s testimony.
- They know how to drive a hard bargain with the prosecutor to get you a deal fast.
Ultimately, a DUI lawyer can help get your case over with quickly, they can save you money, and they may even be able to win your case outright.
Speak to an Arcadia DUI Lawyer for Free
We believe you deserve a strong defense. That is why we work to put drivers like you in touch with the right Arcadia DUI lawyer for your case. We can match you with an attorney with the knowledge and experience you need.
Your lawyer will offer you a full consultation, 100% FREE of charge. This is your chance to make an educated decision about how to pursue your case.
Do not be a victim of the law. Get the help you need. Please complete our online contact form or call our office for your FREE consultation today.