If you have been arrested for DUI in Baldwin Park, you must defend yourself. Drunk driving is no longer a mere ticket—and Baldwin Park prosecutes it heavily. Penalties for a DUI include jail time, driver’s license suspension, mandatory alcohol education, and thousands of dollars in fines.
The best way to defend yourself is to get the counsel of an experienced, dedicated Baldwin Park DUI lawyer. An experienced legal defender can help you resolve your case quickly and to your advantage. You will often never even have to set foot in a courtroom, and they may even be able to get your case dismissed altogether.
How Bad Is a DUI in Baldwin Park?
Recent years have seen a significant crackdown on DUI. The City of Baldwin Park views DUIs as a source of revenue, collecting fines and fees from every conviction. The cost of a first-time DUI can be as high as $15,649. That is money in the city’s coffers.
Accordingly, Baldwin Park police treat DUI checkpoints as a priority and have impounded up to 61 vehicles at a single checkpoint. Once arrested, you face a complicated list of penalties determined by the California Vehicle Code.
Penalties for Baldwin Park DUI Convictions
The penalties and fines differ depending on whether it is your first DUI or you have had one or more previous DUI charges in the last ten years. Your sentence can also get more challenging if you caused an accident, refused a blood or breath test, or had minors in the car. But no matter what, none of these sentences are light.
The penalties for a first DUI offense include the following:
- Massive fines. The absolute minimum you will have to pay the court is $1,800. Costs only go up from there.
- Jail time. You may spend only two days in the local jail or up to six months.
- Losing your license. Your license will be suspended, meaning you cannot legally drive. The rules for this are complex, but it will be at least four months before you get it back—often longer.
- DUI Traffic School. You will be ordered into a particular course for DUI convicts. This lasts at least three months and costs $500 on its own.
- Probation. You will remain on probation after your sentence is over.
These are the penalties for a simple first-time DUI. Sentences for repeat violations can include up to a year in jail, prison time, years with no driver’s license, 30 months of DUI treatment, and tens of thousands of dollars in costs. You may also have to install an interlock device in your car.
How Your Life Will Be Affected by a DUI Conviction
When you are charged with a DUI, your reputation could be in jeopardy. Your professional license could be at risk for suspension or revocation, your driver’s license could be suspended, and you may need to pay additional fees if your vehicle is impounded.
However, if you are convicted, the impact will be felt across nearly every aspect of your life. You might find yourself on the losing end of a child custody battle, be at risk for deportation or other citizenship issues if you are not a U.S. citizen, and lose your firearm rights. You might find it impossible to find gainful employment, to be passed over for job opportunities or demoted, and be required to fulfill multiple court duties and responsibilities, including:
- Completing a MADD program
- Completing a HAM program
- Attending group therapy
- Attending mental health counseling
- Completing DUI school
Furthermore, if you have a DUI on your record, it could have a negative impact on your ability to afford auto insurance. If you need to fill out form SR–22, you can expect your auto insurance rates to increase dramatically. If you cannot afford these costs, you may temporarily be unable to operate a motor vehicle until your driving record is clear.
How Does a DUI Case Work in Baldwin Park?
Your case may start differently depending on who arrested you. Baldwin Park has its own police force but is also patrolled by the County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol (Southern Division). But in most cases, you will be processed at the Baldwin Park Jail and may have to pay bail to be released.
From there on, all DUI cases have a very similar process—and the more you understand this process, the better prepared you will be. Several important deadlines define the legal process ahead of you.
You need to take action before each one of these deadlines and handle it the correct way. If you do not, the consequences could stay with you for years.
Baldwin Park DUI Deadlines
Let’s take a look at each deadline in detail.
The DMV Hearing
Immediately upon being arrested, you have only ten days to fight for your driver’s license. Ten days is how long you have to request a hearing with the California DMV.
If you do not file the request in time, they will automatically suspend your driver’s license. If you miss this deadline, there is nothing you can do to fight it. A DUI lawyer in Baldwin Park can help you handle the hearing and represent you when the time comes.
Your arraignment is your first appearance in court. It happens within two weeks or so of your arrest. This is not a trial—it is merely a hearing where you enter your plea. But it is a crucial moment.
This is when the prosecutor makes formal contact with you for the first time. They will size you up to see if you are an easy target. It would be best to get a reputable DUI lawyer before the arraignment. Sometimes, their presence is all it takes to get the prosecutor to offer a deal.
Your Criminal Trial
If you go to trial, it will generally be held at the West Covina Courthouse. But you may never have to go this far. Your lawyer aims to help you win your case without going to court.
They will work to get the prosecutor to drop the case, reduce the charge, or offer terms that are acceptable to you. This form of negotiation is almost impossible without a good lawyer at your side.
How Does a Baldwin Park DUI Attorney Help You?
Our experienced DUI attorneys in Baldwin Park have seen hundreds of drunk driving cases unfold and know which strategies will backfire and which will likely work. This is why they make such a big difference in your case.
Benefits of having a DUI lawyer include:
- You can challenge the blood alcohol test. Breath tests and blood tests can be wrong. If there is anything unusual about how the test was done, your lawyer will object.
- You can challenge the arrest itself. If procedures were not followed during your arrest, key evidence against you might be thrown out.
- You can dispute the officer’s story. Police officers sometimes fudge details or misremember things. A DUI lawyer will look for the holes in their report.
- You can bargain for a better deal. Your lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor and drive the hardest bargain possible.
In theory, you can do all these things independently, but without a legal background, they are challenging—and you only get one shot. Talking to a lawyer is the smart way to approach your case.
Talk to a DUI Lawyer in Baldwin Park for Free
You deserve a powerful defense. We can match you with a qualified Baldwin Park DUI lawyer who will give you a confidential case review. This will help you determine your chances and decide whether hiring a lawyer is worth it.
Do not go into court blind. Make an informed decision. Please complete our online contact form or call our office for your 100% free defense evaluation today.