If you have been arrested for DUI in Beverly Hills, you must defend yourself. DUI is treated harshly and can affect your insurance rates, reputation, and future employment. This is in addition to jail time and fines totaling thousands of dollars, so it is imperative to fight your DUI every step of the way.
The best way to do that is by hiring a Beverly Hills DUI attorney. DUI lawyers know the legal process ahead of you, and they know how to work to weaken the evidence against you at each stage. They have experience taking cases like yours and achieving a reduced charge, a reduced sentence, or a courtroom victory.
The True Cost of a Beverly Hills DUI
The official minimum fine for a first-time DUI in California is less than $400. But that is before the fine is padded with fees and assessments taking it into the thousands. And the costs only go up from there.
There are 200 DUI arrests a year in Beverly Hills alone. These cases are prosecuted aggressively because each represents revenue for the local government. DUI is one of the most expensive misdemeanors you can face.
Criminal Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Beverly Hills, California
Vehicle Code sets the penalties for DUI. This Code states that penalties worsen for each additional DUI within ten years. But even the first-time penalties are not lenient.
The minimum penalties for a first-time DUI include the following:
- At least $1,800 in fines and court fees—easily more.
- Minimum of two days in jail for most first-time DUI offenders and up to six months.
- Mandatory suspension of your driver’s license.
- Mandatory DUI “traffic school”—that you pay for.
- Probation and the risk of further penalties long after you have served your sentence.
These are minimums. The total cost of a first-time DUI in southern California can total over $15,000. And second or third DUI convictions result in even stiffer penalties.
What Happens After Your DUI Arrest in Beverly Hills
You may have been arrested by the Beverly Hills Police Department, the LA County Sheriff’s Department, or California State Troopers operating out of the West Los Angeles Office. You will likely be booked and processed at the local police station and spend a night in jail. At this point, the legal process is only beginning.
Beverly Hills DUI Process
Your case will go through several stages, which include:
The DMV Hearing
This is an important step that many DUI defendants miss. Your driver’s license will be removed upon arrest and automatically suspended in 30 days if you take no action. But you have only ten days to fight for it.
That is when you can request a hearing to object to the suspension. This hearing is with a representative from the California DMV—it is not a criminal hearing. However, your DUI lawyer can represent you at this hearing. If you miss the ten-day deadline, there is no way to keep your driving privileges until the trial.
An arraignment is a hearing before a judge where you hear the charges against you and officially enter your plea. It usually is only a week or two after the arrest.
You will already be under pressure to plead guilty at this time, but this is seldom in your best interest. It would be best to speak to a DUI defense lawyer before your arraignment.
Typically in California, it takes up to 45 days before you have a trial. This waiting period can feel tense and uncomfortable. However, this is your DUI lawyer’s time to shine.
It is during this period that they will look for evidence that the blood or breath test was flawed and find weaknesses in the evidence against you. If you have an experienced lawyer, the best plea bargains are usually offered during this time.
Your trial will be held at the Beverly Hills Courthouse and typically lasts 3-5 days. Many Beverly Hills DUI cases never even go to trial. You will likely choose between accepting a plea bargain with a light sentence or reduced charge or going to court to fight for an acquittal. Your lawyer can help you determine which is the more intelligent choice in your case and can represent you in court.
Preparing Your DUI Defense in Beverly Hills
Your DUI lawyer in Beverly Hills, CA, is responsible for reviewing the various ways you could potentially defend yourself against the allegations against you. Fortunately, you have multiple options. For some, pretrial diversion programs may be available. For others, preparing a compelling defense strategy will be permanent.
Pretrial diversion programs give individuals who are charged with non-violent, first-time offenses the opportunity to avoid jail time and other criminal penalties associated with a conviction. Instead, you must complete the terms of the program, and the district attorney will dismiss or reduce the DUI charges against you.
For example, if you are a registered nurse arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, by entering a pretrial diversion program, the district attorney could reduce the charges against you to a less reckless or drop them entirely, allowing you to protect your professional license to practice.
Failure to fulfill the requirements of a pretrial diversion program is ill-advised. If you do not meet the criteria, you will be formally charged with a DUI, and the state will proceed with your case at trial.
Potential DUI Defenses
Unfortunately, not every person charged with drunk driving will be eligible for pretrial diversion. If you do not qualify, you can rely on your DUI attorney in Beverly Hills, CA, to analyze the specific details of your case and determine which defenses are most likely to result in an acquittal or other favorable outcome.
Some potential defenses frequently used in DUI cases include:
- Being unlawfully stopped by the police
- Police illegally obtaining evidence through an unlawful search and seizure
- Breathalyzer calibration issues
- Mistakes with the handling of the defendant’s chemical blood alcohol test sample or results
- Lack of sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction
- Mistake of fact
How a Beverly Hills DUI Lawyer Makes a Difference
Do not undervalue the impact that an experienced DUI attorney can have on your case. They understand the legal process and all the strategies that can lead to a good outcome in a DUI case—and they can see which ones are most likely to work in your unique case.
Some of the tactics they can use include:
- Disputing the accuracy of the breath or blood test, if there was any irregularity in how it was carried out.
- Finding flaws in the arrest procedure or violations of your rights. This can lead to suppressing evidence against you.
- Finding errors in police statements, which calls their testimony into question.
- Exploring alternative explanations for a breath test result, such as the use of mouthwash or breath spray that contains alcohol.
Do Not Face a Judge without a DUI Attorney
The 45 days until your trial date may seem like a long time now, but they’re passing fast—and legal deadlines are passing with them. Every week that you go without representation is a week that a lawyer could have been fighting for your acquittal, your driver’s license, and your freedom.
Our site exists to make it easy and affordable for you to speak to a DUI lawyer. We have a network of experienced attorneys, and we will match you with one with experience with cases like yours—for free. A dedicated Beverly Hills DUI attorney will offer you a 100% free consultation and discuss your case with you, so you can see your odds and what the best way to handle it is.
Do not wait until you are sentenced. Get the legal help you need now when you need it most. Fill out our secured contact form or call our office for your free defense evaluation today.