Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
If you’re facing a Burbank DUI charge there are tough odds against you. You face the possibility of jail time and you could lose your driver’s license. You’re also on the hook for substantial fines, which can easily total thousands of dollars. It’s a very serious charge—but only if you’re convicted.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your case. We firmly believe that every DUI defendant should go into their case with an experienced Burbank DUI attorney helping them. The right lawyer can help you fight to avoid fines, stay out of jail and even keep your driver’s license. In many cases, they can help you walk away acquitted of all charges.
The Cost of a DUI in Burbank, CA
California Law has taken an increasingly stern stance toward DUI offenses. Burbank is no exception. Approximately 350 people are charged with DUI in Burbank each year, and the District Attorney’s office prosecutes these cases aggressively. This is not only out of a concern for public safety—the fines and fees associated with DUI are a vital source of income for local government. DUI costs have soared in recent years, making it one of the most expensive misdemeanors on the books.
The penalties for DUI in California depend on whether it’s a first, second, or third+ offense. All convictions, even first time offenses, carry mandatory jail time. The penalties for a first DUI include:
- Minimum two days of jail, and up to six months in many cases.
- Fines and fees totaling at least $1,800. This includes the minimum fine of $390. If the judge chooses to make an example, the fine can be much larger.
- Mandatory license suspension for anywhere from four months to several years.
- Probation, mandatory DUI school, and potentially an interlock device. You pay the costs of DUI school and the interlock yourself.
If you’ve had prior DUI’s, the costs will be even steeper. You can face over a year in state prison, and up to $18,000 in fines and fees. Your case could even be tried as a felony.
What Happens after You Get Arrested?
You may have been arrested by the Burbank police, the California Highway Patrol or the LA County Sheriff’s office. In most cases they will book you and you will spend up to 24 hours in the Burbank Police Station. The next day you’ll be processed and released. Deadlines for you case start counting down immediately, and you need to be ready for each one:
- The DMV hearing. Your DMV hearing is your only chance to keep your driving rights over the next few months. Unfortunately, many drivers do not realize they have to request this hearing, and that there’s a strict 10 day window to do so. If you miss this deadline your license will be on administrative suspension until your trial. A good DUI lawyer is already essential. They can help you file the request with the DMV, represent you at the hearing, and improve your odds of keeping your license.
- Arraignment. The arraignment is an initial court hearing within a few weeks of your arrest. At this hearing you’ll enter your plea, you’ll be given a date for your trial. If you already have a DUI lawyer before your arraignment, they can use it as an opportunity to pressure the prosecution to negotiate.
- Trial preparation. The gap between the arraignment and the trial can be several months or more. During this time your lawyer will put together the strongest possible case. They’ll conduct extensive research, review all relevant evidence and find the prosecution’s weak spots. This is also when the most favorable deals are offered, and in many cases you will not need to go to trial at all.
- The trial. If you proceed to trial it will be held at the Burbank Courthouse. Remember that you do not have to prove you’re innocent. Instead, your lawyer only has to create “reasonable doubt” in the mind of the jury. They do this by discrediting the evidence against you, or suppressing it where possible. Many DUI cases end with an acquittal.
The Best Thing to Do for a DUI
When you’re charged with drunk driving, the court may offer you a free attorney, known as a public defender. Public defenders are good lawyers but they have a large case load, and very little time to dig through the evidence against you. In many cases, they will advise you to plead guilty and take the first offer the prosecution makes. This can be disappointing, especially when these offers are little better than being convicted in court.
Hiring your own DUI attorney makes a difference. These attorneys will go through every possible strategy for defending your case. They may be able to win your case for you, or get the charges dropped to something less serious than DUI. Frequently, they can negotiate a much better deal for you—a real deal, that will improve your outcome for years after your case.
DUI attorneys are skilled at taking apart even the most difficult cases. There are several ways your lawyer might work to turn things in your favor:
- Questioning the legitimacy of the arrest. Sometimes the police slip up, or even intentionally break protocol. This violates your rights as a defendant. If your lawyer finds evidence of this in your case, they may be able to get the entire DUI charge dismissed.
- Questioning the evidence against you. DUI evidence is rarely as conclusive as you might think. Even data from breath tests can be inaccurate. Your DUI lawyer will know how to call the evidence into question, and in some cases, have it suppressed from the trial altogether.
- Sleuthing. Police officers may change their story after an arrest, even if they do it unconsciously. If their statements at a hearing or in court contradict their initial statement, it calls their credibility into question. In other cases, your lawyer may be able to find video footage or a witness that contradicts the police statements.
- Negotiation. The prosecution may be open to a deal. This is most likely when you have a DUI lawyer, because it makes your case harder to prosecute. Sometimes the entire charge will be dropped.
DUI lawyers use all of these tactics together to create the best possible outcome for you. This could include being acquitted, having the case dismissed, or getting the DUI reduced to a lesser crime. It can also mean saving thousands of dollars in fines and fees.
How to Find the Best DUI Lawyer in Burbank, CA
Burbank has countless law firms. Not all of them focus DUI cases, however. With your future on the line, you should hire only the most qualified DUI defense attorney:
- Look for a lawyer who focuses exclusively on DUI cases. A generalist will not have the same experience.
- Ask what special training or credentials they have in DUI defense. The most dedicated lawyers continually take classes and special trainings to improve their knowledge of DUI law.
- Make sure you’re offered a free consultation to assess your case. You should have a chance to get to know the lawyer before you agree to hire them.
Don’t Let Your DUI Ruin Your Life
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you need to act fast. Deadlines are already looming that will determine the future of your career, your freedom, and your ability to drive. The only way to meet your arrest head on is to have a professional at your side.
Our site exists to connect you with the best DUI attorneys in Burbank. This service is completely FREE. All we need are a few basis details, and we’ll get to work immediately matching you with a pre-screened DUI lawyer. Every lawyer we work with offers a 100% free, no obligation consultation.
Don’t take a chance with your future. Fill out the form to your right, or call us at (310) 862-0199 to get started immediately.