Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Facing a DUI charge in Calabasas, CA can be daunting. The penalties for a DUI conviction can include jail time, serious fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license. You will find that if you don’t take steps to defend yourself may be dealing with the legal fallout for the rest of your life.
That’s why it’s important to speak to a Calabasas DUI lawyer as early in the process as possible. A qualified DUI attorney will be able to probe for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, work to get you the best possible deal, or potentially win your case.
The Cost of a DUI Conviction in Calabasas
A DUI conviction carries a high price tag. Because DUI cases bring in a lot of money, courts in the this tiny city has dozens of DUI arrests each year.
For a first time DUI, you face the following minimum penalties:
- Fines. Fines begin with a $390 minimum, but, when combined with court assessments and other fees, end up closer to $1800. This is the low end of DUI fines.
- Jail Time. DUI convictions do carry jail time. A first time offender will face at least two days in jail, and if there are aggravating factors, potentially six months.
- Suspended License. If convicted you will lose your license, period. The suspension will last at least a few months and potentially much longer.
- DUI School. If convicted you will be ordered to take a three month DUI class at a personal expense of $500, in addition to whatever other fines and fees you incur.
Repeat offenses bring even stiffer penalties. A second or third DUI conviction could cost you tens of thousands of dollars, a year or more in jail or state prison, and multiple years of license suspension and mandatory DUI classes.
How the DUI Process Works in Calabasas
Most Calabasas DUI cases begin with spending the night in the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. The exact booking process may vary depending on whether you were arrested by the local sheriff or the California Highway Patrol. But the legal process from there out is the same.
As soon as you are put in handcuffs you’re under a number of tight legal deadlines, each of which affects the outcome of your case:
- A Hearing with the DMV. There’s only one way to keep your license until your trial date, and that’s by scheduling a hearing at the DMV to discuss your case. You have only 10 days after your arrest to file this request. If you let the deadline pass, you will face “administrative suspension” of your license even though you haven’t been convicted yet. Ask a DUI lawyer to represent you at this hearing—they know how to make a case for letting you keep your license.
- Arraignment. An arraignment is a court appearance where you enter a plea and get a trial date. It’s important to have an attorney at this hearing. Their presence sends a clear message to the prosecution that you will not be an easy case. This gesture alone is sometimes enough to secure you a favorable plea offer, especially if your attorney is well respected as a DUI lawyer.
- Trial Preparation. You will have to wait one or more months for your trial, and this is time that your attorney will use to prepare your defense. They’ll work to strengthen your case and weaken the evidence against you. This is when the best deals are typically offered.
- Trial. If you go to trial it will likely be at either the Van Nuys Courthouse West or Chatsworth Courthouse. Many DUI cases resolve without ever going to court, but sometimes it’s the best option to fight for a good outcome. DUI lawyers are experienced courtroom advocates, and many DUI cases end in acquittal.
What Can a Calabasas DUI Attorney Do to Help You?
There is no question that an experienced DUI lawyer will make a difference in your case. The evidence against you is not full-proof, but it takes knowledge and special training to spot the weaknesses and use them to your advantage. Tactics your DUI lawyer can use include:
- Disputing the chemical tests. Medical conditions, use of mouthwash, diet, and machine mis-calibration are just a few factors that can throw off a breath test. And blood test results become questionable if the sample was not handled according to state protocols. If there was an irregularity in your chemical test, your lawyer may be able to get it excluded from the evidence.
- Checking for rights violations. You have rights throughout the process of being arrested and questioned. If an officer broke protocol or violated these rights, your statements might not be admissible—including anything incriminating you may have said.
- Spotting errors in officer testimony. Police officers are not all-knowing, and often act on guesses and assumptions when they make an arrest. Unfortunately these assumptions are often stated as facts in the police report. Your lawyer will be able to cross examine statements made by the arresting officers and any other witnesses. If your lawyer spots inconsistencies, it casts doubt on the strength of the testimony.
- Alternative Explanations. Just because a person seemed to be drunk doesn’t mean that they were. Drowsiness, stress, or basic driving errors can all give the appearance of driving under the influence.
Your lawyer’s job is to win your case, and that is the outcome they fight for. Even when a win is impossible, they can often negotiate a deal that reduces the charges, the penalties, or both.
Get a FREE Case Evaluation
You need the best possible legal defense, and you must act quickly to get it. The earlier you speak to a lawyer, the better.
Our site is here to match you with an experienced Calabasas DUI lawyer at NO charge to you. We draw on a network of talented attorneys who focus on DUI exclusively. They will give you a FREE case evaluation.
The time to act is now. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your FREE consultation, today.