Facing a DUI charge in Carson, CA, is severe. Local courts do not let drunk drivers off with a slap on the wrist. The penalties for DUI include:
- Losing your driver’s license
- Forced DUI treatment
- Thousands of dollars in fines
If you have been charged with DUI, you need to fight it. It is much easier to do that with a reputable Carson DUI attorney who knows the system and what methods work to beat a DUI.
While no criminal defense law firm can guarantee a win, an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer routinely brings back successful outcomes for their clients. They can end up saving you a substantial amount of money with comprehensive DUI defense strategies.
Costs of a DUI in Carson
Carson has cracked down on drunk driving. That is largely because DUI is one of the most expensive misdemeanors. Every time someone is convicted of drunk driving, the City of Carson and local courts make money.
This money comes directly from you, the defendant. It should be no surprise then that Carson holds frequent DUI checkpoints.
Penalties You Face if You Are Convicted
The penalties are set by state law and depend on your previous convictions. You will face different sentences for a first, second, third, or subsequent DUI in ten years. None of the sentences are light.
A first-time DUI conviction will include the following penalties:
- Fines and fees can total at least $1,800 and can add up to much more.
- Jail time lasts anywhere from two days to six months.
- Your license will be suspended for several months or much longer.
- You must attend “DUI school” for at least three months, at the cost of $500.
The penalties can soar much higher if the judge is not feeling generous. Even a first-time DUI conviction can end up costing you over $15,000 in total. If you have had previous DUIs, the penalties swell to include up to a year in jail, more than a year in prison, years of license suspension, and a court-ordered treatment program that drags on for 30 months.
In some cases, it can even be tried as a felony. Afterward, you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your car, and you will remain on probation, possibly for years.
A DUI in Carson Will Haunt You Forever
You may think completing your DUI sentence will be a relief since you can finally move forward with your life. However, you may be shocked to discover the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction.
- Loss of job opportunities: People found guilty of DUIs find their convictions follow them for years to come. If you apply for a job or try for a promotion, your employer may discover you were recently convicted of a DUI and may pass you over as a result.
- Being passed over for housing: You can also expect potential landlords to be cautious about renting or selling to you as someone who has been found guilty of a DUI offense.
- Professional license suspensions and revocations: Remember that your professional license could be on the line if you work in an industry where a DUI conviction could be devastating. This is often true for individuals to work in finance, healthcare, and other public service professions.
These are only a few ways your life could be turned upside down if you are convicted of a DUI in Carson. Working with a criminal defense lawyer to enter a pretrial diversion program or defend yourself at trial may be your best opportunity to put this trying experience behind you and avoid this devastating fallout.
What to Expect After a DUI Arrest in Carson
DUI cases start differently depending on who arrested you and the circumstances of the arrest. Carson is policed primarily by the Los Angeles County Sheriff, but the California Highway Patrol handles many DUIs out of the South Los Angeles office. Either way, you will likely be booked at the Carson Sheriff Station, and you may need to pay bail to be released.
This is only the beginning. The legal process before you is complicated, and it moves quickly.
You face legal deadlines that will affect you for the rest of your life. It is essential to make intelligent and informed choices before each one of these deadlines. The deadlines in the legal process include the following:
Did you know that you will lose your license if you do not request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest? The arresting officers are supposed to tell you this, but they do not always clarify it. You automatically lose your license just for being arrested for DUI, without even having your day in court; this is called administrative suspension.
The only way to stop it is to have a hearing with the state DMV, and you must request it within ten days. The best way to handle this hearing is to ask a DUI attorney to represent you.
Within 14 days of your arrest, you will need to attend a hearing before a judge known as the arraignment. This is a short hearing where you enter your plea (Guilty or Not Guilty). It is also your first chance to make an impression on the prosecutor.
Prosecutors have a lot of cases, and they usually prey on easy targets. They will size you up in terms of whether you have a lawyer and whether that lawyer has a strong reputation as a DUI attorney. If they think it will be hard to prosecute your case, they are more likely to offer you a bargain.
Carson DUI trials are often held in the Compton Courthouse within 45 days of your arrest. However, many cases do not go to trial. Instead, your attorney will work to resolve your case in your favor before the trial even happens.
They may be able to get the charges reduced, secure a light sentence, or even have the charges dropped altogether. If you do go to court, they will fight to have you found Not Guilty.
How to Defend Yourself Against DUI Allegations
If you hope to avoid the devastating consequences of a DUI conviction, making sure you have a powerful defense strategy is essential.
Before going to trial, you may want to consider talking with your DUI attorney in Carson, CA about entering a pretrial diversion program. Here, you can avoid going to trial and work out a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney in your case.
When you enter a pretrial diversion program for a DUI, you will need to meet specific requirements. For example, you might have to attend regular meetings with a probation officer, abstain from drugs and alcohol use, pass random drug tests, and attend DUI school or a MADD VIP program.
Once you fulfill the terms of your pretrial diversion program, the district attorney drops the charges against you or reduces them to a lesser offense, depending on the specific terms of your agreement. However, not everyone will qualify for pretrial diversion.
Crafting a Defense Strategy
If you are a habitual DUI offender or someone suffered severe bodily injury or death due to your drunk driving, you may not be eligible for a pretrial diversion. Some potential defenses that could be used to clear your name of the charges against you include:
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Unlawful stop
- Inaccurate field sobriety test results
- Inaccurate chemical blood alcohol test results
- Laboratory mistakes
- Unlawful search and seizure
- Violations of your constitutional rights
The Difference a Carson DUI Attorney Makes
Having an experienced DUI lawyer in Carson, CA behind you is the best thing you can do for your case. Judges see countless DUI defendants come and go, most of them making the same mistakes. Defendants will beg for mercy from the court or simply go into a case with no legal knowledge of what they are facing.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers know that only specific, time-tested DUI defenses are likely to work and that you have to choose the right one based on your case. Examples of what a DUI lawyer does include:
- Challenging the breath test or blood test: With this evidence, the case against you will stay intact.
- Challenging the arresting officers’ testimony: Lawyers often spot inconsistencies that other people would miss.
- Challenging the arrest: Was it legal to pull you over? Were you appropriately treated? Were you read your rights?
- Driving a hard bargain: A DUI lawyer can talk to the prosecutor on their terms and show them why it makes sense not to pursue your case.
The ultimate goal of your Carson DUI lawyer is to get your case dropped or have you acquitted of all charges. Even when that is not possible, they may be able to improve your outcome. They could save thousands of dollars or help keep you out of jail.
Speak to a DUI Attorney in Carson, CA for Free
Everyone accused of DUI deserves a good defense. Our website exists to help you get one. We take drivers like you and match you with an experienced Carson DUI attorney.
Every attorney in our network offers a completely free case consultation. This is where you will find out what they can do for your case and what to expect. There is no better step you can take.
Do not let a DUI arrest take over your life. Get the legal help you need. Please fill out our secured contact form or call our office and get your free consultation today.