If you have been arrested for DUI in Claremont, you must defend yourself. Penalties for drunk driving have risen across California, which are considered severe criminal acts. If convicted, you face thousands of dollars in costs, a suspended driver’s license, mandatory DUI school, and the possibility of jail time. It is not a minor offense.
A Claremont DUI lawyer can help you fight your DUI. DUI attorneys in Claremont take on some of the most challenging drunk driving cases available and have a high level of success in turning them around.
Your DUI lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to get the charge dropped, have the DUI reduced to something less serious, or work out a solution that keeps you out of jail. In many cases, they will also save you a substantial amount of money.
The Cost of a Claremont DUI
A drunk driving conviction carries a high price tag. As laws get more rigid, the total penalties for even a first-time DUI can now cost up to $15,649.
These fines can be a lifelong burden, but the City of Claremont sees them as a cash cow. Law enforcement holds sobriety checkpoints at surprise locations to get as many arrests as possible, and the courts show little mercy when dealing with DUI cases.
But the penalties of a DUI conviction do not end there. The whole sentence for a first-time DUI in California will include the following:
- DUI School. This is a three-month course you must take after your conviction. You pay for the course out of pocket—typically well over $500.
- Losing your license. Every DUI now comes with revoked driving privileges. For a first-time DUI, this typically lasts four to twelve months.
- Jail time. You could be incarcerated for anywhere from two days to six months.
- Fines and fees. The basic DUI fine of $390 sounds manageable. But the court will add other costs onto it as well, bringing it to about $1,800. This is the minimum—it can be significantly more.
- Probation. You will be on probation for three to five years after your conviction. During this time, you face several restrictions. You may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
These are just for a first-time DUI. If you have had previous DUIs, California law mandates an even stricter sentence. This may include:
- Jail time of up to 12 months.
- Up to 16 months in state prison.
- Losing your license for two years, three years, or forever.
- Possible court-ordered addiction treatment.
- DUI school for up to 30 months.
- Fines that often go over $10,000.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest?
Every DUI begins differently, but all DUIs follow the same process. You may have been arrested by either the Claremont Police Department, the LA County Sheriff out of the San Dimas Station, or the Rancho Cucamonga branch of the California Highway Patrol.
You were probably held overnight at the Claremont Jail. Even if you have been released, your troubles are not over. You now face fast-moving legal deadlines, and you need to be ready to take action.
Claremont DUI Deadlines
Deadlines in a Claremont DUI case include:
The DMV Hearing
The California DMV has the power to suspend your license even if you are acquitted of DUI. They start this process the minute you are arrested. From that time, you have only ten days to request a hearing with the DMV.
This hearing is your only chance to prevent your license from being taken away. A Claremont DUI attorney can file the request for you and make sure you do not miss the deadline. They also know what the DMV hearing officer is looking for and can speak on your behalf when the hearing comes.
Within a few weeks of your arrest, you will appear before a judge at a hearing called an arraignment. This hearing aims to enter your plea (Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest). But it is also a chance to show the prosecutor you mean business.
Prosecutors expect most DUI defendants to be easy to convict. But if they see you appear with a reputable DUI lawyer at your side, they may think twice. Prosecutors do not want a lengthy, risky court battle and may make you a new plea bargain immediately.
You will have a trial date at the Pomona Courthouse, but the trial may never happen. When you get a DUI lawyer, they will look for a way to win the case for you without appearing before a jury. They aim to beat your DUI charge as quickly and effectively as possible and help you move on with your life.
How Do You Beat a DUI Charge in Claremont?
When lawyers dedicate their practice to DUI law, they learn dozens of strategies for picking apart the evidence that the prosecution uses. They work systematically to make the case against you as weak as possible. Then they try to end the case in your favor in one of three ways:
- Convince the prosecutor to drop it. Prosecutors do not like to fight a losing case and may be persuaded to drop the charges.
- Move that the judge dismisses it. If your lawyer can block enough evidence, the prosecution may have no case, and at this point, a judge may order the case dismissed.
- Knocking it down to a lesser charge. Negotiation is a big part of a DUI lawyer’s job, and they may be able to get the charge reduced to reckless driving or keep you out of jail.
Consider Pretrial Diversion as an Alternative to Trial
Although preparing a powerful defense is crucial if your case goes to trial, you might be able to avoid going to court entirely if you qualify for a pretrial diversion program. Instead of going through the hassle of bringing your case to trial, you might qualify for pretrial diversion if this is your first time being charged with drunk driving.
Your DUI lawyer in Claremont, CA, will carefully review your specific circumstances to determine whether you meet your eligibility requirements. If you qualify, be prepared to follow the program requirements. You might need to complete a drug or alcohol treatment program, get treatment for mental health issues, and abstain from drug or alcohol use.
You might also need to complete DUI school and attend a HAM or MADD VIP program. One of the top benefits of pretrial diversion is avoiding jail or prison time as long as you fulfill your program requirements. You can also prevent some of the more severe collateral consequences of a DUI conviction.
If your case does not go to trial and you are not formally charged with a DUI, you can protect your reputation and professional license and potentially even avoid suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. However, if you do not meet the program requirements after entering a pretrial diversion program, expect the prosecutor to proceed with the drunk driving charges against you.
Speak to a DUI Lawyer in Claremont for Free
We can match you with a top Claremont DUI lawyer who has the right knowledge for your case. Your lawyer will give you a confidential case evaluation and help you decide how to proceed.
Do not take risks with your future. Please fill out our quick contact form or call our office and get your 100% free consultation today.