Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Facing a DUI in Commerce, California is no slap on the wrist. It’s a criminal offense with stiff penalties. You may find yourself paying for years if you don’t fight it.
You can win your case. The strongest defense is your Commerce DUI lawyer. Your lawyer will help you avoid the most serious consequences by fighting the evidence against you and negotiating for a deal. In many cases, they may be able to get the charge reduced or dropped, or win your case outright. They may also save you thousands of dollars.
Consequences of a DUI in Commerce
A DUI carries a heavy financial cost. DUIs are a source of income for the City of Commerce. Local law enforcement often holds DUI roadblocks that stop up to 2,000 cars in a single night. Each DUI brings in money for the city, and so will yours if convicted. Between the criminal fine and the fees charged by the court, your total cost will be a minimum of $1,800 and could be much more. First-time offenses in southern can reach as high as $15,649.
But money is just the beginning. Even a first offense carries strict penalties, including:
- Loss of license. Your driver’s license will be revoked for up to one year. A good lawyer may help shorten this time substantially—or help you avoid it altogether.
- DUI school. Traffic safety courses are required for all DUI convicts. The basic class lasts three months, and you must pay for it yourself at a cost of $500 or more.
- Jail time. You probably already spent a night in jail at the Sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station. This was just the beginning. You may face as much as six months behind bars, or as little as two days. Your lawyer’s top priority is to help you avoid jail time.
- Probation. DUI probation last three to five years, and may come with additional penalties such as installing an interlock device in your vehicle. This device demands a breath sample each time you turn the key, or the car won’t start. It may also ask for more samples as you drive.
If you have had a previous DUI within the last ten years, you face even tougher penalties. California law mandates stronger sentences for second, third and fourth time repeat offenders:
- Longer license suspension. You may lose your license for several years. You may even suffer permanent revocation. You might never get to drive again.
- Years of DUI school. Your schooling may last for 30 months—nearly as long as a college degree. You may also have to undergo addiction treatment.
- More jail time. Repeat offenders may face up to one year in jail or 16 months in a state penitentiary, sometimes more.
- Felony status. Your charge may increase to a felony. This stays on your permanent criminal record and never goes away. Any time a job or housing rental asks for a background check, they will see this on your record. Felonies follow you for life.
- Cost. Fines and fees for repeat offenses often reach tens of thousands of dollars.
3 Important Deadlines in Your DUI Case
Your arrest was only the beginning. Whether you were arrested by the LA County Sheriff or a state trooper out of the East Los Angeles office, you must now meet three crucial deadlines:
- DMV hearing request. This request must be filed within 10 days of arrest. It is the only way to avoid “administrative suspension.” This suspension happens before you’ve even had a chance to defend yourself in court. Your lawyer can help you file the proper request and show the DMV you deserve to keep your driving privileges until trial.
- Arraignment. This is typically held less than 14 days from arrest. It is a brief hearing before a judge where you plead Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest. It’s also your first opportunity to show the prosecution you are willing to fight. Prosecutors work with limited time and resources, so they are reluctant to waste time on difficult convictions. You can show them your case will be tough with a strong DUI lawyer by your side.
- Trial. This usually happens within 45 days of arrest. You may stand trial at East Los Angeles Courthouse. The majority of cases are decided out-of-court, though. Your lawyer will fight to kill the evidence against you and then pressure the prosecution for a deal. They could dramatically reduce your penalties, and may even get your charge reduced or dropped.
Do You Need a DUI Lawyer in Commerce?
A good DUI lawyer can make all the difference to your case. They have the skills needed to turn your case around. The tactics that win cases like yours include:
- Disputing the accuracy of breath and blood tests. Did you submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test? These tests are far less reliable than they seem. Your lawyer will challenge them and attempt to get them thrown out.
- Finding flaws in arrest procedure. You need to be read your rights during arrest, but officers sometimes fail to follow proper procedure. Your lawyer can use this in your favor.
- Spotting errors in testimonies. Are the reports of police and witnesses accurate? These often contain inconsistencies. Your lawyer will spot such conflicts and use them to your advantage.
- Negotiating with the prosecution. The prosecution may be willing to bargain, especially if the evidence against you has already been softened. Your lawyer might get you a far more favorable outcome than any “deal” you were offered earlier.
A reputable DUI lawyer dramatically improves your odds. Your lawyer can fight for reduced penalties. They may even get your charge reduced to Reckless Driving or dropped entirely. Many DUI defendants walk away free of all charges every year.
Talk to a Commerce DUI Lawyer for Free
We exist to help you defend yourself. We can match you with a qualified DUI lawyer in the Commerce area. We only work with the best attorneys, and all of them offer complete case evaluations for FREE.
Fight for your future. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your FREE consultation today.