Driving under the influence is a criminal charge, although many assume it is a traffic issue. DUIs are the most common criminal charges that a defense lawyer handles. Your life can change from a DUI, as the penalties range from license suspensions to jail time.
Luckily you have options after a DUI arrest, and it does not have to cause irreparable harm to your life. Following an arrest, you must speak with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer.
The Legal Process Following a DUI Arrest
Legal deadlines, criminal charges, and defense strategies are overwhelming and stressful. Many people do not realize that the legal process starts with your arrest. When you are pulled over or are in an accident, police will administer aid and then book you.
You are given a chemical test during the arrest, and your license is taken away. After your overnight stay in jail, you must speak to a DUI lawyer in Culver City, CA, to help with the remaining legal process.
The temporary license will expire in 30 days, and you should schedule and attend a DMV hearing to get your license back before the suspension is extended. Aside from your license suspension, you will also attend an arraignment where you will submit your plea to the court.
Next, your Culver City DUI lawyer will handle the pretrial process to avoid further consequences. Sometimes it is in your best interest to go to trial, which is the final step in the DUI legal process.
Your Driver’s License Status
The outcome of your DUI case will impact your suspension or revocation. You will automatically lose your license after a DUI, but the suspension time will vary. Initially, your license is suspended for 30 days to give you time to request a DUI herring and take other steps to get your license back. The suspension can last four months or more.
A full suspension happens if you are convicted of a DUI with a minimum of two months, but it can be much longer. You can also face license restrictions after a DUI, which means you can drive under specific circumstances. Conditions usually allow people to drive to and from work or an alcohol treatment program.
Getting around and living without a license is challenging, and you must fight to keep your driving privileges.
DMV Hearings Are Important
The DMV hearing is vital in keeping your license, but it does not happen automatically. You must request it within ten days of your arrest. You can attend the hearing independently, but hiring a Culver City DUI attorney to represent you is best.
Depending on availability, the hearing can happen over the phone or in person. The DMV representative will ask three tricky questions to determine your license status:
- Were you lawfully arrested?
- What was your BAC?
- Were the arresting officers’ suspensions of intoxication reasonable?
You may not have the answers to these questions and can say the wrong thing without noticing. Your DUI lawyers will know how to answer these questions and steer the officer in a different direction. The DMV wants to charge you, not help you. Do not miss this hearing, as no appeals or extensions are available.
Breath or Blood Tests
Chemical tests for DUIs are mandatory under implied consent in California. These consent laws are broken down by saying you agreed to the test when you applied for a driver’s license, and refusals are illegal.
Refusal can worsen your charges. Chemical test refusal can lead to a $125 fine and an additional one to three-year license suspension.
There are three chemical tests that an officer can administer. The most well-known is the breathalyzer test at police stations or roadside. You will get immediate results after you blow into the machine.
A blood test is taken at the hospital if the drivers have injuries and require medical care. A urine test is also done in a hospital and is the least common but typically happens if there is illegal drug use suspicion. Results for blood and urine tests can take weeks.
Drugs and DUIs
Anything that impacts a person’s ability to drive can lead to criminal charges. DUI laws address alcohol and drug use in Culver City. While alcohol has legal thresholds to determine if someone is under the influence, drugs are challenging to evaluate.
Drugs have different impairments. Without a threshold, any drug use can lead to a DUI charge.
Urine and blood tests are the only ways officers can determine if you are using legal or illegal drugs. You cannot refuse these tests. The penalties are the same except for your license suspension.
You have an automatic license suspension and can lose your license upon conviction. Prescription drugs, medical marijuana, and over-the-counter medication can lead to a drug DUI. You legally use these medications, and your prescription should help prove your case.
Jail Time Following a DUI Charge
There are two possible times that you will go to jail, either upon arrest or when convicted. A DUI conviction usually carries prison time from two days to six months. If arrested at the scene, you will spend the night in jail and can be released on your own recognizance or by posting bail.
The terms of your release will depend on your criminal record and the details of your arrest.
DUI Accidents and Subsequent Penalties
DUI penalties will worsen if a collision, injury, or death occurs. Judges and juries are keen on harsher penalties when someone is harmed. These DUI charges are felony offenses that can impact you for life.
Jail time can often range from one to five years. You will also face a civil case from the accident, separate from your criminal case. While separate actions, the criminal case can impact the civil one.
Call Our Culver City DUI Lawyers Immediately
The outcome of your DUI arrest will depend on individual factors. When working as a DUI lawyer, you might be able to block evidence, reduce charges or walk away without repercussions. Many variables must be considered after a DUI, and you must have legal assistance throughout the process.
Don’t give up your rights or your future. Speak to a DUI attorney today.