Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
A DUI arrest in Culver City is a serious charge. Culver City does not take drunk driving cases lightly, and the penalties for DUI have gotten far tougher across California. Rather than a simple ticket, a DUI conviction now involves a suspended license, mandatory driving safety classes, massive fines and potential jail time. If you don’t defend yourself, you may feel the effects for the rest of your life.
The best way to fight a DUI is to have a good Culver City DUI lawyer on your side. Your DUI lawyer will be your counsel in a complicated legal landscape. They will know how to address the evidence against you, and can often beat even the most serious DUI cases. Your lawyer may be able to get the DUI charge dropped, have it reduced to something more minor, or save you thousands of dollars.
The Cost of a DUI in Culver City
DUI has become big business. Fines have spiraled statewide, even if you have no previous criminal record. A first time DUI in southern California can cost you as much as $15,000.
Culver City sees these fines as a source of revenue. Law enforcement frequently holds large DUI roadblocks in the area. The goal is to get as many arrests as possible, and the courts do not go easy on those who they catch.
The penalties for DUI are steep. For a first time offender, they include:
- Fines and fees. The base fine for a DUI is $390. But the court adds other fees on top of that, bringing the minimum to about $1,800. It can be much higher.
- Jail time. All DUI’s now carry possible jail time. The minimum is two days, and the maximum for a first offense is six months.
- License suspension. Your driver’s license will be taken away for at least several months, and often much longer.
- DUI classes. You will be required to enroll in a three month DUI “school” at a cost of $500 or more.
These are first time penalties. If you have prior DUI’s, California Law has even steeper penalties. They can include:
- Up to a year in jail or up to 16 months in prison.
- Fines and fees that often go over $10,000.
- Up to 30 months of mandatory DUI classes.
- Possible drug or alcohol treatment.
- Losing your license for two years, three years, or even for life.
What Happens After Your DUI Arrest
You may have been arrested by the Culver City Police Department, the LA County Sheriff out of the West Los Angeles Station, or the California Highway Patrol. The Culver Police Station has its own jail facility and you will typically be held there overnight. At this point you will likely be released, but this is only the beginning of a long legal battle.
The DUI process moves quickly. You immediately face several deadlines, and each has a real effect on your future. You need to be ready to act quickly and meet each of these deadlines head on. They include:
- The DMV hearing. In California, the DMV will take away your driver’s license shortly after your arrest. This is known as “admin per se” There is only one way to stop it, and you have only 10 days to do so. You have to file a request for a DMV hearing within those 10 days (starting from the date of your arrest). Your DUI lawyer can file this request for you and can also represent you at the hearing.
- The arraignment. Within several weeks of your arrest you will have a court hearing called an arraignment. Officially this is just a short appearance where you enter your plea. Unofficially, it’s where the prosecution sizes you up and decides how to proceed against you. Prosecutors are overworked and want to focus on the most winnable cases. If they see an experienced DUI lawyer at your side, they’ll know that you will not be easy to convict. This is often when they suddenly come up with a much more generous “deal” to offer you.
- Your trial. If your case goes to trial it will be held at the Inglewood Courthouse. But you may not have to stand trial at all. A good DUI lawyer will work to negotiate a favorable outcome before the trial date ever happens. They may even be able to get the DUI charge dropped, so you walk away free and clear.
How to Beat a DUI in Culver City
DUI law is complex. But the strategy used to beat a DUI is remarkably simple. A good DUI lawyer will go piece by piece through the evidence against you, and fight each individual piece. Doing this takes knowledge and skill, but it can be remarkably effective.
Here is how they approach the evidence in a typical DUI case:
- Breath tests. You were probably required to take a blood, breath or blood test. The results may seem to show you were under the influence. However, these tests aren’t reliable. Breath test machines are finicky and often make mistakes. Blood and urine samples have to be shipped to labs and mistakes are often made. Your lawyer will review all the data involved in your test. If there is any breach of protocol, the test result may be no good.
- Police testimony. Police will say you “smelled like alcohol” or had “bloodshot eyes.” But police may add these details in later or get different cases mixed up. Your lawyer will grill the arresting officer at each stage, including the DMV hearing, and look for inconsistencies. If the police officer can be discredited, it makes them far less convincing before a jury.
- Incriminating statements. An average person won’t say something to incriminate themselves—especially not if they know it will be used against them. If you made a statement that sounds incriminating, your lawyer will check to see if you were informed of your rights and if the arrest was legal. If police violated procedure, your statements could be thrown out.
A good DUI lawyer is your single most valuable resource in the fight against your DUI. You should not face the judge without them.
Speak to Culver City DUI Lawyer for Free
You deserve a good defense. We can help you get it. We will match you to a top DUI lawyer in the Culver City area. Your lawyer will give you a FREE consultation to discuss your case and learn your legal options. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE consultation today.