Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
A DUI in Duarte, CA is serious. DUI is regarded as a criminal offense, not just a traffic ticket, and penalties are tougher than they’ve ever been. The consequences of a DUI now include jail time, huge fines, a suspended driver’s license, and mandatory traffic safety classes. A single conviction can affect you for the rest of your life.
That’s why you need to fight your case—and there’s no greater resource than a Duarte DUI lawyer. With a good DUI lawyer on your side, you have more than just legal representation—you have a knowledgeable guide through the court system, and leverage in fighting the DUI charge. Your lawyer may be able to reduce the charge to something less serious, negotiate away jail time, or even get you found Not Guilty. They may also save you substantial money.
The Price of a DUI in Duarte
Under California state law, driving under the influence is classed as a misdemeanor—and it’s one of the most expensive misdemeanors you can face. The fines and fees for DUI have spiraled upward over the years, to the point where even a first time conviction can now cost you over $15,000. To the City of Duarte this money is seen as a source of revenue. Like many local government, Duarte has toughened enforcement to get as many convictions as possible, and shows little mercy to those they catch. The area holds DUI sweeps and checkpoints to get as many arrests as possible.
Once arrested for DUI you face a variety of penalties. California law sets different penalties depending on whether it’s your first, second, or third or subsequent DUI—but none of them are easy to live with. The penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Fines. The starting fine for a DUI is $390, but the court adds a variety of administrative fees on top of it. The minimum you’ll end up paying is at least $1,800.
- Jail time. Jail is now part of all DUI sentences. You may get as little as two days or as much as six months.
- Losing Your License. License suspension is mandatory if convicted of DUI. You may lose it for a few months or up to a year.
- DUI School. California requires DUI convicts to attend “DUI school” to teach you traffic safety. For a first time conviction, this class will last three months and cost you hundreds of dollars.
Repeat offenders face even tougher penalties, including a year in jail or hard time in state prison, tens of thousands of dollars in fines, years of license suspension and DUI school, and potentially even felon status. In addition, all DUI offenders may be ordered into addiction treatment, forced to install an ignition lock on their car, and face sky high insurance rates once they can finally drive again. In some cases you could lose your license forever.
What Happens After a Duarte DUI Arrest?
DUI cases start many ways. In Duarte you may have been arrested by the LA County Sheriff out of the Duarte Satellite Station, or a state trooper out of Baldwin Park. In most cases you will be booked and processed at the sheriff’s Temple Station. Depending on your record, you may be released within a day or so, or kept in jail until your arraignment. But no matter how your arrest begins, the process is the same for all DUI cases—and it involves three crucial deadlines you cannot afford to miss:
- The arraignment. Your arraignment will happen within 1-3 weeks of arrest. It’s a short hearing before a judge, and the main purpose is to enter your plea. However, the arraignment is also your first chance to face the prosecutor in court. They’re feeling you out to see if you will be easy to convict. What they don’t want to see is a reputable DUI lawyer at your side. When you have a good lawyer, it tells the prosecution you will not go down easy, and it makes them reconsider their approach. In many cases, this is all it takes to get you a better offer.
- The DMV hearing. The DMV hearing is optional, but you must not miss it if you want to keep driving. And you must request this hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you don’t, the DMV automatically suspends your driver’s license without a trial. Ask your DUI lawyer to handle the hearing for you.
- The trial. If you go to trial it will be held at the West Covina Courthouse. However, many DUI cases never go this far. Your lawyer will work to win your case for you before your trial date ever happens. They may do this by getting the charge dropped, having the judge dismiss the case, or convincing the prosecutor to reduce the charge.
How Does a DUI Lawyer Beat a DUI?
DUI lawyers take a systematic approach to beating a DUI charge. They look at all the evidence against you and work to eliminate it one by one. If key evidence is thrown out of the case, even the toughest DUI can be winnable. For example:
- Breath test or blood test data can be dismissed if testing protocol was not followed
- Officer testimony may be weakened if the officer makes inconsistent statements or shows signs of bias
- Evidence gathered from the scene is only valid if the arrest was legal and police had a right to search or investigate
- Statements you made during questioning may not be admissible if your rights were violated
Without this evidence, a prosecutor’s case against you folds. This is how your lawyer brings the prosecution to their knees.
Talk to a Duarte DUI Lawyer for Free
We believe every driver has a right to a good defense. That’s why we work to put drivers like you in touch with the best DUI lawyers in the Duarte area. We work only with respected, reputable lawyers who focus exclusively on DUI. And when we connect you with a lawyer, they’ll give you a complete case consultation for FREE.
Don’t wait. Build your defense while you still can. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your FREE consultation today.