Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Facing a DUI charge in El Monte, CA can be extremely challenging. Penalties for DUI convictions are serious, and include a suspended driver’s license, time in jail, and paying a pile of steep fines. Many DUI defendants spend years dealing with the legal fallout of their conviction because they didn’t take steps to dispute the charge when they had the chance.
That’s why it’s crucial to hire an El Monte DUI lawyer as early in the process as possible. These lawyers devote their career to turning around cases just like yours. They will work to secure you the most favorable deal possible and may even be able to win your case.
The Cost of an El Monte DUI
DUIs are not taken lightly. Courts in the El Monte area have adopted an aggressive stance on prosecuting DUI charges, in no small part because these cases bring in a lot of money. The El Monte Police frequently conduct sobriety checkpoints and DUI sweeps to maximize the number of arrests.
The complete list of penalties for a first time DUI includes:
- Fines. DUI fines supposedly begin at a $390 minimum, but get closer to $1800 minimum once you factor in other fees that the court charges every DUI convict.
- Jail Time. DUI convictions usually come with jail time. A first offence can get you at least two days in jail, but can become as much as six months in jail.
- Suspended License. If convicted you won’t be able to keep your license. It will be suspended for a couple of months, or possibly for much longer.
- DUI Classes. If you’re found guilty you will be ordered to take three months of classes on the dangers of driving under the influence, at a personal expense of $500, in addition to the other fees that have accrued.
And the penalties get stiffer if you’ve had a previous DUI. You could end up spending a year in jail or even longer in state prison, paying tens of thousands of dollars in fees, being unable to drive for years, and put into DUI treatment classes for as long as 30 months.
How the DUI Process Works in El Monte
Your DUI case may begin differently depending on whether the arresting officer belongs to the El Monte Police Department, the County Sheriff operating out of Temple Station, or the Baldwin Park branch of the California High Patrol. But I almost all cases you’ll spend the night in the local jail.
After your release, the hardest part of the process still lies ahead. There are a number of important legal deadlines you have to start thinking about immediately, including:
- DMV Hearing. You have just 10 days from the date you were arrested to schedule a hearing at the DMV. If you don’t do this you will face what is known as an administrative suspension of your license, even though you haven’t gone to trial yet. If you want to keep your license until your trial, you must schedule and win your DMV hearing, and having a good lawyer present can go a long way towards making that happen.
- Arraignment. An arraignment is a court appearance at which you enter a plea and receive a formal trial date. If you have already gotten a lawyer by this early point in the process, that will send a strong signal to the prosecuting attorney that you do not intend on giving up without a fight. This by itself may be enough to convince them to offer you a good deal.
- Trial Preparation. Between the arraignment and the trial there will likely be a period of several months which your lawyer will use to prepare. They will probe the case against you looking for weaknesses: for example, if there is evidence that blood tests have not been analyzed properly. This is usually when the best deals are offered.
- Trial. Many DUI cases don’t make it to trial, instead being settled before they get that far. If you do go to trial it will normally be at the El Monte Courthouse. While facing a jury can be daunting, remember that DUI lawyers do this professionally. It isn’t at all unusual for DUI cases to end in acquittal.
How Helpful is a DUI Attorney?
There is simply no question that having an experienced DUI lawyer on your side makes a difference. The evidence against you is not definitive, but challenging it requires legal knowledge. DUI lawyers will use tactics they have seen work in court, including:
- Disputing the chemical tests. The use of mouthwash, medical conditions, and machine miscalibrations are just a few of the things that can skew the results of a Breathalyzer. And although blood tests are more reliable, they require skill to perform, and if mistakes were made during analysis your lawyer might be able to get the results thrown out.
- Checking for rights violations. You’re entitled to certain legal rights after being arrested and before being interrogated. If an officer violates these rights at any point during the process, your statements—including incriminating ones—might not be admissible.
- Spotting errors in testimony. When an officer performs an arrest they must make certain basic assumptions, but these guesses are often recorded as fact in the police report. Your lawyer has the ability to cross-examine officers and other witnesses, looking for inconsistencies and weaknesses that may cast doubt on the validity of their testimony.
- Offering alternative explanations. Just because you appeared to be driving under the influence doesn’t mean you were. Drowsiness, driving mistakes, distraction, and stress can all affect performance on the road, but that doesn’t mean you should be hit with a DUI charge.
Your lawyer’s job is to help you win your case, and that is what they are going to try to do. They may be able to secure a reduced sentence, get the charge reduced to something less serious, save you thousands of dollars in fines, or simply bring back a Not Guilty verdict for you.
Get a FREE Case Evaluation
You need to act quickly to build the strongest defense possible. You have only 10 days your arrest to schedule a DMV hearing, and just a few months to prepare a winning case for trial. The earlier you can speak to a lawyer, the more they can do to help your case.
Our site is here to help. We will connect you with a pre-screened, highly qualified El Monte DUI lawyer, at no charge. Our network of attorneys focus exclusively on DUI work, and all of them offer a FREE consultation. This consultation is your chance to find out whether a lawyer can make a difference in your case.
Don’t wait until you’re out of time. Talk to a legal professional that will go to bat for you. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to claim your FREE case evaluation, today.