Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Facing a DUI in Encino, CA is intimidating. DUI convictions carry serious penalties, including a mandatory license suspension, fines, and jail time. If convicted you could spend years living with the legal consequences.
That’s why you need to speak to an Encino DUI lawyer. Your lawyer will have the experience necessary to choose the right defense in your case—and bring the prosecution to the table. They may be able to get you a favorable deal, or in some cases can get your case dismissed altogether.
What Does a DUI Cost in Encino?
Because DUIs bring in a lot of money, courts in the Encino and the surrounding San Fernando Valley area have adopted an aggressive enforcement policy. How aggressive? There are almost 8,000 DUI arrests per year in the Los Angeles area.
Penalties for DUIs are determined by California State law, which sets stiff sentences for a first offense and even stiffer ones for repeat violations. The minimum penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Fines. The minimum fine is $390, which is combined with “court assessments” for a total of approximately $1,800. This is the ground floor of what a DUI costs in Encino.
- Jail time. DUI convictions come with a jail sentence. A first offender will spend at least two days in jail, but the sentence could be as much as six months.
- Suspended license. If you are convicted you won’t be allowed to keep your license. Suspensions can last for as little as a few months or as long as a few years.
- DUI education. A conviction means you’ll be ordered to take a three-month DUI class at an expensive of $500. This is in addition to whatever other fees you are forced to pay.
These are minimums. A second or third DUI can mean paying tens of thousands of dollars in fees, spending a year or more in jail or state prison, attending a DUI class for as much as 30 months, and losing your license for years.
What to Expect in an Encino DUI Case
Encino is policed primarily by the LAPD, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the local branch of the California Highway Patrol. In most cases, no matter who arrested you, you will spend a night in jail—often the Van Nuys jail facility.
Once you’re released you must begin acting immediately. There are a number of important deadlines and court appointments that are already looming. These include:
- DMV hearing. You only have 10 days from your arrest in which to arrange a hearing with the DMV. If you don’t, you will receive what is known as an “administrative suspension” of your license—even though you have not been found guilty! This deadline is tight and if missed there is no second chance. It’s best to ask your DUI lawyer to file the request and represent you at your hearing.
- Arraignment. An arraignment is essentially just a hearing during which you enter a plea: Guilty or Not Guilty. If you have a DUI lawyer they will already be advising you at this stage. Their presence also makes it clear that the prosecution will not get to just roll over you. Prosecutors have a busy case load, and when they see that you’ve hired a lawyer they may be more likely to offer you a deal.
- Trial preparation. In most cases you will have only 45 days until trial. This is when your lawyer goes to work preparing your defense, examining the prosecution’s case, and working to have evidence against you thrown out. This is typically when the best deals are put on the table.
- Trial. Your case may not ever go to trial. If it does, your case will most likely be heard at the Van Nuys Courthouse East. It will be a trial by a jury of 12 individuals drawn from the local community. It is very difficult to win a DUI case without an experienced DUI lawyer. If your lawyer is able to win your case for you, you’ll be acquitted and face NO penalties.
How Does an Encino DUI Attorney Help Your Case?
Having a skilled DUI lawyer can dramatically change the outcome of your case.
DUI cases are complicated. Winning one, or getting the charge reduced, requires understanding scientific evidence, the legal protocols around how it’s collected, and a long history of which courtroom strategies work or don’t work. This is the expertise that your DUI lawyer brings to the table.
They will use a variety of tactics to help your case:
- Disputing the test results. Many factors skew the results of a breath tests, including diet, use of mouthwash, medical conditions, or simply a machine that wasn’t calibrated right. And while blood tests seem more reliable, they can be performed incorrectly or mishandled during analysis. If your lawyer can verify that test results were skewed or laboratory protocol was broken, the test results might be tossed out.
- Checking for rights violations. You are entitled to certain basic rights throughout the legal process, from arrest to interrogation. If officers fail to honor these rights it’s possible to have your statements or other evidence suppressed.
- Exposing errors. Police work is not a science. Officers use hunches and guesses during a traffic stop—and they don’t always remember the details correctly. By cross-examining the officer or comparing statements, a lawyer can turn up inconsistencies that cast doubt on their testimony.
- Alternative explanations. Swerving or causing an accident doesn’t prove you were intoxicated. The cause could be illness, sleepiness, distraction, or just basic human error. The fact that a police officer believes you were driving drunk does not mean you actually were.
Your lawyer will work tirelessly to win on your behalf. Even in cases where that isn’t possible, there’s much they can do to lower fees, reduce jail time, or even reduce the charge to something less than a DUI.
Claim Your FREE Case Evaluation
Beating a DUI isn’t easy, and you need to act fast. You have just ten days after your arrest to prevent a license suspension. And it takes time to subpoena evidence before your court date. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better off you’ll be.
We believe every driver accused of DUI deserves a good defense. Our site is here to match you with an Encino DUI lawyer from our network of legal professionals. Your lawyer will focus exclusively on DUI cases, giving them a depth of experience that other lawyers may not have. And they will give you a 100% FREE case evaluation.
Find an attorney you can count on before it’s too late. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your free case evaluation today.