Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
A DUI is a serious charge in Hawaiian Gardens. It’s treated as a criminal offense, and if you’re convicted you could face penalties for years to come. All DUI sentences can include jail time, license suspension, safety education classes, and fines into the thousands of dollars. In many cases, a single DUI on your record is enough to haunt you for life. You need to fight the charge.
Your best resource for fighting a DUI is a good Hawaiian Gardens drunk driving attorney. Your lawyer will help you make your way through a difficult legal system, and can show you how to improve your outcome. DUI lawyers routinely bring back victories for their clients. This could include having the DUI charge downgraded to something less serious, getting it dropped, or simply winning your case outright. In many cases they will also save you a lot of money.
The Cost of a DUI in Hawaiian Gardens
A DUI is one of the most expensive misdemeanors you can face. Lawmakers have made the penalties ever steeper, to the point that even the most basic DUI charge in southern California can cost $15,600 if convicted. This kind of expense can be devastating to a typical driver, but to local government it’s a source of money. The City of Hawaiian Gardens views DUI charges as a revenue stream and does everything possible to maximize arrests and convictions.
The reason DUI’s are so expensive is because you pay more than just fines if convicted. The court also gets to impose its own special “assessments” or fees, and you may end up paying restitution and other costs as well. Even if you’re given the minimum fine of $390, the real cost will be at least $1,800—more than four times the fine.
Other penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Jail. You will serve anywhere from two days to six months in jail. And while drivers arrested for DUI are initially held at the sheriff’s Lakewood Station, if convicted you could serve your time in a county facility far from friends and family.
- DUI school. You will be forced into a traffic safety class known as “DUI school” that lasts three months and costs you $500 or more.
- License suspension. If convicted you will lose your driver’s license. The suspension period lasts at least six months and often longer.
- DUI Probation. DUI probation lasts at least three years and may carry other penalties like no drinking, using an interlock device on your car, going to addiction treatment or more.
If you have previous DUIs on your record the consequences are even more severe. Under California law, repeat offenders may face up to a year in jail, 16 months in prison, 30 months of DUI school, three years with no driving, and potentially even felony status. A felony follows you for life affecting work, school and your basic rights.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest
Every DUI case is unique. You may have been picked up by the Sheriff’s Department or the Westminster division of the State Troopers. But no matter how your arrest began, once you’ve been booked you face the same legal process as every other DUI defendant. This process is marked by three major deadlines, and how you prepare for these deadlines will go a long way toward determining your outcome.
- The arraignment. Your arraignment could be held within just days of your arrest, or could be scheduled several weeks out. It’s your first court appointment. During this hearing you’ll enter your plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Content. While the arraignment is short, it’s also your first chance to make an impression on the prosecutor. Prosecutors don’t have the time to pursue every single DUI case. They want to push you to agree to a “deal” early on. By having a respected DUI lawyer, you show them that you won’t be an easy win—and you pressure them to offer something more generous. Get your DUI lawyer before the arraignment.
- The DMV hearing. After your arrest you have just 10 days to request a hearing from the state DMV. If you don’t, they will take away your license. This is known as administrative suspension, and it can happen even if you haven’t gone to court yet. Your DUI lawyer can handle the hearing for you. Move fast and ask them to fight for your license.
- Trial. Your trial will be held at the Bellflower Courthouse, often within just 30 days of arrest. This is all the time your lawyer has to prepare your defense. But in many cases you may be able to win your DUI without going to trial at all. Your lawyer will work to resolve your case out of court, or even get your case dismissed.
How Does a Lawyer Beat a DUI?
When a lawyer chooses to focus on DUI law, they spend years studying the techniques and tactics that have worked in real DUI cases. These techniques can be powerful. In some cases they can win cases that seem unbeatable. Some of the tactics they use include:
- Fighting the chemical test. You might think your case is impossible because a blood, breath or urine test says you were under the influence. These tests are often inaccurate. Your lawyer can challenge them if anything was wrong with the testing procedure or equipment.
- Proving the officer wrong. Officers make assumptions and they make mistakes. Your lawyer will tease out these mistakes and use them to weaken the officer’s credibility.
- Protecting your rights. Evidence can be blocked if officers violated your rights at any point in the process.
- Challenging the arrest. In some cases the arrest itself might have been done illegally, and your whole case could be thrown out.
These tactics can result in a major win, including potentially getting your charge reduced to Reckless Driving or eve walking away free of all charges.
Talk to a Hawaiian Gardens DUI Lawyer for Free
You deserve a real defense. We can help you get one. Let us match you with a Hawaiian Gardens area DUI lawyer. Every lawyer we work with offers a FREE consultation, giving you a chance to discuss your case with no obligation.
Don’t face your DUI alone. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE consultation today.