Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
DUI is not a minor traffic violation in Hermosa Beach. It is prosecuted as a serious criminal offense. Over the years, penalties for DUI have gotten tougher, and courts have become stricter in enforcing them. You face jail time, suspended driver’s license, court-ordered DUI classes, and fines that can easily range into the thousands of dollars. One DUI conviction can affect you for the rest of your life.
You need to fight your DUI charge. The smartest way to do that is to speak to a good Hermosa Beach DUI lawyer. Your lawyer will advise you on how to approach your case, take on the prosecution, and work to get you an outcome you can be happy with. In many cases a DUI lawyer can get the charge against you reduced to something minor, like reckless driving. Or, they may be able to get the case dropped or win a verdict of Not Guilty. They could also save you a substantial amount of money.
Penalties of a DUI in Hermosa Beach
A DUI is a very expensive charge. Because it’s seen as a threat to public safety, fines have consistently gone up. A single DUI conviction in South California can now cost you as much as $15,000. To Hermosa Beach that price tag is a source of income. Unsurprisingly, the city is strict on enforcement and prosecution. The area routinely uses DUI checkpoints to catch as many drivers as possible.
If you’re convicted of a first time DUI, the penalties you face include:
- Jail time lasting anywhere from two days to a full six months
- Losing your driver’s license for anywhere from four months to a year
- Attending a mandatory traffic safety class known as DUI school, that lasts three months and costs $50 or more
- Paying fines and fees that add up to at least $1,800, and often much more.
These are just the first time penalties. Under California law, repeat offenders face stiffer consequences, such as:
- Up to one year in jail or 16 months in prison (more in some cases)
- Losing your driver’s license for two to three years
- Attending up to 30 months of DUI school at a cost of $1,800 or more
- Fines and fees that can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars
Your sentence may also include alcohol/drug addiction treatment or permanent license revocation. In some cases you could even be tried as a felon.
The Three Deadlines of a Hermosa Beach DUI Case
Every DUI case is different. You may have been arrested by the Hermosa Beach Police, the LA County Sheriff or the South Los Angeles division of the Highway Patrol, and you may have been held at the Hermosa Beach City Jail after your arrest. But every DUI case follows the same legal process. This process involves three important deadlines, each of which could affect you for years.
These deadlines are:
- The Arraignment. Your arraignment is a brief hearing where you appear before a judge and enter your plea. But it’s also your chance to stand up to the prosecutor. Prosecutors want easy victories, and they get them by pressuring people like you into pleading guilty. They don’t want to fight a lengthy court battle for every DUI case. When they see you come in with a good DUI lawyer by your side, they know that the easy victory is off the table. They may immediately give you a better offer simply because you have a lawyer.
- The DMV Hearing. The DMV has the power to take away your driver’s license before you even get a trial. This is known as “administrative suspension.” You can challenge the suspension—but you only have 10 days to do it. Ask your DUI lawyer to handle your hearing for you.
- Your Trial. Your trial will be set at the Airport Courthouse within 45 days of your arrest. It is a full trial with a judge and jury. However, you may never have to go to court at all. Your lawyer will work to beat the DUI charge before your court date ever comes.
Do You Need a DUI Lawyer in Hermosa Beach?
You are not required to have a lawyer to fight your DUI case. However, fighting a criminal charge as complex as DUI is extremely hard without dedicated legal advice. Your DUI lawyer understands the system you’re about to face and will act as more than just your legal representative—they will be the only person truly on your side in the criminal justice system.
Your lawyer will take a methodical approach to fighting your DUI charge. They’ll look at every piece of evidence against you and probe each one for weaknesses. Often, these are weaknesses that a person without legal training would not see. For example:
- Breath test results and blood test results may look convincing, but if the testing procedures weren’t followed to the letter, the results may not be admissible at all
- Police officer testimony is often believed to be reliable, but officers often confuse the facts of a case or have outright biases that can discredit them
- Statements or “confessions” may not be admissible in court if you were not fully advised of your rights
- The arrest itself may not have been done legally, in which case the entire case could be dismissed
As your lawyer demolishes the evidence against you, the prosecutor suddenly finds themselves with a very weak case. They may drop the DUI charge, reduce it to something minor, or simply lose altogether. Speaking to a lawyer may be the single most important decision you make in your case.
Talk to a Hermosa Beach DUI Attorney for Free
We believe you have a right to defend yourself. Let us help. We can connect you with a top DUI lawyer in the Hermosa Beach area. We work only with lawyers who are 100% focused on DUI defense, and every attorney we work with offers a FREE consultation.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get the help you need. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your FREE consultation today.