Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
The prospect of facing a DUI charge in Inglewood, CA can be daunting. The penalties for a DUI conviction are very serious, and include jail time, steep fines, and a mandatory suspension of your driving license. Many DUI defendants make the decision not to fight their DUI charge, only to deal with the legal fallout for the rest of their lives. This does not have to be you.
Instead, you should speak to an Inglewood DUI lawyer as soon as possible. These lawyers are skilled at detecting and exploiting the cracks in the case against you. They may be able to negotiate a favorable deal on your behalf, or win your case for you.
The Penalties for DUI in Inglewood
The price tag for a DUI is constantly going up. The courts in Inglewood have an aggressive prosecution policy where DUIs are concerned, partially because these cases bring the city a lot of money. Because of this, Inglewood police routinely conduct city-wide DUI crackdowns.
The penalties for DUIs in California are set by California state law, and they get stiffer for each successive DUI charge on your record. But even first-time convictions can be expensive, possibly totaling over $15,000.
The comprehensive list of penalties for a first-time DUI include:
- Fines. These start at about $1,800 minimum. This includes the $390 minimum fine and a stack of court fees that are mandatory in every DUI case. If the judge does not choose the minimum fine, the total can cost thousands more.
- Jail Time. If convicted you will likely spend time in jail. For a first offense this is at least two days, but can be as high as six months.
- Losing your license. A conviction means that your license will be suspended, for at least four months and potentially much longer.
- DUI School. If convicted you will be ordered to take a three month class on the dangers of driving under the influence, at a cost of $500, on top of the other fees you have to pay.
The penalties only get harsher from here. If you’ve had other DUI convictions in the past 10 years, this new charge could cost you tend of thousands of dollars in fines, lead to a year in jail or 16 months in state prison, get your license suspended for years, and require 30 months of DUI classes.
Understanding the DUI Process in Inglewood
DUI cases can begin differently depending on whether you were arrested by the Inglewood police, the LA County Sherriff’s Department, or the West Los Angeles office of the California Highway Patrol. No matter which department arrests you, you’ll most likely stay in jail at the Police Department Detention Facility overnight.
As soon as you are released there are a number of important deadlines you have to prepare for, including:
- The DMV Hearing. After your arrest you have only 10 days in which to schedule a hearing with the DMV. If you don’t, you will face what’s known as an “administrative suspension” of your license. The only way to keep your license until your trial is to request this hearing and convince the DMV that there’s reason to believe you weren’t driving drunk. The best way to do this is to have a DUI lawyer handle the hearing for you.
- Arraignment. At your arraignment you will appear in court to enter a plea and receive a trial date. If you already have legal representation, this will send a strong signal to the prosecuting attorney that you take your defense seriously. By itself this may be enough for them to offer you a favorable deal.
- Trial Preparation. There will be a period of several months between the arraignment and the trial, and your lawyer will spend this time preparing your case. They will examine the evidence against you, looking for things like irregularities in the analysis of blood tests or breath tests that they can use to strengthen your position. This is when the best deals are typically offered.
- Trial. Most DUI cases are settled before they even reach trial. If not, your case will be heard by a judge and jury at the Inglewood Courthouse. If you are going to trial it’s imperative to have the most reputable DUI lawyer possible representing you. DUI cases defended by an experienced attorney will frequently end in acquittal.
How Can an Attorney Help Your Case?
A lot of people are under the impression that results from breath, blood, or urine tests are conclusive, but they aren’t. Many DUI charges are dropped or defeated in court regardless of these test results. In fact, experienced DUI lawyers have ways to rebut almost any evidence that could possibly come up—and can often turn around even the most difficult cases.
The tactics your lawyer may use include:
- Challenging chemical tests. Objecting to the test results will be your lawyer’s highest priority. Blood and breath tests are skewed by many things including diet, mouth wash, machine miscalibration, and simple laboratory errors. If your lawyer finds out any reason to call the test results into question, they may be able to have this evidence tossed out.
- Protecting your rights. You are entitled to certain legal rights during an arrest and during questioning. If these rights are not respected, the statements you made to police might not be admissible.
- Finding errors in testimony. Police officers make mistakes. A lawyer can cross examine officer or witness statements and try to find any places where the story is inconsistent, thereby casting doubt on its validity.
- Alternative Explanations. There are a variety of reasons a person might appear to be intoxicated even if they aren’t, including stress, distraction, or just plain making a mistake. The fact that a police officer believes you were driving drunk doesn’t mean that you were.
Your lawyer’s highest priority is to win your case. They may be able to get the charge reduced, the sentence reduced, or even get the charges dropped altogether. They will not rest until they have achieved the best outcome.
The Time to Act is Now
You deserve the best defense possible, but you have to act quickly to get it. The legal process moves quickly and the first deadline is only 10 days after your arrest. The earlier you hire a lawyer, the more they can do for you.
We want to help you. Our site exists to match you with an experienced Inglewood DUI lawyer. We have cultivated a network of the most talented local attorneys. Each of these attorneys focus exclusively on DUI cases and offer a FREE consultation.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your free case consultation, today!