A drunk driving arrest shouldn’t be taken lightly. If convicted of DUI, you can face real penalties like huge fees and fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and time in jail. Penalties for DUI are steep in California, which is why you should speak with a La Habra DUI attorney as soon as possible.
The earlier in the process you can get an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your team, the better. Your lawyer can fight for the quickest and most favorable outcome in your DUI case, which is always better than the alternative.
Is It Worth Hiring a DUI Lawyer to Represent Me?
A DUI can be a severe life-altering charge on your permanent record. While the first offense may grant some leniency on your end, you should never take that risk. Even though you have every right to waive legal counsel and represent yourself, you shouldn’t do this unless you have extensive legal knowledge and experience.
Hiring a lawyer is your best bet to challenge any DUI charges you may face. But, don’t just give up without a fight. Getting a DUI lawyer to help you out can make all the difference in your legal battle.
How Can a DUI Lawyer in La Habra Help My Case?
A La Habra DUI attorney who has the training and experience in DUI cases can make it hard to prove you’re guilty. They will heavily research your case, including the prosecution’s evidence against you, and work to poke holes in weak spots. For example, they may do any of the following.
Look at Your Arrest
Police officers are legally required to follow specific procedures when they make an arrest, search your vehicle, and question you.
Unfortunately, mistakes in this process are more common than you’d think, as officers are still human. Your lawyer will find out if officers violated any of your rights during the arrest and questioning process. If they did, your lawyer may be able to get evidence against you excluded from your trial.
Question the Arresting Officer
Your DUI lawyer will look for discrepancies or inaccuracies in the testimony of the officer who arrested you. But, again, police are human too, and they can remember things wrong. If your lawyer can point out inconsistencies in the testimony, it can significantly weaken the case against you.
Your lawyer may be able to question your arresting officer as early as the DMV hearing, so it’s essential to get them on your team early in the process.
Analyze Chemical Test Results
The prosecution may make breath and blood tests seem like definitive proof, but that’s not the case. There are several ways these tests can be wrong.
For example, breathalyzer devices can be thrown off by many things, including certain medical conditions, diets, or even alcohol from innocent sources like mouthwash. And blood tests can go wrong if the sample was drawn incorrectly or improperly handled or stored.
These are just a few ways the evidence against you can be inconclusive, and your attorney will question the validity of the results.
Having a lawyer at all can show the prosecution you’re serious about defending your case. In addition, since they deal with multiple DUI cases at once, they’re more likely to offer you a fair plea to settle your case sooner. And if your DUI lawyer makes the prosecutor’s job hard enough, they might end up dropping your case altogether.
Many DUI defendants assume getting a lawyer is pointless because they can’t possibly win their case. However, DUI lawyers win cases every day. Even if they don’t get it dropped completely, they can work to reduce penalties or the severity of a charge for their clients significantly.
Either way, it’s worth speaking with a DUI lawyer about what they can do to bring you a better outcome.
What Are the Costs of Getting a DUI in La Habra?
Being tough on DUIs is popular politically and also brings in a lot of government money, so the penalties for a DUI in La Habra are harsh—and they continue to rise. Here is what you can face for a first time DUI offense:
- A suspended driver’s license (unless you request a hearing with the local DMV within ten days and win the hearing)
- Fines and fees ranging from the minimum $390 to tens of thousands of dollars
- Anywhere between two days and six months in jail
- Mandatory DUI school of three months or longer (which costs about $500)
- Unofficial potential penalties like higher car insurance rates for having a DUI on your record
These are just the minimums. For each subsequent DUI offense within the last ten years, the California DUI penalties get higher.
By the fourth offense or higher, you’ll face a license suspension of four years (with possible permanent suspension), fines and fees of up to $18,000, up to 16 months in state prison, 30 months of DUI school, three to five years of probation, a convicted felon status, and possibly more.
What if My Son or Daughter Was Arrested for DUI?
Underage drivers or those under 21 have a lesser understanding of how much alcohol can genuinely affect them. As a result, they’re typically more likely to take risks than adults who have more life experience.
This, unfortunately, means many young people can get behind the wheel after drinking. While they had no desire to hurt others, this one type of mistake can leave them with a lifetime of consequences.
According to the California Vehicle Code § 23136, drivers under 21 face more substantial DUI penalties than an adult drunk driver under the state’s “Zero Tolerance” law. So, it’s essential to know how to guide their next actions and protect them from the worst penalties as a parent.
The best way to do this is by getting educated on the laws around DUIs, defending a DUI charge, and, more importantly, getting professional legal counsel. If your child has any detectable levels of alcohol in their system after being arrested, they may face these penalties:
- One year of a suspended driver’s license
- Fines of at least $100, not including court assessment fees
- Jail time between two days and six months
- Three to five years of DUI probation
And these are just the minimums. Plus, having a DUI on their record so young can impact college applications, future employment opportunities, and other lifetime consequences. This is why it’s vital to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as you can in the process. They can bring the right training and experience to the table so that you can fight for the best outcome for your child.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a La Habra DUI Lawyer?
How much it will cost you to hire a DUI lawyer in La Habra will depend highly on the complexity of your case and how many hours your lawyer works on your case. There’s no concrete way to value how much you’ll pay until you speak with a lawyer first. However, the costs associated with a DUI conviction are far greater than those associated with retaining a lawyer.
Speak With a La Habra DUI Lawyer Today
Soon after your arrest for a DUI, you need to take action quickly. Don’t wait until you’re in court. Contact an experienced DUI lawyer who can help. To get connected with a La Habra DUI lawyer for FREE today, call us or fill out the form to the right. We’ll get you a free consultation with a top DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible.