Lynwood is not an easy place to face a DUI charge. The city, police, and courts all take a firm stance toward drunk driving, and the penalties for DUI are steeper than ever. You could face a sentence that includes jail time, traffic school, a suspended driver’s license and thousands of dollars in fines.
That’s why you need to defend yourself. The best way to do that is to have a capable Lynwood DUI lawyer fighting for you. DUI lawyers know what it takes to beat a DUI in California and they will make a dramatic difference for you both in and out of the courtroom. They may help you keep your license, avoid fines or jail time, or even win your case outright. They can save you a lot of money.
The True Cost of a DUI in Lynwood
Many people don’t realize how expensive a single DUI can be. It has some of the highest fines out of all the misdemeanors in California law. Fines and penalties have been continuously increased over the years because DUI crackdowns are popular with the public. The result is that a single mistake can change your entire life.
The City of Lynwood takes full advantage of this. They hold huge DUI sweeps that can lead to 30 or more arrests in a single night. The reason for this is clear: at up to $15,600 for a single first time DUI conviction, drunk driving is big money. It’s a source of income for the city and the court.
What that means for you is that you face a wide variety of fines and penalties, and a difficult legal battle. The penalties are set by the California Vehicle Code, and they are based on your previous record. A first time DUI conviction is less severe than a second DUI in ten years, and a second DUI is less severe than a third. But all of them, even an innocent first mistake, are serious.
Here are the basic penalties for a first time DUI conviction:
- Jail. You may spend between 2 days and 180 days in the local county jail.
- Suspended driver’s license. Your license will be suspended and you will not be able to drive legally until it is reinstated. The period of suspension will be at least four months.
- DUI school. You will be required to attend a DUI traffic school lasting three months and costing $500.
- Huge fines. On paper, the minimum fine is only $390. But the court will also add special fees for a DUI conviction. In total, you will pay at least $1,800. As shown above, it can be far more.
If you have previous DUI convictions these penalties increase substantially. Jail time can be up to one year, or turn into a state prison sentence. Both the license suspension and the DUI treatment can drag on for years. And the fines escalate quickly, easily topping $10,000.
In addition to these standard penalties you may also have to put an interlock device in your car, and you will face probation after your sentence is served.
The DUI Process in Lynwood
Every DUI case begins differently. Lynwood does not have its own police department, instead contracting with the County Sheriff. The roads are also patrolled by State Police out of the Santa Fe Springs office. But most DUI cases are processed at the Sheriff’s Century Regional Detention Facility, and usually involve a night in jail. By the time you are released, the legal process has already begun.
This process is defined by a series of deadlines. Each of these deadlines affects your future. You need to be ready for each one and know what to do to give yourself the best fighting chance possible. Every step of the way is easier with a DUI attorney.
These deadlines include:
- Your DMV hearing
- Your arraignment
- The trial
The DMV hearing has the tightest deadline and you need to act right away. You have only 10 days to request a hearing with the DMV. This is your one and only chance to keep your license until the trial. If you miss this 10-day deadline your license will be automatically suspended. Your DUI lawyer can not only file the request for you, they can also represent you at the hearing itself.
An arraignment is a short court hearing several weeks after your arrest. This is not a trial. Ostensibly, all you do at the arraignment is enter your plea of Guilty or Not Guilty. But this is also where your DUI lawyer and the prosecutor first square off. The prosecutor is feeling you out to see if you will be easy to convict. If you do not have a lawyer, they will see you as an easy case. Get a lawyer before your arraignment date.
Your trial will usually be held at the Compton Courthouse, and will be a trial before a jury. But you may not have to go to trial at all. Your DUI lawyer will work tirelessly to get you a way out before the trial date even comes. This could mean getting the charges dropped, reducing them to a lesser charge, or arranging a bargain that is far more favorable to you than a typical judge’s sentence. This can make a difference for you for years after your case.
Do You Really Need a DUI Attorney?
Getting a DUI attorney is the most important step you can take to defend yourself. Your attorney will know which tactics work in court. They will put pressure on the prosecution to make an offer that works in your favor.
Advantages of having a lawyer include:
- Challenging the breath test. Breath and blood tests are not reliable. Your lawyer knows how to object to them and potentially get this evidence excluded.
- Challenging the arresting officer. Police officers are not perfect. A lawyer will find holes in their statements and call their word into question.
- Challenging the arrest itself. If arrest procedures were not followed, your rights may have been violated. Your lawyer can challenge this.
- Bargaining power. Prosecutors do not have time for a courtroom battle over every DUI case. Your lawyer will make it hard to send you to jail, and that makes it more likely that the prosecutor will offer you an out.
Talk to a Lynwood DUI Lawyer Before It’s Too Late
Your future is at stake, and you deserve the best defense possible. We want to help. We can match you with a local Lynwood area DUI attorney who has the experience you need. We have pre-screened the best DUI attorneys, and every attorney we work with offers a completely FREE case evaluation. This is your chance to make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.
Don’t turn down help when you need it most. Talk to an attorney today. Simply fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 to get your FREE consultation now.