Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
DUI is not a minor offense in Manhattan Beach. The penalties for drunk driving have gotten much stricter over recent years, and it’s now regarded as a serious criminal charge. You will face potential jail time and you will lose your license if convicted. You also face mandatory DUI education classes, years of probation, and staggering fines. If you’ve been arrested for DUI you need to defend yourself.
The best way to fight your DUI charge is to have a good Manhattan Beach DUI lawyer on your side. DUI lawyers know how to take on even the toughest evidence against you. They frequently help clients get out of a DUI charge and may be able to get your case dismissed, win it outright, or reduce the charge to something less serious. They may even save you thousands of dollars.
How Much Does a DUI Cost in Manhattan Beach?
A DUI is a very expensive charge. Even a first time drunk driving conviction can cost you up to $15,600 in fines and penalties. Much of this money is revenue for local government, and the City of Manhattan Beach holds “maximum enforcement periods” with multiple checkpoints. All drunk driving suspects are fiercely prosecuted.
The penalties aren’t strictly financial. Every first time DUI sentence will include:
- License suspension. Your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of several months and often up to a year.
- Potential jail time. A first time DUI carries the possibility of incarceration, with anywhere from two days to six months in the county jail.
- DUI School. You will be ordered into an educational program on the dangers of drunk driving. This program lasts three months and costs hundreds of dollars.
- Fines. The fines for a first time DUI start at $390, but with court fees they go to roughly $1,800. They can be much higher.
- Probation. You will remain on probation for at least three years after your DUI. This probation may include a mandatory ignition interlock on your car, court-ordered rehab or other conditions.
These are just first time penalties. California law establishes even tougher penalties for repeat offenders. These can include a year in jail, over a year in prison, years with no driving, and a 30-month DUI school program that costs you nearly $2,000. The fines and fees also rise dramatically, often into five digits.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest?
Manhattan Beach DUI’s may be handled by the Manhattan Beach Police Department, the LA County Sheriff, or state troopers out of the West Los Angeles office. In most cases you will be processed and spend time in the Police Department Jail. You may be released within a day or two, but the legal process has only begun—and you need to meet it head on.
The DUI process is punctuated by three important deadlines. Missing any one of these deadlines could have consequences for the rest of your life. They are:
- The DMV hearing (10 days). From your arrest you have only 10 days to fight for your driver’s license. During this time you must request a hearing from the DMV. If you don’t, they will put your license on administrative suspension—even if you haven’t been found guilty. Ask your DUI lawyer to help you file the request. They can also represent you at the hearing.
- The Arraignment (1-3 weeks). Shortly after your arrest you will have a court appointment called an arraignment. This is where you appear before a judge and plead Guilty or Not Guilty. But it’s also a chance for the prosecutor to see whether you’re going to put up a fight. If you have no lawyer, they’ll assume you can easily be steamrolled into a conviction. If you have a lawyer who has a strong reputation for DUI work, however, they will start to worry. The prosecution may offer you a better deal purely because you have representation.
- The Trial (30-45 days). If you go to trial it will be held at the Torrance Courthouse. But your DUI lawyer’s aim is to prevent that from ever happening. They will work to resolve the case in your favor before your trial date.
What Does It Mean to Beat a DUI in Manhattan Beach?
Beating a DUI can mean many things. It doesn’t usually require a courtroom battle and convincing twelve jurors to find you Not Guilty. More often your lawyer will aim for a much less risky outcome:
- Getting the case dropped. Prosecutors are overworked and don’t take on cases they think they can’t win. If your lawyer can make their job hard enough, they may simply agree to drop the charge altogether. In that case you are not guilty by default.
- Getting a judge to dismiss it. Other times the prosecutor will be stubborn. But your lawyer will work to argue against each piece of incriminating evidence. They may be able to get the results of a blood alcohol test thrown out, for example, or show holes in police testimony. If the prosecutor’s evidence is weak enough, a judge may be convinced to dismiss the entire case. Again, you go home a free person.
- Downgrading the charge. If your DUI lawyer puts pressure on the prosecution, they may offer you a way out. This could be as simple as reducing the charge to something much less serious than DUI.
Talk to a Manhattan Beach DUI Lawyer for Free
Our site exists to connect you with the best Manhattan Beach DUI lawyers. Every lawyer we work with focuses their practice 100% on drunk driving law. Your lawyer will give you a FREE consultation and help you decide on what legal course to take. This meeting comes with no obligation and may be the single most important step you take to defend yourself.
Don’t let the prosecutor decide your fate. Get a lawyer you can trust. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE consultation today.