Facing a DUI in Montebello is not easy. Penalties for DUIs have increased in recent years and include jail time, mandatory license suspension, and massive fines. You cannot rely on the mercy of the courts or prosecutor if you are facing a DUI charge. You must defend yourself.
The most robust way to do so is with the help of an experienced Montebello DUI lawyer. DUI lawyers help defendants like you through the system every day. They understand what constitutes a good defense in a DUI case and how to push the prosecutor to give you a good deal. They may even be able to win your case.
What to Expect When You Get a DUI in Montebello
DUI is taken seriously in Montebello. Thousands of dollars in fines are collected each year from checkpoints set up to catch drivers who are under the influence. However, you pay more in penalties than just fines.
The California Vehicle Code sets penalties for first-time, second-time, and third (or more) DUI. Even first-time penalties are strict. They include:
- Jail time: All DUI convictions in California now carry possible jail time. For a first DUI, the minimum is two days, but your sentence can be as high as six months.
- Suspended license: You will lose your license if convicted of DUI. The minimum suspension for a first offense is about four months, but it can be far longer.
- DUI school: One of the longest and most challenging parts of many DUI convictions is mandatory DUI school. This includes a minimum 3-month course which costs hundreds of dollars to attend. It is not optional.
- Fines: The official penalties for DUI are combined with “assessments” (fees) you must pay the court. Together, the bill is at least $1,800 for a first offense, although the total can be much higher.
Second, third, and subsequent DUIs face much harsher sentences. Jail time can last up to a year, or you can be sentenced to state prison. Los Angeles has 18-month and 30-month versions of DUI school, and you will be required to take one. License suspension can also last one year, and the fines can go into five figures. In addition, you may have to install an ignition interlock on your car, and you will face at least three years of probation.
Other Penalties for a DUI in Montebello
Criminal DUI penalties are not the only thing you need to be concerned with after being charged with drunk driving. If you are found guilty, the consequences on your life will be undeniable. Some of the collateral penalties you should be prepared for include the following:
Anyone who is not a United States citizen may be at risk for deportation after being arrested for or convicted of a DUI in Montebello. If you are currently in the process of applying for your green card, a conviction will likely put your visa in jeopardy.
Having a DUI conviction on your record will have a devastating impact on your reputation. When people run a background check for employment, when you are seeking credit, or when you are looking for housing, they will see your conviction on your record. This will likely result in you being passed over for these opportunities.
Although an expungement may be possible depending on the circumstances of your case, dodging a conviction should always be your top priority if you hope to protect your reputation.
After a DUI conviction, you must provide your insurance company with an SR-22 insurance form. This will signal to the insurance company that you are a risky driver. You can expect your auto insurance rates to increase dramatically when you are required to carry this insurance coverage.
You may be required to carry SR-22 insurance for several years, making it more challenging to afford to keep your vehicle on the roads.
Deadlines You Must Not Miss in Your Montebello DUI Case
DUIs may start in many different ways. The Montebello Police may arrest you, the LA County Sheriff, or state troopers out of the East Los Angeles office. You will usually, but not always, be booked at the City of Montebello Jail Facility.
No matter how your case begins, all DUI cases follow the same trajectory. You will face several crucial legal deadlines, each of which helps determine your future. You must go to all of them prepared.
The three significant deadlines in your DUI case are:
Your DMV Hearing
After a DUI arrest, you have only ten days to request a hearing with the DMV. If you do not, they will automatically suspend your license until your trial. Many DUI defendants do not know this until it is too late. A DUI lawyer can formally request the hearing for you and can represent you to the DMV. They will fight to help you keep your license.
Your arraignment is a court hearing where you plead either Guilty or Not Guilty. It lasts less than 20 minutes, but it’s a momentous occasion since it is your first time in court during your case. This is when the prosecution sizes you up to see if they can get an easy win out of you.
The best thing you can do at this point is to already have a DUI attorney in Montebello on your side. They will send a message to the prosecution that you are not easy pickings, and you could be given an offer immediately.
Montebello’s DUI trials are usually held at the East Los Angeles Courthouse. If you have a powerful attorney, you may never have to stand trial at all. Your Montebello DUI attorney may be able to find a way out for you before the trial date arrives.
This could include reducing the charges against you, getting you a good deal, or even getting the case dropped so you walk away free. Remember, in most DUI cases, you have only 30-45 days before your trial. You need to hire a lawyer and act fast.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Montebello DUI?
No one is required to get a DUI lawyer in Montebello. It is entirely your own choice. A lawyer’s advantages include the following:
- Their familiarity with the legal system
- A reputation among prosecutors and judges
- The skills needed to win a case
Every DUI lawyer is trained to know which tactics work in a courtroom and which do not. That means they are more likely to win cases. Benefits of a DUI lawyer include:
- Your lawyer knows how to challenge the results of a breath, blood, or urine test. These results can sometimes be thrown out.
- Your lawyer can spit holes in the arresting officer’s testimony and knows how to expose them.
- Your lawyer can talk to the prosecution on their terms and show them why they should cut you a better deal.
There is no substitute for the expertise that a good lawyer brings to your case.
Speak to a Montebello DUI Lawyer Today
You do not have to face your DUI case alone. Our site exists to help match you with a lawyer with the right experience for your case. We work only with the most reputable, qualified DUI lawyers in the Montebello area, and every lawyer we work with offers a 100% free consultation.
Do not leave your future up to chance. Take control of your case before it is too late. Please fill out our quick contact form or call our office and get your free consultation today.