It is not easy to face a DUI charge in Monterey Park, CA. Enforcement is more challenging than ever, and DUI penalties now include the following:
- Jail time
- A suspended driver’s license
- Mandatory “DUI school”
- Thousands of dollars in fines
Local courts do not show mercy on DUI charges—you must defend yourself. The best defense means speaking to a Monterey Park DUI lawyer. Your DUI lawyer will not just counsel you on how to approach your case – they will make the prosecution’s job harder.
They do this by challenging key evidence and constructing a defense that works. They may be able to win your case or get the charges dropped. In many cases, a DUI attorney will save you substantial money.
What to Expect with a Monterey Park DUI
The City of Monterey Park has come down hard on DUI charges. The reason is no mystery—DUIs are big money. A single first-time DUI can cost you almost $16,000 in fines and fees.
The city has capitalized on these exorbitant fees by performing week-long crackdowns with multiple DUI checkpoints in a single night. Fines are not the only penalties you face. State law sets different penalties for a first offense, second offense, and third or subsequent offense DUIs.
None of these penalties are lenient. The basic penalties for a first DUI include the following:
- Jail: Jail sentences for a first offense can be as little as two days or as long as six months. The choice is mainly up to the judge.
- DUI treatment programs: Some DUI school is mandatory for all DUI convictions. For a first offense, it will be a three-month classroom program that costs you $500, and you may be ordered into alcohol treatment or “scare tactic” programs as well.
- License suspension: You will lose your license when you are convicted of DUI. A first offense will carry at least four months of license suspension, often longer.
- Fines: Fines for DUI have swelled. In addition to the formal minimum fine of $390, you will also owe special fees to the court. Altogether these fines and prices add up to at least $1,800, but it can be thousands more.
You may also have to put an interlock device in your car and remain on probation for at least three years.
Subsequent DUI Convictions
Second, third, and subsequent DUIs carry even steeper penalties. You can spend up to a year in jail or go to prison for more than a year. You will lose your license for a year or more and spend years in DUI education programs.
The fines for repeat DUIs are also higher and can quickly run into tens of thousands of dollars.
How to Beat a DUI in Monterey Park
Different DUI cases start in different ways. The Police, the Sheriff, or the East Los Angeles office of the State Troopers may have arrested you. You may or may not have been held overnight in the Monterey Park Jail.
No matter how your case began, you now face legal challenges. Each of these comes with tight deadlines, and how you approach them largely determines whether you can beat your DUI charge. The significant deadlines in your case include the following:
The DMV Hearing
If you want to keep your driver’s license, you must request a hearing with the DMV within ten days of your arrest. Otherwise, it will be suspended. The police do not always do an excellent job of warning you of this, but if you miss the deadline, you have no second chance.
A DUI lawyer in Monterey Park can file the request for you so that everything is correct, and they can represent you at the hearing. If you prevail at your hearing, you can keep your driving privileges until your trial.
The arraignment is your first court hearing. It usually happens within two weeks of your arrest. This hearing is where you enter your plea of guilty or not guilty and where the prosecutor first sizes you up. They are looking to see if you will be an easy victory or if you are going to put up a tough fight.
If you already have a reputable DUI lawyer, they will know you are serious about your defense and may not want to fight every step to convict you. Often, bringing a strong criminal defense lawyer to the arraignment is all it takes to get a much more generous offer from the prosecution.
Monterey Park’s DUI trials are typically held at the Alhambra Courthouse. From the date of your arrest, you usually have just 45 days until your trial. This is a very short timeline to research a case and put together a defense.
However, if you have a good DUI attorney in Monterey Park, you may never have to go to trial. They may be able to resolve the case in your favor long before the trial date. The earlier you speak to a lawyer, the more they can do for you.
How to Defend Yourself Against DUI Charges in Monterey Park
When you have been charged with a DUI in Monterey Park, you must take proactive steps to clear your name of the allegations against you. After reviewing the circumstances of your case, your lawyer will have a better idea of which defenses are most suitable.
For some, questioning whether the stop was lawful will be a good fit. If the police did not have probable cause to stop you and search your vehicle or person or seize evidence, then any evidence obtained could be tossed out at trial. Other potential defenses that could be used include the following:
- Constitutional rights violations, such as a failure to read you your Miranda rights
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Law-enforcement misconduct
- Lack of probable cause
- Unlawful stop or search and seizure
- Laboratory mistakes
- Medical conditions
- Improper use of a breathalyzer
- Inaccurate breathalyzer results
- Inaccurate field sobriety test results
Alternatively, your lawyer might suggest working with the district attorney to get you into a pretrial diversion program. You will need to fulfill the terms of the program, and in exchange, the prosecutor will drop or reduce the DUI charges against you. However, failure to complete these requirements means the district attorney will likely move forward with the initial DUI charges you were facing.
Deciding if You Need a DUI Lawyer
You are not required to have a DUI lawyer to fight your DUI case. It is a decision that each person accused of DUI must make for themselves. People go to a DUI lawyer to increase their odds of winning their case or improve the outcome they get.
No lawyer can promise a victory, but they know which tactics work and which ones do not. An experienced Monterey Park DUI attorney can turn around even complicated cases. Benefits of having a lawyer include:
- Your lawyer can challenge the breath test or blood test results and potentially get them thrown out.
- Your lawyer can challenge the arresting officer’s testimony and expose inconsistencies in their statements.
- Your lawyer knows how to drive a hard negotiation with the prosecutor and pressure them for a better deal.
Talk to a Monterey Park DUI Lawyer for Free
You do not have to spend a fortune to speak to a good lawyer. We can put you in touch with a qualified Monterey Park DUI lawyer at no charge. We work only with lawyers with a proven track record on DUI cases, and every lawyer we work with offers a free case evaluation.
This is your chance to get professional legal advice on your case and decide for yourself what your next steps are. Do not wait until it is too late. Fill out our online contact form or call our office and be matched with your free case evaluation today.