Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
North Hollywood is not a good place to be arrested for DUI. Law enforcement in North Hollywood has been cracking down as part of a citywide effort to reduce drunk driving. And the penalties for DUI are severe—jail time, a suspended driver’s license, and massive fines are just part of standard sentence. If you’ve been charged with DUI, you need to defend yourself.
The best way to do that is by having an experienced North Hollywood DUI lawyer on your side. DUI lawyers understand how prosecutors approach these cases and what to do to turn the tide in your case. A good DUI lawyer may be able to get you a light sentence, help you keep your driver’s license, or even have the charges against you dropped. In many cases they will save you thousands of dollars.
Penalties for DUI in North Hollywood
Like most of the state, North Hollywood has seen a tougher stance on DUI in recent years. This is in no small part because DUI carries massive fines and fees. Local courts see DUI convictions as a source of revenue, and unsurprisingly the city now has over 2,000 DUI arrests a year. Prosecutors gun for big penalties in most of these cases. The total price tag for a first time DUI can now be over $15,000.
The exact penalties you face depend on whether you have previous DUI’s on your record. California law sets increasingly tough sentences for repeat offenders. But even a first offense is not minor. Mandatory penalties include:
- At least two days in jail in most cases, and up to six months.
- About $1,800 in fines and court assessments. This includes a minimum $390 criminal fine. If the judge goes with a higher fine, the total can be many thousands of dollars.
- License suspension that lasts at least several months and often about a year.
- DUI “school” which requires 3 months of classes (minimum) and a cost of at least $500 on its own.
Again, these are first time penalties. Second or third DUI’s face much steeper sentences. Jail can last up to a year, or be converted to up to 16 months in state prison. Driver’s suspension and DUI treatment can continue for years. And the fines will likely add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
What Happens When You Get a DUI in North Hollywood
It’s important to understand the DUI process you face. You were most likely arrested by the LAPD out of the North Hollywood station, but North Hollywood is also policed by the Sheriff’s office and the Southern Division of the state Highway Patrol. In most cases, regardless of who arrested you, you will be processed at the Hollywood Area Jail.
(You may be required to post bail to be released from jail. If this has happened to a loved one, your DUI lawyer can assist with finding a way to bail them out.)
As soon as you’re arrested, the legal process begins—and it will move quickly. Each stage of your case requires you to make fast decisions that may have an impact on the rest of your life. The most crucial stages of your case are:
- The DMV hearing. You may not realize it, but the battle to keep your driver’s license begins right away. The state DMV will suspend your license automatically unless you file a request for a hearing. This is known as administrative suspension—and you have only 10 days to request your hearing. If you do not, or if you lose at the hearing, you will lose your license before you’ve even gone to trial. A DUI a lawyer can represent you at this hearing.
- Your arraignment. Several weeks after your arrest you’ll be given an arraignment, a hearing in front of a judge where you are read the charges and asked to enter a plea. Sometimes the prosecution will already have offered you a “deal,” but these early deals are seldom better than just taking the standard sentence from the judge. This is the first point at which your DUI lawyer can really begin to bring pressure to bear on the prosecutor.
- Trial preparation. There will be perhaps a month between the arraignment and your trial date. In most cases you will never have to go to trial, but this time must be used carefully. Your DUI attorney will probe the prosecution’s evidence, carry out research on your behalf and move to throw out evidence that has holes. This is when they are in a position to negotiate the best possible offer for you, because the prosecution rarely wants to go to trial.
- The trial itself. Your trial will likely be held at the Hollywood Courthouse and will be a trial by jury. This is a DUI defense lawyer’s natural element. No lawyer can promise you a victory, but they will draw on years of experience to weaken the evidence against you and persuade the jury to return a verdict of Not Guilty.
How Does a DUI Lawyer Win a Case?
Many people who face a DUI charge think the case against them is unbeatable. You may have failed a breath test or even admitted to drinking. But a DUI lawyer knows that no evidence is ironclad and that even the toughest cases can be turned around.
Some of the ways they do this include:
- Excluding the breath or blood tests. Police and labs must precisely follow procedures set down by the state. If any protocol was violated, the evidence against you could be thrown out.
- Reviewing the arrest. If you weren’t read your rights, or other procedures were broken, key evidence could be excluded from court—including statements where you admitted drinking.
- Finding alternative explanations. A jury conviction rests on “reasonable doubt.” If other factors were at play in your arrest, such as mouth wash that contains alcohol, they may doubt whether you were intoxicated.
- Errors in officer testimony. Police do make mistakes, and these mistakes can be spotted by reviewing other evidence or comparing statements from other witnesses.
Talk to a North Hollywood DUI Lawyer
We believe that you deserve the best defense possible in your DUI case. That’s why we want to connect you with an experienced DUI lawyer. We work with only the most reputable lawyers, and we can match you with one who has experience with cases just like yours. You will receive a FREE consultation and be able to make an informed decision about whether a lawyer’s services could help you.
Don’t let you DUI ruin your life. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.