Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
An arrest for drunk driving in Palmdale, CA is very serious. Besides the fines, penalties, and jail time, you’ll have a mark on your record that can be impossible to live down. The punishments for DUI become very steep, very fast.
That’s why we believe every DUI defendant should have a good lawyer—as early in the process as possible. Having legal counsel means having someone who knows the system working tirelessly on your behalf. A Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you get the speediest and most favorable outcome possible, so you get to go back to living your life.
The True Cost of a DUI
Penalties for DUIs have gotten continuously harsher. This is partly because they bring in a lot of money for city governments, and partly because being tough on DUIs is popular politically.
In the 400 DUI arrests a year. And while they’re prosecuted locally, the penalties are set by state law.
The penalties for even a first time DUI offense are serious, including:
- Fines. The minimum fine for a first DUI is $390 dollars, a total which climbs up towards $1800 once you add in court fees. And this is a floor—if the judge is strict the fines can be thousands and thousands of dollars.
- Jail. Every DUI conviction comes with a minimum sentence of two days in jail, and up to six months.
- Mandatory DUI school. First-time offenders are sentenced to a mandatory class on drinking while intoxicated, and in some cases are ordered to undergo more serious treatment. This is a strain on both time and money, as even the shortest course takes three months and costs $500, in addition to the other fees discussed.
- No driving. You won’t be able to drive because your license will be suspended.
How Does a DUI Case Work?
The City of Palmdale is policed primarily by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. You may have been arrested by a sheriff or deputy, or by the California State Police operating out of the Antelope Valley Office. Most likely, you will have to spend a night in jail at the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
After being released from jail the process is just beginning. There are a few distinct phases to the DUI process:
- The DMV hearing. Upon being released you’ll receive a temporary license, valid for 30 days, in the form of a little pink sheet. Your real license will be suspended pending completion of your trial. But if you request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days you may be able to avoid this suspension. A DUI defense lawyer can represent you at this hearing.
- The arraignment. An arraignment is a court appearance where you enter your plea and receive a trial date. At this point, the pressure is already on to plead “guilty”—but a good lawyer knows that holding out increases the chance of a favorable offer, and how to pursue one.
- The wait. You will have to wait months before your actual trial. This is the time during which your DUI lawyer will be gathering evidence and examining the prosecution’s case against you.
- The trial. Many DUI cases don’t make it to this stage. Your lawyer will do everything possible to resolve your case in your favor prior to the court date. If you do go to trial it will likely be held at the Antelope Valley Courthouse, and your lawyer will work to secure you an acquittal.
What Can an Attorney Bring to a DUI case?
A skilled attorney can make it very difficult to prove you’re guilty. They will examine every aspect of the case against you and work to whittle down the evidence. Some of the tactics they may use include:
- Examining the arrest procedures. Officers have to follow procedures during the arrest, when searching your vehicle, and during questioning. If they violated your rights, evidence against you could be excluded.
- Looking at the evidence. Breathalyzers and blood tests are not definitive proof. There are many ways they can be inaccurate, and an attorney will be able to question the validity of their results.
- Questioning the arresting officer. Starting as early as the DMV hearing, your attorney will look for discrepancies in the arresting officer’s story. Police are not always right and weakening their testimony is a good strategy for DUI defense.
- Negotiation. If a prosecutor sees that you’re serious enough about defending yourself to have hired a lawyer, there’s a decent chance they’ll offer you a plea. If your lawyer makes their job hard enough, they could simply drop the case altogether.
These tactics could mean facing less or no jail time, paying less money, or even winning outright.
Finding the Right DUI Lawyer for You
The sheer number of law offices around LA can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be hard to find a good DUI lawyer. Here’s what to look for:
- The firm should focus on DUI cases. Law is an enormous field, and no lawyer can be equally versed in every kind of case. Choose a lawyer who has been in the DUI trenches and knows the strategies that work.
- Look for special training. The most serious DUI lawyers will continue to educate themselves and seek out special training to improve their skills. Pick a lawyer who has credentials in DUI defense.
- Get a consultation first. Quality law firms know that you’ll be more at ease if you’ve had time to feel them out. Ask for a free consultation before you commit.
There Is No Time to Lose
As soon as you’re arrested for drunk driving the clock is ticking on your case. You need to hire a DUI lawyer as early as possible so they can get to work defending your case.
We want to put you in contact with a lawyer that’s right for you. We work with only the most qualified DUI defense lawyers, and we can pair you with one that’s right for you. By providing us with a few simple details, you will get a FREE consultation that could change the direction of your case.
Don’t wait until you’re in court. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your free consultation today.