Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Palos Verdes Estates, you need to protect yourself. Drunk driving is treated as a serious criminal offense—whether or not anyone was hurt. Penalties for DUI have gotten tough, and a single conviction now carries jail time, revocation of your driver’s license, mandatory traffic safety classes, and fines and fees in the thousands of dollars. You need to talk to a good Palos Verdes Estates DUI lawyer.
When facing a DUI charge, your lawyer is your most important resource and your only friend in a very hostile legal system. A good DUI lawyer can guide you through the process and make sure you make decisions that will help you get a good outcome. They also know how to face the prosecutor head on and fight for a result you can live with. In many cases they can get your charge reduced, get the case dismissed, or even win your DUI case altogether. They may also save you significant money.
Legal Penalties for a Palos Verdes Estates DUI
DUI is one of the most expensive misdemeanor crimes you can be charged with. Over the years, lawmakers have consistently tightened the penalties, and even the least complicated DUI charge can cost you over $15,000. These kinds of costs can ruin a DUI defendant, but to the city government they’re a lucrative source of revenue. Palos Verdes Estates knows that every conviction is money in the town coffers, and police hold DUI roadblocks and “saturation patrols” across the area. Those who are caught receive little mercy.
One of the reasons DUI costs so much is that you don’t just pay the criminal fines determined by state law. You also pay special fees to the local courts. For example, if the judge sentences you to the minimum fine of just $390, with the fees added on you’ll end up paying at least $1,800. The costs just go up from there.
Other penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Jail for anywhere from 2 days to 6 months.
- License suspension lasting six months to a year.
- Mandatory “DUI traffic school” lasting three days at a cost of $500 or more.
- Three to five years on DUI probation with other penalties determined by the judge.
But California law makes penalties tougher for repeat offenders. If you have a prior DUI within the past 10 years, the penalties could include:
- Up to a year in jail, up to 16 months in state prison, or longer in some cases
- License suspension lasting two to three years or forever
- DUI traffic school for 30 straight months at a cost of nearly $2,000
- Much higher chance of the judge ordering special penalties such as rehab, an ignition interlock device, roadside work or more.
In some cases a DUI can even count as a felony. A felony conviction can follow you for life.
The DUI Legal Process in Palos Verdes Estates
You may have been arrested by the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, the Sheriff, or state troopers out of the South LA office, and you were likely held overnight at the Police Department’s jail facility. But no matter who brought you in, once you’ve been arrested you face a long legal battle that can affect your life for years to come. It’s important that you understand how to face this legal battle, what to expect, and the three crucial deadlines you must prepare for.
Those deadlines are:
- The arraignment. Your arraignment may be held within a few days of arrest or it may be scheduled several weeks out. It’s a short hearing in front of a judge, where you enter your plea for the DUI charge (“Guilty” or “Not Guilty”). But the prosecutor will be watching you closely. They have limited time to put into DUI cases and they want to know if you’ll be easy to convict. If you’re not, they may offer you a better deal right away. One of the best things you can do is to get a DUI lawyer on your side before the arraignment, and send a strong message to the prosecutor.
- The DMV hearing. After your arrest you have just 10 days to fight for your driver’s license. This is your deadline to request a hearing with the California DMV. If you don’t ask for a hearing by then, they will automatically suspend your license. Ask your DUI lawyer to represent you at the hearing.
- The trial. If your case goes to trial it will take place at the Torrance Courthouse. But you may not have to go to trial at all. Your DUI lawyer’s top goal is to win your case for you without the need to stand in front of a jury.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Fight a DUI?
You are not required to have a lawyer. However, the advice of a lawyer might be your single biggest asset. DUI lawyers are trained to look at your case methodically, and attack each piece of evidence one at a time. Some of the ways they can turn around your case include:
- Challenging the validity of the breath test or blood test and getting it thrown out
- Showing bias, mistakes or inconsistencies in the police testimony
- Suppressing evidence that was collected without informing you of your rights
- Challenging the arrest itself and potentially getting the entire DUI charge thrown out
These tactics can be brutally effective. In many cases your lawyer may be able to get the case against you dropped, get it reduced to Reckless Driving, or force the prosecutor to give you a way out.
Talk to a Palos Verdes Estates DUI Lawyer for Free
Don’t spend the rest of your life paying for a single mistake. Let us help you. We work with a network of top DUI lawyers and can match you with a qualified attorney in the Palos Verdes Estates area. Your lawyer will give you a 100% FREE case evaluation, so that you get the legal advice you need with no obligation. It could be the single best thing you do for your case.
Don’t wait. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE case evaluation today.