Facing a DUI charge in Pomona is not pleasant. The consequences can be severe—you face potential jail time, considerable fines, and a suspended license. A DUI charge can haunt you for years, but it does not have to. There are ways to dramatically improve your chances and potentially change the outcome of your case.
The best way to do that is to have an experienced Pomona DUI lawyer at your side. A DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can help protect you from the most severe penalties, decreasing the likelihood of you serving jail time or losing your license. They can also save you thousands of dollars in fines and might even get the charges against you dropped entirely.
The Severity of a DUI in Pomona
There are more DUI arrests every year in Pomona, and the courts have become increasingly stern. The heavy fines imposed in DUI cases generate revenue for local government, so this kind of case is prosecuted aggressively. A DUI can quickly become a major expense and a headache.
The California Vehicle Code has several penalties for those convicted of DUI. They include:
- Up to six months in jail, with a minimum of 48 hours for a first offense. Repeat DUIs can bring a year in jail or even time in state prison.
- A combination of fees and fines that will total at least $1,800. The actual fine for a first offense is $390, but court fees bring the total much higher. This is for a first offense—repeat offenders can owe over $10,000 in fines and fees.
- License suspension. This will be for a minimum of several months but can exceed a year.
The severity of the penalties imposed will depend on any previous DUI convictions you have and the circumstances of your case. You will also be required to take a DUI education program which will cost between $500 and $1,800.
What Happens After the Arrest
You may have been arrested by the local police, the LA County Sheriff’s Office, or the California State Highway Patrol. After your arrest, you will probably spend an uncomfortable night at the Pomona Police Jail. The police will release you the next day, but the law is not done with you.
Deadlines are already looming for several phases of the legal process, and you have to take action in each one:
Your license will be immediately confiscated on your arrest, and you will be given a temporary replacement. This is valid for 30 days, after which your license is automatically suspended.
The only way to stop this is to challenge it with the DMV—but the clock is ticking. You have just ten days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV hearing.
his is a preliminary court hearing that takes place a few weeks after the arrest. This is your opportunity to enter your plea and get a concrete date for your trial.
A good DUI lawyer in Pomona, CA, can prove invaluable at this stage. They will use the arraignment to feel out the prosecution and advise you on what your plea should be. They will often advise you to plead not guilty so they can engineer a better outcome later on.
The Waiting Game
There can be a gap of several months between the arraignment and the trial. A lawyer can put this time to good use. They will examine the case against you in detail, building the strongest defense possible.
Your lawyer will also put pressure on the prosecution, working to make their case more difficult to win, with the goal of getting the DUI charge dropped or downgraded.
Your trial will likely be heard at the Pomona Courthouse. You will be tried by a jury of your peers. Before the trial, your lawyer can challenge the selection of any jurors who might be biased against you.
During the trial itself, your lawyer will look for a way to give the jury “reasonable doubt,” discrediting the evidence against you. Many DUI cases end in acquittal, and the defendant walks away free.
How to Beat a DUI
You might be filled with doubt and anxiety when you think about your upcoming trial. But your case is not unwinnable. The evidence the prosecution has against you can be challenged, and there are many ways an experienced lawyer can build a strong defense:
- Challenge the arrest. The police may have not followed procedure when they arrested you, which violates your constitutional rights. If your lawyer can show this, the case against you may well collapse.
- Question the evidence. Legal insiders know the evidence used in court is not infallible. Labs and police officers make mistakes, and breath test machines are prone to errors. DUI lawyers look for any chance to challenge the validity of blood, breath, or urine test evidence and can sometimes get it thrown out.
- Sleuth work. Careful sifting of the evidence is a normal day’s work for a DUI lawyer. If there are any inconsistencies in the testimonies of witnesses or officers, they will find them. These can then be used to pick apart the prosecution’s case.
- Negotiating. Your case may not even go to court. If your lawyer can make the prosecution’s job difficult enough, they may offer you a favorable deal—or drop the case altogether.
These tactics can make a significant difference to your future. Many DUIs end in acquittal each year, and yours could be one of them. It is also possible that the charges against you will be downgraded to something less severe.
Alternatives to a DUI Trial
You do not necessarily need to go to trial when you are charged with a DUI. You may qualify for a pretrial diversion program instead. Only individuals charged with non-violent, first-time offenses will typically be eligible for pretrial diversion.
You must be prepared to meet the terms of the program if you hope to have your DUI charges reduced or dismissed. Some of the most common requirements defendants must meet include:
- Attending mental health counseling
- Completing a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program
- Completing driver retraining courses
- Attending a MADD VIP course
- Completing a HAM program
- Paying restitution to any victims
- Completing random drug or alcohol screenings
- Obtain gainful employment
- Completing community service hours
- Abstaining from drug or alcohol use
Once the requirements have been met, the prosecutor will agree to dismiss the charges against you or drop them completely. This is the best option for individuals who are hoping to avoid the harsh criminal penalties of a DUI conviction.
If you do not need the terms of the program, the state will proceed with the initial DUI charges against you and the resulting consequences of a guilty verdict. If this happens, you may need to be prepared to explore your defense strategy options further so you can protect your future.
What to Look for in a DUI Lawyer
Not all lawyers are created equal. Many will say they offer DUI defense, but that does not mean they are experienced in doing so. Here is what to look for to make sure you get a Pomona DUI attorney who will truly make a difference:
- A dedicated DUI firm. Some attorneys will take any kind of case, but others focus exclusively on DUI law. These are the attorneys who will have the most experience and expertise.
- Proof of past success. They should be able to show you that they have won past cases just like yours.
- Credentials. Board certifications or special DUI training are a strong indicator that you are dealing with a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Pomona, CA. It shows that they continuously hone their knowledge to provide the best defense possible.
- A 100% free consultation. You should be able to meet with a lawyer with no obligation. They should show understanding, professionalism, and empathy.
Do Not Go to Court without Protection
We believe every driver accused of DUI should have the best possible defense. Our site exists to match you with top Pomona DUI lawyers for free. All we need are a few basic details, and we can get to work finding the right lawyer for your case right away. Every lawyer we work with offers a free, no-obligation consultation.
Do not let your DUI ruin your life. Take action to defend yourself before it is too late. Simply fill out our quick contact form or call us and get your free consultation today.