Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Getting a DUI in Santa Fe Springs is serious. DUI is treated as a major criminal charge, and prosecutors show little mercy. Penalties for even a first time DUI now include jail time, license suspension, three years on probation and fines and fees in the thousands of dollars. If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, you need to defend yourself.
Your best resource for doing that is a good DUI lawyer. When a lawyer focuses on DUI law, they spend years learning the tactics that win DUI cases both in and out of the courtroom. They will serve as your guide through a complicated process, and in many cases they will make the crucial difference. The right lawyer may be able to get you a deal, get your charge reduced to a lesser violation, or even win your case outright. Often, they will also save you significant money.
DUI Penalties in Santa Fe Springs
Many drivers don’t realize how costly a DUI can be. Penalties have gotten heavy handed over the years, and DUI is now one of the most expensive misdemeanor criminal charges on the books. A single DUI conviction in southern California can cost you up to $15,000—a sum that could derail your life, but is seen as a source of income to local government. The City of Santa Fe Springs makes sure to rack up as many convictions as possible, and local police hold DUI checkpoints at surprise locations. The drivers they catch can spend years working through the legal fallout.
The reason DUI costs so much is because you may pay court fees, “restitution” penalties, and other costs on top of the fine. For example, the minimum fine for a first time DUI is just $390, but when the mandatory fees are added in, it will be at least $1,800. Costs go up from there.
Other penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Jail. You could spend anywhere from two days to six months behind bars.
- License suspension. You may lose your license for anywhere from six months to a full year.
- DUI school. You’ll be ordered into a 3-month traffic safety program that you must pay for out of pocket.
- Probation. You’ll remain on DUI probation for three to five years after your conviction.
The penalties get steeper if you have prior DUI’s. Under the California Vehicle Code, repeat offenders may face up to a year in jail, a 16 month or longer prison sentence, years of no driving, and even the possibility of mandatory drug or alcohol treatment. In some cases your DUI could even be a felony that affects your legal rights for life.
How the DUI Legal Process Works in Santa Fe Springs
Every DUI starts differently. You may have been arrested by police from the nearby Whittier Police Department, the LA County Sheriff or the local division of the California Highway Patrol. During booking you may have been temporarily held at the Santa Fe Springs Police Service Center or jailed at
the Whittier Police Jail or a nearby Sheriff’s station. But no matter how your case begins, once arrested you face a long legal process marked by three crucial deadlines. How you respond to each of these deadlines will help determine the outcome of your case.
The three deadlines are:
- The arraignment. Your arraignment may happen within days of your arrest or be several weeks out. It’s a short court hearing in front of a judge, where you enter your plea of Guilty or Not Guilty. But the arraignment is also an opportunity. The prosecutor will be there, watching carefully to see if you’re going to be an easy case or a hard case. You want to be a hard one. Prosecutors have limited time and they cannot fight tooth and nail for every conviction. If you already have a respected DUI lawyer at the arraignment, the prosecutor may offer you a better deal on the spot.
- The DMV hearing. After your arrest you have only 10 days to fight for your license. This is how long you have to request a hearing with the state DMV. If you don’t request this hearing your license will be automatically suspended know as “admin per se suspension.” Your DUI lawyer can file the request for you and represent you at the hearing. In many cases they can make sure you keep your license.
- The trial. If your case goes to court it will be a trial by jury at the Downey Courthouse. Trials can be difficult and costly. Your DUI lawyer’s goal is to win your case for you before the court date—potentially avoiding the trial altogether.
What Tactics Does a Lawyer Use to Win a DUI Case?
Lawyers do more than just file papers. A good attorney knows how to pick apart the evidence and turn your case around. Some of the ways they do this include:
- Challenging the validity of breath tests and blood tests. Any discrepancies in the testing procedure could get the results thrown out.
- Spotting inconsistencies in officer statements and witness reports.
- Pursuing any potential violations of your rights. If your rights were violated, key evidence may be suppressed or the whole case could be thrown out.
As your lawyer attacks the evidence, the prosecutor’s case gets weaker and weaker. In many cases your lawyer can force them to the bargaining table. It’s not uncommon for DUI cases to be dropped, or reduced to charges like Reckless Driving.
Talk to a Santa Fe Springs DUI Lawyer for Free
Every driver accused of DUI deserves a competent defense. Let us help you get one. We work with a network of lawyers who focus exclusively on DUI cases in the Santa Fe Springs area. We can help connect you with the right lawyer for your case—and get you a 100% FREE consultation. This is your chance to get a professional opinion at no cost.
Don’t wait while the legal clock is ticking. Get the help you need. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE consultation today.