The penalties for getting a DUI in Seal Beach are no small matter. The State of California has cracked down on drunk driving in recent years, so a DUI conviction can leave you with a suspended driver’s license, thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, and more. No matter your situation, if you were arrested for DUI, your best option is to hire a Seal Beach DUI lawyer and defend yourself.
DUI lawyers are trained and experienced in taking on DUI cases—even the toughest ones. They will know how to pursue the best possible outcome for you based on the details of your case. A good DUI lawyer may be able to get your charge reduced to something less extreme, get you lighter penalties, or even win your case completely. To speak with a top local DUI lawyer as soon as possible, call us today at (310) 862-0199 or complete the Free Case Evaluation form to the right of the page.
Four Things to Expect in a DUI Case
The legal process for a DUI moves quickly, and it can be a lot to handle. That’s why having a DUI lawyer on your side from the beginning is so beneficial. They can guide you in the right direction through each step that can affect your future.
Here are X things to expect during the DUI process.
1. The Arrest
A DUI case begins with the arrest. You’ll likely either be arrested during a traffic stop or because you’re suspected of drunk driving after an accident. Either way, the arresting officer(s) could be from the Seal Beach police department or they could be state troopers.
Before you’re arrested, if an officer suspects you’ve been driving under the influence, they may ask you to take a roadside breath test known as the “preliminary roadside screening” or PAS test. This test is optional, and you can decline to take it. (However, if you’re offered a breath test after your arrest, this test is NOT optional and you can suffer harsher penalties if you refuse it.)
During your arrest, there are also certain processes officers must follow to uphold your rights. Your DUI lawyer will scrutinize how the arrest was carried out in case any of your rights were violated.
In most cases, you’ll spend the night of your arrest in jail as your arrest is being processed. This is where your case truly begins, and the steps you follow after this are crucial.
2. The DMV Hearing
Before you’re released, the arresting officer will take your driver’s license and give you a slip of paper that serves as your temporary license. This is because in all DUI cases, the California DMV automatically suspends your driver’s license after 30 days—unless you intervene quickly.
You have 10 days from your arrest date to contact the DMV and request a hearing. It’s during this DMV hearing that you have a chance to get your driver’s license back. A DUI lawyer can handle this for you and increase your chances of winning your hearing.
Also, during this time you’ll be working with your DUI lawyer to build a case and poke holes in the prosecution’s evidence against you.
3. The Arraignment
The arraignment is the first step in major court proceedings during your DUI case.
If you were held in jail after your DUI arrest, the arraignment may take place as soon as the next day or within a few days. However, if you were released after the arrest, it will likely be within a few weeks. If you don’t already have a DUI lawyer at this point, get one immediately.
During the arraignment, the charges against you will be read and your DUI lawyer will enter a plea for you. You have three options for a plea:
- Guilty, meaning you admit guilt and do not plan to fight the DUI charge.
- Not Guilty, meaning you intend to fight the charge.
- No Contest, meaning you aren’t openly admitting guilt but you also won’t fight the charge.
The prosecution will pressure you to plead Guilty and often offer you a plea bargain to try and end the case. But this “bargain” is rarely actually a good deal. Unless they see a legitimate chance of getting a good plea deal. a DUI lawyer will almost always advise you to plead Not Guilty and fight the charge.
The arraignment is offer after you enter your plea, and a date will be set for your trial (if you plead Not Guilty) or your sentencing (if you plead Guilty or No Contest).
4. The Trial
If you plead Not Guilty, you and your lawyer will prepare for your trial by jury. However, most DUI cases actually don’t end up going to trial. Having a good DUI lawyer means they’ll be fighting for a better outcome for you, such as a lesser charge or reduced sentence. If they are successful, you can walk away with a better outcome (or possibly no charges at all) and not have to deal with a trial.
What Tactics Will a DUI Lawyer Use to Win a Case?
Besides representing you at hearings and at the trial, DUI lawyers work tirelessly through the process to build the strongest defense for you. They’ll work to undermine the prosecution’s evidence and try to get pieces of it thrown out.
A DUI lawyer will use tactics like:
- Challenging the breath or blood test evidence
- Examine ways your rights may have been violated during the arrest procedure
- Comparing testimony of the arresting officer with video evidence or witness testimony
- Exploring alternative explanations for the appearance of being under the influence
- And much more
Any of these methods could be the one that prevents you from having a DUI on your record.
Speak With a Seal Beach DUI Lawyer Today
Don’t wait to talk with a DUI lawyer. For the best possible outcome, you need one on your side from the beginning. You have more options than simply accepting a DUI is your inevitable future. Fight it today. Call us at (310) 862-0199 to get connected with a Seal Beach DUI lawyer and have a free consultation with them right away. For your free consultation, call (310) 862-0199, or fill out the form to the right today.