Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Facing a DUI charge in Sherman Oaks, CA is daunting. DUIs are taken very seriously, and the penalties include jail time, heavy fines, and a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. In many cases, those that choose not defend themselves deal with the fallout for the rest of their lives.
That’s why you need to talk to a Sherman Oaks DUI lawyer. These attorneys handle cases like yours every day—often with very favorable results. They may be able to negotiate a reduced sentence, save you thousands of dollars, or even get the charges against you reduced or dropped. They may even be able to win your case.
The Cost of a DUI in Sherman Oaks
Law enforcement and courts around Sherman Oaks have gotten tougher on DUI. This is no surprise—DUI’s have gotten far more expensive in recent years, and represent a source of revenue to local government. As a result, there are almost 8,000 DUI arrests per year across Los Angeles.
The penalties for DUIs are determined by California state law. They are more severe if you have previous DUI’s on your record. But even a first time DUI comes with a serious price tag, and can end up totaling more than $15,000.
The penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Fines. Although the minimum fine for a first-time DUI charge is $390, that is not all you’ll pay. The court adds a laundry list of extra penalties, which climbs up to at least $1800. It can be much more.
- Jail Time. A first time DUI can include jail time from as little as 48 hours to as much as six months.
- Losing Your License. If you are convicted of a DUI, you will lose your license. The rules around suspension are complicated, but it will be at least four months and can easily be longer.
- DUI School/Alcohol Treatment. A conviction means you will have to take a three-month class on driving under the influence, at a personal expense of $500. That’s in addition to the other fines and fees.
The penalties are worse for a second or third DUI. Those can mean spending a year in jail or 16 months in state prison, fines and fees in the tens of thousands of dollars, a license suspension that drags on for years, and up to 30 months worth of DUI treatment.
The DUI Process in Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks is policed by the LAPD, the West Valley Branch of the California Highway Patrol and the LA County Sheriff’s Department. In most cases you will be booked and processed in the local police station.
As soon as you’re released you need to start thinking about your next steps. DUI cases happen quickly, and when a deadline is missed, there’s no way to go back. The steps of the DUI process include:
- DMV Hearing. After your arrest you have only 10 days in to file for a hearing with the DMV. Failing to do so will result in what is known as “administrative suspension” of your license—immediately. The best way to handle this is to ask your DUI lawyer to file the request and represent you at the hearing. They may be able to help you keep your license.
- Arraignment. An arraignment is a court appearance where you enter your plea and have your trial date set. If you have a DUI lawyer they will make sure you know what to say—and they’ll already be putting pressure on the prosecution. Prosecution attorneys have a heavy case load and do not want to see a respected DUI lawyer at your side. They know their job just got harder and in many cases they will offer you a better deal immediately.
- Trial Preparation. After the arraignment your lawyer works to build up your case. They will challenge the chemical tests, look for errors the police made, and undermine the prosecution. This is often when the best deals are offered.
- Trial. If your case proceeds to trial, it will be heard at the Van Nuys Courthouse East. Facing the court can be intimidating, but it’s your DUI lawyer’s natural element. It’s not at all unusual for DUI cases to end with a Not Guilty verdict.
Beating a DUI
Many DUI defendants make the mistake of thinking the case against them is too strong. You may have admitted to police that you were drunk, or scored a high blood alcohol level on a chemical test. But even these cases can be turned around. DUI lawyers are trained to turn the tables.
Tactics your lawyer will use include:
- Challenging the chemical tests. Many factors throw off a breath test. Things as simple as mouthwash, your diet, or a medical condition can make the machine think you’re drunk. Blood tests are sensitive to mishandling, and can easily involve errors. Your lawyer will examine the blood lab protocol, or the history of the breath machine used, and potentially get this evidence excluded.
- Checking for rights violations. You are entitled to certain rights, both at the time of arrest and when being questioned. Police don’t always observe these rights. If your lawyer can show this, evidence against you will be thrown out.
- Spotting errors. Police have bias like everyone else. This bias can come out if their story changes between the arrest report, the DMV hearing and the courtroom. Your lawyer will examine all testimony and find the holes in it.
Don’t Wait until It’s Too Late
We believe you deserve the best legal defense. Unfortunately, you only have a limited window in which to prepare a case and fight for your future. Don’t face the legal system alone—make sure you have a professional at your side, who is trained in DUI law.
We’re here to help. Let us pair you with an experienced Sherman Oaks DUI lawyer. We have identified top lawyers who focus entirely on DUI work, and they will offer you a FREE case consultation. This is your chance to learn what your options are, and whether they can help.
Don’t wait until you’re in court. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to claim your free case evaluation today.