Facing a DUI charge is daunting. DUIs are taken very seriously, and the penalties include jail time, mandatory driver’s license suspension, and heavy fines. In many cases, those that choose not to defend themselves deal with the fallout will have their lives severely impacted.
It is critical to speak with a Sherman Oaks DUI lawyer. DUI lawyers in Los Angeles have helped numerous people in similar situations, often with favorable results. They may be able to negotiate the charges being dropped or reduce your sentence.
What a DUI in Sherman Oaks Can Cost You
DUIs are prosecuted harshly. As a result, DUIs have gotten far more expensive in recent years and represent a source of revenue for local government. There are nearly 8,000 driving under the influence arrests per year across the city.
The DUI penalties are determined by the laws set by the state of California. They are typically more severe if you have previous DUI convictions. However, even if this is your first-time DUI, it can come with an extreme price tag.
The penalties for a single DUI conviction include the following:
- Fines: Although the minimum fine for a DUI charge is $390, total costs are much more. The judge may add a laundry list of extra penalties, which climbs to at least $1,800 or more.
- Jail time: A DUI conviction can include jail time, ranging from 48 hours to 6 months.
- Suspension or revocation of your drivers license: If you are convicted of a DUI, your license will likely be suspended or revoked, depending on the circumstances. The rules regarding license suspension are complicated. It may be at least 4 months before you are eligible to drive again.
- Treatment Program: A conviction means you must participate in an alcohol treatment program, or a driving school program specific for DUIs. This could mean a personal expense of at least $500 in addition to other fines and expenses.
The penalties are worse for a second or even a third DUI. Subsequent DUIs may mean spending a year to 16 months in jail, fines, and fees in the tens of thousands of dollars and a license suspension that drags on for years. You will also have to participate in a DUI treatment program up to 30 months. Afterward, you will need to install an interlock device on your car while on probation.
Collateral Consequences Associated with Sherman Oaks DUIs
After being convicted of a DUI offense in Sherman Oaks, you could face harsh criminal penalties and collateral consequences. Collateral consequences refer to the ways your life will be affected by your conviction. For example, those who are not US citizens may face immigration consequences, including the risk of deportation.
Other individuals convicted of drunk driving might find themselves in child custody battles, facing termination or demotion at their jobs, have their professional licenses suspended or revoked, and be passed over for promotions. Those found guilty of a DUI will lose the right to specific government assistance programs, such as federal student aid to obtain higher education and other programs, such as SNAP and energy or housing assistance.
Fortunately, you could avoid some of the more severe collateral penalties by working with a DUI attorney in Sherman Oaks, CA, to clear your name of the allegations against you. With our firm working on your defense, you can rest easier knowing your attorney works tirelessly to secure a favorable outcome.
How the Process for DUIs Work in Sherman Oaks
As soon as you are released, you should begin thinking about your next steps. The DUI criminal process is quick. When a deadline is missed, there is no way to go back. The DUI process include the following:
Once you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, you have only ten days to contact the DMV and file for a hearing. Failing to do so will result in the “administrative suspension” of your license and it goes into effect immediately. The best way to resolve the situation is to rely on your DUI lawyer for assistance.
While the DMV hearing is administrative, the arraignment is where you will face your criminal charges. At the arraignment, you and your attorney will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Then, if you decide to plead not guilty, the judge will set you trial date.
Your DUI lawyer may be in negotiations with the prosecution already. Prosecution attorneys have a heavy caseload and are more willing to reduce or dismiss the charges when a defendant is skillfully represented.
Preparation for the Trial
Your DUI attorney will begin building your case after the arraignment. Aside from negotiations with the procesution, your lawyer can challenge the evidence to weaken the case against you. They may dispute chemical tests, look civil rights violations, or investigate if any technical missteps were made.
Your trial, should it proceed, will be held at Van Nuys Courthouse East. Facing the judge can be intimidating, but it is your DUI lawyer’s natural element.
Beating a DUI
Many DUI defendants make the mistake of thinking the case against them is too strong. You may have told police that you were drunk or scored a high blood alcohol level on a chemical test. However, even these cases can be turned around because our DUI lawyers are trained to turn the tables.
Tactics your lawyer will use include:
- Challenging the chemical tests: Things as simple as mouthwash, your diet, or a medical condition can make the machine think you are drunk, and 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 do not always observe these rights. If your lawyer can show this, the evidence against you will be thrown out.
- Spotting errors: Police have bias like everyone else, and this bias can emerge 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.
Instead of preparing a defense strategy, your DUI lawyer in Sherman Oaks, CA, might recommend entering a pretrial diversion program. If this is your first offense, you may be able to join a drug or alcohol treatment program, complete the terms of your plea agreement, and get the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
This could be an excellent option if your criminal penalties are particularly severe. Since rehabilitation is often a better alternative than incarceration, you can rely on your Sherman Oaks DUI attorney to diligently convince the prosecutor to work with you to avoid jail or prison.
Do Not Wait Until It Is Too Late
We believe you deserve the best legal defense. Unfortunately, you only have a limited window to prepare a case and fight for your future. Do not face the legal system alone. Make sure you have a professional who is trained in DUI law.
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 your options and whether they can help.
Do not wait until you are in court. Please fill out our confidential contact form or call our office to claim your free case evaluation today.