Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Facing a DUI charge in Signal Hill is hard. You could lose your license, face jail time and spend thousands of dollars in fines and fees. If convicted, your life can be turned upside down.
But you can fight it. A strong Signal Hill DUI lawyer is the best way to take on your DUI and keep your life on track. Your lawyer will challenge the evidence against you and work to get your case resolved in your favor. You could keep your driver’s license, see the charge reduced to something less serious, or even get your DUI dropped altogether.
Penalties of a DUI in Signal Hill
A DUI is one of the most expensive misdemeanor crimes you can face. The City of Signal Hill brings in revenue by heavily enforcing drunk driving laws. Local police receive special funding to maximize DUI arrests. Even if sentenced to the minimum fine, special court fees for DUI will raise your to at least $1,800, and perhaps much more. The total expense of a first-time DUI can reach as high as $15,649.
But the cost goes beyond money. The full penalties for a first-time offense include:
- Jail time. You have probably already spent at least a night in the Signal Hill Jail. Unfortunately that’s only the beginning. If convicted you could send up to six months behind bars.
- License suspension. You will lose your license for as long as one year, but a good lawyer may get you off with a much shorter suspension—or help you keep your license altogether.
- DUI school. Every DUI convict must take courses in traffic safety. The class for first time convictions lasts three months and costs more than $500.
- Probation. You will spend three to five years on probation which can include a variety of penalties, including installing an interlock device on every car you own.
These penalties are strict enough, but California state law mandates even stricter penalties for repeat offenders. If you have had a prior DUI within the last ten years, you may face:
- Years in jail. You could spend up to a year in jail or sixteen months in a state penitentiary—sometimes more.
- Longer license suspension. You may go without a license for several years. You may even lose it permanently.
- More DUI school. Courses may drag on for 30 months. That’s longer than some college degrees. You may also have to undergo alcohol or drug addiction treatment.
- Felony status. Your charge may upgrade to a felony. This goes on your permanent criminal record. Your DUI can follow you for the rest of your life.
- More fines and fees. You could end up paying not thousands but tens of thousands of dollars.
But DUIs can be turned around. These penalties only happen if you’re convicted, and if you understand the legal process you can fight the charge from the beginning.
The Legal Process for a Signal Hill DUI
Being arrested can be intimidating. But whether you were picked up by the Signal Hill Police Department, the LA County Sheriff, or a state trooper of the South LA division, your arrest is just the start. You need to prepare for three urgent deadlines that come quickly after the arrest—and know how to deal with each one.
- DMV Hearing. You must request a hearing with the DMV within ten days of arrest to keep your license. Otherwise your license will be put on administrative suspension until trial. Your lawyer can help you properly file this request and show the DMV what they want to see to let you keep your driving privileges until your court date.
- Arraignment. This brief hearing typically happens less than 14 days from arrest. It is arguably the single most important date for you. It’s not only the moment when you plead Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest, but also your first encounter with the prosecution. They will watch you to find out if you’ll be an easy conviction, and you can use this to your advantage. By having a strong DUI lawyer before the arraignment date, you will show that you’re going to fight the charge. In many cases this is all it takes to get a better deal from the prosecution.
- Trial. Your trial will usually happen within 45 days of arrest. It will likely be at the Long Beach courthouse. But you may never have to go to trial at all. Your lawyer will work win your case without going to court, either through negotiation or by getting the charges dropped.
How to Beat a DUI
Ever year, countless DUI defendants win their cases. Many of these cases seem “unwinnable” at the start, but DUI lawyers know that every case is worth fighting for. Often, even cases with breath tests and high blood alcohol levels end up getting turned around.
Some of the tactic your lawyer can use to win your case include:
- Disputing the accuracy of tests. You probably had to submit to a Breathalyzer or blood test after arrest. These tests are often inaccurate. Your lawyer will look for any irregularity that could get the test thrown out.
- Spotting violations of rights. You should have been read your rights when arrested, but officers often neglect this. If your lawyer identifies these errors, key evidence against you could be dropped.
- Finding errors in reports and testimonies. Reports from officers often contain conflicting information or even a clear bias. Your lawyer will spot inconsistencies and turn them to your advantage.
- Negotiating a deal with the prosecution. The prosecution is always willing to bargain. Your lawyer will pressure them to give you a way out. Your could even get your charge reduced to Reckless Driving or dropped entirely.
Talk to a Signal Hill DUI Lawyer for Free
You can win your DUI case. Let us connect you with a reputable DUI lawyer that will fight for you. We only work with the best attorneys in the Signal Hill area—and you will get a complete case evaluation for FREE.
Don’t let the prosecutor decide your future. Fight your DUI. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your FREE consultation today.