Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
South El Monte takes DUI very seriously. DUI is treated as a criminal offense, not just a traffic violation. Penalties have gotten tougher, and now include jail time for all DUI offenses. If convicted you will also lose your driver’s license, be ordered into traffic safety school, spend at least three years on probation, and owe thousands of dollars in fines and fees. One DUI can affect your life forever.
That’s why you need to fight the charge. The best way to do that is to talk to a good South El Monte DUI lawyer. Your lawyer will do more than just represent you. They will be your ally in an unfriendly legal system, and they will work to win your case for you. In many cases a good DUI can turn even the toughest case around, potentially clearing you of all charges.
Penalties for a DUI in South El Monte
DUI has become one of the most expensive misdemeanors in California state law. Fines have consistently soared upwards, and the City of South El Monte sees DUI as an opportunity for revenue. A single DUI conviction can now end up costing you as much as $15,600. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement uses roving “saturation patrols” across the area to help maximize arrests.
The penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Anywhere from two days to six months in jail
- Having your license suspended for four months or up to a year
- Mandatory enrollment in a three-month safety class known as DUI school
- Fines and court fees that add up to $1,800—or far more
- Three to five years of probation
The penalties get more severe if you have previous DUI’s on your record. Repeat offenders may face a year in jail, 16 months in prison, two to three years of license suspension, and up to 30 months of DUI school. The fines and fees can easily go into five figures.
Depending on the circumstances of your DUI, you may also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device on your car or attend addiction treatment programs. You could even be brought up on felony charges.
Three Deadlines in Your South El Monte DUI Case
Each DUI case is unique. You may have been arrested by the LA County Sheriff or State Troopers out of Baldwin Park, and you may have been held at the Sheriff’s Temple Station jail. But no matter how your case begins, all DUI cases follow the same legal process—a process punctuated by three crucial legal deadlines. Each of these deadlines can have far-reaching effects on your case and your life, and you need to be prepared for each one:
- Your arraignment. Every DUI case involves a court hearing called an arraignment. This is a hearing before a judge where you enter your plea of Guilty or Not Guilty. It’s also a chance for the prosecutor to size you up. Prosecutors have very busy schedules and they want to resolve most DUI cases with as little effort as possible. They’re hoping they can pressure you into pleading guilty. If they see that you have a respected DUI lawyer with you, they know this is unlikely and they may offer you a better bargain right way.
- The DMV hearing. Every driver arrested for DUI has just 10 days to fight for their driver’s license. This is the deadline to request a hearing from the California DMV. If you don’t file the request, they will automatically suspend your license without a trial. This is known as administrative suspension. Ask your DUI lawyer to handle the hearing for you. They can represent you at the hearing to protect your right to drive.
- Your court trial. You’ll be given a court date at the El Monte Courthouse within 45 days of your arrest. This is not a lot of time for a lawyer to plan a defense. You need to speak to an attorney as early on as possible. Your lawyer will take on the prosecution head on—and work to win your case without ever going to trial.
How to Beat a DUI in South El Monte
It is possible to beat a DUI charge, and DUI lawyers do so on a regular basis. But beating a DUI charge takes skill, experience, and knowledge of the legal system. It’s not easy to do on your own.
When your lawyer looks at a DUI case, they examine the evidence against you one piece at a time. They know that discrediting this evidence is the key to turning your case around. They systematically probe each piece of evidence for weak spots—often weak spots that a lay person would not see.
- Chemical test aren’t always as scientific as they look. Whether it’s a breath test, blood test or urine test, if any part of the testing process broke state procedures or wasn’t calibrated correctly, it could be thrown out.
- Police officers aren’t always right. Police make assumptions, have biases, commit mistakes, or simply get the facts wrong. This can cast doubt on the validity of their statements.
- The arrest itself may not have been legal. Police need a valid reason to stop a vehicle and have to follow procedures when making an arrest. Any violation of your rights could get the whole case thrown out.
- Your own statements may not be admissible. You may have admitted to officers that you were drinking or said something that weakened your case. But if you weren’t read your rights, these statements might not be allowed in the courtroom.
Your lawyer will challenge each piece of evidence. Often, this is enough to bring the prosecutor to the bargaining table. They might get the charges reduced to reckless driving, or win your case altogether.
Talk to a South El Monte DUI Lawyer for Free
You deserve a good defense. Let us help you. We can take basic details of your case and match you with a leading DUI lawyer in the South El Monte area. Your lawyer will give you a FREE consultation to discuss your case. This consultation is your chance to learn your legal options and make an informed decision.
You only get one chance to defend your case. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE consultation today.