Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Being charged with DUI in South Pasadena is serious. South Pasadena takes drunk driving seriously, and penalties have gotten tougher in recent years. DUI is treated as a criminal offense, not a traffic violation, and can come with jail time, license suspension, mandatory traffic safety classes, and thousands upon thousands of dollars of fines—even if it’s your first offense. Don’t take the charge lightly. You need to fight it.
A South Pasadena DUI lawyer can help you do that. DUI lawyers in Los Angeles understand the legal system, and they spend years learning the specific tactics that are most likely to win a drunk driving case. They also serve as your guide in a complicated process, during a difficult time in your life. They may be able to get the charges against you dropped, or reduced to a less serious offense. They may even be able to win your case outright. And in often, they will save you a lot of money.
DUI Consequences in South Pasadena
Politicians have found that being tough on drunk driving is an easy way to stay in the news and stay popular. As a result, the consequences for a DUI have gotten consistently tougher. Fines have risen to the point where DUI is one of the most expensive laws on the books. A single first-time DUI in the South Pasadena area can now cost you over $15,600.
For many drivers that’s enough to derail your entire life. But to the City of South Pasadena it’s easy money. South Pasadena police now hold DUI checkpoints at surprise locations and see to make as many arrests as possible. Likewise, the courts show little mercy.
If convicted you face a variety of sentences set forth by the California Vehicle Code. The Vehicle Code ties your sentence to how many (if any) previous DUI’s you’ve had. But even a first time DUI is not easy. The penalties include:
- Jail. All DUI charges now include potential jail time. For a first offense the sentence can range from two days up to six months.
- Fines and fees. The official minimum fine for DUI is $390. That’s steep enough, but the court will also add various administrative fees, bringing your minimum cost to $1,800 if convicted. The judge can go with a much higher amount.
- Driver’s license suspension. There is no way to keep your license if you’re convicted of DUI. It will be suspended and you will be unable to drive. The suspension can last a few months or it can last up to a year.
- DUI school. In addition to jail you’ll also be ordered into a program called DUI school. This is a three month classroom style course designed to teach you the dangers of drunk driving. You must pay for at your own expense, typically more than $500.
For repeat offenders the penalties get even tougher:
- Up to a year in local jail or up to 16 months in state prison
- License suspension can last two years, three years, or forever
- Up to 30 months of DUI school
- Fines and fees that can range well over $10,000
- You may be ordered into drug or alcohol treatment or face other special sentences
What Happens After a DUI Arrest in South Pasadena?
In South Pasadena you may have been arrested by the South Pasadena Police Department, the LA County Sheriff, or the East Los Angeles division of the California Highway Patrol. You will then typically be booked and processed at either the Pasadena City Jail or a nearby Sheriff’s station. But this is only the beginning of the legal process.
A DUI charge involves a long and fast-moving legal battle. There are deadlines at each stage of this process that you need to be prepared for. Each of these deadlines has effects that can last for years.
The main deadlines are:
- The DMV Hearing. The California DMV reserves the right to suspend the license of anyone arrested for DUI, even before they are found guilty. This is called admin per se suspension. The DMV will do this automatically unless you file a request for a hearing to stop them. But you must act fast—you have only 10 days from the date of your arrest to file this request. Your DUI lawyer can help you request the hearing and can represent you to the DMV.
- The Arraignment. An arraignment is a short court hearing that happens within a few weeks of being arrested. The purpose of the arraignment is to enter your plea of Not Guilty or Guilty. However, the prosecutor will be sizing you up. This is your first time across from them in court and they want to see if you’ll be easy to convict. The best thing you can do is show up at the arraignment with a respected, reputable DUI lawyer at your side. This sends a strong message that you are not going to surrender, and may bring a better deal right away.
- The Trial. Your trial will be scheduled within 45 days at the Alhambra Courthouse, but you may never have to go. Many DUI cases end without going to court. Your lawyer’s goal is to win your case for you before your court date ever happens.
How Does a Lawyer Win a DUI Case?
When you talk to lawyers you should choose one who devotes their entire practice to DUI law. Ann experienced DUI lawyer will take a systematic approach to winning your case. They will know how to challenge each piece of evidence, from a breath test or blood test to an officer’s sworn testimony. They will start collecting evidence immediately and will work to weaken the case against you before the trial date.
Then they will attempt to win your case in one of three ways:
- Asking the prosecutor to drop it. Prosecutors don’t like to fight a losing battle. If your lawyer can take out enough of the evidence, they may simply drop the case.
- Asking the judge to dismiss it. Even if the prosecutor is stubborn, a judge may dismiss the case if the evidence isn’t strong enough.
- Driving a bargain. Even when a full win isn’t possible, your lawyer may be able to pressure the prosecutor to offer you a way out.
A win could mean being acquitted of all charges. Or it could mean having your charge reduced to reckless driving, or simply dropped.
Speak to a South Pasadena DUI Lawyer for Free
If you’re facing a DUI charge, you need to speak to a lawyer. We can help. We work with the best DUI lawyers across the South Pasadena area, and we can connect you to one for FREE. Your lawyer will give you a 100% free consultation to discuss your case and learn your legal options.
Don’t wait until you’re standing in front of a jury. Get the help you need. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your FREE consultation today.