Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Dealing with a DUI charge in Studio City, CA can be very difficult. The penalties for a DUI conviction are serious, and include spending time in jail, hefty fines, and a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. A lot of DUI defendants discover that if they don’t try to defend themselves against the charge, they spend the rest of their lives dealing with the legal repercussions.
For this reason, getting a Studio City DUI lawyer as early in the process as possible is crucial. These lawyers are skilled at finding and exploiting the cracks in the prosecution’s case against you. They may be able to win your case outright, or convince a prosecuting attorney to offer you a deal.
What Does a Studio City DUI Cost?
DUIs come with a ever-growing price tag. Courts around 8,000 DUI arrest a year across Los Angeles.
California state law sets the penalties for DUIs, and sentences get stiffer for each successive DUI charge. Even first time DUI’s can be pricy, potentially totaling over $15,000.
The complete penalties for a first time DUI include:
- Fines. These start with $390 minimum fee for a first-time DUI charge, piled up with other fees which bring the total minimum cost up to about $1800.
- Jail time. Every DUI conviction has jail time attached. A first offence includes at least two days in jail, and you may face as much as six months in jail.
- Lose Your License. If convicted, you will not be able to keep your license. It will be suspended for a few months or for much longer.
- DUI School/Alcohol Treatment. A conviction means you’ll have to take a three month DUI education class, at a personal expense of $500 in addition to whatever other fees you have to pay.
The penalties get worse for repeat offenders. You could spend up to a year in jail or more than a year in state prison, pay fees in the tens of thousands of dollars, have your license suspended for years, and attend DUI education for up to 30 months.
Finally, you will also be put on probation and may have to install an interlock device on your car.
How a DUI Case Works in Studio City
DUI cases can start differently depending on whether the LAPD, The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Office, or the California Highway Patrol arrests you. You’ll most likely spend the night in jail.
As soon as you’re released there are a number of important legal deadlines you need to start thinking about. These include:
- A DMV Hearing. You have 10 days from your arrest to arrange a hearing with the DMV. If you fail to do so, you will face what is known as an “administrative suspension” of your license, even though you have yet to be convicted. The only way you can keep your license until your trial is by scheduling and winning your DMV hearing. Having a good DUI lawyer represent at this hearing can go a long way towards helping you win.
- Arraignment. An arraignment is a court appearance during which you enter a plea and receive a trial date. Having a lawyer present at your arraignment sends a signal to the prosecution that you are serious about your defense and intend to put up a fight. This alone may be enough for them to offer you a favorable deal.
- Preparing for the Trial. There will be a wait of several months between your arraignment and your trial, and it’s this time that your lawyer uses to prepare your case. They will look for weaknesses in the case against you: for example, if there are irregularities in how the blood test was analyzed or with the breath machine used to test you. It is during this phase that the best deals are usually offered.
- Trial. Many DUI cases are settled before they reach trial. If you do go to trial it will likely be at either the Burbank Courthouse or Glendale Courthouse. Facing a jury can be stressful, but DUI lawyers do this every week. It isn’t at all unusual for DUI cases to end in acquittal.
How Can a DUI Attorney Help Your Case?
Many people think that the results of a urine, blood, or breath test are conclusive. They aren’t. Virtually every DUI case involves some kind of testing, and it does not always lead to a conviction. That’s because the accuracy of these tests varies widely, and there are many ways for your lawyer to challenge them. Even if the case against you is strong, a good lawyer might still be able to win.
Here are tactics your lawyer may use:
- Challenging the chemical tests. The results of a breath test can be skewed by things like mouthwash, diet, or medical conditions—or simply because the machine wasn’t calibrated correctly. Blood tests are superior, but only if done carefully. If there the lab broke protocol at any point, your lawyer might be able to exclude this evidence.
- Looking for rights violations. You are legally entitled to certain rights after being arrested and before being interrogated. If an officer violates these rights, your statements—including incriminating ones—might be inadmissible.
- Finding errors in officer testimony. An officer makes certain assumptions when they perform an arrest, but these guesses often get stated as facts in the police report. A lawyer will be able to cross examine statements made by officers and other witnesses, probing for inconsistencies that cast doubt on their validity.
- Alternative explanations. There are many reasons a person might appear to be driving under the influence, including drowsiness, distraction, stress, or just plain driving errors. Just because a police officer thinks you’re drunk doesn’t mean that you were.
Your lawyer is there to win your case, period. Even when that’s not possible, they can still work on your behalf to get you the best possible deal, potentially reducing fines, jail time, and license suspension.
Get a FREE Case Evaluation
You deserve the best possible legal defense, but time is limited. You have only ten days from arrest to object to your license suspension, and very little time to prepare a defense for court. The earlier you choose to hire a lawyer, the more they can do to help your case.
We’re here to help. Our site exists to match you with a qualified Studio City DUI lawyer at no charge. We’ve cultivated a network of talented, experienced lawyers who focus exclusively on DUI cases—and offer a FREE consultation.
Don’t wait until you’re standing in front of a jury. Speak to a lawyer you can trust. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 to get your FREE case evaluation today.