Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
The prospect of facing a DUI charge in Tarzana, CA can be very intimidating. The penalties for a DUI conviction are stiff, and include jail time, serious fines, and a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license. In many cases, people who make the decision to not fight their DUI charge find that it chases them for the rest of their lives.
That’s why it’s crucial that you get a Tarzana DUI lawyer as early as you possibly can. A skilled DUI attorney will be equipped to find and exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. They will work on your behalf to negotiate a good deal, potentially even saving your driver’s license. In some cases they may be able to win your case outright.
What Does a Tarzana DUI Cost?
The price tag for a DUI is always going up. This is largely because local government sees DUI cases as a source of revenue. The result is aggressive enforcement and prosecution, with nearly 8,000 DUI arrests per year in Los Angeles.
Here are the complete penalties for a first time DUI:
- Fines and fees. These start at with the minimum of $390, which climbs closer to $1800 when other court fees are piled on. It can easily be much more.
- Jail time. Almost all DUI convictions carry jail time. This may end up being as little as two days or as much as six months for a first offense.
- License suspension. You will lose your license if you are convicted, for anywhere from several months to a year.
- DUI school. If convicted you will have to take a three month class on the dangers of driving under the influence, at a personal expense of $500 in addition to the other fees you accrue.
These are first time penalties. For a repeat offense you could spend up to a year in jail or go to state prison, face fees in tens of thousands of dollars, lose your license for years, and spend 30 months in DUI programs.
What Can You Expect in a Tarzana DUI case?
Tarzana is policed by the LAPD, the LA County Sheriff’s office, and the West Valley branch of the California Highway Patrol. Regardless of which agency arrested you, you’ll probably spend a night in the Van Nuys Jail Facility.
When you’re released, your case is just beginning. You need to start thinking immediately about the legal milestones that will determine your future:
- The DMV Hearing. You have 10 days after your arrest to schedule a hearing with the DMV. If you don’t, you’ll receive what is known as an administrative suspension of your license, despite the fact that you haven’t been convicted or even gone to trial yet. If you miss the 10 day deadline you cannot keep your license.
- Arraignment. At the arraignment you will appear in court, enter a plea, and receive a trial date. Having a lawyer present at the arraignment sends a powerful signal to the prosecution that you won’t go down without a fight. This alone might be enough to secure a favorable deal.
- Preparing for the trial. Between the arraignment and the trial there will be a period of a month or more which your attorney will use to prepare your defense. They’ll examine witness and officer testimony, check on the results of blood tests, and in general try to find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. This is when the best deals are typically offered.
- Trial. Many DUI cases are settled without going to trial. If you do proceed to trial, it will be at the Van Nuys Courthouse East before a jury of 12 members of the community. This is where an experienced DUI lawyer truly shines. They will work to persuade the jury that there isn’t enough evidence to convict you. It’s not unusual for DUI cases to end in acquittal.
How a DUI Attorney Makes a Difference
No matter what the evidence against you, there are ways to defend against it. Even breath tests and blood tests are not conclusive. The accuracy of these tests varies widely, and DUI lawyers are trained to fight them. Some of the tactics they use include:
- Disputing the tests. Breath tests can be skewed by many factors, including simple miscalibration, the use of mouthwash or breath spray, or an underlying medical condition. Blood tests are superior, but require skill to be analyzed properly. If the laboratory, the officer, or anyone else broke protocol, your lawyer might be able to get this evidence excluded.
- Making sure your legal rights are respected. You are entitled to certain rights throughout the arrest process. If these rights are not observed by police, your statements—including incriminating ones—could be inadmissible.
- Examining statements and testimony. When an officer performs an arrest they make certain assumptions, but this often gets recorded as fact when a report is filed. Lawyers know this, and will probe statements from officers and other witnesses, looking for any inconsistency that makes your position stronger.
- Offering alternative explanations. Alcohol is just one reason a person might appear to be intoxicated. Other reasons include being anxious, distracted, drowsy, or simply making a driving error. Just because a police officer thinks you were drunk doesn’t mean you were.
Winning your case is your lawyer’s top priority. But even when that can’t be done, they may still be able to get penalties reduced, jail time dropped, or even reduce the charge to something less than DUI.
Speak to a Tarzana DUI Lawyer for Free
If you want to fight your case you must act quickly. You have only 10 days after your arrest to file for a hearing to keep your license, and only weeks to prepare your defense. Speaking to a lawyer should be the first thing you do.
That’s why this site exists. We will match you with a skilled Tarzana DUI lawyer at charge. We work only with talented legal professionals that focus exclusively on DUI. And they will sit down and give you an initial consultation for FREE.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Speak to a Tarzana DUI attorney you can trust. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your FREE case evaluation today.