Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
Getting arrested for DUI in Toluca Lake is serious. A DUI involves a lot more than a fine—it can mean jail time, a suspended driver’s license, higher insurance rates and thousands of dollars in penalties. Having a DUI on your record can also affect your future employment. This is why it’s so important to fight your case.
The best way to do that is by hiring a Toluca Lake DUI lawyer. DUI lawyers are trained to take on difficult cases just like yours—and bring back the best possible outcome. In many cases they can get your sentence reduced, have the charge changed from DUI to something less serious, keep you out of jail or save you from the most expensive fines. In some cases they can even get evidence against you tossed out and potentially win your case.
The Penalties for DUI in Toluca Lake
Toluca Lake and the surrounding neighborhoods are heavily policed. This is part of a much wider crackdown on DUI across the city. Each year, there are more than 8,000 arrests for DUI on Los Angeles, and that number is likely to grow. This rise in enforcement is tied to the high dollar tag attached to a DUI case. DUIs have some of the steepest fines and fees of any misdemeanor, and each conviction is a source of revenue for local government.
The penalties for DUI are set forth in the California Vehicle Code. They are serious for even a first time DUI, and get much more severe for repeat offenders. As an example, here are the minimum penalties for a first time DUI:
- Jail time. Most first DUI convictions include at least 48 hours in jail. This is the bare minimum and can easily be more—up to six months.
- Fines. The actual fine for DUI sounds steep but manageable: $390. But on top of this fine, you are required to pay a variety of special fees called “court assessments.” When added together, your minimum tab is $1,800. It can be thousands of dollars more.
- No driving. You will have your license suspended for months following your DUI. You may or may not be able to qualify for “restricted” driving privileges that let you drive to work.
- DUI school. All drivers convicted of DUI must attend a special traffic school course. The minimum course lasts 3 months and costs $500.
Remember that these are minimums. The total cost of a first time DUI in southern CA can be up to $15,649. In addition, you will remain on probation long after your other penalties are served and may have to install an interlock device in your car.
Repeat offenders face up to a year in jail, more than a year in prison, tens of thousands of dollars in costs, and license suspension and traffic school that last years.
What Happens after You Get a DUI in Toluca Lake
Toluca Lake is policed by the LAPD, the Sheriff’s Department, and the Southern Division of the California Highway Patrol. The jail you’ll be processed in depends on which body arrested you. In most cases you will be held overnight. You may or may not be required to pay bail before you’re released. If you cannot afford bail, you could wait in jail up to 35 days for your case to be resolved. A DUI lawyer can help fight to have you freed sooner.
After the arrest, your case has a number of important deadlines. These deadlines will come at you fast, and each one helps determine your future. The phases of a DUI case include:
- The DMV hearing. The California DMV is not a law enforcement agency, but it does get involved in DUI cases. Following your arrest, they will suspend your license in just 30 days—regardless of whether your court case is over. The ONLY way to stop this is to file a request with the DMV, and you have just 10 days to do this. The 10 day period starts from the day you’re arrested. The best way to handle this hearing is to request it immediately and ask your DUI lawyer to represent you at it. They may be able to get the suspension withheld.
- The arraignment. Within 1-2 weeks of being arrested you will have a hearing at court called an arraignment. This hearing is where the charges are read against you, and you enter your initial plea. This is your first chance to make an impression on the prosecution. They’re there largely to see how you conduct yourself in court and whether you’ve hired a lawyer. If not, they view you as easy pickings.
- Trial preparation. Most DUI trials are held within 35 to 45 days after the arrest. This is a very short period of time to prepare a defense. DUI lawyers use this time to examine evidence, and request data on the breath test or blood test which could show that it was flawed. They also work hard to bring the prosecution to the table with a good deal. It’s important to hire your DUI lawyer as early as possible.
- Your trial. If you were arrested in Toluca Lake your trial will most likely be held at the Burbank Courthouse. However, in most cases your DUI case will not go to trial. Instead you’ll be offered a deal in advance. In some cases, a good lawyer can even get the charges against you reduced or dropped. However, if the deal isn’t acceptable, going to trial means you have a chance of acquittal—a courtroom victory. Many DUI cases end in acquittal every year.
Do You Really Need a DUI Attorney?
Many people who have been arrested for DUI don’t know if they want to hire an attorney. This is normal. However, an experienced DUI lawyer can have a huge impact on your case. Many of them have spent thousands of hours working on cases like yours, and know from experience which tactics work and which ones don’t. They can come back with a surprising win even in some of the toughest cases.
Some of the ways a DUI lawyer works in your behalf include:
- Representing you at the DMV hearing. A good DUI lawyer will go in person to the hearing and make a case for why you should be allowed to drive until your trial, on solid legal grounds.
- Fighting the breath test/blood test results. These chemical tests are scientific but not perfect. Breath tests can be off if the machine was not maintained or calibrated according to schedule. Blood tests can be rendered null if lab procedures were not followed. Your lawyer knows how to find out if this was the case.
- Hunting down evidence. The prosecution has to share all of its evidence with you, and a DUI lawyer knows what to look for in this evidence. They will also look for additional evidence that could be of use—camera footage of your arrest, for example.
- Jury selection. If your case goes to trial your lawyer will work to ensure that the jury is unbiased and even potentially friendly to your case.
There is no substitute for having an experienced lawyer on your side, and even simply sitting down for a first consultation can tell you volumes about your case.
Getting a Toluca Lake DUI Lawyer You Can Trust
Our site exists to match drivers accused of DUI with the best DUI lawyers in the city. We work only with experienced, knowledgeable attorneys who focus their practice on DUI. We believe that every driver deserves a good defense, and we want to help make that happen for you. That’s why the attorneys we work with offer 100% FREE, no obligation consultations. You’ll find out what they can do for your case, and decide for yourself if you want to work with them.
Don’t face your DUI without a professional at your side. Fill out the form to your right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your FREE consultation today.