Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Van Nuys, CA you face a serious charge. The penalties for DUI are much more than a simple fine. You could face jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, a suspended license, and a DUI treatment program—even if it’s your first offense. You should take this charge seriously and do everything you can to fight it.
The surest way to do that is to have a Van Nuys DUI lawyer working for you. DUI lawyers know every step of the legal process you’re facing, and they know which strategies work to get drivers like you off the hook. They may be able to save you money, keep you out of jail, or even get your DUI case dropped entirely.
The Cost of a DUI in Van Nuys
The Van Nuys neighborhood is heavily policed and is part of a citywide DUI enforcement effort. Local authorities are keen to rack up as many DUI convictions as possible—partly because the fines for DUI are so high. Every DUI case represents potential money in the door for local government, and they are prosecuted without mercy. As a result, there are 2,000 DUI arrests a year across the city.
The penalties for DUI are complex. State law treats a DUI differently depending on whether it was your first, second or third or more conviction. But even a first time DUI sentence is rough. The main penalties include:
- A fine of at least $390, which spirals to $1,800 when court fees are added in. This is the minimum fine—a first time DUI can cost up to $15,600.
- Jail time ranging from two days to six months.
- A minimum four months of absolutely no driving. It can be up to a year.
- Mandatory DUI treatment. This will last at least 90 days and cost at least $500.
These are only first time penalties, and they get more severe if you have previous DUI’s within the last 10 years. If that’s the case, you could face stiffer penalties across the board—up to a year in jail, more than a year in state prison, a year or more of license suspension, three years of DUI treatment, and fines and fees ranging in the tens of thousands of dollars.
What to Expect in a Van Nuys DUI Case
Most Van Nuys DUI cases begin with an arrest by the LAPD, the County Sheriff or the California Highway Patrol. Regardless of who arrested you, you will normally be booked for a night in jail at the Van Nuys Community Police Station. This is only the beginning of your case.
DUI cases move quickly. At each stage, you will have to make serious decisions about how to proceed. Each of these decisions will determine the future of your driver’s license, your case, and in many ways, your life for many years to come.
The crucial stages of a DUI case include:
- The DMV Hearing. Although the California DMV is not a law enforcement body, it does participate in the DUI process. The DMV will automatically suspend your license 30 days after your arrest even if you have not gone to trial yet. There is one way to prevent this, and that is to prevail at a DMV hearing. But you must request this hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you do not, you lose your chance—and your driving privileges. It’s best to have a DUI lawyer represent you at the hearing. They can also make sure the request is filed properly for you.
- The Arraignment. Your arraignment is a court hearing shortly after your arrest, normally at the Van Nuys Courthouse. At this hearing you will be asked to enter a plea of Guilty or Guilty. It’s likely that the prosecution will already make an offer to you in exchange for a Guilty plea. But these pre-arraignment offers are almost never generous ones. Having a DUI lawyer present at the arraignment sends a signal that you are going to fight hard, and your lawyer will use the opportunity as a chance to needle the prosecution.
- The Trial. Most DUI cases do not proceed to trial. Instead, your lawyer will use the time before the trial to assemble the strongest possible case for you. They will find holes in the prosecution’s evidence, move to get that evidence thrown out, and ultimately work to bring the prosecution to the table. Many DUI cases result in a favorable bargain with light penalties, a reduced charge, or even dropping the DUI charge altogether.
What to Look for in a Van Nuys DUI Defense Lawyer
The US Constitution guarantees you the right to an attorney. However, in many cases you will find that you do not qualify for a court appointed attorney. And if you do, these attorneys—known as public defenders—are not always able to do the kind of work for you that a dedicated DUI lawyer would do. They are overworked, with heavy case loads, and all too often their advice is to take the first “deal” the prosecution offers, even if it’s no better than just pleading Guilty.
That’s why it’s imperative to find a DUI lawyer you can trust. A good DUI lawyer will work to have the breath test or blood test evidence thrown out, to find holes in officer testimony, and to uncover evidence in your favor. They know that no case is unwinnable.
Signs of a good DUI lawyer include:
- They focus exclusively on DUI. Your lawyer should work exclusively on drunk driving and related cases—and give you their full attention.
- They have years of experience. A good DUI lawyer has spent thousands of hours researching, litigating and trying real DUI cases.
- They have received special training. They should routinely take seminars and classes to hone their knowledge of DUI law.
Lawyers who check all of the above boxes have a high success rate in defending DUI cases. They may be able to get your DUI charge knocked down to something less serious or win your case outright.
Talk to a Van Nuys DUI Lawyer Today for Free
The prosecutor, law enforcement, and public opinion are all working against you in your DUI case. Only one person truly has your back—your DUI defense lawyer. We want to help you get the best defense possible, by connecting you with a qualified lawyer who will offer you a FREE consultation.
Don’t leave your future up to chance. Discuss your case with a top DUI lawyer before it’s too late. Simply fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 to get your free consultation today.