There’s a lot to stress about if you’re facing a DUI charge in Villa Park. You might worry about going to jail, paying huge fines, and having your driver’s license suspended. Thankfully, you do have options. From the very beginning, you can fight your DUI charge with the help of a Villa Park DUI attorney.
We believe a single mistake shouldn’t haunt you for years later. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will work to improve your odds and seek the best possible outcome after your arrest. With the right attorney on your side, you may be able to avoid the worst DUI penalties.
What Kind of Penalties Will I Face for a DUI in California?
If you get arrested for suspicion of violating California Vehicle Code (CVC) 23152, you could face several penalties depending on the severity of your infraction:
- Jail or prison time
- Fines ranging from hundreds to even thousands of dollars
- License suspension
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
- Mandatory traffic and DUI school
In addition, you could face other negative consequences not given out by the judge. These include points on your DMV record through the Negligent Operator Treatment System, higher insurance premiums, and reduced career or educational opportunities.
Simply put, a DUI conviction can cause a lot of financial strain and negatively impact your life for years to come. The best way to fight against these penalties is by proving your innocence so that you don’t have to deal with them in the first place. The first step in fighting your DUI charges is to understand what exactly happens after you get arrested.
What Happens When You Get a DUI in Villa Park
After a DUI arrest, you will likely spend the night in the local jail. Villa Park police will release you the next day, but that’s not the end. After release, you’ll want to start taking action to defend yourself. And it’s good to understand what will happen in the days, weeks, and months after a DUI arrest.
Here are some critical steps in the DUI process you’ll need to be aware of. If you want to maximize your chances of achieving the best outcome, contact a DUI lawyer as soon as you can after your arrest. They will play an integral part in your actions during the entire legal process.
License Suspension and DMV Hearing
When anyone gets arrested for DUI in California, police notify the DMV, and they put an admin per se suspension on their driver’s license. This means that police will take your official license and give you a temporary license to use instead.
Your license will get suspended 30 days after your arrest date unless you request a DMV hearing within 10 days. Don’t put off doing this, as the 10 days will go by quickly. Your lawyer can represent you during the DMV hearing and even call for testimony from the officer who arrested you.
This is an excellent opportunity to look for any inconsistencies in the officer’s statement while also trying to win the hearing so that you can keep your license.
Plus, DMV hearings are sometimes scheduled really far in advance. So, you might not even have to worry about potentially losing your license until your trial. And if you and your Villa Park DUI attorney win your trial, you won’t need to attend the hearing at all.
The arraignment is the first actual courtroom hearing that happens for your DUI case. It’s typically scheduled a few days after your arrest, and it’s where you enter your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
At this point, having a DUI attorney is invaluable. Unless there are unique circumstances, a good DUI lawyer will almost always advise you not to plead guilty and instead fight the charge. They will also use the arraignment as a chance to feel out the prosecution’s evidence against you and look for weak spots.
Preparing for Trial
During your arraignment, you’ll be given a trial date. Then, you and your lawyer will get to work building you a strong defense. It’s always a good idea to consult with our DUI lawyer before deciding to plead not guilty and go to trial.
Attorneys specializing in this field will be most familiar with your chances of success and how you should proceed. They will also know what is obvious evidence of you not being guilty and what needs some work. Also, our lawyers may try negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution.
Prosecutors have spent many years learning about DUI law and conviction, and they don’t like to lose. So, if you and your lawyer can show that you are ready and able to fight DUI charges against you, they may offer you a favorable plea deal or drop the case altogether.
Building Your Case
Our DUI lawyers in Villa Park will research tirelessly and use their trained eyes to look for weak areas in the prosecution’s evidence. This can lead to evidence getting thrown out altogether. That may include:
- Discrediting the breath or blood test
- Getting some of the prosecution’s key evidence suppressed
- Questioning the police statements or testimony of the arresting officer
- Looking for proof of your rights getting violated during your arrest
- Considering other explanations for a failed breath test
Most DUI cases are resolved before the trial date, meaning they never actually go to court. In a best-case scenario, your case gets thrown out, or a good plea deal with a lesser charge or lighter penalties gets negotiated between the DUI lawyer and the prosecutor. With a good DUI lawyer, yours could have the same fate with the best possible ending for you.
If your case does go to trial, your DUI lawyer will not take it lightly. Depending on who arrested you, your case may either get heard at the Downey or Bellflower courthouses.
Every DUI case in California has the following structure:
- Jury selection
- Opening statements of prosecution and defense
- The prosecution presents their case
- Defense presents their case
- Closing statements of prosecution and defense
- The verdict given by the jury, either guilty or not guilty
- Your sentencing
Leading up to and during the trial, your lawyer will use many different strategies to poke holes in the prosecution’s evidence and show the jury how questionable the charges against you are. If they are successful, you will win your case.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
You should only accept a plea bargain if it is of any benefit to you. Prosecutors may act like they’re on your side by seemingly offering you a generous plea bargain. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
The prosecution is simply trying to resolve your case as fast as possible in their favor. Before you accept any deal, you should always have one of our Villa Park DUI lawyers review offers made to you. We will ensure that you don’t get cheated and that the terms are fair.
What if I’m a Minor or a Commercial Driver?
Minors and commercial drivers often have stricter regulations under California law. For example, if you are a commercial driver in Villa Park, your BAC can’t be above .04%. For minors, any trace of alcohol will count as a DUI. This means having a BAC as little as .01% is enough for a conviction.
As a minor or a commercial driver, you will face additional penalties on top of the standard ones for regular drivers. You could end up losing your job or the ability to drive until you reach a certain age. Don’t risk any of these penalties and get a lawyer to help you as soon as possible.
Speak With a Villa Park DUI Lawyer for Free Today
Don’t let a DUI charge impact your life forever. Instead, get in touch with an experienced Villa Park DUI lawyer who knows how to help your case and guide you in the right direction. While it may seem like no one is on your side, our lawyers will stand with you and help you fight for your case. Get a free consultation by contacting us today. We are available 24/7.