Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
A DUI charge in Walnut is serious. Penalties are steep, and rising each year. If you’re convicted you face severe consequences, including the loss of your driver’s license, mandatory DUI school, fines reaching thousands of dollars, and possibly even jail time. Defending yourself must be your top priority.
A DUI lawyer can help you fight the charge. They can guide you through the complicated legal system, negotiate with the prosecution, dispute the evidence against you, and potentially save you a fortune in fines and fees. Most importantly, your lawyer may be able to win your case without even going to trial. Many DUI cases end with the charges being dropped or downgraded to something less serious.
Consequences of a DUI in Walnut
A DUI is a very expensive crime. Even a first-time offense can cost as much as $15,649. This represents a source of revenue for the City of Walnut, and the city prosecutes DUIs fiercely. The area routinely holds DUI roadblocks to catch as many drivers as possible, each bringing in more income for the local government.
The penalties aren’t just financial, however. Consequences include a wide range of mandatory sentences, even for first time offenders. First time DUI penalties include:
- Fines and Fees. Every DUI carries a fine of at least $390, but the costs don’t stop there. The court will also add a variety of “administrative fees.” The total cost is a minimum of $1800, and may be much more.
- Jail Time. You may face incarceration. The sentence can last anywhere from two days to six months.
- Losing Your License. All DUI convictions impose loss of driving privileges. This may last from four months up to one year.
- DUI School. Not only must you attend at least three months of traffic safety courses, but you must also pay for it out of pocket, which will cost over $500.
- Probation. Finally, you will be placed on probation for a period from three to five years. You may also be ordered to install an interlock device on your vehicle to prevent starting the car while intoxicated.
If you’ve had a prior DUI within the past 10 years you count as a “repeat offender.” The penalties for repeat offenders are even tougher:
- More Jail Time. You can be sentenced to up to one year in jail.
- State Prison. You may face up to 16 months in a state penitentiary.
- Longer License Suspension. Loss of license may be two years, three years, or even permanent.
- Alcohol Treatment. The court may order you to undergo addiction treatment.
- More DUI School. Courses may last up to 30 months.
- Increased Fines. Costs can easily exceed $10,000.
- Felony Record. In addition to everything else, the charge may be upgraded to a felony.
Even after you serve your time, employers can see the DUI on your record and insurance companies will charge you more for car insurance. A single DUI conviction can affect your life for years.
The 3 Legal Deadlines in a DUI Case
Most Walnut DUI arrests are conducted by the LA County Sheriff or the Baldwin Park Division of the CA Highway Patrol. Typically you will be held at the Walnut-Diamond Bar Station. But being arrested is only the beginning of a long and stressful process. After arrest, you face three strict deadlines. These deadlines will come quickly and each one has consequences that can affect your life for years.
The three key deadlines of a DUI case are:
- DMV Hearing.Your license will be suspended by the state DMV unless you file a request for a hearing within 10 days of arrest. This “administrative suspension” is separate from court sentencing, and proceeds whether or not you are eventually convicted. Your DUI attorney can file the request for the hearing for you, and can present the evidence the DMV wants to hear to let you keep driving until the trial.
- Arraignment. This brief hearing before a judge is when you plead Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest. It’s also your first opportunity to show the prosecution you will not be an easy conviction. This is important, because prosecutors don’t want to waste precious time and resources pursuing difficult cases. Hiring a DUI lawyer sends a strong message that your case will be a battle. You should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible—the arraignment typically happens less than 14 days from arrest.
- Trial. Your trial will be scheduled at either the El Monte Courthouse or the West Covina Courthouse. You may have as little as 30 days to assemble your case. Your lawyer will use this time weaken the evidence against you and put pressure on the prosecution. With a good lawyer, you may never have to go to trial—many DUI cases are resolved favorably out of court.
How to Beat a DUI in Walnut
A lawyer can make all the difference in your case. A true DUI lawyer dedicates their entire practice to DUI charges and related cases. They learn strategies to weaken the prosecution’s case against you. These strategies include:
- Disputing the accuracy of breath or blood tests. Chemical tests aren’t always right. Breath tests can be challenged if the machine wasn’t calibrated properly or has a history of inaccuracy. Blood tests may be challenged if the blood sample wasn’t handled and stored properly or if lab protocols weren’t followed. Your lawyer may be able to get them thrown out.
- Fighting violations of your rights. Police make mistakes during arrests. They may not have had a reason to stop you, they may have searched your vehicle without permission, or they may have questioned you without reading you your rights after arrest. A lawyer can spot these errors and get the illegal evidence suppressed.
- Spotting errors in police testimony. Police reports and officer testimony often contain inconsistencies. Lawyers are trained to spot and leverage these mistakes and can use them to call the officer’s version of events into question.
- Getting you a deal. The prosecution may offer you a “deal” early on in the case. These initial deals are rarely any better than being convicted. Your lawyer will drive a hard bargain and work to get you an outcome you’re happy with. They’ll challenge each piece of evidence the prosecution has, and once the case against you is weak enough, they’ll move in to push the prosecutor for a real
Talk to a Walnut DUI Lawyer for Free
You don’t have to face your DUI alone. We can match you with the best lawyers in the Walnut area. Your attorney will offer you a complete case evaluation for FREE, and help you choose the right legal option for you.
Don’t wait. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 to get your FREE consultation today.