Get a DUI Attorney Near Me
DUI is a serious charge in Westlake Village. It’s treated as a criminal offense with heavy penalties. You may lose your license, face jail time and traffic school, and spend thousands of dollars in fines and fees. A DUI can disrupt your life.
But it’s possible to beat a DUI charge. A Westlake Village DUI lawyer will fight for you. They can fight even the toughest evidence against you and push the prosecution to give you a way out. They could get your charges reduces or your case dropped altogether.
DUI Penalties in Westlake Village
The penalties for a DUI are heavy. Fines and court fees add up to a minimum of $1,800 and potentially far more. The city of Westlake Village sees DUI arrests as a way to bring in revenue, and routinely holds DUI checkpoints across the area to maximize arrests. In some cases a first-time DUI could cost you as much as $15,649.
But DUI penalties aren’t limited to fines. The complete sentence for a first-time offense includes:
- Jail time. You may have already spent a night at the Sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills Station. That’s just the beginning. If convicted you will spend anywhere from two days to six months in jail.
- Loss of license. Your license will be taken away for at least six months, and potentially up to a year.
- DUI school. You must take traffic safety courses for no less than three months. You pay for this yourself at a cost of at least $500.
- Probation. Even after your sentence you will remain on probation for three to five years.
These penalties are tough, but California state law establishes even tougher penalties for repeat offenders. If you have a prior DUI on your record from the last ten years, the consequences for a new DUI may include:
- Up to a year in jail, 16 months in state prison, or in some cases, multiple years in state prison.
- Losing your license for two to three full years. You could even lose your license for life.
- DUI school or up to 30 months, at a cost of nearly $2,000.
- The possibility of drug or alcohol addiction treatment.
- Felony status. A felony goes on your record for life, affecting job opportunities and even your basic rights.
- Fines and fees that easily reach into the tens of thousands of dollars. That’s equal to the cost of a new car.
But remember—you don’t face any of these penalties if you’re not convicted. The best way to protect yourself is to defend yourself from as early in the legal process as possible.
Understanding the DUI Legal Process
In Westlake Village you were most likely picked up by the the LA County Sheriff’s Department or a state trooper out of Moorpark. Being arrested can be intimidating, but it’s only the first step in a lengthy legal process. This process moves quickly, and has several key deadlines. You need to be ready to take action for each deadline in your case.
These deadlines include:
- DMV hearing request. The DMV suspends your license automatically during the time leading up to trial, even if you are never convicted. This is called administrative suspension. The only way to stop this suspension is to file a request within 10 days of your arrest. Your lawyer can file this request for you, and can handle the hearing itself. A good DUI lawyer knows what the DMV wants to see to let you keep your license until trial.
- Arraignment. The arraignment is a hearing before a judge where you plead Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest. It typically happens within 14 days of arrest. This is an opportunity for you, because it’s your first chance to show the prosecution you are willing to fight. They don’t want to waste precious time and resources on difficult convictions. If you have a good DUI lawyer on your side by the arraignment date, they’ll know they can’t pressure you into an easy conviction. They may offer you a better deal almost right away.
- Trial. Your trial will be scheduled at the Ventura County Superior Court, often less than two months from the date of your arrest. Going to court can frightening, but you may not have to go at all. Your lawyer’s highest goal is to resolve the case in your favor before the court date. Many DUIs end without a trial ever taking place.
How to Beat a DUI in Westlake Village
The best defense against a DUI is a reputable DUI lawyer. Your lawyer is the only person truly on your side in a very hostile legal system. And a lawyer who focuses on DUI knows every tactic that can improve your case. Some of the strategies they use include:
- Disputing the chemical test. During arrest you were probably forced to take a Breathalyzer or blood test. These tests appear scientific but they often give flawed results. Your lawyer will pull the test data to see if there was any irregularity including a poorly calibrated machine or a breach of testing procedure. If so, this “evidence” may be thrown out.
- Protecting your rights. Officers may have broken procedure and infringed on your rights at any point from the initial traffic stop to questioning you after arrest. If your rights were violated, evidence against you may no longer be allowed in court.
- Finding errors in testimonies. Reports by police and witnesses often contain conflicting information. You lawyer will spot any inconsistences and use them to your advantage.
- Negotiating with the prosecution. The prosecution will be far more likely to make a deal when they see their evidence falling apart. Your lawyer will capitalize on this and bargain for a better outcome. The earlier in the process you speak to a lawyer, the more they can do to improve your odds.
Talk to a Westlake Village DUI Lawyer for Free
You deserve a real defense. Let us connect you with a top DUI lawyer in the Westlake Village area. e work only with lawyers 100% dedicated to DUI defense—and your lawyer will give you a FREE consultation. This is your chance to get the legal help you need.
Don’t face a DUI alone. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 to get your FREE consultation today.