Facing a DUI charge in Woodland Hills is not easy. Enforcement of DUI laws is strict, and the penalties include jail time, a suspended driver’s license, and thousands of dollars in fines—even for a first-time offender. If you don’t fight your DUI, the consequences could follow you for life.
You must discuss your case with a Woodland Hills DUI lawyer. DUI lawyers understand the legal system and the strategies that work for cases like yours. They may be able to help you keep your license, avoid jail time, or even win your case outright. In many cases, they will save you thousands.
The Penalties for DUI in Woodland Hills
Penalties for a DUI depend on whether it’s your first offense. California law sets forth a three-strike system, with steeper penalties for second, third, and subsequent offenses. But even a first-time DUI does not carry a light sentence. Penalties include:
- Jail time. Most first-time DUI convictions result in at least 48 hours of jail time and up to 6 months.
- License suspension. If convicted of DUI, your license will be suspended. This will last at least four months, and you will have restrictions on your driving for nearly a year
- Fines and fees. The DUI fine on the books isn’t as big as you might expect—$390. But the court adds a variety of “assessments” or fees on top of that. In total, the bare minimum is over $1,800. It can be thousands higher.
- DUI school. You’ll be ordered to attend an education program lasting at least three months and costing at least $500.
Additionally, you will be put on probation and may be ordered to install an interlock device on your vehicle. Repeat DUIs face even steeper sentences. Jail can be up to a year or, in some cases, 16 months in state prison.
License suspension and DUI treatment can last for years. And the fines can climb into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The Woodland Hills DUI Process Explained
Woodland Hills is policed primarily by the LAPD, operating out of two nearby stations in Reseda and Canoga Park. There is also a presence by both the Los Angeles Sheriff and the California State Troopers operating out of their West Valley Station. In most cases, when arrested, you will be booked and held overnight at the local police station.
Immediately after your arrest, several legal hearings and deadlines are racing toward you. Each of these has a direct bearing on your future. They are:
- Your DMV hearing. The California DMV will suspend your license following your DUI arrest even if you have not been proven guilty. You can stop this process if you win at a hearing with the DMV—but you have only ten days to request your hearing which starts the moment you’re arrested.
- The arraignment. At your arraignment, you will appear in court and enter your plea. The prosecution will already be considering whether to offer you a plea deal and having a reputable DUI lawyer at your side puts pressure on them from the start.
- Your trial. Your lawyer will spend the time before the trial assembling your defense and working to get key evidence against you thrown out. They will try to secure you a deal before the trial even begins and if you proceed to trial at Van Nuys Courthouse East, your lawyer will fight to have you proven Not Guilty.
A DUI Attorney in Woodland Hills Gives You the Advantage
Criminal defense lawyers have an old saying: there’s no such thing as a case that can’t be won. Many DUI defendants feel that the evidence against them is too clear-cut and that there’s no way they can win. This is not true.
The laws around DUI are complex, and lawyers who focus on DUI cases know how to fight the evidence. They’ve been trained on dozens of strategies to take even the grimmest DUI case and turn it around. Signs of a DUI lawyer worth trusting include:
- They focus exclusively on DUI law and related cases
- They have taken special training or certification in DUI law, specifically
- They can point to past cases similar to yours that they were able to win
- They have years of experience both in the courtroom and out
Lawyers like this can overturn the results of breath tests. They can get blood and urine analysis excluded from the evidence. They can challenge officer testimony or infringe on your rights during the arrest process, and most importantly, they bring back results.
They don’t take the first deal the prosecution offers—they fight for you and may even be able to get the charge reduced to something less than DUI or get you acquitted. There is no question that a DUI defendant with an experienced lawyer has an advantage over one without.
The Prosecution’s Responsibility in a DUI Case
The legal system generally frowns upon DUI cases. Still, there are certain elements that the prosecution must prove to charge you with a DUI. For a DUI charge, the prosecution is responsible for proving the following elements:
- The driver drove the vehicle, and
- The driver was under the influence while driving.
You may not be charged with a DUI if these elements aren’t proven. There are a couple of defenses that DUI lawyers use to question the credibility of the prosecution in DUI cases.
Questioning the Accuracy of Test Results
One of the most common defenses against DUI charges is challenging the accuracy of BAC testing.
Police officers make mistakes when administering drug tests. For a driver to be charged with a DUI, they must have a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or more.
The way that these tests are collected can affect the results of the test. The police officer may not have properly stored the evidence, which can affect the accuracy of the results. If there has been a break in the chain of custody regarding the test result, the test result may not be admissible in court.
Contact a Woodland Hills DUI Lawyer Today for a FREE Consultation
You don’t have a day to lose if you have been arrested for DUI. You have only ten days to fight for your driver’s license and usually less than 45 days to prepare for trial. This is the time a Woodland Hills DUI attorney uses to ensure you have the best chance possible.
Our site connects people like you with the best DUI lawyers in Woodland Hills. The attorneys we work with are experienced and focused on DUI cases—and they will sit down with you and discuss your case for FREE. Do not wait until it is too late – fill out the form to the right, call our office, and get your free case discussion today.