Besides being embarrassing, a Los Angeles DUI charge, if not handled properly with the assistance of experienced Los Angeles DUI attorneys, can have devastating consequences that can disrupt your life for years. A DUI conviction in Los Angeles can result in a number of substantial penalties that have the power to derail your life in ways you never thought possible. Some of the penalties you’ll face if arrested for DUI in Los Angeles include:
• Driver’s license suspension or revocation
• Expensive fines
• DUI education requirements
• Jail time
• Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your Automobile
• Increased future insurance premiums
First Things First—Mounting a DUI Defense in Los Angeles
While it is tempting to immediately begin strategizing as to how you’ll beat that DUI, your first task to accomplish, even before you and your Los Angeles DUI attorneys begin mounting your DUI defense in Los Angeles is to secure your right to drive. Don’t get too far ahead in mounting your defense by neglecting to take advantage of your rights to petition the California Department of Transportation (DMV) to keep your driver’s license until after your case has been settled. California law allows you to request a DMV hearing for up to 10 days after your arrest to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license.
What typically happens in a DUI arrest is that the arresting officer, at the time of your pull over, will confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a “temporary license” or a “notice of suspension.” Unless you request an appeal with the DMV within the 10-day window allowed for a hearing, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended after 30 days, which may result in suspension or revocation of your license for 6 months unless you do something about it—like hire Los Angeles DUI attorneys to represent you during your DMV hearing.
In addition, if during your arrest you refused to take a breathalyzer test, you could face up to a year’s suspension, and if you have prior convictions, additional suspension of up to 10 years could be added should you get convicted of the current DUI. Therefore, you want to make sure you don’t forget to schedule the hearing so you have the best possible chance of keeping your driver’s license. Suspensions can continue even if the underlying DUI is dismissed or reduced.
Your DUI Defense Is Best Presented By a DUI Attorney
Having Los Angeles DUI attorneys involved in your case at the beginning will help you avoid the driver’s license suspension penalty and also give you a head-start on your defense. Los Angeles DUI attorneys will have the forethought to request your DMV hearing in a timely manner and can appear with you at that first hearing as well as at all other court proceedings, assuring that you are well defended from the beginning of the judicial process.
The DMV hearing to avoid license suspension has no real bearing on your case—it just ensures that your license is not revoked. The first court appearance that does have bearing on your case is the arraignment that follows your DUI arrest. At the arraignment, you’ll hear the exact charges filed against you and will be asked to enter one of the following pleas: “not guilty,” “no contest,” or “guilty.” Your Los Angeles DUI attorneys can advise you as to which option is best for you, depending upon your circumstance, but it is advisable to not attend the arraignment alone. Arraignments can be intimidating and confusing if you’ve never faced one before, so you don’t want to make a slip and inadvertently plead “guilty” by mistake. Having Los Angeles DUI attorneys accompany you to your DUI arraignment will ensure that you understand what’s going on and what your rights are.
Defenses Used by Los Angeles Attorneys in DUI Cases
Don’t assume that the prosecutor’s case is solid. A number of defenses have proven to be quite successful in California DUI charges and include:
• Lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop
• Mistakes made during your breath and blood test
• Administrative procedure errors
• Being subjected to a field sobriety test when no appearance of being under the influence is present
• Violations involving the administration of Miranda rights
• An illegal arrest
• Lack of evidence
Just because you are arrested and charged with DUI doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted. Having experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer on your side can mean the difference between having to deal with the repercussions of a DUI conviction and going about your life as if the arrest never occurred.
A strong advocate for those arrested in Los Angeles for a crime of any kind, R.J. Manuelian has provided legal representation to countless dui clients. A noted speaker, teacher, and often-quoted commentator, R. J. is a highly-sought-after experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney.