DUI First Offense in Los Angeles
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Los Angeles, you’re not alone. During a three year period, LA County saw 104,463 DUI arrests and there were over 450,000 arrests statewide during that same time. Law enforcement and prosecutors in California draw a hard line when it comes to drunk driving. Even for a first offense, you could be facing jail, fines, license suspension, and a criminal record. But the state has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney like C. Robert Brooks can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Penalties for a First-Time DUI in California
Unless there are aggravating circumstances, such as serious injuries or death to another, a first drunk driving arrest will be classified as a misdemeanor. There are, however, consequences to a misdemeanor DUI arrest that can seriously impact your life. If you’re found guilty of DUI, you could be facing up to six months in jail, $1000 in fines, a mandatory alcohol education program for three to nine months at your own expense, and a six-month driver’s license suspension. In addition, you will have a criminal record that can show up on background checks. Any subsequent DUI arrests that you have in the next ten years will carry with them enhanced penalties. That’s why it’s to your benefit to retain the services of a diligent Los Angeles DUI lawyer at your earliest opportunity. The sooner your attorney can get involved in your case, the better your chances that they will achieve a favorable outcome.
DUI License Suspension
If you’re arrested for DUI, the police will confiscate your driver’s license and issue you a 30-day temporary license. Unless your attorney files for an extension with the DMV, this license will expire after 30 days. You have 10 days to request an administrative hearing with the DMV where they will determine whether or not your license should be suspended. This is not the same as a criminal trial. The administrative hearing will only determine whether or not you will be able to retain your license.
Even if you’ve never been arrested for a crime, a DUI charge can be life-altering. Contact C. Robert Brooks, Attorney at Law and schedule your free consultation.Contact Us
DUI Defense Strategies
Because DUI arrests are so prevalent, police officers in Los Angeles have extensive experience making drunk driving arrests. With that said, DUI arrests can be very technical and law enforcement officers often make procedural errors that can be exploited by an experienced defense lawyer. Some of the factors that could impact the viability of the prosecutorial case include:
- Probable Cause for the Stop – Did the officer have probable cause to execute the stop? Valid reasons for a stop include traffic violations, suspicious driving patterns, et cetera.
- Physical Indicators – Did the arresting officer indicate why they thought you might be intoxicated in the report? Physical indicators can include things like slurred speech, unstable gait, or the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from your face and body.
- Roadside Exercises – Sobriety exercises are voluntary and the officer should explain that to you. In addition, they should verbally and physically demonstrate the exercises in a well-lit area free of obstructions.
- Implied Consent – Officers should advise you of the implied consent warning prior to asking you to submit to a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) breath test.
If a police officer fails to meticulously follow procedures, some of the evidence can be suppressed, meaning that it can’t be used against you.
Misdemeanor DUI Lawyer in Los Angeles
Even if you’ve never been arrested for a crime, a DUI charge can be life-altering. Contact C. Robert Brooks, Attorney at Law and schedule your free consultation.