In the state of California, any conviction for driving under the influence can result in severe consequences. A DUI conviction can lead to loss of license, expensive fines, and in some cases jail time. A conviction can also lead to consequences which could affect you for years. These include higher insurance premiums and possible loss of employment as well as a permanent criminal record. This is why it is important to have a Los Angeles DUI lawyer working on your behalf.
When seeking a DUI attorney Los Angeles residents should find a local attorney that knows the laws and has courtroom and negotiating experience. A Los Angeles DUI attorney will be able to review the actions of the arresting officers before and during the arrest. Through their investigation, they can determine whether or not there may be grounds for dismissing your DUI charge. In addition, the procedures used by the officer to determine you were legally over the BAC limit should be examined. This includes training of the officers and inspection of the maintenance and calibration of the breathalyzer unit.
The penalties for a first time DUI in California can be harsh, and include the following:
- Fines ranging from $390 to $1,000
- Jail time of 48 hours
- Suspension of driver’s license up to 4 months
- One years Driver’s License suspension if defendant is under 21
This may also include mandatory DUI School lasting from 3 to 18 months and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car, which forces the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before and during operation of the motor vehicle. The costs associated with this are the responsibility of the driver.
If you are convicted of multiple DUI offenses within 10 years the punishments quickly escalate; a 4th DUI conviction in this time period will be considered a felony DUI which carries a mandatory 3 year prison sentence. A second offense can result in 3 – 5 years’ probation and a 2 year suspension of your driver’s license.
Penalty Enhancements for DUI
There are other factors which can make a DUI charge much more serious; these are called enhancement. Find a DUI lawyer Los Angeles residents trust to explain these in more detail. An enhancement is a set of circumstances which the increase the seriousness of the law. These added penalties apply if the DUI arrest was accompanied by the following circumstances:
- A minor (14 or under) in the vehicle
- Blood Alcohol Content of 15 percent or higher
- Accident or injury
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Refusal to take a breathalyzer test
It also applies to zero tolerance drivers, such as commercial drivers.
A qualified attorney can help navigate the legal system; having an attorney who will fight for you and who knows the procedures and laws can be a huge relief. Being arrested is extremely stressful, and it is hard to consider what might be the best path when you are in the middle of that situation. Jonathan Franklin is a former prosecutor who can help you through the legal system and will make a vigorous defense on your behalf. Call the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin now for a free initial consultation.