There are many consequences that come from a DUI arrest, and some of these negative consequences occur even if you are not convicted of a DUI. For anyone charged with a DUI in Los Angeles County, it is very important to consult a local DUI attorney in Los Angeles who is experienced within the local court system.
Your consultation with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer should take place within one week from the date of arrest so that important timelines are not missed. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to create a strategic plan for both your court case and your DMV hearing. In doing so, an experienced and effective lawyer will be able to maximize your temporary drivers license so that you may continue to drive while your case is pending. During your consultation, the lawyer may be able to advise you on the merits of your defenses and tell you what pretrial motions would be helpful in your case. Such motions may include the suppression of evidence such as the DUI field sobriety tests, the DUI breath test, the DUI blood results, and any incriminating statements you may have made to the police during the DUI investigation. Consequently, a DUI lawyer may be able to help someone accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs resolve the case for a reduced charge and possibly even have the case dismissed.
License Suspensions Following a DUI
Many of those who receive a DUI do not realize that their license suspension is imposed by the DMV and is separate from their court case. The drunk driving case (aka DUI) that is scheduled in the superior court is a criminal proceeding that will determine whether the defendant is guilty or not and, if they are found guilty, what their sentence should be. License suspensions, however, are imposed by the DMV and according to specific DMV rules and various provisions of the California Vehicle Code. In order to preserve your driving privileges, you must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the date of the DUI incident. Failure to request a hearing at the Traffic Safety Office within this 10-day period will result in an automatic drivers license suspension that will begin 30 days after the date of the incident. The suspension imposed by the DMV will last 4 months on most first-time DUI cases. If the driver is convicted of a DUI in court, however, the DMV will impose a 6-month suspension if the case is a first offense. If the person has prior DUI convictions, the suspension period may be significantly longer.
Likely Penalties for a DUI in Los Angeles
Those facing a DUI in Los Angeles for the first time, and who did not injure anyone or destroy any significant property, will often receive a probationary sentence that may include payment of fines and fees, completion of an alcohol class, and perhaps community service. While there is a maximum 6-month jail sentence for first time DUI offenders, incarceration is seldom imposed absent aggravating factors and egregious circumstances. However, those who have prior DUI convictions or who have injured someone during the course of a DUI very strongly encouraged to immediately retain DUI attorney in Los Angeles to help safeguard against much stricter penalties. Those facing felony DUIs will often be facing a potential state prison sentence. The amount of prison time that they may be sentenced to can be quite significant. A DUI is automatically charged as a felony in California if it was a forth DUI within a 10 year period, or if it resulted in serious bodily injury to someone.
The consequences of a DUI arrest do not simply end with the sentencing. A conviction will remain on a person’s criminal record forever, unless a petition is later filed with the court to have the matter dismissed. Those who have a DUI will also find that they will face extremely high insurance rates, and they may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car. While ignition interlock devices are commonly used with repeat offenders, they are now required for first time DUI offenders in Los Angeles County. The device requires a monthly subscription fee as well as an installation fee.