A (DUI) – “driving under the influence,” or “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) – is one of the most common criminal offense charges a Los Angeles DUI attorney defends in California. Every year, there are several thousand people charged for DUI in Los Angeles and throughout the state of California with the criminal offense of drunk driving. Regular people from all walks of life often find themselves facing a criminal record, the loss of their driver’s license, serious employment consequences, and substantially higher auto insurance premiums. These are serious issues that only the help and defense of a skilled DUI attorney in Los Angeles can help in preventing these most severe DUI penalties and costs.
A DUI charge is also a confusing, highly technical area of the law. This is another important factor why a Los Angeles DUI lawyer is needed to assist you in your defense and provide you with options you may not even be aware of. Even though driving under the influence has been against the law in California and the rest of the country for decades, the California DUI laws are constantly changing. There have been major changes to CA drunk driving laws in recent years, and there are always new court cases being fought and won by Los Angeles DUI attorneys every day who are up to date in how to fight to win against LA DUI charges.
- 3 Common DUI Offenses A Los Angeles DUI Attorney Defends
- How A Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Can Help Prevent Consequences
- What Is An Impaired Driving DUI Offense Charge?
- The DUI Offense Charge Of Blowing Over The .08 BAC Legal Limit
- The Two Different Types Of DUI Breath Tests
- Breath Tests Used In Court To Prove Blood Alcohol Content
- The Offense Of A DUI Test Refusal
- A DUI Charge For Being In “Care And Control” Of A Vehicle
- How A Los Angeles DUI Attorney Can Fight A Ignition Interlock Device
- What Are Your Defense Options With A DUI Attorney?
The consequences for or a DUI in California and Los Angeles also continue to increase. The public risks of drunk driving have caused police, prosecutors, and politicians to treat driving under the influence (DUI) very seriously, and the penalties for a conviction have been increasing. For these reasons, it is very important that everyone who is charged with a DUI offense consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal charge of a DUI is an allegation, and you are still presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. It is important to realize that despite any information you may read online or what friends may tell you, that only a experienced criminal defense DUI attorney in Los Angeles can properly advise you about your chances of successfully fighting to get out of a DUI charge in LA, after they have had a chance to review your arrest details of what took place.
The Three Common DUI Offenses A Los Angeles DUI attorney Defends
There are three main DUI offenses an average Los Angeles DUI attorney commonly defends that are related to drunk driving:
• DUI by Impaired Driving: Operating (or being in care and control of) a vehicle while your ability to do is impaired by alcohol, or by illegal drugs or prescription medication, or by a combination of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication.
• Driving Over the Alcohol Legal Limit of .08 BAC: Operating (or being in care and control of) a vehicle while your blood alcohol level is over .08 blood alcohol content (BAC).
• Refusing a Breathalyzer or other chemical DUI test: Refusing to provide a sample of your breath (or blood) after a police officer has demanded that you do so during a DUI sobriety test.
How a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Wins and can Help Prevent the Consequences of a Conviction for a DUI Offense Charge
All three of the above common DUI offenses a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer defends, usually carry the same possible penalties. The minimum fine for a first conviction for a DUI in Los Angeles is typically $1,500 to $2000, and fines can go much higher if other factors are involved such as injuries or property damage. This also does not include other additional fees such as Los Angeles DUI attorney costs or the Ignition Interlock Device fees.
For many people, the most significant penalty for driving under the influence is the loss of their driver’s license. Anyone found guilty of a DUI charge will be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle anywhere in California for the period of the suspension. Obviously, this can have significant employment consequences. A conviction is also likely to result in large increases in auto insurance premiums for several years. In addition, if there was a traffic accident related to the DUI charge, a conviction could result in your insurer denying you coverage for any property damage or injuries that resulted from the accident. Knowing these facts before your case goes to court, will also help the realization of just how important it is to hire the best Los Angeles DUI attorney possible to fight your charges and increase the chances of winning the case.
Since a DUI charge is a criminal offense, a conviction will result in a criminal record. The conviction will remain on your criminal record for the rest of your life, unless you apply for a criminal record DUI expungement. This is another area of the California DUI law that a Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you with in finding out whether or not you are eligible. However it’s important to know that even with a DUI attorney, it will generally take at least five years before a person is eligible to apply to have a DUI criminal record expunged in Los Angeles California.
If a person has already been convicted of a DUI offense, the penalties can be even more severe. For example, in California if you are convicted of a DUI offense and you have already been convicted of a DUI once before, a judge often requires a sentence of some time in jail. For a third offense, the minimum penalty is generally several months in jail. Although the prosecutor does not always seek jail for a DUI conviction, the rule of thumb in Los Angeles is that the prosecutor will ask the judge to impose the mandatory jail penalties if a person is convicted of two or more DUI offenses. A second conviction for a DUI in LA will also usually result in a driving suspension longer than the minimum one year, and including a vehicle Ignition Interlock Device if and when limited driving privileges are restored. This again is an area that a skilled DUI attorney in Los Angeles can help you, by first being able to review your own arrest details of what happened during the traffic stop and arrest – and then being able to establish a strong defense of how to fight the DUI evidence collected.
What is an Impaired Driving DUI Offense charge?
It is against the law in Los Angeles and throughout all of California to operate a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by drugs, prescription medicine, or alcohol. A DUI attorney in Los Angeles defends all types of DUI cases when is a person a impaired to drive a vehicle, even if the person was under the legal alcohol limit when arrested. When dealing with or fighting a DUI offense charge, “Impairment” is not always the same thing as “intoxication.” Your ability to drive does not need to be greatly impaired or much worse than normal for you to be found guilty of a DUI offense. It is enough that a judge is convinced that your ability to drive was at least slightly impaired because you had consumed alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication. The police do not always need to be able to prove your blood alcohol level in order for you to be convicted of DUI offense. To prove a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, drugs, or medication – police officers can testify about signs of impairment they observed at the time you were pulled over. Below are some of the most common examples a Los Angeles DUI attorney has is aware of with many of their clients:
• Observations of any unusual driving pattern, such as weaving between lanes or hitting the curb.
• Any admissions by the driver that they had been drinking alcohol, or taking medication.
• Witnesses to how much the driver may have been drinking.
• An odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the person’s breath.
• Slurred speech or incoherent comments.
• Red eyes or glossy eyes.
• Empty alcohol containers found in the person’s vehicle.
• Stumbling, difficulty standing, fumbling with documents, or other coordination problems.
There are often other reasonable explanations a Los Angeles DUI lawyer can explain for a person’s behavior or signs of impairment, other than impairment of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medicine. The prosecution must not only prove that a person had been drinking, but also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person’s ability to drive was impaired, and that it was alcohol or drugs caused the impairment. It is important to remember that slight symptoms of impairment do not always mean that a person’s ability to drive a car is also impaired. It is important to note that it is also against the law to operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
The DUI Offense Charge of Over the Legal Limit (Blowing Over .08 BAC)
It is a criminal offense charge to operate a vehicle while your blood alcohol level (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08 in California. After being able to review your own arrest circumstances, a Los Angeles DUI attorney can explain how your own blood alcohol level depends on a number of factors, such as how much you have had to drink, the alcohol content of each drink, when you consumed each drink, your weight, your gender, how quickly you absorbed the alcohol, and how quickly your body eliminates alcohol. It is impossible to precisely estimate a person’s expected blood alcohol level based on the amount of alcohol a person has consumed, since everyone metabolizes alcohol differently.
There are also a variety of ways for a Los Angeles DUI lawyer can defend you against a DUI charge of driving over .08 BAC – even when the breathalyzer test results were over the legal limit. In most cases, before the prosecutor can use your breath samples as proof of your actual blood alcohol level while you were driving, the prosecution must prove that the samples were taken in accordance with certain legal requirements. A skilled DUI attorney in Los Angeles can show how they may not be able to do so. It is also possible in some cases for Los Angeles DUI lawyers to have the breath test results evidence excluded from the trial, if it can be shown it was administered in a way that violated your constitutional rights. There are a number of possible defenses to a charge of drinking and driving over the legal limit in California, so you should have your case examined online through us by an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney to determine your chances of success and what it will cost for DUI defense based on your own details of what took place.
The Two Different Types of DUI Breath Tests
A person is only required to give a breath test where a police officer legally demands that they take such a DUI test. There are two different types of breathalyzer tests that the police use to test a person’s breath BAC:
• “Roadside” screening breathalyzer test, conducted using a hand-held machine at the side of the road, and,
• “Evidentiary” breathalyzer test, conducted using a more sophisticated machine at a police station or hospital.
Roadside Breathalyzer Tests
The first type of breath testing machine is usually used by police officers, or when the police first stop a driver or at a DUI checkpoint location. This portable, hand-held machine is called a “roadside” breathalyzer test. It is used to quickly determine a person’s approximate blood alcohol level (BAC), but it is considered less accurate than the breathalyzer machines kept in police stations. This is an area that once again a skilled Los Angeles DUI attorney can help with options of how to successfully fight to win a DUI case based on the accuracy of the breath test results.
Before a police officer can require you to blow into a roadside breath device, they must have some reason to suspect that you have consumed alcohol. They do not need to believe you are impaired, intoxicated, or that you are over the legal limit, however. It is enough that the officer reasonably suspects that you have some alcohol in your system. This is a relatively low level of proof, far lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were impaired. If you fail the roadside screening test you will almost always be arrested, but the assistance of a DUI attorney in Los Angeles can demonstrate possible ways to have these DUI breath test results excluded, after being able to review your arrest details of how the DUI test was processed during the arrest.
Breath Tests Used in Court to Prove Blood Alcohol Level
The second type of breath testing machine is found at a police station or at a DUI checkpoint location. This is the machine that can be used to prove your blood alcohol level in court. Before a police officer can require you to blow into this machine, they must have reasonable grounds to believe that your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol, or reasonable grounds to believe that you are over the legal limit. If you have failed a roadside screening test, the police will usually then base their assumption to conclude that your ability to drive is probably impaired. Therefore, if you fail the roadside screening test, the police can use that previous roadside breath test result to demand that you submit to another breath test with the more accurate breathalyzer machine at the police station.
It’s important that a person realizes they do have the right to consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer before they decide whether to provide breath samples into an approved instrument. If a police officer tells you that you have the right to speak with a lawyer, you should always tell the officer that you want to contact a lawyer, and speak with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer as soon as possible, so you understand your legal rights and options.
The Offense of a DUI Test Refusal
There are reasonable excuses for failing to provide a valid sample or refusing to provide a breath, blood, urine or other DUI test. Some possible examples of a reasonable DUI refusal excuses that a Los Angeles DUI attorney is often familiar with include:
• If there is a mechanical problem with the breath testing machine.
• If you have a medical condition that makes it dangerous or impossible for you to provide a valid breath sample.
• If you do not understand that the officer is demanding that you provide a breath sample because you do not speak the same language as the officer.
In addition, the police officer may not have had the legal right to demand a DUI test in the first place. If the officer did not have the right to force you to provide a breath, blood, or urine test, it is not against the law for you to refuse to provide a sample. This again is a complex area of the California DUI law, that only a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney can help in fighting a DUI refusal case.
There are other possible defenses to a DUI refusal charge your DUI attorney can use to win in court, so it is important to consult with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer who can advise you whether you might have a strong defense. If you are convicted of a DUI after a refusal case, you will have a criminal record and will typically have a license suspension for at least one year.
A DUI offense charge for Being in “Care and Control” of a Vehicle
Every driver knows that it is against the law to drive a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, or to drive while over the legal blood alcohol (BAC) limit. However, fewer people understand that it is also against the law to be in care and control of a vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired, or when you are over the (BAC) legal limit.
If a person is found in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, that person is usually presumed to be in care and control of that vehicle – whether or not the vehicle is running, and whether or not the keys are in the ignition. For example, a person who is asleep in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle with their keys in their pocket is still presumed to be in care and control of that vehicle. All too often, people who never intended to drive while under the influence find themselves charged with a DUI offense because the police found them sitting in the vehicle’s driver seat. A Los Angeles DUI attorney can often show reasonable doubt that you were not sitting in the driver’s seat for the purpose of operating the vehicle, and if there was no significant risk that you could accidentally put the vehicle in motion, it may be possible to convince a judge that you were not in care and control of the vehicle. You should consult with a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible after a DUI arrest, to discuss your chances of success in court.
How a Los Angeles DUI attorney can help fight a Ignition Interlock Device
In Los Angeles California, person convicted of a DUI charge may be ordered to have a Ignition Interlock Device installed in their car in order to drive under limited circumstances. The Ignition Interlock device allows some people to be re-issued a restricted driver’s license that will allow them to legally drive before the end of their license suspension period. Before a person is convicted of a DUI in California, a Los Angeles DUI attorney may be able to find DUI defense options that potentially could avoid a Ignition Interlock device from having to be installed.
The Ignition Interlock is an electronic device that is installed in your vehicle. A driver blows into to the Interlock to start the vehicle. If the Interlock detects less than a certain amount of alcohol in the driver’s breath, the vehicle will start. The driver must also periodically blow into the Interlock while they are driving. The Ignition Interlock is basically a “mini-breathalyzer” that is installed in a vehicle to prevent people from driving after they have been drinking. If a person is ordered to have the Ignition Interlock device installed, they must comply with all of it’s rules, and are then issued a special temporary restricted driver’s license. It is then only legal for a person to drive in the vehicle with the Ignition Interlock device installed.
For a first-time DUI offender in California, it costs approximately $2,000 in total collective costs for the Ignition Interlock device installation and it’s monthly fees. The CA DUI costs can be higher for people who have a prior DUI conviction on their record. A person is required to pay to have the Interlock device installed in their vehicle, and there are monthly fees and periodic maintenance of the Ignition Interlock device. The Ignition Interlock device is becoming mandatory in many DUI cases throughout California. Some DUI offenders must have at least six months on the Ignition Interlock device before they are ever re-issued a normal, unrestricted drivers license.
A Los Angeles DUI attorney can possibly fight to avoid a Ignition Interlock device, if they can successfully prove that a person’s blood alcohol level (BAC) was in question of truly being over the legal limit. This again is another vital reason of why it is so crucial to have a experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer examine the details of what took place during a person‘s DUI arrest as soon as possible.
Your DUI Defense Options With A Los Angeles DUI Attorney
If a person is currently facing California DUI charges while driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription medication, drugs, driving over the BAC legal limit, refusal to take a breath or other DUI test, or causing bodily harm while driving intoxicated, it is important that you speak with an experienced DUI attorney in Los Angeles right away. A skilled Los Angeles DUI lawyer understands the severity of your case, how to fight against California DUI charges, and is essential to knowing all of your best DUI defense options to win the case. A Los Angeles DUI defense attorney will have a wide range of expertise when it comes to DUI defense and drinking and driving cases in all of Los Angeles County California. DUI lawyers are the only ones qualified to professionally help provide you with sound advice and the best strong DUI defense options. Our free to use DUI attorney Los Angeles arrest evaluation, covers all of Los Angeles County, and how a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can fight to get out of a DUI based on your arrest details of what happened. After a Los Angeles DUI attorney can go over your arrest information, it will help in providing you DUI defense options of what to do next, as well as how to hire the best Los Angeles DUI attorney in:
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