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LA's DUI Defense Guide

Here's What You Need To Know If Pulled Over On Suspicion Of Drunk Driving

The Art Of The Perfect Defense

Your Essential Guide to Criminal Defense in Los Angeles

What To Expect After A DUI Arrest in Los Angeles

Most individuals arrested for DUI in Los Angeles County are released on a promise to appear and given a citation with a date to appear in court. After the DUI arrest, you will be issued a temporary driver's license that is only valid for 30 days. On some occasions, bail may be imposed and you will have to post bail or remain in custody until you go before a judge.

If you bail out, the bail bond agency will provide paperwork that orders you to appear in court on a specific date. It's important to understand two separate proceedings are triggered after a DUI arrest; the criminal prosecution for driving under the influence and the DMV administrative action. You must request a DMV hearing within ten days after the arrest. Otherwise, your driver's license will be suspended after 30 days. A Los Angeles DUI attorney from our law firm will schedule and conduct the DMV hearing on your behalf.

Requesting A DMV Hearing

After you have been arrested for DUI, the DMV will attempt to take action against your California driver's license through an administrative process known as the Administrative Per Se Hearing. Your license will be suspended 30 days from the date of arrest unless you request a DMV hearing to try to stop it.

Again, it's essential to understand that this action is separate from the criminal court process. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to suspend part of the administrative process, even in DUI cases where no criminal charges are ever filed or if the case was eventually dismissed.

This is just one reason you need to contact our office as soon as possible after your arrest. We can set up and conduct the actual hearing for you. The DMV hearing is just as important as the criminal prosecution as it's during this period where it's decided whether your driver's license should be suspended or revoked.

The 10 Day Rule

The California Vehicle Code gives the DMV the authority to impose an administrative suspension on your driver's license if you were found to have been driving with a BAC of .08% or higher. You have a right to a DMV hearing before the suspension is imposed. However, a formal request must be made within ten days of your arrest.

The only way to request this critical hearing is to contact the appropriate Driver Safety Office. If you fail to request the hearing within ten days properly, the administrative suspension of your driver's license will automatically go into effect 30 days after the arrest.

Although the request for the DMV hearing must be made within ten days of your arrest, the actual hearing will typically not occur for four to six weeks. During this period, you are entitled to a stay of the driver's license suspension. This means that the administrative suspension, which is set to automatically begin after 30 days of your arrest, will be postponed until a fair determination is made following the hearing.

Police Officer Report Sent To Prosecutor

After you are arrested for a DUI, the police officer will prepare a report and forward it to the appropriate Los Angeles County prosecuting agency.

Depending on where the DUI offense occurred and other factors that can include an auto accident with injuries, your DUI case will be prosecuted by either the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office or the City Attorney's Office.

The prosecutor's office will review the details in the police officer's report and prepare a criminal complaint that includes violations of the Vehicle Code. The formal charges are then filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court.

If, by chance, the criminal complaint is filed after the original arraignment date, most prosecuting agencies will send the new arraignment date by mail.

This is one of the main reasons you need to ensure the DMV has a valid mailing address. Not all prosecuting agencies will notify you before their criminal case is formally filed.

A few will file a criminal complaint with an arrest warrant and wait for you to contact the police and be taken into custody.

Early intervention into your case by a DUI attorney from our law firm is essential.

We will closely monitor your case from the beginning, routinely checking with the prosecutor's office to ensure an arrest warrant is not issued.

Court Arraignment

Your DUI criminal proceeding starts with the arraignment. This is where you would enter your plea and continue the case to trial.

Our defense lawyers may negotiate a favorable plea bargain without going to trial.

However, if you continue to trial, we will obtain the evidence necessary to challenge the prosecutor's case.

For example, we can seek holes in their cases, such as attempting to prove an unlawful police stop or violation of our rights during the arrest.

This defense strategy will help us negotiate with the prosecutor and trial preparation to ensure you obtain the best possible case result.

After pre-trial conferences where our attorneys litigate evidentiary issues with the prosecutor, we will provide you with the best possible settlement offer.

At this point, it's your decision whether or not to accept the plea deal or fight your DUI case a trial.

Our experienced lawyers have a tremendous track record of success. They will be able to guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a plea offer or fighting your case at trial.

What Can You Realistically Expect To Happen With Your DUI Case?

Now that you have been arrested for driving under the influence, what happens now? This is a crucial question you should ask a prospective attorney when you sit down to meet with them.

First, give them an honest account of what happened with your pullover and arrest, and then ask them what to expect. Once a lawyer that appears locally in the courthouse where your case is pending hears all of the relevant facts, they should give you an idea of what will happen.

Do not be tempted to believe what a salesperson tells you over the phone. They are often not a lawyer and are just trying to get you to hire them versus giving you a realistic take on your case. Also, make sure that whichever lawyer you consider hiring practices DUI defense.

This particular area of the law is ripe with attorneys using their credentials on the Internet to sell you. Then you come to find out that they do not even go to court anymore and send less seasoned associates to represent you. This is not a credible way to deal with vulnerable people and trouble.

Is It Possible To Win Your DUI Case?

Los Angeles County DUI cases are politically charged, and the police, prosecutors, and judges are not just going to dismiss the case because a lawyer says so. To get a DUI case dismissed, it takes a successful defense.

The attorney will need an angle to attack the prosecutor's case to have a successful defense. Without this angle, no reason will get this type of charge dismissed.

Use your common sense when you meet with a DUI lawyer. Come in with a list of questions to figure out what is going on and what your best course of action is going to be. My motto regarding a pending case is to do it once, do it right and never do it again!

While DUI cases are often difficult to defend, it is certainly possible to win your case. What sets us apart from other law firms and makes us the best attorneys for you in the areas of drunk driving defense? We are well known and respected in the local Los Angeles courthouses.

When your attorney is local to the court, your case is pending; this gives you a considerable advantage in achieving the best possible result. With your license, reputation, record, and freedom on the line, you can not afford to hire a lawyer who has not been around the block in the courtroom your case is pending. This is simply common sense that applies in many areas of life. 

Will A DUI Case Destroy My Life?

I get asked this question all the time by people just like you. Countless people all over Los Angeles County are arrested for drunk driving by the police every single day that are good people who simply made a mistake.

It is like playing Russian Roulette in today's society if you drink alcohol and drive. Eventually, you will go into a checkpoint or be pulled over by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Los Angeles Police, or Sheriffs Department. They are all out there every night, looking to catch drunk drivers.

Just because you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence does not mean that your life is finished. It means that you have some work to do to seize back control of your life. The first step is to hire a local counsel that has dealt with the type of charge you are facing in the courthouse you will have to appear in.

If you find the right lawyer, you will end up with the correct result! We will take a step-by-step approach based on your particular circumstances to deal with your case. Find legal representation that has an eye towards doing everything possible so you can achieve the best outcome.

Lawyers Defending Any DUI Case

There are many different aspects to handling the case when defending these cases. We take the court proceedings and the DMV hearing for any subject, including commercial and underage DUI. We have handled felony cases dealing with hit and runs, deaths, injuries, accidents, and multiple offenders.

There are several ways you be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Sobriety checkpoints are a widespread way people get arrested for drunk driving.

This is when field sobriety tests such as walking a straight line or breathalyzer tests are conducted, and if you fail according to the police standards, you will be placed under arrest and be taken to the police station to perform a blood test.

Often, people mistake refusing to take a breath test, thinking it is a legal right, but a breath test refusal results in an automatic license suspension for one year. We understand that you may have been a victim of an unlawful police stop, and we will investigate that matter on your behalf.

Minimize Legal Penalties For a Conviction

If you have been convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles, your license was suspended, and you were caught driving on a suspended license, we can still help you, even if you are an out-of-state driver.

The penalties for a DUI can be harsh, and we will do everything we can to minimize any liabilities that may be imposed. We also take care of expungements which will clear your record of any convictions.

The ability to interact professionally and convincingly is imperative in the defense arena. Hopefully, in reviewing my videos, you feel that I am highly effective in court. This kind of interaction and confidence wins cases and convinces prosecutors and judges to do what is suitable for suitableients.

People make mistakes, but that does not have to define your life! Sometimes, the police and prosecutors have made the mistake of prosecuting you or attempting to seek a punishment that is not fair under the circumstances.

I am an experienced defense lawyer in the business of seizing your life back and protecting your rights, reputation, and freedom. This means letting the prosecutor and judge and sometimes a jury know the good things about you and putting things in perspective for what they are.


First Step To A Successful Case

Selecting the right DUI attorney in a large city can mean the difference between suffering the most severe consequences the criminal justice system has to offer and freedom. I will try and meet with everyone interested in hiring our firm. I go to court every day and battle it out for my clients. I know what it takes to win!

When your loved one's freedom is on the line, there is no substitute for a skilled driving under the influence defense lawyer who knows the system and can successfully guide you through it. We are experienced criminal defense attorneys who can start protecting your interests right away with the utmost confidence and confidentiality.

The feeling of helplessness and confusion you are experiencing can be alleviated once you have a professional advocate on your side who has helped thousands of people just like you through the worst of legal difficulties.

Every client who retains our services is essential, and we will vigorously fight to defend their interests. If you want a well-respected and influential attorney on your side, call us now and set up a free face-to-face consultation.

Our law firm is based in the San Fernando Valley, where the 101 and 405 freeways meet. We have been a powerful force within Los Angeles County for many years and feel confident that you will not want any other criminal defense firm to handle your essential matter once you sit down with us.

Long History Of Courtroom Victories

Over our decades of DUI defense in Los Angeles County, our law firm has obtained tremendous driving under the influence case results for our clients through aggressive legal representation.

Our top-ranked attorneys routinely achieve outstanding case results for clients facing any charge. Here are just a few examples of our Los Angeles courtroom victories:

  • San Fernando Superior Court – DUI Case Dismissed for Unlawful Police Stop – Client charged with a first offense, blood alcohol level was a .15. The police claim that there were a lot of car thieves in the area using paper plates to hide their activities, which is why the stop was justified. However, my client had lawfully purchased the car and waited to get his license plates. The stop was declared illegal once the judge realized that he could be pulled over if he bought a new car. All evidence, including the client's breath results, field sobriety test, and everything related to the arrest, was thrown out. This left the prosecutors with no choice but to dismiss the case. For any lawyer, knowing the law and how to argue it is crucial in any case.
  • Van Nuys Superior Court – DUI Case Reduced to Moving Violation – My attorney-client was charged with a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol reading of .08. Because he was concerned that his state bar license would be affected, we got him a non-criminal offense. I convinced the prosecutor to give them a moving violation infraction and save his bar license. Knowing the end goal and how to achieve it through hard work and preparation is critical in any defense case. A lawyer has to know the players in the court and what will move them in your client's direction.
  • Downtown Los Angeles Metro Court – DUI Case Dismissed – Our client was charged with a second offense. The police found my client asleep in his car and parked in a good parking spot, with the engine running and the heater on. He had got in a fight with his wife and went to sleep in the car. Because it was cold outside, he had the heater on. Because the neighbor called the police, they came and got him out of the vehicle and arrested him. After doing some research, we showed the judge that he could not be pulled out of the car and arrested because he was lawfully parked. The judge ruled in our client's favor in the entire case was dismissed on his behalf.

Free Consultation

Call and set up a free consultation, and we will educate you on how the system works in the specific courthouse where your case is being prosecuted. We will discuss the pros and cons of going to trial and assist you in making the right decisions to begin protecting your rights, reputation, and freedom immediately.

We give a free consultation because we are so confident that once you sit down face-to-face with us, a free consultation is that we are so sure that once you sit down face to face with us, you will know that we possess the skills and legal connections to represent your interests best. Call and set up a confidential consultation and begin the process of getting control of your life back.

If you want to speak to me over the phone regarding your matter before we meet, just let my office staff know, and I would be happy to discuss the particulars, and if you like what I have to say, then you can come in for your free face to face consultation.

Your attorney is the critical ingredient for a successful driving under the influence defense. It would help if you found someone that has been in the Los Angeles court system your case is pending in and has dealt with the prosecutor and judge. 


Common Los Angeles DUI Courthouses

Because of budget issues in Los Angeles, many of the smaller courts in Los Angeles have been closed. Only a few courts in the downtown Los Angeles area handle massive DUI cases.

The following Courthouses handle the majority of the DUI cases filed in Los Angeles County:

  • Metro Court 1945 Hills Street, Los Angeles, Ca.;
  • Lax / Airport Court 11701 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles Ca.;

These are a few of the busier courthouses in Los Angeles County. San Fernando Valley DUI's are dealt with in Van Nuys and San Fernando Court. Many people do not realize that there are nearly 50 courts in Los Angeles, and each court has jurisdiction over certain boundaries.

Contact Us for Help

If you have received a DUI in Los Angeles County, there is much on the line your driving record, your reputation, and your freedom. We know the courts and can make the right moves to put you in the best position. We offer a free case evaluation 24/7.

Cities We Serve: Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys focus primarily on defending clients in courts throughout the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County, including Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Arleta, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Calabasas, Carson, Cerritos, Claremont, Commerce, Compton, Covina, Culver City, Diamond Bar, Downey, Duarte, El Monte, El Segundo, Gardena, Glendale, Glendora, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Huntington Park, Industry, Inglewood, Irwindale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, La Puente, Lakewood, Lancaster, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Lynwood, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Monrovia, Montebello, Monterey Park, Norwalk, Palmdale, Palos Verdes Estates, Pasadena, Pico Rivera, Pomona, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rosemead, San Dimas, San Fernando, San Gabriel, San Marino, Santa Clarita, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, South El Monte, South Gate, South Pasadena, Temple City, Torrance, Walnut, West Covina, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, Whittier, Woodland Hills.

Los Angeles Interesting History Related To DUI Cases:

For many years Los Angeles has been a city where DUI cases have seen front-page news. Actors, athletes, doctors, and lawyers have all been arrested in Los Angeles. If you recall, Rodney King was pulled over for a DUI, and shortly after that, one of the biggest riots any city has seen ensued in downtown Los Angeles streets.

The first jurisdiction in the United States to adopt laws against drunk driving was New York in 1910, with Los Angeles and others following shortly. Early laws simply prohibited driving while intoxicated, with no specific definition of what level of intoxication was necessary to violate the law. The first generally accepted legal limit for blood alcohol concentration was .15. Today, in Los Angeles County, a person's blood-alcohol level can not be greater than .08.

Most of the laws and penalties in Los Angeles were greatly enhanced starting in the late 1970s, and through the 1990s, mainly due to pressure from groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). Zero tolerance laws were enacted that criminalized driving a car with .01 for drivers under 21.

A Break Down Of Strategies In A DUI Defense Case

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Chalk Talk Video About DUI Defense Strategies

Contact Us Today

Hedding Law Firm is committed to answering your questions about DUI law issues in California and throughout the United States.

I'll privately discuss your case with you at your convenience. All consultations are free, discreet, and confidential. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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