Prosecutors in California use two primary DUI laws to file charges against somebody for driving under the Influence. Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol. Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC makes it a crime to drive with a BAC of .08% or higher.
Most people are charged under both statutes. Most DUI cases are prosecuted as a misdemeanor, but could be filed as a felony under certain circumstances, such as prior DUIs on your record and if someone was injured.
You must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days of your arrest and request a DMV hearing. If you don't, you will forfeit your right to a hearing, and your driver's license will automatically go into suspension after 30 days. A lawyer could make this administrative hearing request and represent you at the hearing.
If convicted of VC 23152 driving under the influence, the penalties will depend on different factors, such as whether there were injuries and whether you have prior DUIs on your criminal record.
Some DUI convictions will result in jail time. Usually, you can still drive your car, but installing an ignition interlock device (IID) could be required.
The crime of DUI causing injury is covered under California Vehicle Code 23153 as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causing physical harm to someone. VC 23153 is a “wobbler” that can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony crime and is the more severe form of a traditional VC 23152 DUI charge.
To be found guilty of VC 23153(a), a prosecutor must prove you could not drive with the ordinary caution of a sober driver. See CALCRIM 2100 Jury Instructions for more details. In this article by our Los Angeles DUI lawyers, we will examine this topic in greater detail below.
Who Are the Best DUI Lawyers?
I've been doing DUIs now since the early 1990s, and I have a pretty good idea of who the best DUI defense attorneys are. First and foremost, you want somebody who has done trials.
Unfortunately, a lot of DUI defense attorneys that are advertising on the internet right now are either using inferior young attorneys to do their cases and just using their credentials to get your business, or the attorneys that are advertising haven't done any DUI trials, period.
Sadly, DUI is an area of law that weak lawyers get involved with because, most of the time, they are being resolved by way of a plea agreement, and they don't have to go to trial.
Having done many DUIs over the years and even severe DUI cases where death has occurred, you've got to have an attorney that can fight back against the prosecutors. That attorney will understand what it takes to win at trial in a DUI case so they can point out weaknesses in the prosecutor's case and what it takes to win a motion.
Experience in the Local DUI Court
Sometimes, the police illegally stop a vehicle, take somebody's statement, and use it against them when they've violated their Miranda rights. There's a whole host of things that can happen.
They don't happen in every case, but you want an attorney who has the experience and has gone to trial and has fought cases. Unfortunately, in my experience, many defense attorneys on the internet advertising have barely seen the inside of a courtroom. They have not battled a DUI case out in front of a jury.
Another thing that you want in the best DUI defense attorney is someone who has practiced in the court where your case is pending. So, I have you come in and sit down with me. We talk about where your case is, who the prosecutor is, who the judge will be, and their tendencies.
I practice all over LA county in all of the courthouses – and there are many of them. I've also practiced in the surrounding counties – Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Riverside – the list goes on.
I've got a wide range of experience in defending people in DUIs. I've been doing this for almost 30 years. I worked for the district attorney's office early in my career and then for a superior court judge, and in 1994, I put out my shingle and have been defending people just like you.
Lawyer Who Can Obtain the Best Possible Outcome
If you've got a DUI and want the best, I encourage you to pick up the phone. Make the call now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I'd also mention that you want the best because, in my opinion, even if it's your first, second, or third – whatever it is – do it the right way.
Get an attorney who knows what they're doing so you end up with the best result, and hopefully, you don't find yourself in this position again, but why would you skimp on your defense when your driver’s license is at stake; when your freedom is at stake; when your rights are at stake and when you can be ordered to do a bunch of things that you don't want to do.
So, you've got to get the best, and when it is all said and done, you'll know that you did everything you could to defend yourself in your DUI case. You got the best result.
You can move on and do what you need to do and never get tangled again in the criminal justice system. If this is your first DUI, don't think they're just going to treat it like a traffic offense.
You're in California, one of the most heavily prosecuted and harshest states related to DUIs. I don't know why. I can't give you the answer, but I've been doing this so long and see what's happening here in California related to DUI cases.
I can tell you right now, and talking to clients and lawyers from other states, we have some of the strictest laws around, so you want one of the most formidable attorneys. Pick up the phone now. I stand at the ready to help you. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County. We offer a free case review by phone or filling out the contact form.