What Other Charges Are Possible Besides a DUI in Los Angeles?

When you’re arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, obviously it’s scary and terrifying because your freedom is taken away from you for a period of time.  You’re taken to jail.  Your license is typically taken away and obviously, you’re fearful that you could be facing jail time, probation and a mark on your record that is very difficult to get off.

California Vehicle Code 23152 – Offenses Involving Alcohol and Drugs

So, one thing to consider is what type of charges are you going to be facing?  I mean, in a typical DUI situation, the police book you for certain charges and they give it to the prosecutors — who are the lawyers who actually decide what charges will be filed.  On a first-time DUI for example, they’re usually going to file a Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and (b). There are two charges.

One says that you had alcohol in your system and you couldn’t safely operate a motor vehicle.  That’s what the field sobriety tests are supposed to determine — whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle — depending on whether you pass or fail them.

The other charge is California Vehicle Code 23152(b) which says if you have a .08 or greater, it’s presumed that you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle.  As you notice, everything has to do with safety and your danger level out on the road and protecting the community at large from people who drink alcohol and drive in a dangerous manner.

Type of Criminal Charges Will Depend On Various Factors

So, those are the charges you’re going to be charged with.  As far as what you’re facing, it really depends on a bunch of different factors:  how high your blood alcohol level is; how your driving was; how you performed on the field sobriety test; what your criminal record looks like; what your driving record looks like.

So, other potential charges, which is kind of the subject of this article are, at the low end, you could get an infraction — some sort of a moving violation.

Because the police have to pull you over for something.  They usually claim you’re weaving or swerving on the road — some sort of a California Vehicle Code violation — running a stop sign.  A lot of people driving with no lights on.  All kinds of different things.  So, they could just give you a traffic ticket.  That would be great if you had been booked for a DUI and that’s all you end up with.

To get something like that, you’re going to have to have a really low blood alcohol level and the prosecutors are going to have to perceive that they’ve got a problem with their case and they might lose the whole thing.  So, that’s where I see them just trying to get something — not necessarily to safe face, but to show that they did something about it even though the blood alcohol level is not that high.

Non-Alcohol Related Speed Contest VC 23109

Going up from there, realistically in Los Angeles County, you’re probably looking at a speed contest which is basically screeching your wheels out of a parking lot.  That could be a California Vehicle Code 23109(a) speed contest and that’s not a DUI.  It’s not alcohol-related.  It’s a misdemeanor.  It carries a couple of points on your record, but the punishment for that is a lot less than for a DUI.

So, in DUI-land in Los Angeles, that’s a pretty good resolution if your attorney can get it.  Usually, you’re going to have to be in the .08 range to get something like that where the attorney can just make the argument that the breath machine used to test my client has an error rate of .02.  Your own experts can say that, so you might as well just give him a speed contest.  You could lose the case in a trial.

Reckless Driving – California Vehicle Code 23103

Moving up from there, I would say a reckless driving — and there’s a dry reckless which has nothing to do with alcohol.  You’re just driving around the road recklessly.  That would be a good result in a DUI, but another difficult one to get.  The prosecutors really don’t like to give that again, unless your blood alcohol level is so low that they might lose the case, or again, they have some glaring factual problem to be able to prove the DUI against you.

Wet Reckless

The wet reckless is the next level up.  That says that you’re driving recklessly and you do have alcohol in your system.  That’s not a full-fledged DUI.  In my opinion, that’s better than a DUI conviction, but it’s still priorable.  It could still be used against you if you were to pick up another DUI in the future.  And then of course, there’s a regular DUI which are those coded sections mentioned above.

There’s higher-level DUI’s in my opinion where you get a refusal allegation or where your blood alcohol level is higher than a .15.  That would make the DUI more serious and bring potentially harsher penalties.  Of course, you have a felony DUI with the mandatory minimum 90-day jail term if you get hit with that and there’s also multiple DUI’s — your second, third or fourth-time DUI — all of which carry more serious penalties than a first-time DUI.

DUI With Great Bodily Injury

There’s also DUI with great bodily injury.  If somebody gets hurt very badly during the DUI process, then that could be a three-year enhancement tacked onto the back of whatever you get for the DUI.  So, there’s a whole host of different things that can happen in a DUI.

That’s why when people tell me, I’ll just go in there and represent myself, it’s just a DUI.  There’s not much I can do about it.  Well, sometimes you can do something about it; sometimes you can’t.  But with all those potential resolutions out there — and we haven’t even talked about punishment yet — you’re going to need to get an attorney who knows what they’re doing who is local to the court where your case is pending and who knows how to get the best result for you and do damage control when it comes to a DUI in Los Angeles.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963

Related Resources:
California Vehicle Code 23109(a)  – Speed Contest 
California Vehicle Code 23153 – DUI Causing Injury

How Do You Win Your DUI In Los Angeles?

Winning a DUI typically would mean that you are found completely not guilty of the charge or that your attorney convinces the prosecutor either to not file the case or to dismiss a case that’s already been filed.  As you might guess, this is not an easy thing to accomplish, but it has been done and will continue to be done time and time again.  What it typically boils down to is some sort of an angle to upend the prosecutor’s case.  In other words, when it comes to a DUI in Los Angeles, the prosecutors — who are typically the Los Angeles City Attorneys, but sometimes the District Attorneys — need to prove certain things in order to obtain a conviction for a DUI.

Proving The Elements Of The DUI Crime

Once a DUI defense attorney sees that the prosecutors are going to be able to prove the elements they need to prove for the DUI, at that point, they’re going to try to negotiate with them and get the best possible resolution for their client, and then they’ll talk to their client about it and decide how to best handle the case.

If on the other hand, there appears to be a problem with their ability to prove the case, then the defense attorney will obviously attempt to use that to get a dismissal or some lesser charge, depending on the circumstances.  Sometimes it looks like there might be a problem, but it’s not 100% clear that there is a problem.  For example, sometimes they stop people and give a certain reason, and then the client says that’s not true.  So, now the question becomes, if they’re just pulling somebody over for no reason — like let’s say for example — they’re waiting outside a club or a bar at 2:00 a.m. when they close, they’re just getting people when they come out of the bar.  They’re allowed to wait outside the bar.  They’re just not allowed to pull people over just because they came out of the bar.  They’re going to have to have some reason that criminal activity is afoot.

Was The DUI Traffic Stop Unlawful?

If the person is staggering drunk out of the bar and they get in a car and drive away, that obviously would be a good reason to pull them over to protect the public and safety.  So, in that scenario where they’re pulling somebody over illegally, but we have to prove that, we’re going to try to get some things to prove it.  For example, if the vehicle that the police are driving is equipped with video, the video may capture what the client is saying which is that they didn’t do anything wrong.  All they did was come out of a bar and get pulled over.  So, we’ll try to get that video to prove the defense’s case.  Unfortunately, the police know that a lot of times the defense will try to get video, so they don’t turn those videos on until their car or motorcycle is in a position where they cannot capture the illegal pull over.  In other words, if they’re just turning it on after the car has been pulled over, then obviously, we’re not going to be able to capture the driving immediately before the pull over.  Like when they claim that you didn’t change lanes or you were weaving or swerving, we would love to see that video to see if it’s true, because if it’s not true we can point out that they didn’t pull this person over because they were weaving.  Look at their car.  It’s driving fine in the middle of the lane.

Were You Driving The Vehicle When Observed By Police?

So, that’s one area where you can win a case — which is if they illegally stop you or pull you over.  Another area that I see come up a lot in DUI cases in Los Angeles that’s a way to win the DUI case is, the person wasn’t driving when the police came upon them.  That happens all the time.  Somebody’s car breaks down on the freeway.  They get into some sort of an accident and when the police come along the person’s outside their car, so then there’s two issues there that can win the case.  Issue number one is, can they prove that you were even driving?  Of course, again, they know this is a potential problem for them, so they’re going to start asking you, or your passenger if you have one or other witnesses in the area, who was driving that car?  Also, they’re going to ask you point blank if you drove that car and if you say yeah, I drove the car, then they’ve got that box checked as far as not being able to lose the case.

When Were You Driving The Car?

The next question is going to be as far as driving goes in DUI’s in Los Angeles and trying to get a win from that angle is, when were you driving the car?  That’s important because at some point — unless you refuse to take the test which makes it a lot easier for them — they’re going to get your blood or breath and have a reading which is likely going to be a .08 or greater.  Then the question becomes, if you were a .08 or greater at one time, what were you at the time of driving.  So, their expert is going to have to try to extrapolate backwards to say, if they were a .09 at this time, then they would have been a .08 at this time and they’re going to have to explain their reasoning.  But if they don’t have that piece of the formula to say when you were driving, then that’s another angle to win your DUI case.

Proving You Could Not Safely Operate a Motor Vehicle

I would say the final angle — and listen, we could come up with all kinds of different scenarios — but just the final general angle when it comes to winning a DUI case is, the key thing that the prosecutors have to prove is that you could not safely operate a motor vehicle.  So, if you can show that you could safely operate a motor vehicle at the time of driving, then you can win your DUI case.

So, how do they prove that you couldn’t safely operate a motor vehicle?  They’re going to prove it by the police’s observations, but the field sobriety tests and by how you were driving and also what your blood alcohol level was.  So, if your blood alcohol level was a .08, it’s presumed that you could not safely operate a motor vehicle, so you have to try to rebut that presumption.  A perfect example was, you blew a .08, you get arrested for a DUI, and then at the trial you call an expert that says that the machine they used to test your breath has a .02 error rate so there’s a chance you could have been a .06 which would be below the legal limit.

But they also have California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which says you had alcohol in your system and you couldn’t safely operate a motor vehicle, so the prosecutors can try to rely on that to get you for the DUI.  Under that circumstance, they’re going to be looking at how you were driving, were you swerving, did you get in an accident.  They’re also going to be looking at how you did on those field sobriety tests.  Did you fail them?  How were you walking when you got out of your car?  Did they observe erratic, crazy, unsafe driving?  These are going to be the issues that are considered when it comes to determining whether you could safely operate a motor vehicle and whether you can win your DUI in LA.

Contact Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers

If you want more information about your specific case — your specific DUI in Los Angeles — call my office.  Set up a free face to face consultation with me and I will put my twenty-five years of experience to work for you.

Hedding Law Firm – Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963
www.acecriminalattorneys.com

If I Wasn’t Drunk Can I Still Be Convicted Of A DUI In Los Angeles?

This is a misconception that a lot of people have when it comes to DUI’s in Los Angeles.  That is, they think if they weren’t drunk — like stumbling around drunk — then they’re not a DUI.  But that’s not really the test.  The test is whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle, and obviously, it takes hand/eye coordination to operate motor vehicle and you could be an unsafe driver and not be drunk.

What’s the definition of drunk.  That’s not an easy definition to come up with and a lot of people think they might not be drunk when they’ve had a significant amount of alcohol, yet they can’t safely operate a motor vehicle.

Were You Safe to Operate a Motor Vehicle?

So, the test that the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the authorities have come up with relating to checking to see whether or not you’re safe to operate a motor vehicle, are numerous.  First, they’re going to look at your driving.  If you’re driving around recklessly and nearly running over pedestrians, then you’re not safe to operate a motor vehicle.  So, that’s test number one – how’s your driving?

Can You Pass Field Sobriety Tests?

Test number two is, when they come in contact with you, do you smell like alcohol?  Are you slurring your speech?  Are your eyes bloodshot and watery?  When you get out of the car do you have an unsteady walk?  Are you staggering?  Can you walk in a straight line?  Can you pass their test?  Can you answer their questions about where you’ve been — whether you’ve been drinking, how much you’ve been drinking?

Can you answer their questions about where you’re going?  Then they’ve got you doing other field sobriety tests that you might not be able to do sober — counting the alphabet backwards — all sorts of different things to try and see where your mind is at and whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle.

The field sobriety tests are supposed to be designed to determine whether or not you can safely operate a motor vehicle.  So, the answer to whether or not you’re going to get out the DMV and criminal case because you weren’t drunk is, you don’t have to be drunk to get a DUI.

You don’t have to be drunk to lose your driver’s license; you just have to be a .08 or greater.  You don’t have to be drunk to receive a criminal conviction for a DUI in Los Angeles.

How The DMV Will Attempt To Prove You Were DUI

There’s three ways they can try to get you.  Number one is that you refuse to take the test.  Then, you just make it easy for them.  The second way is if you have a .08 then it’s presumed that you’re a DUI, and the final way is that you have any alcohol in your system and they believe they can prove that you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle.

We’ve already talked about the tests and observations that they utilize in trying to prove that.  So, this whole concept of “drunk” really doesn’t have anything to do with it.

Those people who are drunk and are driving, they’re probably blowing a .20 or greater, are looking at jail time.  If they get in an accident and kill somebody, they’re looking at a second-degree murder charge.

If they seriously hurt somebody, they’re looking at a great bodily injury allegation.  So, the drunk people are the ones that are probably causing the biggest problems as far as public safety, because they usually get in accidents.

You Don’t Have To Be Drunk To Get Charged With DUI

So, you don’t have to be drunk to get a DUI.  Your blood alcohol level just has to be a .08 or greater.  If you’ve got a case and you’re concerned about it — and you should be — get an attorney.  I have you come in.  We sit down.  We go over everything.

I’ll eventually get the police report and we’ll go over that as well, and then we’ll get our strategy together with the goal in mind of trying to get you the best result possible.  If we can win the case, we’re going to put pieces of the puzzle in place to do that.

If we can’t win the case because the prosecutors have the evidence, they need to prove the case, then we’re going to do damage control and try to get this matter resolved in the best way possible.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963
https://www.acecriminalattorneys.com

Related Resources:
0.08 BAC Limit and Administrative License Suspension Laws

 

How Do You Win Your DMV Hearing In Los Angeles Related To A DUI?

The real short answer to winning a DMV hearing is to have an angle and that angle has to be sufficient to upend the DMV’s case against you so they just set it aside because they don’t feel that they can prove that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.  There’s a whole bunch of different ways to do that and they’re fact specific.

If somebody is not driving when the police get their hands on them and now the police are attempting to figure out if they were driving and when they were driving, that’s always been an angle against the DMV, to say, wait a minute.

If my client has to be driving the vehicle in order to get a DUI, of course, if you’re the only one in the middle of the freeway outside your vehicle, the police are going to surmise that you’re the one that must have driven it and they’re also going to ask you, did you drive this car?  When did you drive?  So, that’s the way the DMV will try to get out of it.  They’ll say the police have evidence that your client was driving it ten minutes earlier.

DUI Blood and Breath Tests

So, driving is definitely one of the angles — and not only driving, but you get your blood or breath taken and let’s assume for purposes of trying to figure this out that you’re over a .08 — the next question is, if I was a .08 at 10pm, what was I when I was driving?  And when was I driving?

So, that’s always another angle.  Anytime somebody is not driving their car at the time, that’s not an automatic win because the police know that’s a problem and they’re going to try to fill in the gaps for the DMV and for the court as well.  But, that’s always an angle to try to win your DMV case.

Unlawful Police Stop?

Another angle is, you have to look at what the DMV is trying to prove here and then if you could attack those things, then you’ll be in a position to try to win the case.  So, the three things the DMV always says they’re trying to prove is:  (1) was the defendant legally stopped?  Or you have to add extra onto it, because a lot of times they’re not stopped by the police.

An accident happens where everyone is outside of their vehicle talking and the police come up — that’s not a stop.  So, it goes a little bit deeper than that.  Was the person illegally stopped or did the police legally come in contact with them.  Those are the two things you’re going to look at when you’re assessing this issue of whether or not the police legally stopped you.

Legal Arrest?

The next question is, did they legally arrest you?  The DMV believes apparently that you can’t just be illegally arrested.  If you’re illegally arrested, they’ll throw the whole case out.  The problem is, that the police are going to lie or tell the truth and say that you didn’t pass the field sobriety tests.

They feel you’re not safe to drive and that’s why they’re arresting you.  If the DMV believes that and if the police can show evidence of that, then they’ll be able to get by that hurdle, but they can’t just be grabbing people for no reason.  They can’t just be pulling people over for no reason.  If you can prove that — either through video or some other form of evidence — then you can win the DMV hearing.

Blood Alcohol Level

The last thing is, your blood alcohol level has to be a .08 or greater.  If they can’t prove that your blood alcohol is a .08, they’re not going to take your driver’s license.  That happens all the time.  People get busted and blow a .07.  The DMV is not going to get them for that.  You need to be a .08 or greater.  So, if they cannot prove that you’re a .08 or greater then they’re not going to take your license away.

There is an exception to that.  If you refuse to take the test.  You see, there’s a presumption in the law that if you refuse to take the test — because driving in California is a privilege, not a right — and part of your test is they tell you that if the police think you’re drinking and driving, you must cooperate; you must take the test.

So, if you’re a refusal and the DMV can prove that and they can also prove that the police told you that if you don’t take this test then you’re going to lose your driver’s license for a year, then they can get passed that hurdle as well, even if they don’t have a .08 or greater.

The policy behind this is, if people could just say they’re not taking the test and that’s the end of it, then everybody would do that and nobody would get caught for a DUI.

So, they’re not going to allow that to happen.  I would almost say that 99% of the time, if the police are asking you take the test you should take it because on a first-time DUI for example, even if you blow over a .08 — you’re only going to lose your license for a real thirty days and you can get it back on a restricted basis; but, if you refuse to take the test you lose your license for a year with no restriction.  So, why would somebody take that risk?  It just doesn’t make any sense.

Contact our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers

I don’t like people talking to the police because they usually same something that’s going to incriminate them, but you do need to cooperate with the police, otherwise you’re going to lose your driver’s license for a year.  So, there are ways to beat the DMV as it relates to a DMV hearing, but you have to look at what they’re trying to prove.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963
https://www.acecriminalattorneys.com

Related Resources:
Information About Driver Safety Administrative Hearings
Immediate Driver License Suspension or Revocation Drivers Age 21 and Older

Do You Need An Attorney If Arrested For A DUI In Los Angeles?

I’m always surprised that people don’t realize that a DUI is a criminal offense and they could go to jail for it.  Obviously, the answer is yes you need an attorney unless you just want to throw yourself on the mercy of the court and hope you don’t go to jail, lose your driver’s license, put on probation and host of other things that are potentially possible.

I guess the question in most people’s minds is, why is a DUI criminal?  I don’t get it.  Well, because if you’re out there driving on the road and you drank alcohol and have the potential to hurt somebody, obviously they’re going to take that very seriously.

Now they’re even filing murder charges when somebody kills somebody related to a DUI because in society now, the prosecutors, judges and police figure that everybody now knows that if you drink and drive you could kill somebody.  There’s people being killed all over the road, especially in Los Angeles, which is such a huge metropolis with all of these drivers out there.

Helping You Navigate The DUI Legal Process

So, the bottom line is, you absolutely need an attorney.  There’s so many different areas when it comes to a DUI where an attorney can be useful:  dealing with the DMV so they don’t take your driver’s license away — and if they are going to take your driver’s license away, trying to get the driver’s license back as quick as possible, what you have to do in order to do that to make sure that you cover yourself.

You’re also going to be sent into a Los Angeles County criminal court where you can be sent to jail, where there’s judges and prosecutors.  Unless you have experience and training related to DUI’s, obviously you want an attorney to help you.

Retaining A DUI Lawyer Is Crucial

Hiring your own attorney, in my opinion, is crucial because you’re going to be able to talk to that attorney face to face before the court date, give them all the details — not only about your case, the arrest and what happened — but about you as a person, so they go in there armed with information that can help you; armed with the ability to be able to try to convince the prosecutors that you don’t deserve the worse punishment.  You don’t deserve to go to jail.  You don’t deserve a lot of the bad things that can come related to a DUI.

So, when you’re looking at a criminal conviction, jail time and the loss of your license and a host of other issues, of course you need an attorney to represent you and you need somebody that you hired that knows your story and can go in there and work for you and try to get you a result that does damage control and takes into account your life and all the important things you need to do related to having your vehicle, and not putting a mark on your life that will affect your future, your career and a lot of different areas of your life if you end up with a criminal conviction — especially if you can’t get the criminal conviction off.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer at Our Law Firm

So, depending on what happens with your case — not matter what it is — you need an attorney.  As far as what the attorney can do to help you, that’s going to be determined by exactly what you did, what you’re charged with and what potential defenses are available to you and what damage control the attorney is able to do in resolving your matter. Contact us to review the details of your case.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorneys
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963

Related Resources:
Immediate Driver License Suspension or Revocation 

Should I Handle My DMV Hearing Myself if Arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles?

The short answer to this question is, probably not.  Because, you’re not an attorney.  Your license is at stake, and obviously, if you live in Los Angeles you need your driver’s license.

So, unless you’re trained on how to deal with the DMV, then you probably want to let an attorney handle that and since you’re probably going to need an attorney for your criminal court case, you might as well just let the attorney deal with both — that way you know your license and your criminal record are in the best hands possible.

Just to give you an idea of kind of how the DMV works, the first phone call is made.  They have a bunch of people answering the phones over there and they don’t really care about you and trying to help you, in my experience.  A lot of times people claimed that they called the DMV, and then the DMV claims they never got a call.  If you don’t call within ten days, you automatically lose your driver’s license.

Communicating with the DMV in Los Angeles

So, then you put yourself in the position of having to try to convince the DMV that you did call them when they’re looking at their computer system and saying that you didn’t call them.  I see that happen all the time with people, so that’s your first hurdle — even communicating and dealing with a huge bureaucracy like the Department of Motor Vehicles in Los Angeles.  Your attorney is able to call in there.  They have an attorney line.

When I call in there, they know who we are because we’ve dealt with them before.  We send them a letter.  We fax it and get a date stamp on it saying that we represent you.  We want a stay on any suspension and we want a DMV hearing.  We’re covered.

So, having a DUI attorney right from the beginning is important.  After that, they’re going to set a hearing and they’re going to send you all the paperwork.  Now, you have to try to defend yourself in the hearing.  That’s going to be awkward because the DMV hearing officer is entitled to ask you questions.

They’re going to be asking you questions like, did you have any drinks that night?  Any alcohol?  How much did you have?  They’re going to be asking you a bunch of questions that’s going to cause you to incriminate yourself.  Technically, the court could use those answers against you as well to help prove the criminal case.

So, obviously your attorney can do the DMV hearing without you even testifying if that’s not something that’s in your best interest.  Whereas, you trying to do it without you testifying or saying something incriminating is a lot more difficult.

Importance of Having a DUI Lawyer

Then you’ve got the fact that the DMV is basically a kangaroo court and the DMV hearing officer wears the hats of both the prosecutor and the judge, is making rulings on all the objections, and is going to finally decide whether they themselves put on enough evidence to make the case.  So, even an attorney has the deck stacked against them in a DMV case.  You’ve got a real tough road to hoe as your own attorney.

So, you’re definitely going to want to have your attorney handle your DMV hearing in my opinion, and obviously, you want an attorney to handle your court case as well.  So, you should go in and hire an attorney.  Give them all the facts and details and let them direct and guide what happens moving forward with the DMV.

Then you’ll be in a much better position to do things the right way, get the best result, and then moving forward if your license is suspended, figuring out how you can get it back and not put yourself in a position of driving on a suspended license, looking at another criminal charge and also, potentially looking at jail time.

Contact Our DUI Lawyers for Help

So, make the call.  Hire an attorney to handle your DMV matter and do it once, do it right and never do it again. Our law firm has a long track record of success. Contact us to review the details of you case and legal options.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Lawyers
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963

Related Resources:
DUI Arrest DMV Administrative Hearings vs Criminal Court Trials

How Can I Protect My Rights If Arrested For A DUI In Los Angeles?

When somebody is arrested for a DUI, obviously it’s a very scary process.  A lot of people really don’t know what to do.  The two main concerns that you should have is number one, your driver’s license.  Obviously, you need that to get around especially in a metropolis like Los Angeles.  So, you’re going to need to start making some moves on that as it relates to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The second issue you want to be concerned about is the criminal court because they have the power not only to suspend your license, but they also have the power to put you in jail — give you a criminal record — related to your DUI matter.  So, obviously, it’s of great concern that you could have criminal record; you could go to jail and have a host of other punishments related to your DUI arrest.

Temporary Driver’s License

So, you’re going to be given a pink slip of paper which is your temporary driver’s license and you can use that for thirty days to drive.  They’ll usually take your regular driver’s license away and send it to the DMV and the police are going to notify the DMV that you got arrested for a DUI, so obviously, you’re going to want to deal with that.  I would always suggest using an attorney to deal with that.  They have to be called within then days.  You have to ask for a hearing.  We usually send a letter along with that so they can’t claim that they didn’t get our phone call within that ten-day period.  Because if you don’t call them within ten days or they claim they didn’t get the call, then you lose your opportunity to fight the DMV from taking your driver’s license away.  So, that’s obviously very important.  Again, you can handle it yourself, but in my opinion, it’s best to get an attorney to handle it.

Retain A DUI Lawyer

Then the second issue is, you’re going to get a ticket with a court date on it — unless you had to post bail, then the bail bondsman will give you a court date — and obviously, unless you’re a criminal defense attorney, you’re not going to know what to do.  You’re not going to know who to talk to and you’re not going to know how to best represent yourself.  So, you’re going to want to hire a DUI defense attorney who does DUI’s in that court.  That makes sense — somebody who has been there before and handled cases similar to yours is going to be in the best position not only to advise you, but to get you the best result which is obviously what you want.

They’ll be able to assess whether you have any defenses to your DUI or whether the police have enough evidence to convict you and therefore, you need to work out some sort of resolution or plea bargain with them.  So, those are the two main concerns.  The criminal court and the DMV when you have a DUI pending in Los Angeles County.

Developing A DUI Defense Strategy

Your next move is to go and sit down with an attorney.  Get a list of questions together so that when those questions are answered by the attorney, you feel comfortable and understand what’s going on.  You know what you can do to help yourself.  You know what this attorney is going to do to help you.  So, once you get all that information and you sit down with the information and get all of your questions answered, now you start getting control of your life back.  You’re going to feel comfortable that you know what’s going on.  You know what you can do to help yourself.

You know what the attorney is going to do to help you and you begin the process of taking control of your DUI in Los Angeles and having a sense of peace of mind about it.  That’s the key thing.  We have problems in our lives.  We want to try to get some resolution in our heads — okay, here’s what I have to do.  I can deal with this problem.  It’s not knowing that’s the worse thing and that’s what happens a lot of times in these DUI’s because again, you’re being arrested.  You’re being thrown in jail.  You’re being threatened by the police if you don’t cooperate with them.  Now the DMV is coming against you.  You have to go to court — who wants to go to court?

So, get an attorney.  Make sure the attorney knows the courthouse where your case is pending.  That’s one of the first questions that I talk about with my client.  I want to know where’s your case?  What judge is it in front of?  We can figure that out pretty quickly and I can kind of give you a run-down as to what the tendencies are of that judge, how the prosecutors deal with DUI’s in that particular courthouse, and of course, we’re going to look at your specific scenario because not all DUI’s are treated equally.  The higher your blood alcohol level, the more dangerous you’re perceived by the authorities and the more punishment you’re going to get.  The lower the blood alcohol level, the better position that you’re in.

Contact Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers

So, make the phone call today.  Your next step after you are arrested and you get out is to hire an attorney and give the attorney all the information in an honest manner and let them start the process of getting this behind you. Contact our law firm at 213-542-0963.

Hedding Law Firm
Los Angeles DUI Defense Law Firm
633 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963

Related Resources:
Arrest for Driving Under the Influence DUI General Information

Is a Wet Reckless a better plea bargain than a DUI in Los Angeles?

A wet reckless is basically a Vehicle Code Section 23103 violation where somebody is driving recklessly on the road and they have alcohol in their system.  Now, they may not necessarily be over the legal limit of .08, but there’s really two ways for the prosecutors to get a conviction related to a DUI in Los Angeles.

One is that if your blood alcohol level is a .08 or greater, then it’s presumed that you’re driving under the influence for purposes of a DUI in Los Angeles.  The other way is you have alcohol in your system and you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle.  That amount of alcohol could be less than the .08 required for the presumption to exist.  That’s where you start talking about wet reckless.  The wet part is obviously, you have alcohol in your system and you’re driving around recklessly.  Maybe you’re going through red lights.  Maybe you’re swerving on the road.  Maybe you’re weaving in and out of traffic.  So, that’s really what a wet reckless is.

Wet Reckless is a Lesser Charge than DUI

On the good end, a wet reckless is definitely less than a DUI and maybe for insurance purposes, it may help you depending on your insurance company, and for other DUI’s that you might have, if you get a wet reckless, that won’t trigger a second, third or fourth DUI.  So, it definitely does have its benefits.  There’s also an argument that it looks better on your record than a DUI.

On the negative end, a wet reckless is priorable.  Meaning, it could be used against you in a future prosecution.  So, if you plead guilty to a wet reckless in one of the Los Angeles courthouses and then you pick up another DUI later within a ten-year time frame, they can use that wet reckless as a prior and then you’d have a second-time DUI under that scenario.  So, a wet reckless is definitely better, and if you can get a wet reckless versus a DUI, you should definitely try to do that and your attorney will try to do that for you.

A dry reckless would be even better than that because that has nothing to do with alcohol.  It doesn’t come with the same punishments.  It doesn’t come with the same issues related to DUI’s — it’s not priorable.  So, obviously if you had your choice between a wet reckless and a dry reckless, you’d just pick the dry reckless, which basically means you’re driving recklessly on the road but doesn’t have anything to do with alcohol.

Wet Reckless has a Lesser Fine

Another reason a wet reckless would be better than a DUI, usually for a wet reckless the punishment is less.  There’s usually a lesser fine.  A lot of times if you’re able to plead to a wet reckless, it’s not mandatory that you do a three-month alcohol program, although you may want to do one with the DMV because if they take your license away, they will not give it back unless you do whatever alcohol program is required by statute.

So, if you’re thinking about a wet reckless and you think that is something you might want under the circumstances of your case, obviously this is something you should discuss with your DUI defense attorney and see if that’s something that’s feasible, or maybe there’s even something better that they can get than a wet reckless.

To get a wet reckless in Los Angeles county — and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years, there’s either going to have to be some big problem with the case so the prosecutors will give you a wet reckless instead of risking losing at a jury trial and getting nothing, or your blood alcohol level is going to have to be close to the .08 — I would say within four percentage points in order for them to consider giving you a wet reckless, and I’ve been to every court in Los Angeles county dealing with DUI’s.  I’ve done hundreds of DUI’s over my twenty-five year career so I think I have a pretty good feel for how prosecutors deal with them.

Field Sobriety Tests

Other facts that could give you a good argument to get something less than a DUI like a wet reckless, dry reckless, speed contest — would be that you can pass some of the tests that the police administer when they pull you over.  Those field sobriety tests are supposed to be designed to assess whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle.

So, if you’re passing their tests according to them, which obviously is not easy to do because they’re looking for the fail so they can arrest you, then you’ve got some good arguments with the prosecutor — at least I do, to tell them, if he or she is passing the test, then there’s a good argument that they can safely operate a motor vehicle.  Hence, that will rebut any presumption related to a .08 and would be a good argument if they charged you under Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) and tried to say you had alcohol in your system and therefore, can’t safely operate a motor vehicle, yet you’re passing the exact test designed to determine whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle.

Contact our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers

There’s a lot going on in these wet reckless cases and DUI cases across Los Angeles.  Your best bet because it is so important to try to keep your record as clean as possible, and to protect your ability to drive and to stay out of jail, is to get an attorney who’s been down this road before and could get you out of the system as fast as possible and do damage control related to your DUI case. Contact our law firm to review your case.

Hedding Law Firm
633 West Fifth Street Los Angeles, CA 90071
213-542-0963

The Truth Behind DUIs In Los Angeles

When it comes to DUI cases in Los Angeles, the truth is somebody’s character and their standing in the community really doesn’t help them in anyway whatsoever when it comes to trying to resolve a DUI matter that they were arrested for in LA. The prosecutors really don’t care. What the prosecutors care about is your dangerousness level. In other words, how dangerous were you out there on the road? Were you going really fast? Did you crash into any vehicles? Was your blood alcohol so high that you were extremely likely to kill somebody out on the road? These are the things they care about. People who don’t have a record, have a great stand in the community, a great job, a great family — the prosecutors don’t care about that. It’s meaningless to them.

That’s the truth about DUI’s. These attorneys or sales people on the phone who tell you to get character letters and all that regarding a DUI is a complete waste of time. These attorneys that are telling you to start going to AA meetings – again, a complete waste of time unless you have an alcohol problem. If you have an alcohol problem, the prosecutors are probably going to give you more restrictions and more punishment because they’re going to consider you a more dangerous individual.

Of course, I always encourage people if they have an alcohol problem or a drug addiction to take care of their problem on their own. But, once you get the courts involved there are ramifications behind that. So, the truth be told, you should really rely on your DUI defense attorney in plotting your strategy when it comes to these DUI cases in LA because they are the ones that are going to have all the facts and they will have a good feel for what actually might make a difference in your case.

The real factors and truth behind DUI’s in Los Angeles is that the prosecutors are going to first and foremost, look at your blood alcohol level. The higher it is, the more dangerous you were on the road. That’s going to be one of the big things that dictates what type of a punishment and conviction they are going to want. If your blood alcohol level is a .08 or very close to a .08, you will have a good argument that they are not going to prove that you’re DUI because the machine they use to test your blood alcohol level is not 100% accurate. Especially if you took the breath test. The blood test is more accurate, but your attorney with an expert, can do a blood split and see what the real blood level was and hopefully it’s lower and closer to the .08 than what the prosecutors have.

So, truth be told, whenever you’re thinking about where you stand on your DUI, obviously you consult with your attorney, but you’re also going to look at what you did out there on the road. If you’re going over 100 mph on the highway and your blood alcohol level is over a .08, expect to get smashed by the prosecutors. They’re not going to let people be out there doing 100 mph with alcohol in their system. That’s a recipe for disaster and those are the type of people that are obviously going to get punished.

The real truth about DUI’s in LA is that they look at them in a common sense manner. They’re out there — when I say they, we’re talking about the judges, the prosecutors, law enforcement — they’re there to protect the public. So, if you didn’t do anything dangerous and you’re driving fine and you pass most of the police’s test and you’re real close to the legal limit, you’re going to have a great argument. If you have a great attorney behind you, you’re probably going to end up with a very good result that you can live with. Your attorney will be in a good position to do damage control.

So, first move, get in front of an attorney. Tell them what happened. Be honest. Don’t leave anything out and then start to get your strategy together for exactly what you’re going to do. Most of these cases, and this is another truth power point, are not going to be able to be fought in a jury trial because the prosecutors usually won’t file a case unless they have strong evidence. There are exceptions to this. Sometimes police do a rush to judgment and they don’t get your version of events and they don’t talk to all of the witnesses or seek all of the evidence. In those cases, you may have a chance to win the case, but this is something that your attorney is going to have to be honest with you from the gate.

Don’t listen to some sales person over the phone or some attorney just get your business. They’re trying to quote you a fee to do a trial and they haven’t even looked at any of the evidence. Because if they do the trial and you lose, they still get paid. You go to jail and end up with the worse resolution of your case. So, I never quote trial fees until I see the case. Then we can talk about whether you should go to trial. Then I can assess how long a trial might take and give you a reasonable fee. So, you don’t want people quoting trial fees right from the beginning. Let them gather information. Let them find out what’s going on with your case, then your case can be handled the right way, with a plan that is designed to help you; not try to get as much money from you and give you the bad news later.

So, really look at some of these attorneys and what they’re saying. A lot of times, they are just sales people answering the phone. The truth in these DUI cases is, you need to get in front of any attorney who has done these cases before, who knows what they are doing and can really give you some solid advice and help you make some solid strategy decisions so you get the best result.

For more information on Truth Behind DUI Charges In Los Angeles, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.

What Are The Most Important Things That The Prosecutor Has To Prove In A DUI Case?

When it comes to these DUI cases, people get a little confused about what’s going on because they don’t really have any basis of knowledge. They’re watching TV and seeing different things and they think they know how things should go. I have a lot people calling and saying, I’m a good person. I have no record. I have a good job. I don’t understand why I’m being prosecuted. Can you tell the prosecutors that I can’t have a DUI on my record?

The prosecutors don’t really care about all of that. That’s not really their main factors. The main factor in a DUI case is safety. If you’re endangering the public’s safety when it comes to a Los Angeles DUI, that’s when the prosecutors are going to go after you and try to get that conviction. That’s really the main thing when you’re looking at a case.

When a jury is evaluating a case, they’re going to look at safety. What I mean by that, in specific, is the whole DUI system in Los Angeles is set-up to evaluate whether somebody can safely operate a motor vehicle, and a lot of the tools that are used to do that are things like the breath machine. The breath machine that’s used, the Intoxilyzer 3000 in Los Angeles, basically is reading a person’s blood alcohol level. If the blood alcohol level is a .08 or greater, it’s already been determined by the legislature that that person cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. So again, it’s coming back to safety. The higher your blood alcohol level is, obviously, the more unsafe you are.

If you’re using some sort of drugs when it comes to a DUI offense — whether they be prescription drugs or illegal drugs — obviously, you’re not going to be as safe as someone who’s not using drugs, because drugs can affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. That’s why when the police pull you over and they start looking in your eyes and they make you do all of those tests, those tests are supposed to be further indicators as to whether or not you can safely operate a motor vehicle on the roadways in Los Angeles.

Whenever you’re evaluating or thinking about a DUI case — and I’ve down a lot of them in twenty-five years – thousands in fact — it’s always going to come down to safety. If I as a defense attorney can show my client has a low blood alcohol level, has no prior record and, in this particular case, didn’t do anything unsafe — in other words, they were just driving and the police pulled him over for some ticky-tack reason, then I’m going to be in strong position to argue that they weren’t unsafe, and if they weren’t unsafe then they shouldn’t be convicted of a DUI. You see how it works? So, that’s what you have to focus on in these cases.

If your blood alcohol level is double the legal limit, do you think the prosecutor is just going to dismiss the case? Absolutely not. Double the legal limit, as far as alcohol cases go in Los Angeles, is unsafe. It’s dangerous. So, if you get in an accident and you’re drinking and driving, do you think the police are just going to dismiss your case? Of course, they’re not. So, this is what you have to start to focus-in on, and this is how we defend these cases and this is also how we mitigate these cases. Sometimes you don’t have the defense to get a straight dismissal or a straight not-guilty verdict, so you’re going to look to do damage control — to get a lesser charge, to stay out of jail — whatever is applicable and appropriate to your circumstances related to your particular DUI.

The best way to do that is, I get you in the office and we talk about what you should expect, what we should be shooting for in your case and what makes sense based on the circumstances that we find ourselves confronted with. Make the call today.

For more information on Prosecutor Proving Charges In A DUI Case, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0963 today.

Contact a Los Angeles DUI lawyer

So, if you have a DUI in California, and specifically, Los Angeles, you’re going to want to get an attorney who has been down this road before and had success. Contact our Los Angeles DUI lawyers to review your case.