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

Related Resources:
Why Is A Wet Reckless Better Than A DUI?

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.

How Does The Injury Of The Victim In A Felony DUI Impact The Sentence?

This is a good question when it comes to a felony DUI. If you or a loved one is charged with a felony DUI, this is exactly some of the evaluations that you and your attorney need to be making. In order to even be charged with a felony DUI instead of a misdemeanor DUI – which has a lot less ramifications – there needs to be some sort of a serious injury. Then you start asking, what is a serious injury? A broken bone would be a serious injury, a laceration – some sort of a bad injury. So, there really is no perfect definition.

What it will boil down to in the end is, either you negotiate it as a non-serious injury and get the misdemeanor, or you admit it is a serious injury and end up with a felony, or a jury trial is had and the jury decides if it is a serious injury, and hence, a felony DUI versus a misdemeanor DUI. So, that’s how these cases are being decided.

Where it starts to get a little tricky in Los Angeles, as far as DUI’s and injuries, is what about the great bodily injury allegation? That’s different than a serious injury. Great bodily injury is a more sustained, lasting injury — a horrible broken bone, disfigurement. This great bodily injury concept is important because not only does it give you a strike — any case, including a felony DUI in Los Angeles where a person admits a great bodily injury allegation — that person is going to have a strike on their record the rest of their life. They’re going to serve a higher percentage of time in jail or in prison, if they get jail or prison for their felony DUI. So, this makes it a lot more of a serious circumstance.

You really need to get down to the nitty-gritty here — whether the injury is just a regular run-of-the-mill injury that shouldn’t be charged as a felony DUI — whether it’s just a serious injury — so, you get the felony DUI, but you don’t get that extra GBI allegation, which also carries a three-year prison sentence, most of the time at 85%. That’s just the minimum, then whatever you get for the DUI. If you get the low-term two for the DUI plus another three for the great bodily injury allegation, that’s five years prison at 85%. Now, you start to get a feel for how serious that is. And you get a strike on your record for the rest of your life in California.

These questions have to be dealt with very seriously when it comes to a DUI. You need an attorney who knows what they’re doing. I’ve been doing these felony DUI’s for twenty-five years. I’ve battled these great bodily injury allegations. I’ve even battled serious injury allegations and been able to get them struck and the client just gets a misdemeanor — no jail time, a fine. Huge.

Another thing that is an interesting twist when it comes to these felony DUI’s and injury, is who caused the injury? Because guess what? That can be a complete defense to a felony DUI. If you didn’t cause the injury — if somebody else caused it or somebody else was negligent or bad driving, whatever you want to call it — caused the person’s injury, and you just happened to be involved in the accident somehow, you’re not going to be responsible for that, and therefore, it can’t be a felony DUI against you. So, this is another area of argument.

As far as making a decision on that, if you’re DUI and you get involved in some sort of an accident, it’s going to be presumed that you caused the accident. So, in order to get rid of that presumption, you’re going to have to bring forth evidence through your attorney, obviously, that you didn’t cause the accident. I have a case going right now where my client is charged with a felony DUI – vehicular manslaughter – because there was a death on the road while he was allegedly racing with somebody else. But the defense is, and it’s a good one and we’ll either get the not guilty verdict or we’ll work some sort of a deal out — the defense is that he didn’t cause the accident because there was a design defect on the road, and therefore, the roadway, the way it was set-up, is what caused the accident. If that design defect wasn’t there, he wouldn’t have hit it and there wouldn’t be a death in this case. There’s an example of how causation is key in these felony DUI cases in Los Angeles.

So, if you have a felony DUI case, get in here immediately. Let’s talk about it. I do a lot of these cases – hundreds of them over the course of the last twenty-five years. I know how to set them up. I know how to investigate them. I know how to try them. I know how to negotiate them and I know how to get you the result that’s fair in your case and protects your freedom, your reputation and your rights.

For more information on Injury Of Victim In A Felony 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.

What Are Different Results That Can Occur In A DUI Case?

As far as DUI cases goes, after the arrest there could be a dismissal because after reviewing all of the evidence, the prosecutors feel that there’s not enough evidence to prosecute you for a DUI, or feel there may be some sort of a rights violation that took place by the police or somebody else and they don’t want to prosecute the case because they know the defense attorney will assert that rights violation and the person will end up getting off, so why waste the taxpayer money.

Other results are that your attorney can convince the prosecutors to dismiss the case for one reason or another. Maybe the blood alcohol level was very low, you have no record, there’s no accident, and the attorney has an argument that one of your rights was violated — combination of those factors ends up causing the prosecutor to dismiss the case.

If the case is not dismissed, then some of the alternate resolutions that are available in DUI cases in Los Angeles are as follows:

  • One thing is, if you’re close to the legal limit, like a .08 or .09, your attorney can convince the prosecutors to give you what’s called a “speed contest.” It’s basically a violation of the Vehicle Code and has to do with racing another person. It has nothing to do with a DUI, so this would be a good result after a DUI arrest, because the person doesn’t end up with a DUI conviction on their record. You may still have to do some of the punishments associated with a DUI – like an alcohol program, probation and a fine – but just getting rid of that DUI conviction would be huge in any DUI prosecution.
  • Another resolution that I’ve seen in the right case where the prosecution’s evidence is weak related to a DUI is what’s called a “dry reckless.” That basically means that there was no alcohol involved with your case and you were just driving recklessly on the road, which will give you two points on your record, but certainly wouldn’t be the same as a DUI. The punishment wouldn’t be the same and the conviction wouldn’t be the same. So, this would obviously be a good result in a DUI case.
  • There’s also what’s called a “wet reckless” where somebody is convicted of driving recklessly with alcohol in their system, but it’s not a full-fledged DUI. This is certainly a better resolution than a DUI, but not much better because it’s still prior-able, meaning if you were to get another one of those or a DUI, you’d be looking at a second-time DUI, and a lot of times the same punishment comes along with a wet reckless. But obviously, if you had your choice between a wet reckless and a DUI, you would choose a wet reckless.
  • Other resolutions that I’ve seen obtained and that I’ve certainly obtained for my clients is what’s called a “moving violation.” I had one case where my client was an attorney and had a DUI charged against him and we were able to convince the prosecutor to give him two moving violations. This put a couple of points on his record, but it avoided getting the DUI which would have been very costly to his driving record and also costly because he holds a professional attorney license, so getting a DUI conviction would put his license in jeopardy. So, getting that moving violation was certainly a good result. But you can’t always get that. Sometimes the moving violation is not available because the prosecutors want something closer to a DUI.
  • Finally, another result would be a DUI. A bare minimum DUI in Los Angeles county would be a plea to either a Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which is driving with alcohol in your system and not being able to safely operate a motor vehicle, or a 23152(b) which would be driving with a blood alcohol percentage of .08 or greater. Both are misdemeanors; both are DUI’s; both would require a minimum of three years of probation, a $390 fine plus penalty assessment, a minimum of a three-month alcohol program and a host of other factors depending on the circumstances related to your DUI arrest

So, these are a number of different resolutions that can occur. Obviously, if you want to find out what you are up against and what you’re likely to get in your DUI case in Los Angeles, you’re going to want to sit down with an attorney like me and go over the facts and details of your case and then you can get a good feel for what you’re up against and what you can do to get the best possible resolution.

For more information on Potential Results Of A DUI Case In LA, 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 Happens If I Have To Complete A DUI Related Alcohol Program in LA?

If you’re ordered to complete an alcohol program related to a DUI in Los Angeles, you’re typically going to be ordered to complete a certain amount of months related to your DUI case. There is a 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, 18-month and a 30-month alcohol program. There’s even a 12-hour alcohol program. So, these things are all negotiable and it really depends on if your attorney suggests that you work out a plea agreement with the prosecutors. One of the things your attorney is going to need to discuss is whether or not you’re going to have to complete an alcohol program associated with your DUI.

Typically, if you end up with a first-time DUI and there’s no aggravating factors, you’re going to be looking at the AB541 3-month alcohol program, which is basically once a week for three months. You have to pay for the course. It’s usually $20 a session and they’re going to give you a list of court-approved alcohol programs that are close to where you work or live. You pick one. You provide the court with a completion slip at the end and then you’re done with that requirement related to your DUI case in Los Angeles.

A lot of times, if somebody is involved in an accident, even on a first offense, the prosecutors will want a longer alcohol program than just a 3-month. They’ll move to the 6-month or 9-month alcohol program in order to provide more education for that particular person. And that’s really what the alcohol programs are about when it comes to DUI’s in Los Angeles — that’s educating people. Educating people on what happens when you drink and drive, accidents occur and people die and then you change the whole complexion of your life because you go to prison and you lose your ability to drive. There’s a whole bunch of different ramifications that can occur in these DUI cases.

So, if you’re looking at doing an alcohol program, it’s not the end of the world. It’s more of a time issue than anything, but as long as you can fit it within your schedule and you get that completion slip, you’re going to be okay. I have a lot of people who say, what if I miss one of those classes? What’s going to happen? Are they going to issue a warrant? Am I going to go to jail? The bottom line is this – each alcohol program has its own requirements. You probably would be able to miss a class or two as long as you’re able to make it up. So, really what you’re doing is going within their rules and doing what they say, and if you miss a class and make it up and you talk to them about it — as long as these guys get paid and you’re cooperative with them — they’re typically not going to give you any problem. They’re not going to report you to the court for violating your probation, and they’re going to let you complete your DUI class and move on with your life. Really, what you’re looking to get is that DUI completion certificate because then you’ve done what you’re supposed to do and you don’t have to mess around with the alcohol program any more.

I’ll tell you, I’ve had some clients that just don’t want to do the alcohol program. You can’t say you blame them, but there’s so many bad ramifications from it. A lot of times what courts will do is say, okay, you want to play around with the alcohol program? You know what, I’m going to strike the alcohol program. You don’t have to do it anymore. Instead, I’m ordering you to do 180 days in the county jail. Now you go to jail. You potentially lose your job. You lose your freedom. And you know what? When you get out, you will never be able to drive again until you complete that alcohol program because the DMV will not let you have your license back unless you complete the program.

I even have people coming in from other states with DUI’s that don’t require an alcohol program, but California says you have to complete a three-month alcohol program for example. If you don’t, you can’t drive here in California. So, though California is certainly liberal in some areas, they are certainly not liberal when it comes to DUI’s, alcohol programs and punishment-related offenses.

For more information on DUI Related Alcohol Programs In LA, 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 Does A DUI Probation Consist Of In Los Angeles?

When you’re placed on a DUI probation, you’re usually ordered to do certain things and you’re also ordered from refraining from doing certain things. Some of the things that you’re usually going to be ordered to do is to do an alcohol program. You’re going to be ordered to pay a fine. You’re going to ordered not to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system.

This gets a little tricky for some people. Some people thing, as long as I’m not a .08 or greater, I’m good. No, not when you have a DUI case. When you have a DUI case and get convicted, now you’re not allowed to drink and drive anymore, even if you’re under a .08. So, that’s part of the terms and conditions of your probation. Other terms and conditions are that you have to obey all laws. So, if you were to pick up a new case, even if it wasn’t a DUI case, but if it was a crime, then you’re going to be looking at violating your probation. You’re going to be looking up to six months in jail if you’re on probation for a first-time DUI. It would be up to a year in jail if you’re on probation for a second-time DUI.

Also, the court puts the restriction on you that you cannot drive without a valid driver’s license. So, you have to coordinate with the DMV as far as making sure that your driver’s license is valid, because if you drive with an invalid driver’s license, you’re going to violate your DUI probation. You’re going to be charged with driving on a suspended license, and that’s a Vehicle Code Section 14601.2. That will be causing you to be looking at mandatory jail time. They’re real serious when it comes to making sure you have a valid license if you got a DUI and your license was suspended for that particular reason.

Typically, if you have a misdemeanor DUI in Los Angeles County and you’re put on probation, you can travel and go anywhere you want. You don’t have any restrictions in that regard. You don’t have to report to a probation officer and you’re basically free to do what you want, as long as you don’t violate the law or you make sure that you do everything that you’re ordered to do. They typically have you come back and forth into the LA county courts for progress reports while you were on probation just to make sure that you’re doing everything you’re supposed to — you haven’t picked up any new cases, you’re doing your alcohol program, you paid your fine and you’re doing whatever the court has ordered you to do related to your case.

Once you complete everything you’re supposed to do, you’ll still be on probation, but the court’s probably not going to make you come back to court anymore. They don’t need people to keep coming back and forth to court once they’ve done everything they are supposed to, and once they have fulfilled their obligations to the court. The reason — when somebody is on DUI probation in Los Angeles — that they make them keep coming back and forth to court is because they need to have some checks and balances to make sure that that particular individual has done everything that they’re supposed to related to their DUI matter in Los Angeles County.

So, being placed on probation for a DUI in LA — especially if it’s a misdemeanor probation — is not the end of the world. If you’re placed on felony DUI probation, that’s going to be a bit more of a stringent process. You won’t be able to travel anywhere you want. You’ll have to get permission from the probation officer or the court to travel anywhere. You’ll have to report to the probation officer related to your DUI case at least once every month. Sometimes they make you refrain from drinking alcohol altogether while you’re on probation if your DUI is serious enough, and there’s other terms and conditions — you won’t be able to own, use or possess a weapon if you’re convicted of a felony DUI in Los Angeles.

So, again, the terms related to a felony DUI probation in Los Angeles are much stricter than they are for a misdemeanor DUI. That’s why you want to complete all of your terms as fast as possible, comply with the probation department and then coordinate with your attorney to see if you can get your felony DUI reduced down to a misdemeanor. Then you’ll only be on summary probation. You won’t have to report to the probation department anymore. You won’ have to pay any fines related to your case and it’s a much easier thing to do when you’re not on felony probation related to your DUI matter.

For more information on DUI Probation In Los Angeles, California, 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.

The Anatomy Of A DUI In Los Angeles

There are so many moving parts to a DUI. Sometimes it’s nice to understand how things work from the beginning to the end of a DUI case. Then you see where you fit in and what you can do to get the best result.

First, you’re arrested by the police. Typically, they’re going to pull you over or there will be an accident, or somehow the police come in contact with you out on the road. The next thing they have to determine is whether you were actually driving car. If they can’t prove you were driving, obviously they can’t get you for a DUI. Once they prove that you were driving, now they have to determine what your blood alcohol level was at the time of the driving. But typically, before they do that, they’re going to test you. They’re going to do field sobriety tests which are designed to try to determine whether you can safely operate a motor vehicle in Los Angeles. If they can prove there’s alcohol in your system and you fail those field sobriety tests, they can get you for a Vehicle Code Section 23152(a) which says you have alcohol in your system and you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle. That really doesn’t have anything to do with what your blood alcohol level ultimately ends up being.

Another thing they like to do in conjunction with the field sobriety test, is when they pull you over they ask you if you’ve been drinking. If somebody is foolish enough to admit they’ve been drinking, they have step one. They have alcohol in their system. Now, all they have to do is prove you can’t safely operate a motor vehicle, and they’re in business as far as a DUI goes. Then they’re going to start asking you other questions to test your ability to follow instructions and get a feel for whether or not you’re under the influence of alcohol or some other drug or prescription drug.

Once they make that determination and they do the field sobriety tests, they get their box checked as far as asking you questions, then they have to make a decision whether or not they’re going to arrest you. Once they arrest you, they’ll put you in the back of the police car and then they’re going to ask you whether you want to take a blood test where they draw blood from you at a hospital, or one of the local jails, or whether you want to take the breath test. Most times, the police are going to try to push you towards the breath test because it’s easier for them to administer. The blood test is a little bit more of a pain in the neck. So, unless you demand the blood test, they’re going to try to steer you towards a breath test.

Don’t get the breath test that you choose and complete at the station confused with the one out in the field. In Los Angeles County, unlike Ventura County where they have everything out in the field, they’ve got a PAS device which is a Preliminary Alcohol Screening device. That’s just used to test to see what your alcohol level is so they can make a determination whether they want to arrest you or not.

But the real test is the machine back at the station – the Intoxilyzer 3000. They’re going to have you blow into that. Sometimes people don’t blow enough a d they’re going to have you keep blowing, blowing, blowing until they can get two good results. A little strip prints out of the breath machine and if you’re a .08 or greater, obviously you’re going to be cited for a DUI. They’ll hold you in there for as long as they deem appropriate, so when they do let you go, you’re going to be safe out on the road. Once they let you go, they’ll give you a citation to appear in court approximately thirty to forty-five days away, depending on how busy the court system is.

You’ll then be able to retain an attorney. He’ll show up for the arraignment. They’ll give you attorney all of the paperwork in the case. He or she will review it and make some decisions on where the case goes from there. The case will probably be continued, and then after the arraignment you’ll get a chance to meet with your attorney to get your strategy together — whether you’re going to fight the case or whether it’s in your best interest to let your attorney try to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutors in the case. Your attorney should also give you a copy of the paperwork so you can review it and help the attorney make the decision on where the case goes from there.

So, this pretty much gives you a fairly good feel for how a DUI is dealt with in Los Angeles. If you do decide to take a deal, you’re going to go into court. Your attorney will go over the Waiver form with you. It has all of your constitutional rights. You’ll enter a plea of either guilty or no contest and then you will resolve your matter and be able to start the process of getting this horrible situation behind you.

If on the other, you and your attorney review everything and decide the best thing to do is to fight the case, then you can go through a jury trial and a jury trial and a jury will determine if you’re innocent or guilty.

For more information on Anatomy Of A DUI Case 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 Happens During A DUI If A Death Results?

These DUI cases where death occurs because an individual drinks and drives and gets in an accident and kills either their passenger or some other driver or the passenger of another driver, the prosecutors now in Los Angeles — and I’ve been doing these cases for twenty-five years — it used to be they would wait and see if they could prove that the person knew that it was dangerous to drink and drive and a death could result, and that usually had to do with them having a prior DUI, doing the DUI classes or them finding some other evidence that they knew that this could happen, that it was foreseeable. Now, they just skip that. If someone is drinking and driving and a death results, that person is typically going to be charged with second degree murder.

The prosecutors figure that everybody now knows that drinking and driving can cause a death because of social media and all of the attention Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the news media has put on drinking and driving and deaths. Yet still, when somebody is in court and they plead guilty to a DUI, they’re told that if they continue to drink and drive and, in the future, they get in an accident, they can be charged with second degree murder. Really what this is doing with these DUI’s and deaths is normally for murder, we need some sort of malice. You have to harbor some ill will. You have to decide to kill somebody. But when these DUI cases come along, the malice is going to be implied when you act in a wanton and reckless manner. In other words, you drink, you drive. You know that somebody could die, yet you do it anyway, and a horrible accident result.

Now, a lot of these cases the prosecutors will negotiate them down below a murder case and allow the person to get what’s called a “determinative sentence,” when they actually known when they’re going to get out of prison. While other cases, depending on the severity of it, the actions of the defendant, they will not move on the murder case and they tell the person they have to plead to a murder charge. A lot of times these cases go to trial and the jury is going to have to decide whether or not you have a vehicular manslaughter charge or somebody was negligent and an individual died or whether it’s that wanton disregard for human life that is occurring and they end up finding them guilty of murder. Then a judge in these drinking and driving cases in Los Angeles when the person is found guilty of murder by a jury, has no choice but to sentence that person to a minimum of fifteen to life in prison. That’s a situation where they have to serve fifteen years, and once they’ve done that, then they’re eligible for parole. They might never get out depending on how the parole department feels about the crime, the particular individuals and the victims of that particular crime.

So, needless to say, I’m sure you can see from what I’m saying here, and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years and have handled thousands of DUI cases across Los Angeles — many murder cases where someone is racing or drinking and driving and they get charged with a murder charge, so I know what the standard is. I have a good feel for the political landscape of the District Attorney’s office and I saw that shift a few years ago where they just started filing all of these DUI-related deaths as murder cases. I’ve talked to some of the higher-up prosecutors and they say it is our policy now. Drink and drive, kill somebody — you’re going to get charged with murder and then you’re going to be begging to try to get a vehicular manslaughter or some other charge that doesn’t carry that fifteen to life.

So, if you’ve got one of these cases, you have to get in front of a criminal defense attorney who has handled these drinking and driving death cases, knows how to mitigate them and knows how to defend them.

Sometimes there’s a defense. Other times you really don’t have a good defense, but you have some good mitigating circumstance sand we can convince the prosecutors and even the judge, to not give you that murder charge, not sentence you to fifteen to life and work-out some other resolutions that makes sense for who you are and what actually happened out there. There’s a lot of different factors that go into these DUI-related death cases and the best judge of that is a DUI defense attorney who has been doing it a long time, knows the local court system, knows the prosecutor’s tendency in the court where your case is pending and knows how to handle these cases — knows how to maneuver them through a politically-charged, sometimes bureaucratic criminal justice system.

Make the phone call today. Let’s sit down. We’ll go over your case and we’ll start making the right moves to get you in the best possible position.

For more information on Death Due To A DUI Case 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.