What Determines if You Get Jail Time on a DUI in Los Angeles?

This is a huge question on a lot of people’s mind.  Once you get arrested, they take you into the local jail where your case occurred and they hold you there for a period of time.

One of the biggest things that my clients tell me when they come in to meet with me about their DUI matter is, I never want to go back to jail again.  And you don’t blame them.  Who wants to go?  What are the penalties? Your freedom is taken away.  There’s some bad people in there sometimes.

First-Time DUI

So, one of the biggest things I try to do is keep you out of jail and I figure out ways to do that and there’s a lot of different angles to do it.  First and foremost, one of the most important things to know is that if it’s a first-time DUI and nobody was injured then that puts you in a real good position right from the beginning to avoid any jail time.

There are some counties like Santa Barbara and Ventura and even Orange county that try to put people in jail even on first offenses.

Level of Danger on the Road

But in Los Angeles county they’re pretty reasonable about that and they will give you the benefit of the doubt as long as you didn’t hurt anybody.  But when they’re really deciding when to put somebody in jail, the prosecutors are looking at how dangerous that particular person was out on the road.

In other words, what were they doing?  How fast were they going?  Did they hurt somebody?  Were they out of control?  How high was their blood alcohol level?

These are all big factors in determining whether you go to jail because the prosecutors and judges know that the ultimate punishment that they always have in a DUI case is jail or prison time.  So, they’re going to say that for the people that they think need the deterrent, that need to go to jail for a period of time.

Multiple DUI’s

Sometimes people are alcoholics and they won’t stop drinking and driving and they get multiple DUI’s and the prosecutors and judges basically just say, those are the people that we’re going to give jail time to .

Those are the people that we’re going to send to prison because those people don’t learn.  The most effective tool we have to stop them is to throw them in custody because number one, it takes them off the street, dries them out and number two, it shows them what could happen to them if they continue to drink and drive.

They don’t care about your job.  They don’t care about your family.  They don’t care about your responsibilities.

They do care about the fact that it scares the heck out of you to go to jail.  That’s why they do it.  That’s why they use jail as a deterrent in a DUI case.  So, if you’re scared that you might go to jail whether it’s a first, second, third or fourth time DUI whether you were involved in an accident, whether somebody was hurt, you’re going to need a DUI defense attorney like me who is local to these LA courts.

When I say local, I mean practice there.  Knows the judges, knows the prosecutors, knows the procedures, knows how the court system works, knows what it takes to get you the result you must have.

Developing a DUI Defense Strategy

I have you come in and we go over everything.  I ask you to be honest and straightforward and give me all the information and then I will tell you what exactly you can do to help yourself, what you can do to help me help you and what I’m going to do moving forward to put you in the best possible position to either get the not guilty verdict that you need, get the case wiped out by way of a motion or if those two things are not reasonably possible, I’m going to be honest with you and tell you that and we’re going to take another route.

We’re going to take a route of trying to negotiate this case for you and get you the result that way.

So, pick up the phone now.  Let my twenty-five years of experience work for you.  Don’t let these people trick you on the internet to have money to advertise but don’t have the experience, the knowledge, the know-how, the local connections to get you the result you must have.

Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436
213-542-0963

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Will You Get Jail Time For Your DUI In Los Angeles?

This is a big question on people’s minds because obviously, nobody wants to go to jail.  It’s very confining and very stressful.  There are dangerous criminals in jail and it’s an unsafe place.  So, this is one of the biggest fears people have when they are arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles — whether or not they’re going to go to jail.  Believe it or not, whether you go to jail depends on a bunch of different factors.

DUI Courthouse and Prior Criminal Record

One is the courthouse where your case is pending.  That’s one of the first things you want to talk to your attorney about when you sit down with them — is this the type of courthouse that’s going to try to throw me in jail?  Are these the judges that do that type of thing on a first-time DUI?  Another factor is, obviously if you have any prior criminal record.

If you have prior driving-related offenses and/or prior DUI convictions on your record, then you can probably expect that the prosecutors are going to try to put you in jail in Los Angeles and you’re going to want to use your DUI defense attorney to pull out all the stops to prevent that from happening.

Public Safety Issues and Conduct Toward Police

Another thing they’re going to look at is the DUI itself.  How dangerous were you to the public?  That’s one of the big things the prosecutors and judges look at when deciding whether to throw somebody in jail to teach them a lesson for a DUI.  Were you swerving all over the road?  Did you get in an accident?  Were you going very fast on the road or on the freeway?

They’re going to look at how you performed on the field sobriety tests.  The prosecutors are going to look at how you acted with the police.  Sometimes the police put a lot of bad stuff in their police report in an effort to try to make you look bad because you were belligerent with them, didn’t cooperate with them.

I’ve had clients spit on the police, curse them out, threaten the police.  These are obviously all things that would make it much more likely that you’re going to end up with jail time when it comes to a DUI.

First Time DUI Offenders Don’t Typically Serve Jail Time

All that being said, all first-time DUI’s in Los Angeles, most of the time it’s a fair statement — and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years, so I should know — it’s a fair statement that you are not going to get any jail time under that circumstance and you will be able to avoid having your freedom taken away.

So, that’s good news for those people who are worried about going to jail, but the best way to assess whether you’re going to go to jail or not, is to go and sit down with a DUI defense attorney who is local and understands the jurisdiction and the courthouse where your case is pending and then that attorney will be able to give you a good feel about your chances of going to jail in Los Angeles for a DUI; what can be done now before you go to court to make it less likely that you’re going to go to jail, and to be able to evaluate your case, your circumstances to see whether your case is the type of case where jail time will be sought by the prosecutors and judges.

Jail Alternatives

I get cases all the time where it is the type of case where the judge is going to try to give jail time, and we try to come up with not only alternative plans for jail, but also ways to show the prosecutor and judge that your actions were an aberration.  They’re likely to never happen again.  They don’t need to put you in jail to teach you a lesson.  This is what we have to show them.

We have to realize when we’re concerned about jail in a DUI in Los Angeles, that the prosecutors and judges are worried themselves to a degree, and if they give somebody jail time or don’t give somebody jail time, how that will play out in the future.  Will the person do something else more dangerous and put more lives at risk if they don’t punish them with jail.

So, if we can show them that they don’t need to give you jail time we’re in a very strong position to get you the result that you want and need. Contact our Los Angeles DUI attorneys to review your 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 Punishments and Penalties

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