Who Prosecutes DUI Cases in the San Fernando Courthouse?

When it comes to defending a DUI in the San Fernando Courthouse, the typical prosecutors who are handling these cases is the City Attorney’s office.  They handle the bulk of the cases there.

They have an office on the fourth floor in the San Fernando Courthouse and they staff all of the misdemeanor DUI courts.  There is an exception to that though.  The District Attorney’s office handles all of the felony DUI matters.

The dividing line is a felony versus a misdemeanor in San Fernando.  However, some of the courthouses only have District Attorneys, so they’ll have to handle all of the DUI matters in those particular courthouses.

Los Angeles City Attorney Handles Misdemeanor DUI Cases

If you have a DUI matter in the San Fernando Courthouse, you can bet that typically the City Attorney is going to handle it, unless also another exception to this rule that the City Attorney handles DUI cases is when a crime occurs in the City of San Fernando, which is a very small area that makes up part of the San Fernando jurisdiction, then the District Attorneys will handle that particular case.

It is some sort of a contract issue with the city and this is why the DA’s office is handling a DUI or even other cases that occur in the City of San Fernando. See related: California Vehicle Code 23152.

Your best strategy if you have a DUI case, you should be looking at who is going to be handling it, but you should also, obviously look at what type of potential results you’re looking at from your DUI.

A lot of people who get DUI’s and have to go in the San Fernando Court have a spotless record and even those people who don’t have spotless records obviously want to end up with the best result.

Local DUI Lawyer Who Is Knows The San Fernando Court

You want an attorney who is local to the Court when you have a DUI case there, and what I mean by that is someone who appears there a lot.  My office is relatively close to the San Fernando Courthouse, but I’m there all the time.  That’s just an area that I’m known for practicing in.  I do a lot of DUI cases there.  I do a lot of other cases there as well.

So, if you have a DUI matter and you got a ticket — a yellow or blue ticket — and you have a court date pending the San Fernando Courthouse, then obviously you’re going to want to get someone like me to represent you.

Typically, what we do is go in and speak to the City Attorney on your behalf.  On the first court appearance we don’t make you go in.

We pick up whatever paperwork there is related to the case — the police report and any other items related to your DUI matter.  We review it and then I will talk to the City Attorney about it and talk to them about you.

Developing An Effective Defense Strategy

Obviously, I’m going to be looking at the factors that they’re going to look at — how high was the blood alcohol level?  Do you have a prior criminal record?  How dangerous were you when you were driving?  Were you speeding?  Did you get in an accident or did they just pull you over for some reason like swerving, not having your lights on or some other traffic-related violation.

That’s one of the big things the judges and prosecutors look at in DUI cases in San Fernando, and that’s how dangerous you were out on the road.

Because their tasked with protecting the public and if they’ve got somebody who is dangerous and intoxicated, they’re obviously going to want to punish that person and create a deterrent for them to get another DUI case.

So, pick up the phone now.  Contact our law firm and we can talk about your San Fernando DUI case and I can see what I can do to help you.

Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436

Related Resources:
California DUI: What are the Penalties?

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

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

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