Encino DUI Defense Lawyer
I have been practicing DUI defense now in Encino for approximately 30 years. I started working for the district attorney's office and then for a superior court judge as his right-hand man. Finally, in the early 1990s, I opened up my criminal defense firm and handled DUI cases in the Encino area for many years.
When you get arrested for a DUI or if you live in Encino, you want an attorney who has experience in the courthouse that services Encino. That would be the Van Nuys courthouse. California prosecutors primarily use two DUI statutes to file charges against somebody for allegedly driving under the Influence:
- Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC defines driving under the influence of alcohol,
- Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC defines driving with .08% or higher BAC.
Most DUI defendants are charged under both laws. Most California DUI cases are prosecuted as misdemeanor crimes. Still, they can be filed as a felony under certain situations, such as whether a victim was injured and whether the defendant has prior DUI convictions.
Once arrested for DUI under VC 23152, you must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days and request an administrative DMV hearing.
If you fail to do this, you will lose your right to this hearing, and your driver's license will automatically go into suspension after 30 days. An attorney could request the hearing and represent you.
If you are convicted of driving under the influence, the penalties vary depending on whether someone sustained injuries and a defendant's criminal record. Some DUI convictions will carry jail time and require installing an ignition interlock device (IID). Our Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers will review this topic below.
What Are the Common DUI-Related Laws in California?
- Vehicle Code 23152 VC – driving under the influence,
- Vehicle Code 23153 VC – DUI causing injury,
- Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC – DUI drugs,
- Vehicle Code 23222(b) VC – possession of marijuana while driving,
- Vehicle Code 23221 VC – smoking marijuana in the vehicle,
- Vehicle Code 23224 VC – possession of alcohol under 21,
- Vehicle Code 23136 VC – zero-tolerance law,
- Vehicle Code 23140 VC – underage driving with .05% BAC,
- Vehicle Code 20002 VC – misdemeanor hit and run law,
- Vehicle Code 20001 VC – felony hit and run law,
- Penal Code 191.5(a) – gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated,
- Penal Code 191.5(b) – vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated,
- Penal Code 273a – child endangerment law,
- Vehicle Code 23103 VC – wet reckless law,
What If There Was a Traffic Accident Involving a DUI?
If someone is charged with a felony DUI related to a traffic accident with injuries, then we have to look at causation, meaning:
- Who caused the injuries to the other person?
- How severe are the victim's injuries?
- Were the injuries related to the person who was DUI?
- Were the injuries caused by someone driving dangerously, or did a third party cause them?
Suppose you're charged with DUI and not responsible for the victim's injuries. In that case, you have a good argument to avoid the most severe punishments, such as paying expensive restitution and avoiding felony DUI charges.
If somebody commits a DUI that causes someone's death rather than just an injury, prosecutors could file felony DUI charges under Penal Code 191.5 PC
PC 191.5 defines vehicular manslaughter as occurring without malice aforethought, generally referring to the intention to kill. The prosecution still has to prove either gross negligence or the commission of an unlawful act or lawful act in an illegal manner. There has to be a wrongful act by the defendant.
After the California Supreme Court case, prosecutors might charge a felony DUI crime causing death under Penal Code 187, a second-degree Watson murder.
What is a Case Review Under the Attorney-Client Privilege?
So, if you were arrested, you probably have a citation for having to appear in court. If you want the best result, go to the best attorney. That's where I come in. Pick up the phone. Make the call. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.
I'll have you come to my office. We'll go over your case. You'll be able to tell me all the information without worrying about anyone else finding out about it because you are protected by the attorney-client privilege, which means anything you say has to be kept secret by your attorney.
Once I have all the information from you, the next move is that I'm going to be gathering all of the data from the court – the police report and any other evidence that might be available.
For example, bodycam, dashcam, or any records related to an alcohol screening device used, your blood if taken during your DUI arrest. I will evaluate whether there was a lawful stop and whether your Miranda rights were read.
Once I do a complete evaluation, I will meet with the prosecutors and see what they have to say about the case, and then finally, I'll meet with you, and we'll get our strategy together.
The strategy for the DUI case in the criminal court and the plan for the DMV is that they control people's driver's licenses in California, so you want to make sure the DMV hearing is handled the right way.
Why We Are the Best to Handle Your Encino DUI Matter
We've had our base office in Encino for 30 years and have handled thousands of DUIs. One of the critical things we have you do is to come in and sit down and meet with us so we can get your version of events.
Unfortunately, all too often, the police in these DUI matters in the Encino area and throughout LA County only do a one-sided investigation. Once they believe you are intoxicated and can't safely operate a motor vehicle, they will try to slant every piece of evidence against you. This includes the following:
- Field sobriety test,
- Blood alcohol content test,
- Whether you take a breath test or a blood test and
- All of their observations, including your driving.
They'll be slanted toward you who've been driving under the influence. So, we have to try to turn that around, and we do that through experience. Having done these cases before, we will look at every angle. Of course, not all cases are the same, such as the following:
- We'll see if the stop and the field sobrieties were done appropriately.
- We'll look to see whether or not your blood alcohol level was taken the right way, and
- Whether they violated any of your rights in that regard.
Then, we will see how severe your case is and make a conscious decision about whether this is the type of case you should fight or whether it is the type of case you should resolve.
Our office is at 16000 Ventura Boulevard, Suite #1208. I've been there for many years and feel well for the community. If you're arrested in Encino, your case will feed into the Van Nuys court, where we have a lot of experience and have done many cases.
I think you should pick up the phone. Please set up a meeting with us. You've got me, who's been doing this for 30 years. My father's been doing it for 40 years. We have another associate with a lot of experience as well. So, you're talking about a team of attorneys who understand the court system and how to get you the best result. Experience is crucial, especially local knowledge.
You'll come in and be under the attorney-client privilege's cloak. You'll be able to give us all of the information. Then we will start the process of getting the discovery in the case, talking to the prosecutors, seeing which judge we've been assigned to, making sure that your bail doesn't get jacked up when you go in for your first court appearance, and try to put you in the best possible position.
What DUI Topics Will We Discuss in Our Meeting?
So, we have you go through everything in a checklist-type format where we will do the following:
- we talk about the DMV,
- we talk about the court,
- what impact any conviction might have on your driving record,
- what potential punishments you're facing.
For example, an alcohol program – there's a three-month program 8541. There's a six-month, a nine-month, an eighteen-month, and a thirty-month program. These are all things that have to be considered.
The first thing we want to do in being one of the best DUI defense attorneys in Encino is to get your case dismissed. Suppose we can do that, fantastic. You can move on with your life; usually, that dismissal will carry over to the DMV so that the DUI arrest does not impact your driver's license.
Suppose we do not get the case dismissed because the police have appropriately investigated it and can prove it. In that case, I must negotiate with the prosecutor and minimize the damage to your criminal record, freedom, and driving history.
You've come to the right place. I've had an office in Encino on Ventura Boulevard since the early 1990s. I know my trade. I know what it takes to get you the best results.
Make the call. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles County and offers a free case review by phone or the contact f