Encino DUI Defense Lawyer
I have been practicing DUI defense now in Encino for approximately 30 years. I started out 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 primary 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 need to 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 records. Some DUI convictions will carry jail time and require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Our Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers will review this topic in more detail 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?
If you're charged with DUI and not responsible for the victim's injuries, you've got a good argument to avoid the most severe punishments, such as having the pay 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 to get the best result, you want to 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 strategy for the DMV because they control people's driver's licenses in California, so you want to make sure the DMV hearing is handled the right way.
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, and 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 the case. In that case, I will have to 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 now 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