If you have been charged with a DUI, there are many collateral consequences to a conviction that you might not be aware of. By hiring an experienced, aggressive attorney, you can protect your legal rights to ensure a fair criminal case and mitigate the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction.
In some DUI cases, it is possible to convince the prosecutor to drop charges altogether. This is rare. It usually requires exceptional circumstances such as lab errors, evidence tampering, police misconduct, or similar egregious behavior.
In the vast majority of cases, a good DUI lawyer is not trying to get the DUI case dismissed altogether. He or she is trying to mitigate the damage of the case upon your life. This can make the difficult experience of DUI much less burdensome for the defendant who hires an experienced, aggressive DUI attorney.
How Can a DUI Lawyer Mitigate the Consequences of a DUI?
There are many different ways an attorney can mitigate the consequences of DUI for you. The right solution depends on the specific facts of your case, but here are some of the most common ways:
- Pled to reduced charges. In rare cases, it is possible to plead to a charge that is less severe than DUI (for example, reckless driving). This often depends on the strength of the prosecutor's evidence of intoxication.
- Negotiate terms of a plea agreement. Many prosecutors' offices have guidelines for what plea offers can be made in various cases. However, individual prosecutors have discretion within these guidelines, and this can be used to your advantage. For example: fines, community service requirements, and other terms can be reduced by effective negotiation with your assigned prosecutor.
- Some DUI defendants are ordered to wear Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitors (“SCRAM device”, more commonly known as an ankle bracelet). These devices continually monitor the amount of alcohol in a wearer's sweat. In DUI cases, a judge can order a defendant to wear a SCRAM for a specified period of time in lieu of jail time. This gives the defendant incentive to abstain from alcohol use and not to tamper with the device. Because a judge has discretion to order or not order SCRAM use, an attorney can advocate for you to not be subject to this invasive device. An attorney can also advocate for less time on the ankle bracelet.
These are just a few of the ways in which an attorney can mitigate the consequences of a DUI charge. There are many other ways in which an attorney can review the specific facts of your case to find the legal strategies that are right for you.
Legal Defenses May Be Available
While the majority of DUI cases are resolved through a plea agreement, it is not necessarily the case that yours will be. There are many ways to defend against allegations of drunk driving, some of which may be appropriate in your case.
Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers have successfully defended clients for more than two decades against any type of DUI charges. Here are some of the more common defenses raised in California DUI cases:
- Arguing that the Breathalyzer was Improperly Calibrated – In order to be accurate, breathalyzer machines must be properly calibrated by a person trained to use the device. If the device used in your case was not properly calibrated, it can result in the result being deemed inadmissible in court. In many cases, not being able to use breathalyzer evidence significantly weakens the prosecution's case.
- Challenging the Validity of the Initial Stop – The police are subject to certain rules and are not allowed stop and search anyone one they want. If your rights were violated during a traffic stop, any evidence gathered after the stop could be thrown out.
- Showing that You Have a Medical Condition that Can Cause High Levels of Mouth Alcohol – Breathalyzer machines operate by taking a breath sample and using a calculation to determine a person's blood alcohol content (BAC). Studies have shown that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause high levels of mouth alcohol that can result in inaccurately high breathalyzer results.
Call Our Office to Discuss Your Case
If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, contact the experienced, aggressive attorneys at the Hedding Law Firm as soon as possible. Our friendly, professional staff offers the personalized service that will ensure that your rights are protected and your criminal case is resolved fairly. To schedule a consultation, contact our law firm today at (213) 542-0963.