Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyer
Like most states, California takes driving under the influence (DUI) seriously. Los Angeles drivers who are found guilty of operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may face stiff penalties, including license suspension, steep fines, and jail time. If you are currently facing DUI charges, you likely have many questions and are feeling anxious about what comes next. Fortunately, Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, is here to talk you through your options and help you receive the best possible outcome. With nearly two decades of criminal defense experience in the Los Angeles area, Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer Eric D. Davis has helped numerous clients in your very situation resolve these charges and move forward with their lives.
What It Means If You Are Charged with a DUI in Los Angeles
Anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more will be charged with a DUI. Typically, a Los Angeles DUI is considered a misdemeanor charge under California state law. However, a DUI conviction can carry steep penalties, including possible jail time, fines, court costs, mandatory treatment programs, license suspension, and more. Immediately after your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended for a period of 30 days, unless you request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The criminal proceeding will include an arraignment, where you enter your plea, and then you may go to trial. However, many cases settle before ever needing to go to trial.
Since the penalties for DUIs in Los Angeles vary depending on whether this was your first, second, or third offense, it is imperative that you work with a seasoned DUI attorney to fully understand the potential consequences you are facing. Experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney Eric D. Davis will help you assess the facts of your case and make sure none of your rights were violated during your arrest. Together, you will talk through your options and decide on the best path forward to have the charges dismissed or reduced.
What Happens if You Get Stopped at a DUI Checkpoint in Los Angeles?
A DUI checkpoint may be set up by law enforcement along a road or highway to stop passing vehicles to check for drunk drivers. Checkpoints are different than ordinary traffic stops because the police may stop vehicles passing through without reasonable suspicion. The police should use a checkpoint system in which they follow some pattern, such as stopping every other car or every third car. As long as they are not stopping vehicles for arbitrary reasons, such as the race of the driver, the stops will be legal.
Generally, when police stop drivers at a DUI checkpoint in LA, they do so to look for any signs of intoxication. For example, slurred speech or fumbling motor skills may lead officers to believe you are intoxicated. At this point, they could ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test or other field sobriety tests. If you fail these tests, you will often be arrested.
Is It a Crime to Refuse a Breathalyzer Test at a DUI Stop in Los Angeles?
Breathalyzer testing is not perfect and may result in falsely inflated BAC levels. There are a number of ways to challenge the results of a breathalyzer test in LA. Breathalyzer testing devices are sensitive machines that must be calibrated and tested by officers before being used on drivers. It is possible that the machine used to test you was malfunctioning or was not properly calibrated, thus leading to unreliable results. Police are responsible for the maintenance of these devices and must prove their device was in working order if that is called into question.
The method in which the breathalyzer was used may also be challenged. The test must be administered according to specific procedures in order to ensure the most accurate results. This includes having the police officer monitor the driver shortly before administering the test to make sure the driver’s mouth is empty. Even burping or belching before a breathalyzer test can cause alcohol in the stomach to come up into the mouth and inflate BAC results.
If you think the officer who administered your breathalyzer test was careless and did not follow proper protocols, you may be able to challenge the test results. If you believe your breathalyzer test was in some way compromised, contact a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney to help you build your defense.
What Are the Penalties for a First-Time DUI Offense in LA?
If you are convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles and it is your first offense, you can expect to pay up to $1800 in fines and costs, spend up to 48 hours in jail, have your license automatically suspended for between 30 and 90 days (or more), and complete a mandatory three-month alcohol treatment program. Of course, every case is different, so contact Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, today to schedule your free initial case evaluation for a more realistic picture of the penalties you are facing.
Do Prior DUI Offenses Count in my Current Case?
If your current DUI charge occurs more than ten years after your first conviction, the court will treat this current charge as your first offense for sentencing purposes. However, convictions within the past ten years of your current DUI will count as prior DUIs. Moreover, only convictions will count; prior arrests that did not result in a conviction will not count as a prior DUI.
The more prior DUIs on your record, the worse your penalties will be for this DUI. For each subsequent conviction, you may face higher fines, longer license suspensions, and even more potential jail time. Once you have four DUIs within ten years, you may be charged with a felony. If you have prior DUIs on your record, it is crucial that you speak with a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer immediately.
Effective Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Helping Clients Facing Drunk Driving Charges
Whether you are facing your first DUI charge or you have prior DUI convictions, Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, is here to protect your rights. For almost 20 years, we have worked with numerous clients facing DUI charges, and we understand how to successfully guide them through the process with honesty and encouragement. If you are facing DUI charges and unsure about your options, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, is here to assist you. For nearly two decades, our firm has represented people facing DUI charges in the Los Angeles area. Call us today at (909) 861-8075 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our dedicated Los Angeles DUI defense lawyers.