To many living in the Los Angeles area, being charged with a DUI may seem like the end of the world. Also, for many individuals receiving a DUI is the first experience they’ve had with being in trouble with the law.
Drunk driving is a serious offense that could not only put the driver in harm’s way, but also puts everyone on the road around them in danger.
In the eyes of the law, DUI charges are not taken lightly, and they can damage the charged individual’s ability to pay bills, and their reputation, and even prevent them from pursuing their dream career.
There are many questions that come up when charged with a DUI concerning
- jail time,
- the ability to keep a driver’s license, and
- whether or not they will have to pay exorbitant fines.
The experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyers at Shouse Law Group understand all that is at stake when charged with a DUI offense. Therefore we work tirelessly to ensure that they have all the necessary facts, information, and evidence necessary to try and have the charges dismissed or lowered to benefit our client.
DUI cases are rarely helpless, as there are many things that can be messed up during the process of charging someone with a DUI. To learn more about how Shouse Law Group can protect the rights of those charged with a DUI, please contact us or call us today at 855-999-7755 to speak to an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
What To Expect When Charged With A DUI
When a police officer pulls a motorist over and suspects that the driver may be under the influence, they will then ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test to determine whether the driver can be legally deemed under the influence. The officer will ask the driver to perform a series of field sobriety tests and they will ask the driver to blow into a breathalyzer twice.
Once arrested for being under the influence the driver will be transported to the police station, jail, or hospital where they will be asked to either perform a blood or breath test to determine the amount of alcohol in their system. It’s important to know that this test is required, and refusing to take either a blood or breath test after being arrested could result in a one-year suspension of their driver’s license and tougher DUI penalties.
Most of the time, the driver will be released from jail a few hours after booking. For felony DUI charges, the driver will most likely have to post bail. Once released, the driver will be given two forms of documentation:
- A citation to appear in court
- A pink temporary license
After a driver is arrested and charged with a DUI offense, he must contact the DMV within 10 days of his arrest to request a DMV hearing. This will ultimately determine whether or not the driver’s license will be suspended. If the driver does not request a hearing, the license will go into suspension after 30 days.
If a DUI lawyer is obtained, the lawyer can set up this hearing for the driver. They will also conduct the hearing on the driver’s behalf which gives the driver a greater probability of getting their license back. If those in the DMV hearing rule in favor of the driver, he or she will not have his or her license suspended. If the DMV does not rule in favor of the driver, the license will go into suspension within a few days of the driver receiving notice.
Usually, the police station will send the driver’s license to the DMV, but they are not allowed to take out-of-state driver’s licenses. As of 2019, those arrested and charged with a DUI can immediately start the process of receiving an IID, also known as an ignition interlock device. This interlock device allows those that have been charged or convicted of a DUI to continue to drive without strict limitations. The length of time the IID is required to be in the vehicle depends upon the driver’s previous DUI history.
Consequences Of Being Charged With A DUI
The consequences of being caught while driving under the influence vary depending upon the driver’s previous DUI history and the specific circumstances surrounding their arrest. Any defendant who has been convicted of a DUI in the last 10 years will automatically receive mandatory jail time and an 18-month alcohol education class. If an individual is charged with their fourth DUI within 10 years then they will most likely be charged with a felony and be sentenced to time in prison.
Any DUI that involves a collision will have higher and more serious penalties. They will also be required to pay restitution to the other parties involved to cover their losses. When a DUI collision results in injury, the driver can be charged with DUI causing injury which is considered a “wobbler” offense. This means that the charge can either be classified as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending upon how serious the offense is.
For a first-time offense, those convicted of a DUI generally face a 6-month driver’s license suspension. They can also face up to 6 months in jail and between a $390 and $1,000 fine. First-time DUI offenders may also be required to
- attend a 3, 6, or 9 month alcohol education course and
- a probation period of up to 5 years.
What Are Your Rights After Being Pulled Over?
When a driver is pulled over they have certain rights that must be protected, and there are also certain commands that a driver may not refuse to perform. When pulled over drivers MUST provide their
- driver’s license,
- car insurance, and
This is required and failure to do so may result in immediately being removed from the vehicle and arrested.
However, if the officer asks questions pertaining to how much the driver had to drink that evening, the driver is not required to answer those questions. It is in the best interest of the driver to not admit to drinking any alcohol, but it is important to not lie to the police officer. Remaining silent and asking for legal representation is the best course of action, as most police officers have body cams which means they are recording the interaction. If the driver admits to having been drinking that evening and it is recorded, then the statement be used in court.
Here are the unalienable rights that drivers have when they are pulled over:
- The right to be free from unlawful search and seizure.
- A police officer can not search the vehicle of a motorist without reasonable suspicion or cause.
- You cannot be pulled over for no reason and charged with a DUI.
- Police officers must have reasonable cause to pull the vehicle over such as weaving in between lines or speeding. A police officer cannot simply pull someone over for no reason and then arrest them for a DUI if they suspect them of being under the influence.
- The right to a clear explanation for sobriety field tests.
- Any police officer administering a field sobriety test must clearly explain the process, and that the driver has the right to refuse the test. If the police officer makes it seem as though the test is non-negotiable, then they are violating the driver’s right to refuse roadside testing.
- Reading the driver their Miranda rights.
- In order to interrogate someone while they are in custody, the police officer must read the driver their rights. Any information given to the police officer before the driver is given their Miranda warning can be inadmissible in court.
How A Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Can Help
DUI cases tend to move quickly, which can leave the charged driver lost, confused, and stressed when wondering what will happen in the future. A lack of legal knowledge and skills can result in an innocent person being charged with a DUI, and the experienced DUI lawyers at Shouse Law Firm want to prevent that from happening.
A DUI charge can cost the driver thousands of dollars in fines and increased insurance premiums, and that can affect the individual’s quality of life, especially if they have been falsely accused. If the driver seeks an attorney to help with the case, an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer, like the ones at Shouse Law Firm, will go over every little detail of the case including:
- Witness statements
- Police Reports
- Collect evidence (Breathalyzer and field sobriety test results)
- Go over the police officer’s previous arrest history
- Reanalyze evidence such as blood tests
- Go through breathalyzer maintenance history
- Set up DMV license suspension hearing
- Attend DMV license suspension hearing at behest of driver
- Much more
Our experienced DUI lawyers will go through many steps to reevaluate the situation as well as set up and attend DMV hearings to fight for your rights. Hiring a DUI attorney from Shouse Law Firm will give you the best head start and advantage in having your DUI charges dismissed or reduced. We work hard to provide each of our clients with the best representation in and out of court so that their rights are always protected.