Two glasses of wine with dinner can cost a lot more than the $20 you will pay at your favorite restaurant.  Driving impaired is dangerous, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has effectively lobbied for very harsh DUI laws.  The .08 limit doesn't leave much room for drinking when you have to drive.  And in Los Angeles and Southern California, driving controls our lives.  This Fourth of July Weekend, on Thursday and Friday nights alone, there were nearly 300 DUI arrest in LA county.  That's about 6 DUI arrests per hour in one city.

First, it is important to realize that getting arrested for DUI is scary and serious, but know that your life will move on.  For the most part, you will probably keep your job, your friends, your life and your liberty.  The process is very expensive and time-consuming, but you can overcome it.

DUI cases are complicated.  Not only does a DUI arrest usually trigger two separate charges in Superior Court (driving while intoxicated, and driving with a BAC of .08 or higher), but also a DMV automatic license suspension.  If you are arrested for DUI, you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing.  The DMV hearing can save your license or at least delay your suspension to give you more time to make accommodations.

In court, you will probably be charged with VC 23152(a) and VC 23152(b).  You will want a passionate criminal defense attorney, who really wants to help you achieve the best outcome possible.  Sometimes, negotiating a lower charge is possible and sometimes it is best to assert your right to a jury trial.  Breathalyzers are not always accurate and there are many potential defenses to DUI charges.  The first court date is called an arraignment.  Your DUI attorney will get the police reports and chemical test results and begin negotiations with the prosecutor on your behalf. 

Similarly, you'll want qualified representation with the DMV hearing process.  Your attorney will be able to challenge the probable cause for the stop and arrest and perhaps save your driving license. 

Speak to a DUI defense attorney (or several attorneys) about your case.  Most offer free consultations and can give you a better idea of what defenses might be available to you. 

For a more detailed account of the common defenses available in DUI
cases, review the following articles, part of my DUI Defenses series:

Mouth Alcohol
Rising BAC
How Accurate are Breathalyzers?
Did Police Follow Proper Testing Procedure
Do Field Sobriety Tests Prove Anything
Alcohol and Drugs are NOT the Only Causes of Bad Driving

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
t. 323.803.4352 | f. 323.617.3838
Sunset Law Building | 1295 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA | 90026

by Nicholas Loncar



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