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Los Angeles DUI Attorney

Anyone stopped in the greater Los Angeles area for driving under the influence in violation of California Vehicle Code 23152 VC can expect an aggressive response from law enforcement officers, who have increased traffic stops and checkpoints, increasing your possibility of being arrested for a DUI.

We specialize in defending both felony and misdemeanor drunk driving charges in Los Angeles County and throughout each of the Southern California criminal courts and DMV Driver Safety Offices. We also handle Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County cases.

In California, anyone driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08% is violating drunk driving laws and can be arrested. Underage drivers under 21 can be arrested with a BAC of .01% to .05%. Once you have been arrested, the officer will take your license and give you a temporary one that is only valid for 30 days.

Los Angeles DUI Attorney

A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in California carries harsh DUI penalties, including a suspended license, possible jail time, fines, and possibly even mandatory alcohol or drug treatment programs and community service.

If you are seeking the best resolution to your drunk driving case, you want the best DUI attorneys in Los Angeles on your side. At Cron, Israels & Stark, we have extensive experience defending people in drunk driving cases, whether you are arrested for a first or second DUI charge or even an underage DUI. We have successfully reduced DUI charges to a wet reckless with lighter penalties.  

In Los Angeles County, there are two issues to deal with in every DUI case. One is the DMV, and the other is the criminal court. Each is independent of the other, meaning your DMV hearing and court appearance are on different dates. Success in one does not guarantee success in the other. 

In other words, the DMV could still suspend your license through their administrative suspension action even if you are not convicted of a DUI. The involvement of both the criminal court and DMV creates a complicated situation that is often hard to understand, especially for first-time DUI offenders. Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers in Southern California have expertise in defending the following drunk driving-related offenses:

  • Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC – driving under the influence of alcohol, 
  • Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC – driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher,
  • Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC – driving under the influence of drugs (DUID),
  • Vehicle Code 23153(a) VC – DUI causing injury or death to another person,
  • Vehicle Code 23153(b) VC – DUI above 0.08% causing injury or death to another,
  • Vehicle Code 20001(a) VC – felony hit and run causing injury or death to another,
  • Vehicle Code 20002(a) VC – misdemeanor hit and run causing property damage,
  • Vehicle Code 14601.2 VC  – driving on a suspended license,
  • Vehicle Code 2800.1 VC – evading police,
  • DMV suspension hearings, negligent operator, DUI refusals, and DUI checkpoints.

Our law firm cares about each and every one of our clients and is dedicated to providing you with the best legal representation possible. There are many aspects of dealing with a DUI charge, which you can learn about briefly in our DUI overview or court process pages.

What Should You Expect after a Los Angeles DUI Arrest?  

Once you are released from custody, you will given a citation or “notice to appear” with a court location and date of appearance. The assigned court location will depend on where you were arrested. In Los Angeles, your notice to appear will typically say your appearance in court is mandatory, but your drunk driving lawyer can appear on your behalf if the DUI is filed as a misdemeanor but not a felony.

Los Angeles DUI Arrest

At your first court date (arraignment hearing), your Los Angeles DUI lawyer will receive the police reports and any other evidence (discovery) from the prosecutor. The criminal DUI court process is more extensive than the DMV hearing, meaning you will typically have multiple court appearances before the case is resolved.

You then have ten days following your arrest to schedule a DMV Hearing to attempt to fight your license suspension. This hearing is vital to attend with a reputable DUI attorney, as it can prevent your license suspension and provide vital information for your defense counsel from the arresting officer regarding your criminal charges. 

An arraignment will follow your DMV hearing, where your DUI lawyer can review the evidence being used against you, and any possible plea bargain or request for dismissal can be presented. A jury trial will be scheduled if your case goes further than the arraignment, but the vast majority of DUI cases never go to a trial.

The penalties for a DUI conviction can be significant, especially for a felony DUI case. Depending on your driving history and the amount of alcohol in your blood, your driver's license could be suspended or revoked, heavy fines may be leveled against you, and you could be sentenced to jail.

What Are Common Types of DUI Cases?

We can professionally assist you at your DMV hearing to contest the suspension of your driver's license and defend against the following types of DUI cases:

Our law firm can also assist you in challenging the results of blood or breath tests that were taken after field sobriety tests or at a sobriety checkpoint. If you have been charged with felony DUI causing injury under Vehicle Code 23153 VC, we might be able to help you avoid jail time.  We also provide legal protection for clients facing charges for refusing a blood test.

Suppose you are arrested for DUI but have a prior DUI within ten years. In that case, you are facing severe penalties such as increased fines, license suspension or revocation, and jail time. If this is your 3rd DUI offense, then you are facing felony charges. In handling multiple arrests for DUI, you must build a strong defense.

Having repeat DUI convictions on your record can impact your future by affecting your employment opportunities, housing availability, and insurance rates. Minimizing the adverse consequences of a repeat conviction for DUI is our utmost concern.

If you are driving a motor vehicle in California and get arrested for DUI and are from another state driving with an out-of-state license, you will be prosecuted just as if you were a resident and may also lose driving privileges and be penalized in your own state. Many are unaware of the Driver's License Compact with most other states. 

This compact allows all member states to share information regarding DUI arrests. Once you are convicted, your state will be notified, and you could receive penalties for the violations as if you received them in your own state. If you are from another state and have been arrested for DUI, you need a local Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer. .

How is the DMV Involved in a DUI Case? 

Once you are released from custody after a DUI arrest, either by posting bail or own recognizance (O.R.) release, all your property will be released to you except your California driver's license, which is required to surrender after a DUI arrest pending the DMV's separate administrative suspension action. This is not an immediate suspension of your driving privileges.

California Department of Motor Vehicles

When released, you will receive a temporary driver's license, commonly called the “pink paper.” However, it's the DMV Form DS-367, which serves not only as a valid license for the next 30 days but also is a notice of your responsibility to notify the DMV within ten calendar days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV admin per se or APS suspension hearing.

The hearing would occur at one of the Los Angeles County DMV Driver Safety Offices (DSO), determined by where you were arrested. Suppose you fail to make a request within the required ten days. In that case, your driver's license will be automatically suspended, and your pink license will expire. 

Suppose you make a timely DMV hearing request. In that case, it will serve as a notice to the DMV of your intent to contest the suspension, and it will delay your driver's license license suspension pending the outcome of your hearing. This means you can continue driving with valid driving privileges until the outcome of your DMV hearing.

What Happens at a DMV Hearing?

At the DMV Administrative Per Se (APS) DUI hearing, your Los Angeles DUI attorney is allowed to make defense arguments to challenge evidentiary and procedural issues, including the following:

  • Did the police officer have reasonable suspicion to stop you?
  • Was there probable cause to arrest you?
  • Did the police or a witness observe you driving the vehicle?
  • Were the results of the blood or breath test properly collected?
  • Did the police officer or crime lab comply with Title 17?
  • Did the police officer properly complete the DS-367 form?

Suppose you are successful in the APS hearing. In that case, the DMV would set aside the driver's license suspension, but you would still have to deal with the DUI in a criminal courtroom.

How Are Penalties Different For Underage DUIs?

If you are under the age of 21 and have been arrested for DUI in violation of California Vehicle Code 23136 VC, the penalties are more severe than if you were an adult. Per the “Zero Tolerance Law,” any individual under the age of 21 who is discovered to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.01% or higher will lose their license for one year.

If they are further discovered to have a BAC of 0.05% or higher, they will be further charged with a misdemeanor as an adult would with a BAC of .08%.

In addition to any fines imposed, a person under 21 with a BAC of 0.05% faces a 1-year suspension of their license, and they will have to show proof of financial responsibility before having their license returned to them. They will likely also have to enroll in a DUI alcohol program.

 A SCRAM bracelet is an alcohol monitoring device for offenders to wear during a DUI sentence and is often used when the court believes an offender has an alcohol addiction.

What is Our DUI Defense Strategy? 

Our DUI defense strategy will often be designed to fit the unique facts of your case, but there are many common factors that we will closely examine in most driving under the influence cases in Los Angeles, such as the following: 

  • The probable cause for your vehicle traffic stop and arrest,
  • Maintenance and calibration log for the breath instrument that was used,
  • Video and audio recordings from police vehicle dash and officer body cams,
  • Compliance with Title 17 during the investigation and collection of the chemical evidence.

We will seek any evidentiary weaknesses for plea negotiations with prosecutors or a jury trial. If necessary, we can retest all chemical specimens (blood) using an independent toxicology lab. You have the right to access all the evidence against you, such as the police reports, which is essential for your involvement in helping obtain the best possible outcome. 

With over 100 years combined experience among our firm's attorneys, Cron, Israels & Stark brings you the expertise you need when dealing with the frightening and emotional situation that being arrested for DUI can cause. We use various DUI defense strategies to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Our firm will work hard to find every possible defense to fight your charges, including thoroughly reviewing every procedure used during your traffic stop, arrest, and testing. We might be able to challenge your DUI breathalyzer results. It should be noted that passing the DUI field sobriety tests may be possible, but it will depend on different factors.

Our legal team realizes how a conviction can negatively impact your life, and we are committed to bringing you the best possible outcome for your case. Se Habla Español. Contact our law firm for an immediate free initial consultation if you face DUI charges. 

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Cron, Israels & Stark is committed to answering your questions about All Misdemeanor and Felony Crime law issues in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, California.

We offer a free consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.