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Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Blog
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If you have been charged with a Los Angeles DUI, the California Vehicle Code §23152 will outline the potential sentence that the Judge may issue. The sentence is not set and standard, it is merely a range that can be issued based on the specific facts of the case, and the criminal background of each individual. The final sentence will be up to the discretion of the Court.

This is why it is important to have a Los Angeles DUI Attorney represent you in your DUI case. Because there is room for discretion, a powerful argument and weaknesses in the case have the potentially of ensuring that the sentence is at the lower end of the spectrum.

If you have been convicted of a DUI under California Vehicle Code §23152, there are several consequences you may face. The potential consequences are listed under California Vehicle Code §23536.

1. Informal Probation
The court likely issues probation for three to five years. The length of your probation will depend on the seriousness of the offense, and your criminal record. If there is an extensive criminal record, or the current conviction is in violation of a previous probation charge then the probation will be longer.

2. Jail time
The statute allows up to one year in county jail as a sentence for a DUI. However, it will depend on the facts of the case and your criminal background, much like probation. It is not likely that a jail sentence will be invoked, however it is a possibility.

3. Penalties and Assessments
Most DUIs will be charged a fee. The fee will be increased due to additional costs and assessments the court will add. You can expect the fine to be three times the initial fine after fees and assessments are added.

4. Alcohol Education Classes
Oftentimes the courts will require alcohol education classes. The length of this program will depend on the Judge’s discretion and the argument made by the driver. An experienced legal professional knows precisely which argument to make to ensure the lowest possible time spend in Alcohol rehabilitation classes.

5. License Suspension
Your license may be suspended due to a DUI conviction. However, this is an issue that is handled by the DMV and not the Criminal court.

The potential consequences are serious and can lead to long lasting effects. It is highly recommended to seek the help of a DUI professional to help ensure a low sentence!

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If you have been arrested for suspicion of a DUI, you still have yet to be found guilty. The process of being found guilty or not guilty of a DUI will occur through the criminal justice system. Either you may plead guilty, or you have the option to stand trial and be found guilty or not guilty by a jury of your peers.

Throughout the process of your criminal case, the Prosecutor will present evidence that they believe proves their case for a DUI. In order for a Prosecutor to find you guilty of a DUI, they must prove that you are guilty of each of the elements of a DUI, beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements include that the person was driving and that the person was intoxicated.

Throughout the process of the case, evidence will be presented by both sides. You also have the right to present evidence. Evidence will include testimony, any blood alcohol tests, officer reports, and any other items that are admissible under the evidence code to either prove or disprove the elements of the case.

The evidence code prevents certain pieces of evidence from being admitted. Additionally, of evidence is not obtained properly, then it may also be excluded. For example, oftentimes blood tests may be excluded. If crucial evidence is successfully excluded, this could lead to the dismissal of your case.

Let’s consider an example:
Donna has been arrested on suspicion of a DUI. During her arrest, she refused to have her blood drawn and did not give her consent. However, officers drew her blood despite this fact.

In accordance, with case law, officers cannot draw your blood without your consent. Doing so is a violation of your fourth amendment rights.

Having an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney represent you in court has its benefits. Attorneys know the procedure and what motions need to be filed that will suppress the evidence. One such motion is called a Wilder Motion. A Wilder motion is generally filed by criminal attorneys to request suppression of evidence, however, it does not state any arguments or facts which benefits the attorney’s argument.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of a DUI, it is important to contact a DUI attorney. An attorney will provide you with the advice and guidance that you need. A criminal charge is a serious charge and can lead to long term consequences. Assure that you have the best possible argument in your favor so that the case is dismissed or in the very least, reduced.

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Oftentimes a hit and run occurs during a DUI. Many clients believe that because the charges arise out of one incident, that they are not two separate cases. While they may not be two separate cases, they are certainly two separate charges. A person who is charged with a Hit and Run, and a DUI,sis going to be facing two separate charges, with two separate sentences.

A driving under the influence charge is a serious offense on its own. It may lead to potential jail time, probation, fines and penalties. A hit and run faces the same consequences but in addition to the DUI.

Let’s consider an example. David is driving home from a party at 4:00 AM. He has had three beers and does not feel that he is intoxicated. As he is driving home, someone hits his car from the back. Frustrated and tired,sDavid jots down the license plate and the car, and drives off. It is David’s intention that he will contact the other driver the next day, once he has had some time to rest and it is not so late.

The other driver calls officers, stating a hit and run and describes David’s car. David is immediately spotted by officers and pulled over on suspicion of a hit and run. When officers pull David over, they smell alcohol and they ask David if he has been drinking. David wanting to be truthful responds that he has had a few beers. Officers administer a breath test on the scene and take David into custody.

David is charged with both a hit and run and a DUI.

In this situation, David may argue that he was not the person at fault during the accident, that he was in fact hit by the other person. However, fault is not a crucial element in a hit and run case. All that matters is that there was damage to property or person, and one person fled the scene without providing adequate information. Furthermore, it seems that David made an admission that he had been drinking. That admission is all officers need for probable cause and can arrest David, or administer a breath test based on their suspicion.

As stated, a Hit and Run is a serious charge. It can be a misdemeanor or felony, and will remain on your record hindering your future with educational as well as financial institutions. A DUI is just as serious and like a Hit and Run charge may affect your ability to secure employment, may affect your professional license as well as your educational goals.

If you are facing either charge, it is a good idea tosconsult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer. If you are facing both charges, you should not hesitate and should seek the guidance and representation of someone who has been handling such cases for thirty plus years.

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Many people mistakenly believe that hiring a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer is a waste of funds and they are able to get the same outcome on their own. This is a completely untrue belief. The Judge may impose the same standard sentence at the end of the case, but a person who is now aware of the law will not know whether it is the best possible option, or whether it should have been pushed to trial.

What are the questions you will need answers to?

At the arraignment the prosecutor will give you an offer. The plea bargain is an offer for a sentence that is generally somewhat lower than the statute, in exchange for a guilty plea that day. You have the right to present evidence and the right to trial. You do not have to enter a plea right away on your own volition. However, doing so will help move your case along and the goal Prosecutors are looking for.

How do you know whether that offer is a good one for your case, or whether pleading not guilty and setting for pre trial will give you a better outcome. This is knowledge that an experienced and knowledgeable attorney will know. An attorney will know the court and the Judge and will know what offers a Prosecutor is likely to give. Based on that knowledge and experience, the attorneyscan make a educated decision on whether or not a plea bargain is reasonable or should be turned down.

Another question is whether the case should be taken to trail, or whether you should enter a plea on your own volition. The facts of a case and circumstances need to be assessed and the defenses and arguments need to be analyzed in order to determine whether a case should go to trial. Sometimes the cost and potential risk of trial is not in the person’s best interest, and the attorney can advise you of this fact.

Let’s consider an example: Donnie has been charged with DUI. He has no previous criminal record and at the arraignment the Prosecutor offers him probation, educational classes regarding alcohol abuse and penalties and assessments along with a day in jail. Donnie is not aware that the day in jail can likely be dismissed.

If you are facing DUI charges, it is always important to consult with and seek the advice of a DUI attorney. The criminal process can be tricky and you have a lot of rights that are granted to you. Before waiving any of them, it is important to know the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

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For all criminal charges, there are certain defenses available to the person being charged. This is also the case for a Los Angeles Hit and Run. In order for a person to be convicted of a Hit and Run, the prosecutors must prove that the person beyond a reasonable doubt was involved with damaging another person’s property, or injuring another person and that the person fled the scene without providing any contact information.

Another important note about Hit and Run is that it does not require intent. Even if a person has every intention of exchanging information later, it will not matter unless the information is exchanged at the scene. Of course, like any criminal charge, there are ways to negotiation and present facts to a Prosecutor that will allow them to reduce or dismiss charges.

One of the potential defenses available to those charged with a Hit and Run, is the emergency defense. If a person finds themselves in an emergency, presenting the emergency with sufficient evidence to support it, may result in a dismissal of the hit and run charge.

Lets consider an example. Don is driving home from work. The weather is foggy and it is hard to see anything. Don lives in a rural area and is driving down a highway that is not well lit. He does not see a car stalled on the side of the road and he rear ends it. The car has a driver and a passenger. The driver is away from the vehicle trying toscall for help. The passenger is still in the car and when Don rear ends the car, the passenger hits his head on the windshield. Don immediately pulls over and rushes out of the car to see if the passenger is ok. Seeing that the passenger is bleeding, Don immediately picks up the passenger and places them in his car. He yells to the driver that he is going to go get help and drives the passenger to the hospital.

On the surface, Don is guilty of each of the elements of a hit and run. He caused damage to the other driver’s vehicle, and he caused injury to the passenger. Don also did not leave any contact information, and immediately fled the scene. However, Don has a valid defense. There was an emergency situation and the reason Don fled the scene so quickly was to take the passenger to the hospital. In this situation, Don will likely not be charged with a Hit and Run.

If you are facing Hit and Run charges, be sure to consult with a Los Angeles Hit and Run lawyer. There are a variety of defenses available to you, and with a proper argument and a sufficiently presented case, you may have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.

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For a person to be found guilty of a Hit and Run, the court must first find that the person is guilty of each of the elements of a Hit and Run. The court must prove that there is beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed each of the acts requisite for a hit and run.

A hit and run requires two elements. There must be damage or injury to person or property, and the person must have fled the scene without leaving any contact information. Notice one important element is missing in a hit and run that is required in most criminal cases: intent.

In a Los Angeles Hit and Run, you do not need to have any intent to leave the scene without leaving contact information, all you have to do is leave the scene. This is a great weakness in many cases because oftentimes people mistakenly believe that their intent is a defense to the Hit and Run charge. This is not true, and despite the intent, a person may still be found guilty of a Hit and Run.

Let’s analyze a hypothetical situation to understand the role of intent in a Hit and Run case.

Donna is driving home from a party late at night. It is raining really hard and it is extremely foggy so she is having a hard time seeing where she is going. Her cell phone battery is dead and she is unable to make any calls. While she is driving home, she accidentally hits a parked car. She jots down the license plate number and plans to drive home and call the DMV the next morning to get in touch with the owner of the car. Her thinking is that it is raining and any note she leaves will not be there in the morning, and she is unable to call the DMV because it is late. She is also unable to make any calls because her cell phone is dead.

Donna goes home and wakes up the next morning. She is arrested for a hit and run. Donna had no intention to leave the scene and fail to make any amends to the injured party. She fully planned to call the DMV and get contact information for the owner and give them her information so that she may fix the damage. Unfortunately, in a hit and run, her intent does not matter. What matters is that 1) there was damage to property or injury to person and 2) the person fled the scene.

Here, Donna did damage the parked car and she left the scene. For all criminal proceeding purposes, Donna may be found guilty of a Hit and Run. A Los Angeles Hit and Run Lawyer can present the facts in the right light, andsaddress the surrounding circumstances and intent to negotiate with Prosecutors so that Donna gets a dismissal or reduction. However , if the court were to base the argument on law alone, Donna may not win. It is necessary to hire a lawyer who has plenty of experience, knows the Prosecutors and Judges so that they can efficiently negotiation.

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While your case is pending before a Criminal Court, you have certain Constitutional Rights that are protected. One of those rights is the right to an attorney.sThe criminal justice process is a complicated one, and entering a plea can have certain consequences to your freedom, or your rights. Because of this, each and every person has the right to an attorney, so that they do not waive any rights that are given to them without understanding what it it is that they are waiving.

On the flip side, you also have the right to represent yourself through the criminal process. If you choose to do this, you will not be given special considerations because you are representing yourself. You will be held to the same procedural standards, deadlines and laws as a person who is represented by an attorney.

At any point in the proceedings you have the option of asking the Judge for a continuance so that you can hire counsel. Just because it is a fundamental right for a person to be represented by counsel in criminal proceedings, that does not mean that everyone can afford to do so. If you would like to be represented by counsel but do not have the funds to do so, the government will provide you with a public defender and will charge you based on your financial situation.

A public defender is also an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney but has about five to ten minutes to review each case before it is called before the Judge due to the extensive caseload they carry. A private Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney only takes on cases they have enough time to work on. The criminal defense attorney will have the opportunity to seek discovery surveillance, talk to the officers and the Prosecutor and properly prepare a case’s defense and argument.

If you are representing yourself at a Pre Trial, that means that you probably entered a plea of not guilty and declined the Prosecutor’s plea bargain offer. This is not always beneficial, and the offer given at the Arraignment may not be available. Whether a person should accept and offer or go to trial will depend on the facts of the case and the available evidence. If you are representing yourself at a Pre Trial, you may not know when to lush the case to trial and risk a full sentence as stated in the Vehicle Code, or whether you should accept an offer.

You can always represent yourself in criminal proceedings, you do not need an attorney present. However, it is highly recommended that if you are at the pre trial stage, you should have a legal professional representing you. It may make a huge difference, because you go to trial and you do not have a strong case, you could potentially risk getting a full sentence, including jail time.

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When a person has been charged with a Los Angeles Hit and Run it does not mean that they have been found guilty. It simply means that an officer arrested them on the grounds that there is probable cause to believe that they are guilty of a Hit and Run. A court of law must find them actually guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on all elements of a Hit and Run before they can actually be charged and convicted.

For a person to be convicted the court must find that there is 1) an injury to a person or damage to property, and 2) they fled the scene without providing contact information.
Many times people mistakenly assume that because the accident or injury was not their fault, that they cannot be charged with a hit and run. This is not the case, and regardless of fault, you can, and may, still be charged with a Hit and Run.

Let’s consider an example. Donna was driving home from a party and was rear ended by a drunk driver.. Because Donna was late she did not stop but noted the other driver’s license plate number planning to contact him later. Unbeknownst to her, the other driver immediately called authorities and informed them that Donna had caused an accident. Officers located Donna and arrested her for a hit and run.

It is unfortunate, but in Donna’s situation, it is not her fault that she was involved in an accident. Unfortunately, because she did not stop and exchange information, regardless of it being her fault, she can still be charged with a Hit and Run.

A Los Angeles Hit and Run is a serious charge and carries with it certain penalties. It is highly encouraged that if you are involved in any kind of accident, or injury, regardless of fault, that you stop and exchange information with the other party. If you have been charged with a Hit and Run then it is important that you consult a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney as soon as possible.

There are certain defenses that may be available to you, and if those defenses are successful it could result in your case being dismissed or reduced. A hit and run is a misdemeanor and will remain on your permanent record, and could put you on probation for three years.

Successful representation of a Hit and Run could include a civil compromise, witnesses and letters of recommendation. An experienced Criminal lawyer will know exactly what steps need to be taken and can skillfully negotiation, especially in a situation where you are not at fault.

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When you have been stopped for a Los Angeles DUI, there are certain things you should and should not do. One of the things a Los Angeles DUI lawyer will advise you on is that it is not always beneficial to you to take the first preliminary alcohol screening test administered at the arrest.

This test, the PAS, is optional, and officers should advise you of that. It is not necessary, and failing to take it will not result in additional consequences if you are arrested for a DUI. The test administered at the station after arrest, however, is necessary and required. Of course, officers may not force you to submit to one and if you fail to do so, you may have additional consequences.

Many of our clients wonder how they can be found guilty if there are absolutely not solid numbers indicating their level of intoxication, i.e, a blood alcohol test. The truth is, that you will still be tried in Court. You will have a trial on the evidence against you and the Prosecution will try to build a case against you through evidence and testimony. The Prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were drinking and driving.

The case is certainly more difficult without the findings from a breathalyzer or bold test, but it is not impossible. The officer will likely testify on his observations, and his observations will weigh heavily on the jury’s decision.

The officer will testify to such things as behavior of the driver, the smell coming from the car, the way the driver was driving. All of it put together will paint a picture for the Judge to determine if the driver was, in fact, intoxicated. If the driver is found guilty, then additional consequences and sentencing will be imposed for failing to follow mandatory requirements.

Let’s consider an example. Dana was driving home after having a few beers. She did not submit to the officers request for her to take a drug test. When charged she pled not guilty, and a trial was set. At the trial, the officer took the stand and under penalty of perjury stated that Dana was swerving and when she was pulled over could not follow directions. The officer stated that she was slurring, her eyes were bloodshot and her responses were mumbled and incoherent. He also testified that her car had a strong smell of alcohol.

Based on these observations, the jury found Dana to be guilty and she was imposed harsher penalties and sentences.

If you find yourself in this situation, you may be facing serious consequences. Consult a knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon as possible. Their advice can prove to be crucial to your future!

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The holidays are a time for get togethers, to spend time with family, and lots of celebrations. It is also a time of year when DUI arrests are at an all time high and require drivers to be extra prudent and have a plan for getting home if they are going to be drinking.

It is important to note that even having a drink or two can cause a person to be considered too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle. The California Vehicle Code states that a person who is over a blood alcohol level of .8 is considered to be too intoxicated to drive.

Attending many different holiday events this time of year can lead people to have more than one drink, but the ever present danger of drinking and driving is still the same concern. If you are going to be attending holiday parties it is wise to have a plan for getting home. Are you going to call a cab? Are you going to spend the night? Or do you have a designated driver going with you?

If you find yourself in that situation, it is important to consult with a Los Angeles DUI attorney. There are plenty of different defenses that may be available to you if you have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Let’s consider an example. David has been at his holiday party. It’s been a long tough year so David let’s loose and has a few beers at the party. Everyone else is drinking, so David feels that if they are able to drive after drinking as much, then David should be fine as well. the difference is, that David was in such a rush to get to the party, he did not have anything to eat that day.

As a result, David’s blood alcohol level is high, at a .12, which is well over the legal limit. David, not knowing his blood alcohol level is so high, gets into a car and drives home. He does not make a full stop at the stop sign and is stopped by officers. Officers smell the alcohol on his breath and immediately request he complete a blood alcohol test.

Take the proper precautions when drinking at a holiday party. Take a breathalyzer if necessary, spend the night, or call a cab. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is best to consult with a knowledgable DUI lawyer. Be safe and enjoy the holidays responsibly!