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In these current times we are exercising our First Amendment rights to free speech more than ever. We have every right to have our voices heard. Ironically, the law is not always supportive of the choices we make to challenge the social injustices we see in our society.

Many of those choosing to speak up against injustice have unfortunately been arrested for a variety of charges. They now must address and face these charges. People are facing charges like Violating Curfew in Los Angeles County, or Resisting Arrest. Some clients have been arrested for Battery on a Los Angeles Police Officer, or even Trespassing. There are also a significant number of protesters in Los Angeles that have been arrested or Rioting or Looting.

Regardless of the charges, it is very important that you protect your rights, your freedom and your good record in situations like these. These are extremely unusual circumstances and the courts, as well as prosecutors and Judges have not really dealt with this type of a situation. We are all navigating it together.

It is unlawful to drive in Los Angeles under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, or both. You can be charged with driving under the influence in Los Angeles, if you are 1) intoxicated and 2) driving. Both elements have to be present. So, if you are simply intoxicated, you cannot be charged with a DUI. If you are simply driving with no intoxication, you cannot be charged with a DUI.

If you are driving under the influence of alcohol, it is easier to detect intoxication. There are visual signs, such as blood shot eyes, slurred speech, incoherent sentences and smell of alcohol. There also tests that can be administered to determine someone is under the influence of alcohol. Legislation has determined that someone who has a blood alcohol content of a .08 or over, is likely intoxicated for purposes of a DUI.

When it comes to being under the influence of drugs, it is a little more difficult. Of course, some drugs may be easier to detect than others, but there are also ways to determine whether someone is intoxicated by drugs.

Before you can be pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence in Los Angeles, or before you can be questioned about whether you are intoxicated, the officer must have reasonable cause to do so.

There are certain procedures and steps an officer must follow before they can arrest someone for a Los Angeles DUI. These procedures and rules are put in place to ensure that the driver’s 4th Amendment rights are protected. Your 4th Amendment rights are the rights against unlawful search and seizure granted to you by the United States Constitution. This means that authorities are not able to search your private or personal space without reason to do so. There has to be a reason that would justify violating your privacy in such a manner.

Generally, the first obstacle of reasonable cause is a reason to ask that you pull over. An officer has to have a valid, and legal reason to ask that you pull over. This is generally in the form of a traffic violation. It could be running a red light, running a stop sign, weaving, speeding, etc. An officer cannot arbitrarily stop a person.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Los Angeles, you are likely stressed and confused as to what you should do. Many people mistakenly feel that they can handle a DUI case without the help of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer. While, you are able to represent yourself in criminal court for your criminal case, you will be advised that you have the right to an attorney. This means that you can retain a private attorney, or you can be given a public defender. The reason this right is so carefully addressed and supported, is because the criminal justice can be confusing , you may not understand how your case progresses and what rights you have at each stage, and you are giving up significant rights when you enter a plea.

While the option of a public defender is available to you, it is important to remember that public defenders have many cases each day in court, and they meet with you briefly before you appear before the Judge that day in court. While public defenders are knowledgeable attorneys, they do not have the time to address each specific aspect of your case. This is the benefit in hiring a private attorney.

When you hire a private attorney, you basically take the burden and stress off of your shoulders, and pass it onto the attorney. From the moment you retain a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer, like those at Hoffman & Associates, they take on all of the stress of your case, so that you can focus on the day to day aspects of your life that really matter.

California Vehicle Code §23152 and §23153 make it unlawful for a person to be operating a vehicle if they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. With recent changes in recreational marijuana many of our clients receive DUI charges for driving under the influence of marijuana. Because it is a newly passed law, and the legislature still has to work through the different issues, there is a sense of confusion as to what is legal and illegal.

It may be legal to participate in medicinal or recreational marijuana, just like it is legal to consume alcohol if you are of appropriate age. However, it is illegal to operate any type of vehicle, while under the influence of either alcohol, or marijuana.

The law is clear. If you are intoxicated, and are operating a vehicle, you can be charged with a DUI in Los Angeles. What is unclear, however, is how officers can prove that you are under the influence of marijuana alone. This is why an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI lawyer is a significant asset in your case.

Many times, people do not see what benefit a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer can provide when you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. People in this situation often take their time deciding if they want legal representation, and shopping around for an attorney that offers them the best price. Keep in mind that valuable experience and knowledge is not something that can be bargained for. There are many benefits to having an attorney as soon as you have been arrested that will prove to be beneficial to your case as it progresses.

The first benefit is your DMV Hearing. The DMV hearing is a completely separate hearing from your criminal court case. It is handled solely by the DMV and falls under the DMV’s laws and regulations. It needs to be scheduled within ten days of your arrest, if it is not scheduled, you lose your right to have a hearing in regards to your driver’s license. Often you need to determine which DMV, call and schedule a hearing, and make sure you have done it in a timely manner. Having a Los Angeles DUI attorney right off the bat, will assure that this deadline is not missed, the right DMV has been scheduled, and that you will have legal representation at this hearing.

Another benefit to having an attorney representing you is in regards to the process with which discovery is obtained. Discovery is any type of evidence that was gathered by officers during the arrest and information the prosecutors have used to file charges against you. This includes surveillance video or audio and a police report. Generally, these may be obtained at your first court appearance. But when you have an attorney, the attorney is able to contact the prosecutor’s office prior to any court hearing and obtain the discovery right away. This allows the attorney plenty of time to review the evidence, contact any witnesses, or speak to anyone they need to about potential holes in the prosecutor’s case. With that added time, the attorney can walk into the first appearance fully prepared and keep the case moving forward quickly, rather than have to continue the hearing.

Holiday weekends can be fun, as family and friends get together and celebrate over food and drink. However, it is also a peak time for arrests due to driving under the influence. If you are going to be out and about celebrating with friends and family, be sure to plan ahead and have a designated driver. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, it is important to understand that you have not yet been convicted. An arrest just implies that an officer has reason to suspect that you may be driving under the influence. You cannot be convicted unless you plead guilty to the charges, or if a jury finds you guilty of the charges.

A Los Angeles DUI conviction can result in several consequences. The best way to avoid any consequences is to speak to a Los Angeles DUI Attorney early on and as soon as possible. Certain consequences can be mitigated before a formal case is even filed. This can also help reduce other consequences. Waiting until the last minute may hurt your chances, but having an attorney in your corner can be the best decision you can make.

A DUI specialist has over 30 plus years of experience. We know the court system inside and out, we are familiar with the Judges, the clerks and the officers. This helps make negotiations and discussions efficient, and tailored to each individual Judge. Especially when it comes to lessening the following consequences:

If you have been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, the best thing you could do for yourself is to retain a Los Angeles DUI attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will look for the factual and evidentiary weaknesses in your case so that they can help prepare the best possible defense for you.

The first place a legal professional would start is with the police report that is prepared by the arresting officers. Officers need probable cause to stop a person, it cannot be a random stop. There has to be a valid reason that the person was stopped. For example, the person may have run a red light, or they may have been weaving in and out of traffic.

Officers make this stop based on their own observations. Sometimes the probable cause is strong and there is not much room for argument, but sometimes it is subjective and leaves room for weakness. Let’s say that a person was stopped for weaving in and out of lanes. Was the weaving blatantly apparent, slight and subtle? This will depend on how the officer interpreted it, and how the officer interpreted it may not be strong enough to support probable cause. On the other hand, if the probable cause is something like running a red light, there may not be much room for weakness and the officer will be able to support the requirement of probable cause.

If you have been arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence, you have not yet been charged or convicted. This is a very important distinction. When you are arrested, it is only because officers believe there may be enough evidence to find you guilty of what they are charging you with. The case is then forwarded to prosecutors who will review the evidence and make a determination as to whether there really is enough to bring a formal case against you. The first priority of a Los Angeles DUI lawyer is to demonstrate that there is not enough evidence to formally bring a case against you. That is why the earlier you hire a Criminal Lawyer to defend you, the quicker they can get to work and fight to drop the charges before they are even made.

With an attorney on your side, they can act swiftly to contact the arresting police department and speak to the officer about the evidence they have against you. They can gather information efficiently and quickly because they know the officers and are familiar with the police department. But more importantly, the police department has a good working relationship with the attorney and so they are more willing to cooperate and work with the attorney in getting them the information they need.

With the evidence in hand, the attorney can then do a thorough review of what happened the night of the arrest and why the officer believes there is enough to charge you with a formal DUI. The attorney will find holes in the legal process and weaknesses in the arguments that prosecutors can potentially make.

Many of our clients mistakenly believe that a person can only be charged with driving under the influence if a person is intoxicated by consuming alcohol. This is not true at all. A person can be charged with a DUI in Los Angeles without ever having consumed a single drop of alcohol.

A person who is charged with a DUI is charged under California Vehicle Code §23152 or California Vehicle Code §23153. California Vehicle Code §23152 is the statute a person is charged under when the charge is a misdemeanor. Section (a) under §23152 refers specifically to driving under the influence of alcohol. However, section (f) refers to driving under the influence of drugs, and (g) states that it is “unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle”.

This means that any type of drugs, including prescription drugs, can lead to a DUI conviction. Let’s consider an example.