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DUI FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why hire the Los Angeles DUI Law Firm?

Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys are local to the Los Angeles area, have a proven track record for Los Angeles DUI cases and know what points establish a valid defense.  We will represent you at your LA DUI court proceeding and your DMV hearing so that you never have to appear in court on your Los Angeles DUI in most cases. Call us today at 888-444-7210 to learn how we can help you! 

As a member of local, state and national criminal defense organizations, our attorneys have the expertise needed to reduce your Los Angeles DUI sentence or even get your Los Angeles DUI charges dropped. 

Can I drive after I am released from an arrest for a Los Angeles DUI?

After being released from a Los Angeles DUI arrest in most cases the arresting officer will confiscate your driver's license and it will be replaced with a DS-367 Temporary Driver License.  This Temporary Driver's License is good for 30 days and it allows you full driving privileges.  However, if you fail to contact the DMV within 10 days of your Los Angeles DUI arrest you will automatically lose your driving privileges on the 31 st day. 

 When you contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest - remember this does not mean 10 business days - you will be able to schedule a hearing.  The DMV APS hearing is usually scheduled for a couple months later.  That means that the DMV will send you another Temporary License before your first one expires.  Logically, you could be driving for several additional months after your L.A. Drunk Driving Arrest without restriction.  At the hearing you can present evidence in your favor.  A DMV APS Hearing is a complex process where a representative of the DMV will serve as both prosecutor and judge.  Without the help of a capable Los Angeles DUI attorney your chances of winning are significantly lowered.

Do I need an attorney to represent me in my Los Angeles DUI case?

A Los Angeles DUI arrest will trigger two independent proceedings.  The first is a civil proceeding through a Los Angeles DMV safety office.  This is the most timely matter as you only have 10 days from the date you are arrested for a Los Angeles DUI to schedule a hearing at the DMV to protect your driving rights.  Second, are the criminal proceedings which will determine the criminal sanctions if convicted.  Since these proceedings are unique the punishments will be separate remedies for the state.  An experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney can run the sanctions concurrently so that any restrictions imposed by the DMV will not be in addition to your criminal court penalties.  This usually comes in the form of license suspension and an alcohol treatment program, since both departments could impose those sanctions.  A competent Los Angeles DUI defense attorney can represent you in court and at the DMV hearing to prevent you loss of time, energy and reputation from a Los Angeles DUI arrest.


 

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Will I go to jail for a Los Angeles DUI arrest?

Not necessarily.  Jail is a possible penalty of a Los Angeles DUI conviction.  Penalties for a Los Angeles DUI conviction range from fines, community service, jail, license suspension, probation and an alcohol treatment program.  They could be any combination of the aforementioned punishments.   A misdemeanor Los Angeles DUI first offense charge could carry restrictions of up to a year in county jail, fines of $390 to $2000, informal probation of around 3 years, an alcohol treatment program of 3 to 6 months and license suspension of anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. 

A felony Los Angeles DUI conviction could carry with it state prison of over a year, fines from $390 to $5000, probation, alcohol treatment program of 9 months, and severe license restrictions.  Most often, a Los Angeles DUI felony results from a fourth or subsequent L.A. Drunk Driving arrest within a 10 year time period or a Los Angeles DUI that results in an injury.  LA Drunk Driving cases resulting in an injury could carry additional sentences of up to a year of state prison for each injured person and restitution fines from $100 to $10,000.

Also, if you have aggravating circumstances surrounding your Los Angeles DUI charge including excessive speed, driving with a minor passenger (14 years or younger) or refusing to take a chemical test your sentence could be enhanced whether it is a first Los Angeles DUI offense or a fourth.

TheLaw Offices of Thomas Wallin know how to handle L.A. DUI cases involving all different factors.  Whether it is a first time Los Angeles drunk driving offense resulting from a check point or a fourth time Los Angeles DUI charge with injury - we are here to defend your rights.

What is BAC?

BAC is Blood Alcohol Concentration.  Three different tests are used to ascertain your blood alcohol content or the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream: blood, breath or urine.  While none of the tests are completely accurate in measuring the amount of alcohol present in your blood at the time of driving, the blood test is the most precise. 

Statute requires that accurate records are maintained on all BAC test machines.  A qualified Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyer will subpoena calibration records of the machine used in your L.A. DUI arrest to ensure that the appropriate procedures were used in calculating your BAC. 

California is governed by animplied consent law which means that every driver licensed in the state of California gives their implied consent to submit to a chemical test if suspected of drunk driving.  While you are not required to submit to a PAS (Preliminary Alcohol Screening) test you must submit to either a blood, breath or urine chemical test after arrest.  If you refuse to take a chemical test after being arrested for a Los Angeles DUI you will be looking at license suspension of over one year.

Our attorneys know the laws requiring Los Angeles arresting agencies to keep proper maintenance records and the necessary procedures to follow on arrest for a Los Angeles DUI.  He has won numerous  Los Angeles DUI cases by arresting agencies failure to maintain adequate calibration records or failure to follow state required procedure.

Do I have to go to court for a Los Angeles DUI?

For most Los Angeles DUI cases an attorney can appear on your behalf for both the DMV hearing and the criminal court proceeding which means that you may never have to spend a day in court.  An expert L.A. DUI defense attorney will not let your case be presented until all of the evidence needed is available.  This may mean continuing your court date following a LA Drunk Driving arrest to a later date so that discovery can be requested from both the DMV and the Los Angeles District Attorney.  The officer who made the Los Angeles DUI arrest may have made a mistake in the police report or during the Blood Alcohol Test that could be crucial to your L.A. DUI defense.

Should I go to AA prior to my DMV or court hearings for my Los Angeles DUI?

Generally, yes.  It is never a bad idea to take the initiative after a Los Angeles Drunk Driving arrest to start attending Alcohol Treatment classes as a volunteer.  Los Angeles judges and DMV representatives will most likely look favorably on the decision.  If you are convicted of a Los Angeles DUIyou will normally have to attend an alcohol treatment program as a punishment, so starting prior to the enforced restriction may help to reduce the L.A. DUI penalties.  

Even if there is a possibility that the Los Angeles DUI charges are going to be dropped a judge will only look more sympathetic on the situation.  A person's character is truly put on the line following a Los Angeles DUI arrest, so using every advantage is important.

Will I lose my license if I am convicted for a Los Angeles DUI?

Depending on the outcome of your DMV and court proceedings you could lose your license.  Generally, for a first time Los Angeles DUI offense the DMV will impose a hard suspension of 4 months.  This means that you cannot drive at all.  The court may impose additional restrictions.  Most often it will be 3 months for a first time DUI offense.  Our attorneys can help you to run the two Los Angeles DUI restrictions concurrently so that you spend the least amount of time with a suspended license. 

Furthermore, we can help to submit for a restricted license which will allow you to drive within the scope of your employment and to and from your alcohol classes.  It is very important to follow all limitations of your license imposed after a Los Angeles DUI conviction.  Driving on a suspended or out of the scope of a restricted license is a violation of your probation and could end you up in jail.

What are the penalties for a Los Angeles DUI?

The penalties attached to a Los Angeles DUI conviction could range from probation, alcohol treatment programs, community service, license restrictions to fines, county jail time or even state prison depending on the gravity of the LA drunk driving case.

A misdemeanor Los Angeles drunk driving conviction could carry with it county jail time of up to one year, a license restriction of 3 months or more, an alcohol treatment program of 3 months or more, fines of $390 to $2000 and summary probation of 3 years.  Generally, a first through third Los Angeles DUI offense is considered a misdemeanor as long as there are no aggravating circumstances including injury.

If you are speeding excessively (20 mph or more) while driving recklessly, driving with a minor under the age of 14, or refuse to take a blood alcohol test your Los Angeles DUI charges could be enhanced through increased fines, jail time, alcohol treatment. 

A felony Los Angeles DUI charge is most likely imposed if the DUI is a fourth or subsequent offense or if injuries resulted.  LA felony DUIs carry sentences of one year or more state prison confinement, fines of up to $5000, alcohol treatment programs of 3 months to 3 years and license suspension of up to 3 years.  Needless to say, a Los Angeles drunk driving arrest could impact your life for years to come.  

If I am arrested for a Los Angeles DUI will they automatically put an Ignition Interlock Device on my car?

Recently, Ignition Interlock Devices have been used on a more frequent basis in Los Angeles DUI cases.  While, an Ignition Interlock Device could be required to be installed after a first Los Angeles DUI offense, most often they are required after multiple DUIs, if there is a refusal of a chemical blood alcohol test or the person's BAC was .10% or higher.  Also if you are arrested for a Los Angeles DUI and are driving on a suspended license that stemmed from a prior DUI the ignition interlock device will likely be installed on your vehicle.  

The Ignition Interlock Device is a portable machine similar to a breathalyzer that requires the driver to blow into the device to make the car start.  If there is any trace of alcohol or an amount of alcohol past a certain BAC then the car will not unlock.  After the initial blow, the driver is then required to retest every 15 minutes to every hour.  Blowing into an ignition interlock device for another driver is illegal and often will not work since the driver is required to learn a series of breath patterns. An ignition interlock device can be a useful tool for a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney since he can often ask for it as an alternative to jail or further license suspension. 

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