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Arrested for DUI and Hit and Run in Los Angeles: What Comes Next?

Being arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) combined with a hit and run in Los Angeles can be an overwhelming experience, especially if it's your first encounter with the criminal justice system or if you have prior convictions. This guide aims to provide detailed, practical guidance, outlining the immediate steps you should take, the legal process you will face, and possible defense strategies that may be applicable. If you're facing a DUI and hit and run, understanding what comes next and the potential legal outcomes is crucial for your defense.

Understanding Your Charges

What Does a DUI Charge Entail?

In Los Angeles, DUI charges are serious. They are typically issued when an individual is suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and is deemed incapable of driving safely. The state of California has stringent DUI laws with a legal BAC (blood alcohol concentration) limit of 0.08% for most drivers, 0.04% for commercial drivers, and stricter regulations for drivers under 21.

The Complications of a Hit and Run

Hit and run charges are added when a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene without providing contact information or aiding the injured. This is considered a criminal offense that can significantly escalate the severity of any accompanying DUI charge, potentially leading to felony charges if injuries were involved, increasing the need for an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney.

Immediate Actions to Take

Stay Calm and Know Your Rights

After an arrest, it's crucial to remain composed. Understand that you have the right to remain silent—anything you say can be used against you in court. Politely decline to discuss your case without an attorney present.

Seek Legal Representation Immediately

Contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who specializes in DUI and hit and run cases. The Law Offices of Christopher Chaney are well-equipped to handle such cases, providing expert legal counsel right from the start.

Document the Incident

As soon as possible, note everything you remember about the arrest and events leading up to it, including times, locations, and interactions with law enforcement. This information is vital for your defense.

Avoid Discussions About the Incident

Discuss case details only with your attorney. Avoid conversations with other involved parties or on social media platforms, as these can negatively impact your case.

Arraignment and Beyond

Your first court appearance is known as an arraignment, where you'll hear the charges against you and enter a plea. Depending on the advice of your attorney, you might plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

Pre-Trial Phase

During this phase, your defense team will review all available evidence, including police reports and witness statements. They will also engage in negotiations with the prosecutor, which could result in a plea bargain that might reduce your charges or penalties.

The Trial

If a plea deal is not reached or is not in your best interest, the case will proceed to trial. Both the prosecution and your defense lawyer will present evidence, call witnesses, and argue the case before a judge or a jury. Having a skilled Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer can make a significant difference in the trial's outcome.


If convicted, the sentencing phase will determine the penalties you face. For a DUI and hit and run, this could range from fines and community service to imprisonment, depending on the specifics of the incident and any prior convictions.

Long-Term Consequences and Mitigation

Personal Impact

A conviction can carry a stigma that affects personal relationships and community standing. To mitigate these effects, it’s important to engage in community services or rehabilitation programs that can demonstrate your commitment to positive change. These actions not only help in court but can also aid in repairing your personal reputation.

Professional Consequences

Employment opportunities can be severely impacted by a criminal record. Certain professions may bar individuals with felony convictions or require disclosures about criminal history, which could influence your employability. Working with a defense attorney, you might explore the possibility of reducing the charges, seeking expungement, or other legal remedies that minimize the impact on your professional life.

Financial Implications

The financial burden of a DUI and hit and run conviction can be significant. Fines, legal fees, increased insurance premiums, and possible loss of employment all contribute to financial strain. Proactive legal strategies can sometimes reduce these penalties or arrange for more manageable payment terms. Additionally, effective legal representation can sometimes prevent the loss of professional licenses, helping to safeguard your career and financial stability.

Addressing Increased Insurance Costs

One of the inevitable consequences of a DUI conviction is the increase in auto insurance premiums. Legal advisors can provide guidance on negotiating with insurance companies or finding policies that consider rehabilitation efforts, potentially reducing the increased costs.

License Reinstatement

After a conviction, reinstating your driver’s license involves meeting specific legal and DMV requirements. Your attorney can guide you through this process, ensuring that you meet all the criteria to have your driving privileges restored at the earliest possible opportunity.

Contact Defense Attorneys at the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Hit & Run Charge

Facing DUI and hit and run charges in Los Angeles requires not only addressing the immediate legal challenges but also understanding and managing the long-term consequences. At the Law Offices of Christopher Chaney, our defense attorneys provide comprehensive legal strategies tailored to minimize both immediate penalties and long-term impacts. With our expertise, we help safeguard your rights, professional life, and financial stability. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore the best path forward.

Schedule Your Consultation

Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. We are ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights, freedom, and reputation. Contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation, and let us assist you in finding a solution to your problem.