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How to Defend a DUI in the Van Nuys Court

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The Van Nuys Courthouse DUI Defense Guide

If you are facing driving under the influence charges (DUI charges), it is crucial to understand the seriousness of the charge and think about how to clear your name. A plea bargain or pre-trial diversion program may work for first-time, nonviolent offenders.

They can also try to avoid trial by entering a drug or alcohol treatment program or another pre-trial diversion program with the state attorney. But before examining the options available to minimize the damage, let us first look at the basics of a DUI case.

What Are the Stages of a Van Nuys DUI Cases

The legal process involved in DUI cases in Van Nuys is as follows:

DUI Arrest

A DUI case starts with an arrest. The driver is usually pulled aside by authorities, and if the driver appears impaired, they will request field sobriety tests, including a breath test.

If the driver fails, the California Highway Patrol or the sheriff arrests them. The arresting police officer will take the suspect to a police station or hospital for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.

Loss of Driving Privileges

After arrest, your driving privileges are revoked for 30 days. The arresting officer will refer your license to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

You should request a DMV hearing within ten days of arrest to keep your license. If you are found guilty of reckless driving at DMV hearings, you will not be allowed to retain your driving license.

DUI Hearing

Before a Van Nuys courthouse trial begins, the arraignment, pre-trial, and trial need to occur.

  1. Arraignment: During the arraignment, the defendant is formally charged with crimes as stated in an indictment and requested to enter a plea. After arresting and filing official charges, the defendant will be brought before a judge for arraignment.
  2. Pre-trail conference: In a pre-trial, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal. These proposals rarely benefit the defendant, and it is better to get an experienced DUI attorney immediately. If everything goes well, the criminal case may be closed and charges dropped to save you from the first court appearance.
  3. Trial: A first-time conviction for driving under the influence will result in a misdemeanor charge. A skilled DUI defense lawyer can settle DUI cases out of court. A convicted person also has the option of availing the services of an expungement attorney in Los Angeles to help minimize the effect of a past conviction.

How to Defend Against DUI Charges in Van Nuys?

The following are frequent Van Nuys DUI defenses:

Illegal Stop

Police must have reasonable suspicion that you are engaged in criminal activity to stop your car, conduct an investigation, or arrest you for a DUI in Van Nuys. An officer is likely to establish probable cause if they stop you for erratic driving, a broken taillight, or another traffic violation.

A DUI defense attorney may need to challenge law enforcement observations despite the evidence provided.

Miranda Violations

Before a suspect can be interrogated in an incarcerated setting or incarcerated, they must be informed of their right to silence. Law enforcement must also inform suspects that they have a right to contact an attorney and have them present during questioning.

The police’s failure to inform you of your rights may result in any subsequent statements being excluded from evidence. A DUI charge may be reduced or dismissed if those statements were excluded, depending on their significance.

Blood Test Errors

Blood samples determine an accused’s BAC. However, if such a test was not conducted, handled, or processed correctly, the evidence could be corrupted and should be tossed out of your DUI trial.

What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer in Van Nuys Court?

Refusing a breathalyzer in a Van Nuys DUI case can lead to serious consequences. The Los Angeles City Attorney, who prosecutes cases in the San Fernando Valley, including the Van Nuys Courthouse West, may view refusal as an admission of guilt.

This can result in harsher penalties during the DUI process, including longer driver safety office suspensions and mandatory DUI school.

The court, particularly in arraignment court, may consider the refusal as non-cooperation, potentially influencing the judge’s decisions. The police report detailing the refusal can be used by arresting officers and district attorneys to build a stronger drunk driving case against the defendant.

This might make it challenging for the public defender or any law office representing the accused to negotiate for reduced charges or leniency, especially for repeat offenders.

What Fines and Penalties Are Applicable if I Am Convicted of DUI in a Van Nuys Courthouse?

DUI laws have convoluted punishments. DUI penalties vary depending upon your prior DUI convictions (can be found on Van Nuys Court Records), age, or if you caused injury to someone. A DUI conviction is serious, even if it’s your first offense. Key punishments include:

  • DUI fines range from $390 to $1000. When injury or death is involved, DUI fines can reach $5,000. Other charges, like court fees, are calculated separately and are not included in the fine.
  • County jail time/prison sentence may run from 96 hours to sixteen years in case of felony DUIs.
  • Restricted license or license suspension.
  • When someone is convicted of driving under the influence, the state may take away their car or suspend their registration. The Los Angeles criminal courts may also order the offender’s vehicle to be installed with an ignition interlock device (IID).
  • The minimum budget for undertaking alcohol addiction treatment can cost about $500.

Can Charges Be Reduced for DUI Cases in Van Nuys Court?

Yes, charges can potentially be reduced for DUI cases in Van Nuys Court. The key is to present a strong defense during the court date, challenging the evidence and questioning the procedures followed by the Los Angeles police.

Skilled attorneys familiar with the Van Nuys Courthouse West and the practices of the district attorneys in the San Fernando Valley can negotiate with the Los Angeles City Attorney to reduce a misdemeanor DUI to a lesser offense, such as wet or dry reckless driving.

Reduced charges can result in lower fines, shorter DUI school requirements, and a less severe impact on the driver’s record.

However, achieving this outcome often depends on the specifics of the drunk driving case, the evidence available, and the effectiveness of the legal representation on the third floor of the Van Nuys courthouse, where such cases are often heard.

How Can I Get to Work if My License Is Suspended?

If you have had your license suspended, you may feel stuck at home. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can use public means or request lifts. Getting your California driver’s license reinstated with a temporary license is also possible.

Van Nuys DUI attorneys will help request the jury to allow you to install an IID. The IID ensures you record your blood alcohol concentration by taking a breath test before you start the car. The court can also order you to commute to work, which limits your travel movement to only home and work.

Can You Do Community Service Instead of Jail Time?

A court may impose community service as part of a sentence in addition to or as an alternative to imprisonment, monetary fines, supervised release, or restitution paid to the victim.

It has become more common in recent years for criminal convictions to include community service requirements as a penalty for the offense. Several jurisdictions have established dedicated administrative units to oversee community service imposed as a part of criminal sentences. This occurs at both the federal and state levels.

Can a DUI Lawyer Help Me Defend Myself Against DUI Charges in a Van Nuys Court?

A qualified criminal defense attorney is crucial if you are charged with DUI in California. There is more to felony DUI charges than meets the eye. DUI penalties in California vary depending on the circumstances and the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), and the circumstances surrounding your case could be complicated.

DUI lawyers may be able to help you if you have a previous felony DUI or felony drug conviction. For a free consultation if you are facing felony DUI charges, contact Law Offices of Christopher Chaney. Call now!

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.