Los Angeles DUI Attorney
A Los Angeles DUI attorney can stand by your side and defend your rights, freedom, and future if you are facing life-altering DUI charges.
Why Do You Need a Los Angeles CA DUI Attorney?
California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the nation. Under Vehicle Code 23152(a), it’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and under Vehicle Code 23152(b), it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. In the majority of cases, if someone is arrested for DUI, they get charged with both of these sections.
Even a first DUI conviction can result in jail time, a 10-month suspension of your driver’s license, fines, and additional penalties such as higher car insurance rates. Multiple or consecutive drunk driving offenses are punished even more harshly.
Southern California courts aggressively prosecute drunk driving charges. If you are charged with driving under the influence, you need an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who has a thorough understanding of California’s DUI laws, how the laws are prosecuted in Los Angeles County Superior Court, and the most effective defense strategies to ensure that your charges are either dropped or reduced to limit the devastating impacts of a conviction as much as possible. You need an experienced attorney like the ones you can find at the Law Office of Christopher Chaney.
California DUI Laws
In the State of California, you can get arrested and charged for driving under the influence if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit. According to the California Driver Handbook, it is illegal for any person to operate a vehicle with a:
- BAC of 0.08% or higher, if the person is 21 years old or older.
- BAC of 0.01% or higher, if the person is under 21 years old.
- BAC of 0.01% or higher at any age, if the person is on a DUI probation.
- BAC of 0.04% or higher, in any vehicle requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL)—with or without a CDL issued to the driver.
- BAC of 0.04% or higher, when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
The amount of alcohol needed to reach these BAC levels is different for everyone due to individual factors like sex and weight. You can calculate your estimated safe driving levels using the chart below.
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After you are detained or arrested for a DUI, the DMV can take administrative action against your driving privileges, and the court may take a separate action for the same offense. The DMV’s action is related only to your driving privilege, while the court’s action may involve a fine, jail time, delay of the driver’s license, and completion of a DUI program. When notified of a DUI conviction by the court, the DMV will take additional action to suspend or revoke your driving privilege.
As your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, the Law Office of Christopher Chaney will stand by your side throughout each essential court appearance to ensure that your rights are protected.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in California?
If you have been charged and convicted for a DUI offense for the first time, that is considered a misdemeanor. You could face up to $1,000 in fines, and your driver’s license could be suspended for 6 months. But, first offenders can apply for a restricted license, which requires the use of an ignition interlock device (IID). You could also end up in jail for six months.
However, in some cases, the judge orders probation, which means there is no mandatory jail time. Completing a three-months DUI school or longer is also a penalty for first-time offenders. Getting a second or a third DUI conviction in CA is usually a misdemeanor, but the penalties are harsher.
When Is a DUI Charged as a Felony?
If you have multiple DUI convictions, for instance, three or more during a 10-year period, you can face felony DUI charges. DUI can also be charged as a felony if drunk driving has caused an accident in which another individual has been severely injured or killed, or if you have been convicted of a felony DUI in the past.
The penalties you could be facing for a felony DUI depend on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you are charged for a felony DUI because someone else was injured or killed, you could spend from 16 months to 4 years in CA state prison, pay up to $5,000 in fines, and face mandatory driver’s license suspension for 5 years. But, if a DUI offender caused another person’s death, penalties vary from a year in jail to more than 15 years in state prison, depending on the charges brought.
If you have already been convicted for a felony DUI, you may face $1,000 in fines, spend up to 3 years in prison and have your driver’s license suspended for 4 years. In both cases, you may have to attend DUI school for 30 months.
How a DUI Attorney Los Angeles Can Help
It’s clear that a DUI is a complex matter and one that you can’t ignore. It’s important to keep in mind that a DUI charge doesn’t immediately mean that you are guilty. You deserve a chance to defend yourself. Contrary to common belief, it is possible to combat and win a DUI case both in court and at the DMV hearing, but it can’t be done alone.
A DUI conviction in Los Angeles, CA, will stay for 10 years on your driving record, which can be accessed by your insurance company, law enforcement, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This information doesn’t appear in background checks, and your potential employers can’t see it.
However, a DUI conviction also goes on your criminal record, since DUI offenses in CA are charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. DUI convictions stay on your criminal record permanently. But, you may be eligible to have it expunged. These decisions are discretionary, and the judge decides whether to grant the request.
The procedures in a DUI case are complicated, and the cost of losing is high, so let our skilled DUI defense lawyers assist you each step of the way. Our DUI attorneys are prepared to inform you of your rights, weigh the evidence against you, construct a strong defense, and safeguard your reputation.
At the Law Office of Christopher Chaney, our team of skilled California DUI lawyers has successfully handled DUI cases varying from misdemeanor drunk driving and felony cases to vehicular manslaughter and cases of those with previous DUI convictions. No matter the type and severity of your DUI charges, our law firm and DUI lawyers will do everything in their power to deconstruct the case and uncover the facts that can lead to a favorable outcome.
Contact the Top Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Today
There is no substitute for knowledge and experience. If you are looking for the best resolution to your DUI case, you need the best Los Angeles DUI attorney and law firm standing by your side.
Regardless of your circumstance, you are not alone in your fight. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges, time is of the essence. Contact us today for a free consultation, and we will assist with finding a solution to whatever problem you may face.