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Los Angeles: 310-788-8995

Sherman Oaks: 818-582-2350

Van Nuys: 805-499-3815


There is currently enormous political pressure to arrest and convict DUI offenders. More than anytime in California’s history the state is willing to infringe upon your personal rights to increase DUI convictions. As a result, DUI laws have become more stringent after each legislative cycle. The consequences of a DUI arrest and conviction can be overwhelming, and include:

Court costs
Criminal record
Loss of employment
Loss of professional license or certification
Rider on your health insurance
License suspension
Exorbitant increase in, or cancellation of, auto insurance
Community service
License reinstatement fees
Inability to rent or lease vehicles
Negative credit report

Most people are simply not prepared to handle the emotional and mental stress that results from a DUI arrest. The first step is to get the right person on your side, who understands DUI law inside and out. Penalties for DUI Offenses It is important to realize that any of the following punishments can be enhanced if your case involves excessive speed, an accident, a refusal, prior convictions, medications, illegal drugs, prescription drugs, medical marijuana, excessive alcohol ( .15 or more) or minors in the vehicle.

First DUI Offense in Ten Years:

A minimum fine of $390 to $1,000 plus penalty assessments meaning the real cost to you is about $1,900.00 to $4,500.00
Possible 4 month license suspension, or one month suspension followed by five months of restriction, including possible ignition interlock device during restriction period
Possible court ordered ignition interlock on your car after restriction
Possible 6 months in the county jail
Possibility of community labor and/or community service
3 month, 6 month, or 9 month alcohol program costing from $500.00 to $1,500.00
Additional requirements such as possible VIP (Victim Impact Panel), MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) class, the Hospital and Morgue Program (HAM), additional AA meetings, ankle bracelet known as SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), house arrest, community labor and/or community service.

2nd DUI Offense within 10 Years:

A minimum fine of $390 to $1,000 plus penalty assessments ($1,900 to $4,5000, courts will usually increase fines)
Mandatory minimum of 96 hours to 180 days in county jail
18 month alcohol program (approximately $2,500.00)
Loss of license for 2 years with possible restricted license after 3 months of suspension followed by 12 months of mandatory ignition interlock device, at a cost of $600 to $1,200
Possible court-ordered Interlock after restriction period
Additional requirements such as possible VIP (Victim Impact Panel), MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) class, the Hospital and Morgue Program (HAM), additional AA meetings, ankle bracelet known as SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), house arrest, community labor and/or community service.

3rd DUI Offense within 10 Years:

A minimum fine of $390 to $1,000 with penalty assessments ($1,900 to $4,500, most courts will increase the fines)
Mandatory minimum of 120 days of county jail up to one year
18 month alcohol program costing approximately $2,500
You are declared a habitual traffic offender and license is revoked for 3 years
Mandatory installation of Ignition Interlock device for 24 months starting from when you are allowed to drive
Each and every one of the punishments noted for 1st or 2nd DUI
4th Offense within 10 Years:

Filing as misdemeanor or felony

Mandatory 180 days in county jail, up to 3 years In state prison
Mandatory Interlock for 36 months after you are allowed to drive
Any and all of the previous punishments noted.
NOTE: There are many ramifications for persons under 21, particularly students. Contact us for more information on underage offenders. Underage individuals are often treated quite harshly for drinking of any kind.

DUI 101: Ross H. Sobel Answers your DUI Questions:

What is the 10-day rule?

RHS: “By law you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to prevent your license from being suspended. If you are charged with DUI and refused to take a breath or blood test, or if your test results indicated your blood alcohol level was 0.08 or higher, you must request a special hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.”

Do I have to be drunk to be charged with DUI?

RHS: “No. A DUI charge simply implies that a driver has consumed enough alcohol and/or drugs to make them a less safe driver. A minor traffic infraction such as failure to maintain lane, disregarding a traffic signal, failure to yield, driving too fast or too slow – combined with even a small amount of alcohol and/or drugs – will likely be justification for a DUI charge.”

What blood alcohol level constitutes DUI?

RHS: “Under California law anyone 21 years of age or older is considered “per se” under the influence if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.08. Per a judge’s instructions, a jury may assume your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) to be 0.08 if a blood or breath test was taken within 3 hours of your having operated a motor vehicle.” (California Vehicle Code §23152)

How accurate is the breath test?

RHS: “The EC IR is simply a machine. Variations or outside factors as common as mechanical failure or the presence of even minor chemicals – such as those found in white bread – can affect the test results.”

What are the DUI penalties for persons 21 or older?

RHS: “The legal representation you choose can make a huge difference in how these offenses are dealt with – as well as the long-term impact on your future. Penalties for offenses are outlined above as a legal baseline.”

What does Nolo Contendere mean?

RHS: “A ‘nolo’ plea is one that allows you to dispose of your case without admitting guilt although it is treated as “guilty”. The only benefit derived from this plea is that it cannot be used against you in a subsequent civil action.”

I didn’t take the test – will my license be suspended?

RHS: “Yes, if you refused to take the test or failed to complete either test, or your test results are 0.08 or higher you can suffer various degrees of license suspension via the DMV. This is an administrative suspension by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and it begins on the 31st day after your arrest. To avoid this suspension, we must appeal it in writing to the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. The suspension will then be stayed until hearing is held.”

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Ross Sobel has been a great attorney. Helped me through a confusing time and made this experience (first, and hopefully the last) really easy. Got me out of a DUI and was really helpful throughout the whole process. Get your money's worth by getting yourself an experience attorney like Ross Sobel!

Ross saved my butt big time - Ross was very knowledegable of the law and also had built long standing relationships with the courts which was imperative to me reducing my charges. - AVVO - Lance

Highly recommend Ross Sobell for a DUI attorney - Very professional and knowledgeable attorney. Always available and makes you feel comfortable and lowers your stress level. I highly recommend him to anyone that wants an experienced professional lawyer. - AVVO - Sean

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Skilled DUI Attorney in San Fernando Valley

What Do You Do After a DUI Arrest in San Fernando Valley? 

Most people are confused after a DUI arrest and have a lot of questions. The DUI process is complex and can be overwhelming.

  • Will I have to spend time in jail?
  • Will I forfeit my driver's license?
  • How much does a DUI cost?
  • What will happen at my arraignment?
  • What happens at a DMV hearing?
  • Can I beat a DUI arrest in San Fernando Valley?
  • Will I need to hire a criminal attorney?

These are just a few of the commonly asked questions concerning DUI arrests. You need to know your rights before you go to court.

Having an experienced DUI lawyer by your side in a San Fernando Valley court room will make a huge difference in your case. San Fernando Valley Drunk Driving Lawyer Ross Howell Sobel will take the time to make sure you understand your rights. He will answer your questions, explain the various defense strategies and help you achieve the best possible outcome bases on the particulars of your specific case.

The following DUI information is basic to the state of California and how the DUI process works. You can visit the rest of the website for more information. You can also contact our San Fernando Valley DUI Law Office to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Ross Sobel. At the consultation, he will review your case and make sure you understand just what you will be facing in court.

The DUI Arraignment

Your first court appearance after any arrest, including a DUI, is known as the arraignment hearing. When you are arraigned, the judge will read the charges to you and you will be able to enter one of three pleas. You have the option of “no contest”, “guilty” or “not guilty”. Once you have made your plea, the court will set a date for your trial. If you have never been through an arraignment before, the process can be overwhelming. Your San Fernando Valley DUI attorney will be their to make sure your rights are protected and that you understand ever step of the process.

Avoid Suspension of Your California Driver's License

Police officers may take your license once they have arrested you for a DUI. They will provide you with a temporary license and a “notice of suspension”. It will take 30 days for your license to be suspended, although you may have to deal with a revocation or suspension for up to six months or longer. This occurs on first offenses as well. If it was your first offense and you refused to take a Breathalyzer when you were arrested, your license may be suspended for one year. Your suspension may be as long as 2 to 10 years if you have prior DUI convictions. Even if the underlying charges are dismissed or reduced, the suspension of your driver’s license by the DMV may still go into effect.

It is your right to challenge the suspension of your driving privileges by asking for an administrative DMV hearing. You must do so within 10 days of your arrest. You DUI attorney can represent you at the hearing and you will have a better chance at keeping your driver's license.

Requesting a DMV Hearing

Challenging the suspension of your driver's license after a DUI arrest involves requesting a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. You must contact the DMV Driver's Safety Office and submit within the 10 day period or your case will not be heard. Hiring a qualified attorney will be able to file the request and represent you at the hearing.

Losing your driver's license can be devastating especially if you have a job or family that depends on you to be able to drive your car. It can negatively impact your social life and can cause you to miss out on important events that involve your family and the community. This is one of the reasons we try so hard to help our clients avoid having their driving privileges suspended. Ross Sobel is an experienced DUI criminal attorney who practices in the San Fernando Valley area. He will aggressively defend you and protect your rights at the DMV hearing as well as in court during your trial.

If you fail to request your DMV hearing within the 10 days, you waive your right to a hearing. Your California driver's license will go into effect 30 days after your arrest. If you have a driver's license from another state and no DMV hearing is requested within the mandatory 10 day period, it is likely that your driving privileges will be suspended in the state where the license was issued.

DUI Penalties

In California, penalties for a DUI arrest can be extensive. Even first time offenders can receive harsh sentences that include a license suspension of 6 months, 6 months time in the county jail (first offenders rarely spend any time in jail), 3 to 9 months of alcohol classes including assessments, fines and fees that could amount to well over $2,000. Your penalties will be considerably higher if you have a prior offense that was committed within the last 10 years.

Avoid a Criminal Drunk Driving Conviction in San Fernando Valley

Many prosecutors will try and make you believe you their case is completely solid and you have no chance. There are several ways to defend a DUI case and Ross Howell Sobel and the staff at his law office knows that one of those defenses may work for you. Let one of our attorneys represent you in court and help you defend your rights.

A few of the most common defenses used when fighting a California DUI are:

Lack of probably cause to make the traffic stop
Mistakes that occur during the process of handling blood and breathalyzer tests
Individuals do not appear to be inebriated during field sobriety tests
Violation of Miranda rights
False or illegal arrest
Insufficient evidence
These are just a few of the defenses that are available for you to use after a DUI arrest. In San Fernando Valley, our DUI attorneys will help you determine what defense is best suited for your case. It is extremely important that you call an attorney as soon as possible after your arrest. These cases are very time sensitive and you could lose valuable options if you choose to wait.

Call 818-582-2350 to schedule your free DUI consultation today. We will discuss possible strategies and help put your mind at ease.