Downtown Los Angeles DUI Attorney
If you or a loved one have recently been charged with a DUI violation in Downtown Los Angeles, you are not alone. The high traffic nature of Downtown L.A., a place where only 50,000 people reside but to which some 500,000 commute, makes it a "busy" law enforcement zone. When dealing with a DUI case you need quality representation and we at the Law Offices of Ross H. Sobel stand ready to defend you against the very serious charges you are facing.
In the interests of getting you mentally and legally prepared for your upcoming DMV hearing or arraignment, here are the basics of how the DUI process works:
The Downtown Los Angeles DUI Process
After being pulled over on suspicion of DUI, given the Field Sobriety Tests, and possibly also the PAS breath test, the DUI arrest was made and your license was confiscated. In return, you were given a pink, temporary license to use for up to 30 days while waiting for your DMV hearing. However, you do not automatically have a hearing scheduled but must request one from the California DMV with in 10 days or the arrest (or lose the right to do so).
The next stop is at a local police station or possibly the metropolitan detention center which is the local jail, where your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is measured by a blood or other test. The results will typically take a few days to come back from the lab, but if the results are a BAC of .08% or higher, this will be used as evidence against you at the DMV hearing. It will also determine whether or not charges are actually filed against you.
Suspects are typically held over a few hours or more at the jail to ensure they leave sober, but after that, they are informed of their court date (if any) most probably to take place at the Metro Courthouse and released.
At this point, it is crucial to avail yourself of a skilled DUI defense attorney who can argue your case and secure the best possible outcome. The hearing will determine whether your license remains suspended and whether your case is "set aside" or needs to proceed to trial.
Possible DUI Penalties
If you win your DMV hearing, your driving privileges will be restored and you will not likely go to trial. If you lose the hearing, your license will be under preliminary suspension for between 4 months and 3 years, depending on if you have any previous DUIs and whether or not you submitted to the "implied consent" chemical test.
If you go to trial and are convicted, possible sentencing elements include:
- A fine of $390 and court fees of $1,000 or more, for a first offense; for a repeat offense, fines and fees could be as high as $15,000. Probationary periods can also apply.
- A Jail sentence anywhere between 2 days and 6 months, but up to 16 month sin state prison for repeat offenses.
- For first-time offenses, at least a four-month license suspension; for repeat offenses, a minimum one-year suspension.
- Installation of an IID (ignition interlock device) at your own expense.
- Mandatory enrollment in a state-approved DUI class for three to nine months, but for as long as 18 months for certain repeat offenders.
Common DUI Defenses
While many people charged with a DUI automatically assume their case cannot be won, in reality, there are many possible routes to a victory, whether that mean dismissal, acquittal, or a favorable plea agreement. Ross H. Sobel will "leave no stone unturned" in searching for weaknesses in the prosecutor's case and in obtaining evidence in your favor. Whether by direct argument or via skilled negotiation, he will fight tenaciously for the best possible outcome.
While there are many possible DUI defense strategies, here are the three most common:
- Question the arresting officer's record/conduct: If proper protocols were not adhered to, it is possible evidence against you will be ruled inadmissible. And the complaint history of the officer could cast doubt on his testimony.
- Question the validity of the stop/arrest: If it can be shown you were stopped or arrested without probable cause, your case will likely be dismissed.
- Question the results of the BAC tests: There are factors that can render a blood/breath/urine test inaccurate. We explore all of them, verify records of testing equipment being properly cleaned/maintained, and when appropriate, get an independent test run.
Contact Us Today
Ross Howell Sobel has over a quarter century of experience in handling both misdemeanor and felony level DUIs. He possesses an intricate knowledge of California's various DUI laws and is familiar with the inner workings of the Downtown L.A. court and jail systems. He will know how to implement the best possible strategy to use in winning your case.
To learn more or for a free legal consultation, contact the Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel 24/7 at 310-788-8995.