Sherman Oaks DUI Penalties
While penalties for DUIs are set by state law, the arrest rate and specific court procedures differ from locality to locality. In recent times, as DUIs have become more and more expensive, arrests have mushroomed. There are now around 8,000 DUI arrests across L.A., including many in the Sherman Oaks area.
The penalties for a DUI can be very severe, and often include the following sentencing elements:
- A fine of up to $390 (for a first-time DUI)
- Court fees that can reach beyond $1,000
- Jail terms of between 48 hours to 6 months
- Probation and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device
- Mandatory attendance at DUI School, at your own expense, which can amount to over $500 and last from 3 to 9 months
- Loss of your license for a minimum of 4 months' time
For a repeat offense within 10 years of the first, you can be looking at a year-long license suspension, up to 16 months in state prison, as much as $15,000 in fines and fees, and an 18-month-long DUI treatment course.
The Sherman Oaks DUI Process
If arrested on charges of DUI in Sherman Oaks, you will appear for your hearing at the Van Nuys Courthouse at 14400 Erwin Street. If you spend time in jail, it will likely be at the Pitchess Detention Center at 29330 The Old Road.
When first arrested, you will be put through a number of field sobriety tests by the arresting officer and have your BAC measured with a breathalyzer. At the police station or jail facility, you will again have your BAC tests, this time with a blood, breath, or urine test. Refusing such chemical tests will only serve to increase your sentence if convicted, as California considers you gave "implied consent" to submit to these tests when you drove on California's highway system.
Upon arrest, your license will be confiscated by the law enforcement officer and sent to the DMV. In its place, he will give you a temporary license and a DUI ticket with your court date printed on it. You will be taken to jail and held, generally, for at least a few hours until the police are satisfied you can safely drive.
It is critical to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side and at your side at the DMV hearing. A DUI defense attorney like Ross Sobel will be able to scrutinize the evidence presented against you, obtain evidence in your favor, cross-examine the arresting officer, and challenge the chemical test results. Many times, it is possible to get your DUI sentence reduced or dismissed or to win an acquittal.
At the hearing, the prosecution will attempt to show you operated a motor vehicle with a BAC of .08% or higher. The DMV will mail their verdict to you within 30 days. With the help of a good DUI lawyer, you can be confident you will secure the best possible result for your case, which may save you money, save you license, and protect your record.
Common DUI Defenses
Many people think that a DUI case is "unwinnable," but the truth is that, with a top DUI defense attorney fighting in your corner, your chances of success are rather high. Busy prosecutors do not like to fight and work to gain convictions but prefer "easy wins." When they see a seasoned opponent coming, they often are willing to negotiate. Ross H. Sobel knows how to win in negotiations as well as in court.
Some of the most common defense strategies that Ross Sobel and other DUI lawyers use include the following:
- Challenge the chemical tests. Blood and breath tests can be thrown off by 100 different substances, including prescription medicines and mouthwash. Getting a second, independent lab test often reveals the BAC the police recorded was too high. Any mishandling or contamination can also throw off test results.
- Challenge the arresting officer. Many officers do not follow the state-required procedures and protocols during FSTs and during the arrest. This could invalidate evidence.
- Challenge the traffic stop/arrest. If you were stopped without probable cause or arrested before being read the Miranda Rights, the case will likely be dismissed.
Contact Us Today
At the Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel, we have deep knowledge of every variety of DUI case, and we know how to win the best possible results in each situation. If you are facing charges of DUI in Sherman Oaks or anywhere in Los Angeles, do not hesitate to contact us for help. Call us today at 805-657-1798 for your free legal consultation and to get started on your case.