Arrested on DUI in Valencia, CA
If you were arrested for a DUI in Valencia, CA, the arrest was most likely conducted by the Santa Clarita Police Department. You may then have been taken to the local Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station to be held until bail was paid or else transferred to a larger detention center.
After your California driver's license was confiscated by the arresting officer, you were handed a temporary "pink slip" good for 30 days. You must request a DMV hearing within 10 days (not business days) of your arrest or lose that right forever! We can assist you in scheduling a hearing and in getting your 30-day temporary license extended until your hearing (if your hearing is scheduled past the 30-day mark, which often happens).
If you proceed to have a jury trial to defend against the DUI charge, it would likely be held at the Santa Clarita Courthouse on 23747 West Valencia Boulevard in Valencia.
What Penalties Do I Face for a Valencia DUI?
In California, DUI violations are taken very seriously and punished very harshly. This is due to the many highway fatalities and serious injuries caused by drunk drivers, but there are also many who are falsely charged with DUI or who are over-charged.
The possible penalties of a conviction vary based on the circumstances of the case and on how many (if any) previous DUI or wet reckless convictions you have in the past 10 years.
Here is a rundown of the penalty schedule:
- First DUI, misdemeanor level: A maximum of 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a license suspension of 6 to 10 months, and either 3 or 9 months in a state-approved DUI class.
- Second DUI, misdemeanor: Up to 12 months in jail, $1,000 fine, a two-year license suspension, and 30 months of DUI class.
- Third DUI, misdemeanor: Same as for 2nd DUI but with the possibility of a three-year license suspension.
- DUI With Injury:As a misdemeanor, up to 12 months in jail, up to a $5,000 fine, full restitution to all victims, a DUI class of 18 or 30 months, and a license suspension of 1 to 3 years. As a felony, from 16 months to 16 years in state prison and a license suspension of up to 5 years.
- Fourth or subsequent DUI, a felony: From 16 months to 3 years in prison, 18 or 30 months of DUI class, and a license suspension of up to 4 years.
What DUI Defense Strategies Are Available?
At the Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel, we understand that the prosecution's case against you is being built from the moment you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI, and we waste no time in gathering all evidence in your favor and building you a solid case.
Don't trust your future to an overworked public defender who won't have sufficient time to devote to your case, and it is almost always unwise to represent yourself in a DUI case, given the complexity of DUI law and court proceedings.
Don't assume you can't win your case, either. Here are some of the most common defenses we have used to win at the DMV or in court:
- Lack of probable cause: It may be that you were stopped by police without probable cause or arrested without probable cause. Either way, that is a violation of your rights and can lead to a dismissal of the DUI charge.
- Police misconduct: If police can be shown to have fabricated or planted evidence, or if the police report contains contradictory or incomplete information, this can work in your favor. If police failed to read you your Miranda Rights before arresting you or formally interrogated you before you were informed you were under arrest, your case can be summarily dismissed.
- False blood or breath test readings: Contrary to popular belief, a BAC result on a blood or breath test is not invincible evidence. There are many factors that can throw off breathalyzer tests, and if blood tests are not administered in accord with strict Title 17 protocols, they are invalid. We can also do an independent retest if the BAC was barely at/above .08.
- Still-rising BAC: Even if your BAC was over the legal limit when tested, it is possible it was under the limit while you were driving. If there was a significant delay between the traffic stop and the blood test, a still-rising BAC could be a viable defense.
Note that if you refused the chemical test, you will face increased possible penalties, including a 12-month suspension for a first-time DUI. But we can challenge the allegation that you refused the test as well as the DUI charge itself.
Our attorneys will work hard at cross-examining witnesses against you and scrutinizing the police report. We often find mistakes and inconsistencies that lead to a dismissal.
We can also make pre-trial motions to contest probable cause, to suppress illegally obtained evidence, or to access any history of complaints against the arresting officer that might discredit his/her testimony against you. We know how to fight your DUI charge on multiple fronts and how/when to negotiate for a favorable plea deal.
Contact Us Today
At the Law Offices of Ross Howell Sobel, we have deep experience in defending against all manner and degrees of DUI charges in Valencia, CA.
We will not hesitate to get started on building you a solid defense and winning the best possible outcome to your case. Contact us 24/7/365 at 818-582-2350 for a free consultation and answers to all of your DUI-related questions.