Arrested for DUI in Winnetka, CA
There are a number of law enforcement centers nearby Winnetka, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in nearby Chatsworth, at the courthouse; the Topanga Police Department in Canoga Park; and the state prison in Van Nuys (Van Nuys Corrections Department).
The LAPD or L.A. Sheriff's Department would likely make the DUI arrest and take you to a local holding station. It is possible you could be transferred to Van Nuys or another larger facility in the L.A. Area if local stations/jails get too overcrowded.
After being booked and released, you are left with a temporary "pink slip" license good for only 30 days. And you have only 10 days (not business days) to request a hearing from the DMV. If you fail to act within the time limit, you will permanently lose your right to a hearing and your license will be suspended.
Don't think, however, that you can't successfully fight a DUI. That is a common misconception. It's often thought that if you failed the PAS (breathalyzer) test, some of the filed sobriety tests (FSTs), or there is a blood test with a BAC result at or over .08%, all is lost.
Ross H. Sobel has over a quarter-century experience in successfully fighting DUI charges. He has helped literally thousands upon thousands of people arrested for DUI get their charges dismissed, acquitted, or reduced. He can do the same for you.
Facing Your Winnetka DUI Charge
The Chatsworth Courthouse on 9425 Penfield Avenue in neighboring Chatsworth is where you will likely go for a DUI jury trial, while the DMV office located at 20725 Sherman Way in Winnetka would likely be where your DMV hearing would take place.
Understand that the DMV hearing and trial are separate, so that winning or losing one does not automatically affect the other. However, in most cases, a solid win at the DMV hearing would discourage prosecutors from pursuing the matter further.
Also realize how severe the penalties for a DUI can be. Even a first-time misdemeanor DUI can result in:
- 3 to 5 years of informal probation.
- A fine of $390 to $1,400.
- A 3 to 9 month long DUI School.
- A driver's license suspension of 6 months or more, with the possibility of a restricted license for driving to/from work and DUI Class being issued.
- Up to 48 hours in county jail (this is usually waived and probation allowed absent any "aggravating factors.)
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), even for a first-time offense. This is customary in L.A. County and a few other California counties only.
- Other "collateral" sentencing elements like mandatory AA, MADD, or HAM (Hospital & Morgue) program attendance.
A repeat DUI conviction within 10 years of the first DUI arrest, will result is significantly stiffer penalties. Some amount of jail time becomes likely, suspension periods get longer with each subsequent offense, the chances of getting a restricted license decreases, fines get higher, and DUI classes and probation periods get longer.
And also realize that any "wet reckless" conviction within the 10-year lookback period will also count as a prior. A reduction to wet or dry reckless driving from DUI is a win since it lessens your sentence greatly, but it counts the same as a DUI in determining if it's your first, second, third, fourth, or subsequent DUI.
Finally, you can expect enhanced penalties for a DUI if it led to an accident, was involved with a hit-and-run, was committed with children in the vehicle, involved excessive speeding, was committed while your license was already suspended, or you had a .15, .20, or higher BAC.
A fourth DUI is an automatic felony, which can get you 2 to 4 years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000. And DUI causing injury is also often charged as a felony.
Winning Your DUI Case
Given the severe consequences of a DUI, which extends to having difficulty holding down a good job and a damaged reputation, besides the formal penalties; it is well worthwhile to do everything possible to win your DUI case.
DUI defense attorney Ross H. Sobel has deep experience in doing just that. Here are some of the most common defense strategies he uses on a routine basis to win the best possible outcome to California DUI defense cases:
- Poor driving habits do not equal DUI. A mere observation of swerves and speed changes can't prove you guilty of DUI.
- "Symptoms" of DUI are often explainable on other grounds. Exhaustion, nervousness, or a medical condition, for example, could be the real cause.
- Field sobriety tests are not an accurate way to determine who is under the influence of alcohol or an intoxicating drug. And officers often fail to mention the parts of the FSTs that suspects passed in their police reports.
- Mouth alcohol can often cause a falsely high BAC reading on breathalyzer tests. If you burped, regurgitated, or used alcohol-containing mouth wash or medicine, the residue in your mouth would throw off the reading.
- The arresting officer may not have complied with Title 17 regulations that strictly regulate the manner in which blood samples can be taken, how blood sample must be stored, how breath tests must be administered, and more. This would put the reliability of the test results in question and could get this evidence thrown out of court.
- The arresting officer violated your rights in any number of way, such as pulling you over without probable cause, failing to read you your Miranda Rights, or interrogating you before informing you you were under arrest. This kind of conduct could result in your DUI case being summarily dismissed.
- Your blood-alcohol content was still on the rise when the tests were taken. If there was a significant gap between the time you were pulled over and the time you were tested, then a still-rising BAC would mean you had a lower BAC while behind the wheel. And that might mean it was actually under .08.
- You showed no signs of "mental impairment." Someone who is mentally alert is virtually never intoxicated because physical impairment goes hand in hand with mental impairment.
- Your breath test was high due to diabetes, a Paleo or Atkins diet, or because you were fasting at the time. Any of these factors can cause your body to produce extra "ketones," which make their way into exhaled breath. And ketones are similar to isopropyl alcohol and not distinguished from alcohol in California breath tests.
- The arresting officer who made out the police report has a history of complaints against him/her. These complaints can sometimes undermine the trustworthiness of the officer's testimony (being used against you) in court.
Our Commitment to You
At the Law Offices of Ross H. Sobel, we have a proven track record of success in winning dismissals, acquittals, and reduced charges/sentences in Winnetka, CA and other L.A. Area DUI defense cases.
We are familiar with California and local Los Angeles County DUI laws down to the legal minutia, and we are also well acquainted with local L.A. courtroom processes and rules that can affect your case.
We will fight tenaciously for your best interests every step of the way. We are not afraid to take on "tough cases," like some DUI attorneys are; we can assist you whether it's an unaggravated first-time DUI charge or an aggravated or fourth/subsequent offense.
We know how to challenge the evidence and the testimony brought against you, and we will not settle for anything less than the best possible outcome to your case.
We always put ourselves in your shoes and fight for you the way we would want to be fought for were our situations reversed.
Contact us today, anytime 24/7/365, by calling 818-582-2350, and we will rush to your immediate assistance. We will give you a free initial consultation on the details of your case and then waste no time in beginning to build you a solid defense!