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DUI in Los Angeles and Orange County

DUI in Los Angeles and Orange County

Driving under the influence can be charged in California in multiple ways: your blood alcohol content could be at or above the legal limit; you could be charged to be impaired by alcohol, even if your blood level is below the limit; you could have an illegal drug like cocaine or heroin in your system; you could be driving under the influence of marijuana or cannabis; or you could even have a legal such as adderall or xanax in your system be charged with driving under the influence of a prescription drug. Either way it all comes down to whether the District Attorney or prosecutor can prove whether your driving was impaired by the drug or alcohol. The only exception is driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .08, where all the State needs to prove is the level of alcohol in your blood, regardless of how impaired you were.  

In California, there are many arrests made daily for driving under the influence. Those arrested are often people like you and me: law-abiding citizens. At Klugman Law PC, we work hard to help you beat a DUI charge or to, at a minimum, get the best possible outcome in your unique situation. Contact us at (714) 559-0931 to learn more about how we will help you. In the mean time, here are some common questions regarding DUI:

Is a DUI a misdemeanor or a felony ?

Driving Under the Influence  can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor's maximum sentence is 1 year in jail, while any crime that is punishable by more than 1 year in jail or prison is a felony.  If nobody is injured and it is your first offense, you would likely be facing a misdemeanor charge. However, if your DUI arrest involved injury or death to another person, or you have prior offenses for DUI, you could be facing a felony charge. 

After a DUI arrest in California, will my driver's license be suspended or revoked?

Yes, likely. Or the DMV will try. If you or your lawyer challenges the suspension and wins at the evidence hearing, the suspension can be cancelled. If you are validly arrested for DUI and (1) you refuse to give a breath or blood sample OR (2) you submit a sample and the blood alcohol concentration result is above a certain level, the DMV will move to suspend your license. This is true even if no criminal charges are filed or even if you're found not guilty at a criminal trial. The DMV suspension system is completely separate from criminal court, and you may find yourself needing help in both matters. 

Can I stop my Driver's License from being suspended after a DUI  arrest?

Yes! But you have to act fast! You or your attorney must REQUEST A HEARING WITH DMV to contest your drivers license suspension WITHIN 10 DAYS OF YOUR ARREST! Our firm has had great success in staying or dismissing DMV suspensions. If you are arrested for DUI you, need help right away in order to save your drivers license and secure your freedom. It is best to choose a DUI attorney that will handle your case in criminal court AND handle your drivers license suspension with the DMV.  Adam Klugman has been successfully handling DUI and suspension issues for 18 years, both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney.

What happens after a DUI arrest in Orange County?

If you are arrested for drunk driving, what happens next depends on the facts and circumstances. You may be release on your own recognizance, or you may have to post bail to secure your release. If the police are submitting your case to DMV for your license suspension, you should receive notice of that. You will also receive a notice to appear for a future court date, likely within a matter of weeks. During this time period, you should be looking for a lawyer to represent you. It is possible that your court date may come around and charges have not bee filed yet, but unfortunately this does not mean that your case is completely over. Often, the prosecutor may need more time to wait on additional evidence, such as waiting for blood results or toxicology reports to come back from the lab. For a misdemeanor, the statute of limitations for a DUI is one year, meaning the prosecutor has one year from the date of your offense to file charges. For a felony, the statute of limitations is longer, and can be much longer, depending on the aggravating factors in the case that could give rise to additional charges or allegations.     

Can I beat a DUI charge in California?

It is possible to beat a DUI charge, although it is not by any means an easy process. It will require a thorough understanding of the law and a thorough understanding of the technical nature of police investigation, field sobriety tests, chemical tests, and the science behind blood or breath evidence. Having an expert understanding of this is critical to identifying errors (technical or human-made errors) to highlight the unreliability of the results.

Aside from errors or unreliable test results, a  DUI client may have had their constitutional rights violated. This happens more often than you might imagine. A violation can lead to the inadmissibility of some or all evidence, including blood or breath evidence. Without sufficient evidence, the case could be dismissed, or a jury may return with an acquittal.

You will need an experienced attorney to help you beat a DUI. These cases can be highly technical, as much as legally complex.

Can I just plead guilty to DUI?

An arraignment is a hearing where the defendant can plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty. It would be a mistake to plead guilty or no contest at this time, especially without the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles or Orange County DUI lawyer, and there are multiple reasons for this.

  1. If you plead guilty or no contest immediately, you lose any opportunity to fight the DUI charge.
  2. If you plead guilty immediately, you also lose any opportunity for a plea deal, if that is what would be best in your unique circumstances. You may be able to plead down to a lesser offense, such as a "wet reckless" or reckless driving involving alcohol or drugs.
  3. Your plea on your own will put in great jeopardy your immigration status or ability in the future to get a professional license, for example with the state bar, the nursing board, or medical board, or your ability to be employed in law enforcement or national security. A DUI conviction can also prevent you from travelling internationally. 

If it's your first DUI charge, it can be tempting to plead guilty right away so that you can get the case over faster and get on with your life. This is dangerous thinking for ANY criminal case, but especially dangerous for a DUI charge.

Do I need a lawyer in California to win my DUI case?

If you plan to fight your drunk driving charges, it is in your best interest to have an attorney represent you. The law is complex. The evidence is highly technical and scientific. Police and state expert testimony can be damaging. All these things can lead to a conviction, unless you have the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully counter them. Simply put, you need an attorney in order to succeed. 

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney in Orange County Today

A DUI offense is challenging, but the client always stands a shot at a good outcome if they have the right attorney. Attorney Adam Klugman has successfully handled DUI charges and suspension issues for 18 years. Call Klugman Law PC in Orange County today at (714) 559-0931 or complete the online form to schedule a consultation and get honest advice on your best legal options.

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