What happens when arrested for a DUI in the Los Angeles area? As usual, the answer to the question depends on a number of factors which are sometimes confusing to clients and their families. In fact, many attorneys do not understand how complex a typical DUI case can be. As active criminal defense attorneys in the greater Los Angeles area, one of the most common cases we encounter is Driving Under the Influence. The public may know it as a DUI.
A DUI case can involve alcohol or drugs or any combination of drugs and alcohol, including prescription medication. Increasingly, clients are being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of Marijuana, even prescriptive Marijuana. Many persons charged with a DUI have never been exposed to the criminal justice system. If so, they would have no idea about the procedures involved, or the various options and outcomes. On the other hand, I have represented many clients with lengthy criminal records, including previous DUI convictions.
As you might expect, the range of options and likely outcomes can vary greatly, depending on the individual client circumstances. I have included some very general scenarios below but they may not apply to the specific circumstances of your case. First off, it doesn’t take much alcohol to be over the legal limit for driving purposes. Remember it is illegal to drive with a breath alcohol of .08, whether or not a person is under the influence. While we sometimes refer to the alcohol related driving offense as “drunk driving,” that is not the legal standard. Physician prescribed medications pose potential problems. Many citizens may not realize that it is unlawful to drive after taking prescribed medications if they cause impaired driving. Courts have little tolerance for persons who drive under the influence whether caused by alcohol, prescribed medication, or a combination of alcohol and medication. One of the reasons that these cases are so complex is because many drivers can be convicted even if they do not feel any “effect” and even when they are driving lawfully, but find themselves in the unfortunate circumstance of being stopped at a DUI checkpoint. The penalties are the same for impaired driving and driving with .08.
Common Sequence of Events Following Detention for Investigation of Driving Under the Influence
- Roadside agility tests to determine impairment.
- Officer interview regarding drinking timeline. Politely decline. Do not volunteer any information under any circumstances.
- If the officer advises you of your Miranda rights, immediately request an attorney.
- The officer’s request to take an optional preliminary breath test in the field should be declined even when told that if it is less than .08 you will be released.
- Arrest and transportation to the jail.
- Vehicle impoundment unless clearly lawfully parked.
- Mandatory breath or blood test, typically at the station. Note: failure to take a test results in a one year license suspension.
- If reading is .08 or above, license will be confiscated and arrestee will receive a 1 page document that serves as a temporary license for 30 days.
- Booking (fingerprinting, photographs, record check).
- After booking, entitled to make phone calls. Have a friend or family member call me at 818-746-9210.
- Typically first offenders without warrants will be released after 6 hours. If will not be released on own recognizance (OR), bail needs to be posted.
- When released on bail or OR, will be instructed appear in court for Arraignment within 2-6 weeks, depending on the courthouse.
- Immediately upon release, contact me to discuss the confiscation of your license. You have 10 days to request a DMV hearing to avoid or minimize the period of suspension.
- Write up your complete recollection of the incident from the moment you left home for the first time until you were released from custody.
- Schedule an appointment with me to discuss all available options.
- Bring your written account of the incident and all documents you received from law enforcement to your appointment.
- If you retain an attorney, he can appear on your behalf at arraignment. Under most circumstances you do not have to appear.
If you are facing DUI charges, please remember to try and relax, and don’t be too hard on yourself! You are not a hardened criminal. You may be facing court, but we can often mitigate or minimize the consequences of what happened. Many otherwise responsible citizens have gone through the same thing. Many more will in the future. Good people make mistakes. In fact, everyone makes mistakes. You need to engage an experienced DUI attorney to represent you throughout the process. We will get through this together. Contact me to discuss the potential legal consequences of a DUI conviction.
Potential Legal Consequences of a DUI Conviction
The legal consequences depend on whether there are previous convictions in the last 10 years and whether you are on probation. Sentences range from fines, alcohol programs, license suspensions and restrictions along with mandatory vehicle ignition interlocks on most first offenses. Second offense sentences include jail in addition to fines, along with lengthy license suspensions, and longer alcohol programs. Third offense involve longer jail sentences. Fourth offenses can be prosecuted as felonies with lengthy jail or prison sentences. Because the consequences of a conviction, any person facing DUI charges should immediately consult with an experienced and qualified Los Angeles criminal attorney.
We hope our site visitors have learned a little more about What Happens When Arrested for DUI in Los Angeles Area. Should you have any further questions or wish to schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.