Los Angeles DUI Attorney
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles DUI attorney is ready to fight for your rights, future, and freedom. A drunk driving charge is a serious matter and you need a skilled advocate on your side. Professional representation is a must if you or your loved one were arrested on a DUI charge. To set up a completely confidential case review with a top California drunk driving defense attorney, please contact our Los Angeles office today.
Why Rely On the Los Angeles DUI Lawyers at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers?
For many people, a DWI/DUI arrest is their first experience with the criminal justice system. Being arrested and charged with a drunk driving offense is stressful, confusing, and even overwhelming. You do not have to go through the entire process alone. At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, we will protect you and your future. Trust your defense to the Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers.
Comprehensive Legal Support
A DWI arrest is often an individual’s first encounter with the criminal justice system, and the associated stress and confusion can be overwhelming. El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers understands the challenges individuals face during such circumstances and provides unwavering support throughout the legal process. From answering questions to explaining legal rights and options, the legal team at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers ensures that clients are well-informed and empowered.
In-Depth Investigation and Evidence Gathering
Effective defense against DWI charges requires a thorough understanding of the case and the ability to challenge evidence. The Los Angeles DWI defense attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers embark on a comprehensive investigation, gathering documents, records, and other evidence crucial to building a robust defense strategy. This meticulous approach ensures that no stone is left unturned in uncovering pertinent details that may influence the case outcome.
Expert Representation in Correspondence and Negotiations
Navigating the legal proceedings following a DWI arrest involves communication with law enforcement and prosecutors. The skilled attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers take on the responsibility of representing clients in all correspondence and negotiations with police and prosecutors. This proactive approach is designed to protect the interests of clients and explore potential avenues for a favorable resolution.
Personalized Defense Strategies
Recognizing that each DWI case is unique, El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers emphasizes the development of fully personalized defense strategies. The legal team tailors their approach to the specific circumstances of each case, ensuring that every aspect is thoroughly examined. This commitment to personalized representation is aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for clients, considering the nuances of their individual situations.
Protecting You and Your Future
Beyond the legal intricacies, El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers is driven by a commitment to protect the future of their clients. A DWI conviction can have lasting consequences, impacting one’s personal and professional life. The defense attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers recognize the gravity of the situation and work tirelessly to safeguard the future of those they represent.
What to Do If You are Arrested for a DUI in Southern California
Were you arrested and charged with intoxicated driving? You are certainly not alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately one percent of all licensed drivers are arrested for a DWI nationwide each year. Though not unusual, a DWI arrest is a very serious matter. You need to know what to do to protect your rights, your license, and your future. Here are four things that you need to do if you are arrested for a DWI charge in Los Angeles:
- Safely Stop Your Vehicle, Present Your Information: If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and suspect that you may be arrested for a DWI in Southern California, the first thing you should do is safely stop your vehicle. This means pulling over to a safe location, turning off your engine, and following the officer’s instructions. It is important to present your driver’s license, registration, and insurance information as required. Be polite and cooperative with the officer. Never attempt to evade or resist an arrest.
- Know Your Right to Remain Silent: The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides clear legal protections. You have the right not to incriminate yourself. You are never required to answer a police officer’s questions. It is not in your best interest to do so. That you declined to answer cannot be used as evidence of guilt in a criminal DWI case.
- Do Not Consent to a Search of Your Vehicle: You have the right to refuse a search of your vehicle. If the officer asks to search your vehicle, you should politely decline and tell the officer that you do not consent to the search. If the officer insists on searching your vehicle, do not physically resist, simply state your objection. You can contest a non-consensual search in court under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- Get Help From a Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorney: Once you are arrested, it is important to contact a Los Angeles DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. A defense attorney can advise you of your rights and options, represent you in court, and work to minimize the potential penalties and consequences of a DUI conviction. Your Los Angeles DWI defense attorney will ensure that you are treated fairly.
An Overview of DUI Charges in California
In California, all motorists are required to refrain from driving while under the influence. Under California law (Vehicle Code 23152(a)), “it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” Any motorist with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher is intoxicated. A driver could also be arrested and charged with an impaired driving offense if they are under the influence of narcotics.
Note: The maximum allowable legal limit is lower in certain circumstances in California. For drivers operating a commercial vehicle, the maximum BAC limit is 0.04. For underage drivers (under 21), the maximum BAC limit is 0.02.
Felony DUI in Los Angeles
A felony DUI in Los Angeles refers to a driving under the influence (DUI) offense that is elevated to the level of a felony due to specific circumstances. While most DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors, certain aggravating factors can lead to felony charges. The criteria for a felony DUI in Los Angeles typically include:
- Multiple DUI Convictions:
- If an individual has multiple prior DUI convictions on their record, especially within a specific timeframe, subsequent DUI offenses may be charged as felonies. The number of prior convictions required to elevate the offense to a felony can vary, and it is essential to consult the specific DUI laws in California.
- Injury or Death Caused by DUI:
- A DUI offense becomes a felony if it involves an accident resulting in serious injury or death to another person. If the driver, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causes harm or fatal injuries to someone else, the DUI charge is upgraded to a felony.
- Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License:
- Operating a vehicle under the influence while knowing that the driver’s license is suspended or revoked due to a previous DUI conviction can lead to felony charges. This adds an additional layer of legal consequences.
- Prior Felony DUI Conviction:
- If an individual has a previous felony DUI conviction on their record, any subsequent DUI offenses are likely to be treated as felonies. Repeat felony DUI offenses may result in more severe penalties.
- Refusing Chemical Testing:
- Refusing to submit to chemical testing, such as a breathalyzer or blood test, when arrested for DUI can lead to enhanced penalties. In some cases, it may contribute to the elevation of the offense to a felony, especially if the individual has a history of DUI convictions.
Felony DUI charges carry more severe consequences than misdemeanor DUI charges. Penalties may include longer jail or prison sentences, higher fines, mandatory alcohol education programs, and an extended period of license suspension. Additionally, a felony DUI conviction can have lasting effects on an individual’s criminal record and may impact employment opportunities and other aspects of their life.
It’s crucial for individuals facing DUI charges, whether misdemeanor or felony, to seek legal representation from experienced DUI defense attorneys at El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers who can assess the specific details of the case and provide guidance on the best course of action for a defense strategy.
What to Know About DUI Penalties in California
In California, the penalties associated with a DUI conviction will vary based on several key factors. The most important factor is the driver’s previous history of drunk driving offenses or lack thereof. Here is an overview of the baseline penalties for a DUI conviction in Los Angeles, CA:
- First Offense: A four-month driver’s license suspension, fines and fees of up to $3,600, the possible requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and up to six months in jail.
- Second Offense: A two-year driver’s license suspension, fines and fees of up to $4,00, the automatic requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and up to one year in jail.
- Third Offense: A three-year driver’s license suspension, fines and fees of up to $18,000, the automatic requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and up to one year in jail or 16 months in state prison.
- Fourth Offense: A four-year driver’s license suspension with the possibility of a permanent revocation, fines and fees of up to $18,000, the automatic requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, up to 16 months in state prison, and status as a convicted felon.
A DUI conviction can carry other adverse ramifications as well. For example, your auto insurance rates may skyrocket if you are convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles. There are also other factors that could result in a DUI charge being more serious, potentially even a felony criminal offense. For example, a motorist arrested for a DUI with a child in the car will face a more serious offense. Likewise, an intoxicated driver who causes an accident resulting in a severe bodily injury or a fatality will likely face a very serious felony criminal offense.
Expunging a DUI Record in California
In addition to providing strong DUI defense, El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers is also here to assist clients with the process of expunging a DUI record in California. Having a DUI conviction on your record can have long-lasting consequences, impacting your employment prospects, housing opportunities, and overall quality of life. However, California law provides a pathway for individuals to clear their records through a process known as expungement.
What is Expungement?
Expungement is a legal process that allows individuals with certain criminal convictions, including DUIs, to have their records sealed or dismissed under specific circumstances. It essentially offers a fresh start by removing the stigma associated with a criminal conviction. While the DUI will not completely vanish from all records, it will be marked as “dismissed” or “expunged,” which can significantly improve your chances of obtaining employment or housing.
Benefits of Expunging a DUI Record
Expunging a DUI record offers numerous benefits, including:
- Improved Employment Prospects: Many employers conduct background checks, and having a DUI conviction can be a barrier to employment. Expunging your record can make it easier to secure a job.
- Enhanced Housing Opportunities: Landlords and property management companies often consider criminal histories when renting property. Expunging your DUI can improve your chances of finding suitable housing.
- Restored Civil Rights: In some cases, expungement can help restore certain civil rights that may have been restricted due to a DUI conviction.
- Peace of Mind: Perhaps most importantly, expunging a DUI record can provide peace of mind and a fresh start, allowing you to move forward with your life without the burden of a past mistake.
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, we understand the importance of expunging a DUI record for our clients. Our legal team can assist you in navigating the complex expungement process, helping you take the necessary steps to clear your record and secure a brighter future. If you’re interested in pursuing a DUI expungement in California, please contact our office today for a confidential consultation with our experienced attorneys. Your second chance awaits.
DWI Charges in California: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do I Have to Take a DWI Breath Test in California?
In California, drivers are considered to have given “implied consent” to take a chemical test, such as a breath test, for alcohol or drug impairment if they are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). This means that if you are arrested for DUI, you may be required to take a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level.
Technically, you could “refuse” to give a breath sample. However, doing so carries significant penalties. A DWI breath test refusal in Los Angeles can result in an automatic suspension of your license for one year with no possibility of getting a restricted license. Further, your refusal to take a breath test could also be used as evidence in a DWI case.
Do I Have to Take a Field Sobriety Test in California?
No. In California, you do not have to take a field sobriety test (FST) if you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). These tests are considered voluntary, meaning that you have the right to refuse them without any legal repercussions.
Field Sobriety Tests are usually a series of physical and cognitive tests, designed to assess a driver’s ability to perform basic physical tasks, such as walking heel-to-toe, standing on one leg, and following a moving object with your eyes. The problem with these tests is that they are not reliable.
Unlike with a breath test, there is no implied consent law for field sobriety tests. That you declined to take a field sobriety test will not lead to the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain in a Los Angeles DWI Case?
It depends. A plea bargain, also known as a plea agreement, is a deal that a defendant agrees to make with the prosecution, where they plead guilty to a reduced charge or sentence, in exchange for cooperation or some other advantage. A plea deal may or may not be the right approach for your drunk driving or drugged driving case. You should always consult with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will help you evaluate your options and, if appropriate, negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
Contact Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyer Today
At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles DWI defense attorneys provide top-quality, personalized legal guidance and support to our clients for DUI cases. If you or your loved one was arrested on DWI charges, we are ready to help. Reach out to us by phone or connect with us online to set up a fully confidential, no-commitment consultation. From our Los Angeles county law firm, we defend drunk driving and drugged driving charges throughout Southern California.
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Top Reviewed Lawyer in Los Angeles by Results and Service
So glad I went with Eldabe Ritter for my accident case. They kept constant communication with me, always answered my questions, and were very professional. In the end I got a great settlement. I didn't have health insurance so thankfully all my medical bills were paid. Everything was taken care of! Being in an accident can be very difficult to go through, but they definitely made the process a lot smoother! I'm referring all my friend and family here. Thank you guys!
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