Being charged with a DUI can be a complex process. Below is an explanation of what you can expect when you are charged with a DUI.
Police Investigation – If the police are suspicious that you are over the legal limit they will perform initial tests to determine your level of intoxication. Three methods may be used to determine your Blood Alcohol Level.
- Pas Exam – This is known as the breathalyzer exam and is the main form of preliminary screening. The police officer will have you breathe into their handheld breath testing unit. An instant reading will then be given to the police officer. These results can vary due to certain medical conditions or medications you may be taking.
- EC/IR Exam – If you are taken to the jail it is likely they will have you take an evidentiary breath test. This intoximeter exam gives the police a printout with formal results. This is a more reliable test than the Pas Exam.
- Blood Exam – If a blood test is completed it should take place at a health care facility. The blood exam is one of the most reliable tests and is not a mandatory test for police officers to conduct. Blood exams can be called into question in regards to how the sample was collected, transported and tested in the lab.
Your License – If any of these above tests come back over the limit, an officer will complete a DMV form. The officer will take your official license and you will be supplied with a temporary license, this expires after 30 days. Once a DMV form is completed you have only 10 days to request a DMV hearing.
If you are cited with a violation of vehicle code 23152(a) you can expect to have two proceedings, the DMV Hearing, and a Criminal Proceeding.
- DMV Hearing – You have a right to a hearing where you can detest the action and have your evidence reviewed. You can continue to drive till the outcome of the hearing is provided. The hearing may take place via telephone or in person and is recorded. A driver has the opportunity to review and challenge any evidence and can provide evidence, witnesses, and testimony. A decision to uphold, modify or rescind can be given. You will want to contact dui lawyers in Los Angeles to have the best chance at fighting your case.
If you win a DMV hearing your license will be restored, if you lose, your license will be revoked for a period which may last between 1 to 5 months, you may have to have your vehicle equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device.
- Criminal Proceeding – Dependent on what was written on the police report and whether you had a collision, injured another party, or you were involved in a hit and run, your DUI can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.
Misdemeanor Penalty – California law states that it is a misdemeanor to be found driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, this can be found under Vehicle Code section 23152(a). 23152(b) states that if you are driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.8% that you will be charged with violation (a) and (b). The penalties for a misdemeanor may include a large fine, 1-3 years of probation, court approved alcohol programs, attendance at AA classes, installation of an IID, community service, jail time and restitution to parties involved.
Felony Penalties – To have your case treated as a felony three requirements need to be met. These requirements are;
- A traffic violation was committed whilst under the influence
- Injury or death was caused to a third party
- The Injury was caused due to the driver being under the influence.
If all requirements are met and you are charged, you may have your license suspended for up to four years, other consequences may also be given. Jail time ranging up to 3 years, an expensive fine, alcohol education programs, 3-5 years probation, AA classes, installation of an IID, community service, restitution to victims, state prison sentence for serious injury or death.
What We Do To Fight Your Case
Jon Artz has been a practicing DUI lawyer in Los Angeles for more than 40 years. Jon can help you fight your case by:
- Reviewing the police report for possible defenses.
- Requesting any video footage from the traffic stop.
- Blood test evaluation by an independent expert.
- Filing of motions.
- Negotiations with prosecutors to have charges reduced.
- Dismissal of the case if insufficient evidence is shown.
- Trial representation.
- Having the DUI conviction removed from your file at the end of probation.
If you have a DUI conviction and you need help fighting for your rights in court, contact Jon Artz at 310-820-1315 to help guide you through the process.