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If you were stopped by a police officer for driving under the influence (DUI), it’s essential to remember that you haven’t been convicted of a crime. To be convicted, you must enter a plea of guilty or the judge must enter a guilty finding at a DUI trial. If your case has not been heard at trial, or you’ve entered a plea of not guilty or no contest, you haven’t been convicted. However, you should engage a Los Angeles DUI attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
Getting arrested is a stressful, nerve-wracking experience. You might not know what’s going on. You probably don’t know which steps to take next. What’s more, you might not completely understand the reasons for your arrest or the legal ramifications of what’s happened. The law is complex. Unless you’re experienced in legal matters, it’s important to have an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer at your side.
DUI Arrest and Custody
Once a police officer finds you are driving under the influence, you will be taken into custody. The officer(s) may use several ways to determine your condition. If you are asked to submit to a breathalyzer test and your blood alcohol level (BAC) is over 0.08 percent, this is a per se offense in California. The law says that BAC level is a presumption of intoxication. You may also be asked to provide blood and urine samples for testing.
The officer will also evaluate you for signs of intoxication. In other words, if your eyes appear watery, you’re slurring words, you smell strongly of alcohol, or you appear disoriented, the officer may conclude that you’re intoxicated. If you make additional statements that confirm intoxication—or the officer believes your statements are confessions of intoxication—the officer will consider these as corollary facts that prove driving under the influence in Los Angeles.
After you’re arrested, you must leave your car in its current location and go with the police officer. Your vehicle will be towed at your expense unless there’s a sober passenger in the car who can drive the vehicle. At the police station, you’ll be asked to submit to a second BAC test. Then you will be booked and placed into police custody.
If this is your first arrest experience in Los Angeles, you’re probably quite frightened by now. However, you should know that DUI arrest is a relatively common experience that many others in the Big Orange share. Unless you’re charged with a DUI felony offense, you’ll probably get released tomorrow morning. You will owe the cost of towing your car and overnight storage.
After DUI Arrest
A DUI arrest is a discouraging experience. You may feel distraught. Family members or friends may be disappointed, but remember—you haven’t been convicted of a crime. Focus on the next step. For most people, reaching out to a skillful Los Angeles DUI attorney is the next best step to take.
Your DUI attorney will deal with the DUI charges in an efficient, timely manner. He or she will ensure that specific deadlines are met. Importantly, your defense attorney will make sure that your Constitutional rights are protected.
DMV Hearing and Preparation for DUI Trial
In the state of California, you’re required to schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of the DUI arrest. If you’ve retained a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Los Angeles, he or she will make sure that you schedule this important hearing. Failure to do so will result in the legal right to a hearing concerning your California driving privileges.
Your DUI attorney will also order evidence that the police officer might have already turned over to Los Angeles prosecutors. He or she will order police reports, blood-urine-breathalyzer test results, audio or video surveillance records, and so on. He or she will start to prepare your defense against a Los Angeles DUI. Your knowledgeable Los Angeles DUI attorney will quickly take all necessary steps to provide a strong argument against an eventual DUI conviction.
An experienced DUI attorney provides the best fighting chance of having your case dismissed or reduced at the Los Angeles DUI trial.
DUI Laws in California
Los Angeles DUI laws are relative to the driver’s BAC at the time of driving, not at the time the driver submits to a test. There might be significant differences or difficulties in establishing proof. Since breath tests are known to be unreliable, an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney will attack the findings. In addition, the individual’s tolerance to alcohol or other substances may be relevant to the defense brought at DUI trial.
For all these reasons and more, contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney to protect your rights. A Los Angeles DUI trial is a stressful and harrowing experience but a single phone call can make all the difference to your future. If convicted, you may face a permanent criminal record, fines, and jail time. Call now.