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Being arrested and charged with a DUI is a serious crime, and an attorney can help with the situation. When an attorney is hired to help someone arrested and charged with a DUI in Los Angeles, they have numerous strategies to work with defending their clients. First, however, they must know the details of your arrest. There are felony DUI charges and misdemeanor DUI charges. The strategy your attorney uses to defend you in court depends heavily on the circumstances of your arrest.
What is a felony vs. misdemeanor DUI?
A felony DUI is one that occurs when you’ve been arrested for this before. If this is not your first DUI arrest, you will automatically get an upgrade from misdemeanor to felony. This comes with more serious charges, with more expensive fines, and with other considerations. Even if you’ve never been arrested for a DUI in the past, you might be charged with a felony if you kill someone or seriously injure someone while you drive under the influence.
A misdemeanor is what you’re charged with if you’ve never been arrested of this before, if you didn’t hurt anyone, and if you didn’t do any damage to anyone’s property. There are some negotiables when dealing with misdemeanor DUIs. If your blood-alcohol level wasn’t too high, an attorney might be able to negotiate some community service and drunk driving classes rather than jail time and fines. It all depends on the situation and what your attorney can do for you.
What are the strategies attorneys use?
It’s easier to defend someone who hasn’t been arrested for a DUI in the past. However, there are always ways an attorney can defend you when you are facing conviction of this crime.
– You weren’t driving: If you were just in the car but the car was not moving at all when you were pulled over, there was no reason to arrest you for driving under the influence. There’s no law against sitting in your car while you’re waiting on a ride or waiting to sober up as long as you never move the car.
– There’s no probable cause: Did the police officer who arrested you give you probable cause when he or she pulled you over? For example, did he or she tell you that you had a tail light out or that they clocked you going over the speed limit and running a stop sign? Los Angeles police cannot pull anyone over if there is no probable cause. It’s grounds for dismissal.
– You didn’t know you were under the influence: Sometimes under the influence means something other than drinking or using illegal drugs. For example, if you are newly diagnosed with anxiety and taking a brand-new medication for it, you probably didn’t realize how it might affect you before you got into the car. This was nothing more than a terrible accident. Your attorney can argue you didn’t know better, but now you do.
– Lack of evidence: At the very least, your attorney can work to disprove the prosecution by making it possible for a jury to have reasonable doubt. A conviction cannot happen if there is any reasonable doubt you weren’t under the influence.
Your attorney won’t know what strategy he or she is using to defend you until they meet you, speak to you, and go over the evidence in your case. Once you are arrested, say nothing and call an attorney. Anything you say can be turned around and used to convict you when your arrest occurs, which is why you’re advised not to speak. Don’t do it, and make the call to an attorney.
You want an attorney with ample experience working DUI cases in Los Angeles. It’s attorneys like this that know the law, how to work the law to your advantage, and how to make sure you are either cleared of all charges or sentenced to the minimum sentence if you are convicted. Let an attorney help you with your DUI case. The outcome could haunt you forever if it doesn’t go your way.