Without question, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is among the most aggressively prosecuted misdemeanor crimes in the United States. Millions of federal grant dollars are pumped into the Criminal Justice System each year to fund the on-going war against "Drunk Driving." Over the past 50 years, the penalties for DUI convictions have catapulted from a mere "slap on the wrist" to what is today, a life-altering event.
Although DUI is generally a misdemeanor CRIME, the vast majority of offenders are not stereotypical criminals. The truth is, the greatest number of people prosecuted each year for DUI are law abiding citizens who have never seen the inside of a police patrol car, let alone the inside of a county jail facility. Many of today's DUI defendants are bank CEO's, firemen, business owners, or even soccer moms.
A simple dinner out with your spouse or friends can turn into a nightmare. A pleasant meal with a few glasses of wine can turn into a terrifying investigation on the side of the road followed by handcuffing, transportation to a local police facility, collection of blood or breath samples, and then a night in jail. The California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and numerous municipal police agencies are making DUI arrests in record numbers and the criminal justice system is not set up to care that you are a genuinely nice person who has never stepped outside the law.
Penalties for DUI convictions include being placed on probation, paying thousands of dollars in fines, attendance at DUI schools, attendance at counseling or "impact" meetings, significant increases in insurance costs and the suspension or revocation of one's driver license. In some instances, incarceration in a county jail or state prison is possible.
Additionally, Los Angeles County is one of four counties in the State participating in a "pilot program" designed to measure the efficacy of the "Ignition Interlock Device." Currently, if you are convicted of driving under the influence in Los Angeles County, even as a first offender, the judge will order you to install an Ignition Interlock Device in any car that you drive. Imagine being a real estate agent or sales person who must blow into a breath device before your car will start.
The residual effects of a DUI conviction can linger for years. Some of our citizens will lose their jobs, homes will be lost, marriages can be ruined and families can suffer. Being convicted of DUI can touch virtually every aspect of a person's life; personally and professionally.
When any person is arrested for DUI in Los Angeles County, there are two entirely separate issues which must be addressed. There is the criminal portion of the case which is handled by the Superior Court however; there is also a separate administrative and licensing issue which must be handled before the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Even more frustrating is the fact that these two entities do not affect one another. Even if the criminal portion of the person's case is reduced or dismissed, the DMV's action is independent. This is clearly a prime example of "Double Jeopardy" because our citizens can be punished twice for the same offense but, it is permitted by the Laws of the State of California.
Besides other members on our criminal defense team, our Los Angeles County DUI defense attorney has been representing the accused of Los Angeles County for years and will aggressively defend you through all phases of your criminal DUI and handle the DMV portion of your battle.
This provides you the best of both worlds; one of California's most experienced and determined DUI defense attorneys working in the courthouses he has known for years and; a team of Administrative Advocates, Former DMV Hearing Officers, Investigators, and Forensic Experts; fighting for you at the DMV.
If quality, personal, representation at a reasonable price is your destination, we can get you there.