Van Nuys DUI Lawyers
Aggressive DUI Attorneys in the San Fernando Valley
Being convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated can have serious consequences, including loss of license, higher insurance costs, heavy fines, and jail time. If you were stopped and charged with a DUI in the San Fernando Valley, Williams And Seemen is here to help.
Our Van Nuys DUI lawyers understand that good people can make mistakes and that breathalyzers can give false readings. We have the knowledge necessary to challenge the evidence against you, and the ability to help you pursue the best possible outcome.
Skilled DUI Lawyers Challenge Drunk Driving Charges
Williams And Seemen may be able to have charges thrown out by demonstrating that an equipment or procedural error resulted in an unfair charge.
As your advocate, we will examine whether or not law enforcement followed proper protocol in regard to:
- The stop — Police must be able to demonstrate that they pulled you over based on “reasonable suspicion” that you were acting in violation of the law
- The sobriety test — There are specific rules that police must follow when administering field sobriety tests, including when measuring blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- The equipment — Breathalyzer machines have provided inaccurate results in the past, and their reliability can be questioned
- The arrest — For an arrest to be valid, an officer must inform you of your Miranda rights
- The evidence — Blood samples and other types of evidence must be stored in certain conditions in order to maintain their integrity
Can You Enlist With a DUI?
Officially, you are not allowed to join the military if you have any kind of DUI conviction on your record. This applies to all branches of the military.
First Offense DUI in California
If you get a DUI for the first time in California consequences for conviction generally include three years of informal probation, fines of $390 plus “penalty assessments” (totally approximately $2000, and completing a first offender alcohol program that consists of a 30-hour class, at a cost of about $500. There is no required jail time for a first offense when placed on probation.
It is possible to be sentenced to jail if certain aggravating factors are present, such as the presence of a minor child in the car or going 25 miles an hour or more over the speed limit on a roadway or 30 miles per hour on a freeway. While negotiable, a first-time DUI sentence may also include required participation in a victim impact panel, community labor or community service work.
In the Los Angeles county, you are also required to have an ignition interlock device to be placed on your car upon a first-time conviction for four months and the fee will add up daily.
Informal Probation for DUI
Informal probation, generally included as a penalty for a first-offense DUI, is a lower level of probation that is granted when a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor and is not considered a danger to the community.
Terms of informal probation can include the requirement to take classes, attending treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, completing community service hours, obeying all California laws, among others. While informal probation provides considerably more freedom than formal felony probation, consequences of violating informal probation are still severe.
Advice on Handling a DUI Stop from a DUI Lawyer
If you are ever pulled over by the police on suspicion of drunk driving, there are several ways you can help yourself:
- Remain calm and be polite — If you are nervous, police officers may think that you are hiding something or are intoxicated
- Don’t allow a search without a warrant — Any evidence police find in your car can be used to support a DUI conviction
- Take the sobriety test — Refusing to take a test may make an officer more suspicious and lead to an arrest; the results of a test can always be challenged later
- Get a blood test after release — It’s a good idea to measure your BAC with a blood test after arrest so that your attorney can use that evidence to raise possible defenses
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI or DWI, it is wise to contact a DWI attorney immediately. Williams And Seemen can start working on your defense as soon as you enlist our services.
Contact a DUI Attorney for Your Free Consultation Today
If you have been arrested for DUI, a qualified Van Nuys criminal defense attorney can advocate for your charges to be dismissed or reduced.
Call (818) 536-7776 now to set up a free consultation with our Van Nuys DUI lawyer.
I got my first DUI, what should I do and what can I expect?
Hire an attorney if you can afford one. DUI law is not always straight forward–there are many defenses and scientific evidence that can prove essential in getting your DUI reduced or dismissed. A skilled attorney can challenge your case in a variety of ways, from the validity of the stop, to the reliability of the alcohol tests. To get a DUI, the state must prove that you were driving a motor vehicle, and under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or had a BAC of .08% or higher at the time of driving. If you are convicted of a DUI, and it is your first one, and there was nobody who was hurt or injured you could expect to receive typically 3 years of informal probation; DUI school ranging from 3 to 9 months (typically 3 months), A fine of around $2000 depending which county you are arrested in and a 6-month license suspension, with the possibility of a restricted license after 30 days from the DMV. A first offense DUI in California is typically a misdemeanor crime unless someone is seriously injured or dies. A person charged with DUI is entitled to a jury trial before being convicted in court, as well as a hearing at the DMV before a license suspension is imposed. At trial the prosecutor must show that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol, you performed poorly on field sobriety tests and you had objective symptoms of intoxication like bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, a smell of alcohol on your person etc. A breath or blood test indicated the person had a BAC at or above .08. 1st-time DUI charges can be reduced to a lesser offense (such as a “wet” reckless or a dry reckless, or exhibition of speed and in some cases get the case dismissed altogether.
What should I do if I am pulled over for a DUI?
The police NEVER read me my rights - case dismissed, right?As mentioned before, exercise your right to remain silent. If the officer asks you how much you had do drink, stay calm, polite and state, “officer are you arresting me or may I go free?” Do not lie, if you have been drinking it is likely there is a smell of alcohol or you drove erratically–but remember everything you say is in the police report. Admitting how much you had to drink makes the police’s job easier, and denying drinking anything could make you seem like a liar later in the court proceedings. If they want you to do sobriety tests, you may politely refuse, for even sober people fail those tests. You should not refuse a blood, urine or breath test–by doing so, the DMV will suspend your license for one year and the penalties against you in court could be greater. PLEASE NOTE: If you have multiple DUI convictions, and are at risk for being charged with a felony DUI with priors you may consider refusing the chemical test and sacrifice your license for a year rather then face felony charges and possible prison time.
The police NEVER read me my rights - case dismissed, right?
Wrong. Please note, the police do not have to read you your rights–the law requires them to do so before they QUESTION you about your involvement in the crime. If you are interrogated, and you are not Mirandized, then any statements you make can be challenged and thrown out in court.