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Los Angeles, California DUI: How is it Treated?

California Highway Police in Motion. SUV Police Cruiser on a Highway.DUI can be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. In California, there are 7 misdemeanor DUI offenses you can be charged with depending on your offenses, in addition to administrative punishments such as revocation of your license.

1. Punishments & Consequences

When you are charged with a DUI in California, your license will be suspended and remain suspended unless you actively request a hearing with the DMV within 10 days of your arrest. In unusual situations, depending on the facts, the court can order that the license suspension be part of your criminal penalties. In most cases, your license is suspended for at least 6 months.

You may want to undergo a jury or bench trial where the court determines whether you committed a crime. The outcome here can vary because there are 7 misdemeanor offenses for DUI’s with which you can be charged, in addition to other criminal or traffic violations.

For example: A first time DUI in California will have monetary fines between $1,500 and $2,000 depending on where you were charged. Each county is different.

You can be charged with probation between 3 years and 5 years if it was your first DUI. If the accident took place while you were under the influence and an injury was caused, your misdemeanor might be bumped up to a felony.

If no one else was injured and you didn’t get in an accident with other vehicles, you might have to attend mandatory DUI school for 3-9 months.

This is very different than smaller crimes like traffic violations. Even misdemeanor criminal acts will confront you with multiple forms of punishment and there are multiple tiers within the law.

Standard car accidents without driving under the influence  don’t normally come with punitive actions while traffic violations often result in nothing more than monetary punishments designed to encourage you not to make the same mistakes.  Unless you get four traffic convictions in one year, then your license is suspended.

Even lesser criminal acts that are considered misdemeanors have the potential to be bumped up to a felony if other people were injured, and can also result in mandatory classes, probation, jail time, monetary fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license.

2. Process & Outcomes

If a DUI arrestee remains in jail, you can post bail and leave jail until your trial, but your appearance is mandatory at the trial. If you can’t afford this then you remain in jail until such time as your trial takes place Or get released on certain conditions.

The prosecutor determines what your charges are and on what counts. You can either plead not guilty, guilty, or no contest once you are charged. The consequences, however, are based on the severity of the facts of the case.

Again, there are 7 misdemeanor charges you might face as well as potential felonies depending on your record, if this was your first DUI or not, and the case itself.

This varies from other types of cases in that you can have your lawyer show up without you for things like traffic violations and small criminal acts; you don’t have to physically be there.

The process of the DMV automatically suspending your license unless you request a hearing with the DMV, considered a civil action (not criminal).

3. Seeking Representation

If you have a DUI case, you absolutely need to seek representation. DUI cases come with significantly harsher potential consequences and require a greater understanding of the expenses pertaining to DUI laws. With so much on the line and so many different deadlines associated with the DMV and the courts, as well as the potential consequences, it’s imperative that you work with a qualified DUI attorney in California.

Are You Facing DUI Charges in Los Angeles, California? Work With One of the Best DUI Lawyers Around.

Getting a California DUI is no joke. It comes with harsh consequences that can forever shape the landscape of your life.

That’s why it’s essential that you work with a highly experienced Los Angeles DUI Lawyer in order to get the best legal representation possible – helping you to reduce sentencing and penalties, in order to get back to your life as smoothly as you can.

My name is Jon Bryant Artz, and I have more than 47 years of experience as a DUI Lawyer in California – helping thousands of clients to reduce or drop their DUI charges throughout my career. I am confident that I have the experience and resources to help you with your case – guiding you through each step of the process.

Don’t leave your future up to chance. Get the legal representation you need to make sure that your DUI charges do not negatively impact your life forever. Contact me today for a one-on-one free case evaluation, where I will assess your case, and tell you everything you need to know about the possible outcomes, the steps you should take next, and how I may be able to help you fight for your freedom.

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