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Los Angeles DUI Defense Lawyer
Arrested for drunk driving?
California State Laws have made drunk driving punishable by severe penalties and consequences; if you are convicted of DUI, it will have a serious impact on your life. A DUI charge may carry a large fine as well as time in jail, probation, and the loss of future driving privileges. If you have been charged, it is important that you contact Takakjian & Sitkoff immediately to insure your future is protected.
Usually, a DUI arrest can lead to two charges. The first charge is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This means an officer has observed a person is unable to operate his or her motor vehicle because of their impairment. Unsafe driving or driving above the speed limit can lead to field sobriety tests, a traditional barometer for an impairment. The second charge is driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. This is determined by a breathalyzer test administered by an officer.
One of the most important aspects of any given DUI case is what is known as blood alcohol content (BAC). This is essentially the amount of alcohol that you have in your system in any given time. As a primary indicator of impairment and intoxication, law enforcement has several different ways of testing the BAC of subjects to give probable cause for arrest or to give evidence for a criminal case. This can include breath, blood and urine tests. If you are found to be operating a motor vehicle with a BAC over 0.08 percent, you could be facing criminal charges for drunk driving. For drivers under the age of 21, this can be lowered to 0.01 percent and for commercial drivers, it can be lowered to 0.04 percent. Have more questions about how BAC can affect your DUI case?
Penalties for DUI Convictions
According to the 2010 California Vehicle Code §23152, it is unlawful for a driver to get behind the wheel of a vehicle should they be found with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. According to the law, should the driver be found with this BAC after chemical testing within three hours of driving a vehicle, it is enough for the prosecution to presume that they had such a level when they were in operation of the car. The penalties associated with a crime of this nature are severe and should not be taken lightly. As defined by §§23536-23538 of the VC, a first time offense of a DUI may be penalized with the following:
- Imprisonment for a minimum of 96 hours (48 hours of which must be consecutive);
- Monetary fine between $390 and $1000;
- Suspension of the defendant's driving privileges; and
- Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
These are just some of the consequences that a driver could face should they be criminally charged and will change depending on the circumstances of the arrest. For example, if they were found with a BAC of over 0.20, the penalties would thus be elevated to reflect the increased severity of the crime. Similarly, if during the DUI a person suffered injury or death, the penalties will be increased. Due to the severity of the crime and the life-altering nature of the associated consequences, it is vastly important that no time is wasted in securing knowledgeable and trustworthy legal assistance following an arrest.
Areas of Practice – How Our Firm Can Help with DUI Defense
If you have recently been criminally charged with drunk driving, it is highly likely that you are well-aware of the consequences that can come from this type of criminal charge. No matter whether this is a first offense or if you find yourself facing a second or third charge, you need to get an aggressive attorney in your corner who will go above and beyond in their efforts to provide you with hard-hitting defense.
At our firm, we want our clients to be as supported and as well-informed as possible. It is for this reason that we have created this website – as a tool for our clients to use. Below, we have included a breakdown some of the different topics that we discuss on this site. To learn more about DUI charges and the different ways that our firm can help, please do not hesitate to click through the links below or to your left.
All too often, people throughout Southern California find themselves criminally charged with drunk driving, even if they had not had a drop of alcohol to drink. DUI testing can be faulty and does not take into consideration the numerous extenuating circumstances that could cause failure – such as pre-existing medical conditions. If you are facing a wrongful charge, get the involvement of our firm.
When facing criminal charges, it is likely you have considerable questions. It can be confusing to find yourself placed under arrest, especially if you've never had to deal with the law before. Our firm has put together some common questions and answered them to help you get a better understanding of what you are facing. We encourage you to read through these to learn more.
Arrested? It may seem hopeless, but it is important to remember that a criminal charge is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. There are defenses strategies that can be utilized on your behalf. No matter whether we are focusing on the cross examination of the arresting officer or if we are looking into the possibility of an unlawful police stop, you can trust we will do everything possible to defend your legal rights.
There is nothing more frightening than finding yourself being arrested. What do you do? Who do you trust? At our firm, we are here to answer these questions for you. If you have been placed under arrest and are looking for someone to help give you the guidance that you desperately need, do not hesitate to give us a call. We have over 60 years of combined experience and will fight for you.
The penalties for drunk driving are nothing to take lightly. If you have been arrested, it is important to know the consequences of a conviction. This could be anything from imprisonment to fines to even the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your car. In some cases, you may find that you are even required to attend a drug or alcohol education program.
There are two very separate cases that will begin following an arrest for drunk driving. One is the criminal case which will deal with the question of your guilt. The other, however, is held by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and deals solely with your license. During the DMV Hearing, it will not address the question of your guilty, but rather the circumstances of your arrest.
California is famous for its easy access to countless waterways. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the dangers that can spring from enjoying time in the sun. The law does not look lightly upon drinking while boating and the penalties for boating under the influence (BUI) are severe. Worst, the elements of water and sun can actually play against you – making symptoms of drunkenness aggravated and worse than reality.
In most cases, when criminally charged with drunk driving, you will be facing criminal misdemeanor charges – but not always. In other cases, there can be extenuating circumstances which will be seen as aggravated and will cause the enhancement of charges. This could be anything from elevated BAC (such as higher than 0.15 percent), having a child in the car at the time of the arrest or causing an accident which resulted in injury.
One of the most reliable forms of BAC testing involves the actual drawing of blood. While reliable this is not a flawless form of testing. There are many different circumstances which can cause faulty or completely skewed readings. Even something as simple as washing the draw spot with an alcohol-based product can cause the reading to be completely false.
It is common for an officer to administer a breath test to a suspect in a DUI test. California runs under "implied consent," meaning that by having a license you've given consent to have these tests administered. Should you refuse the breath test, you will be facing severe penalties, such as license suspension and even time in custody. It could also complicate your actual DUI case.
Standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), field sobriety tests typically are composed of three separate tests – the horizontal gaze nystagmus, walk and turn, as well as the one leg stand. When used together, and when administered flawlessly, these only have about a 90% success rate. By getting the involvement of an attorney, you can challenge the results.
The law in the state of California does not take criminal charges of driving under the influence lightly. If you have been caught, no matter whether you are underage with a BAC of 0.01, a commercial driver with a BAC over 0.04 or someone who is deemed a "habitual offender" with a BAC of 0.08, you need an aggressive attorney who knows the law and who will fight for you.
All too often, people trick themselves into believing they don't need an attorney. They tell themselves that it is a superfluous expense and that they can get the same defense from a public defender. Don't be at a disadvantage! By hiring a private attorney, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success. Contact us to work with a lawyer Board Certified in Criminal Law.
At our firm, we are here to support our clients who are seeking the help they need to treat any drug or alcohol dependency issues they have. To help our clients in this journey to health and recovery, we have gathered some invaluable links and resources. We encourage you to visit this page, click through the different websites and get the help you need for a brighter future.
Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in California
California DUI arrests are embarrassing and can cause serious damage to your quality of life. Many people do not realize that from the day of your arrest, you have ten days to protect your driving privileges. An automatic suspension is invoked unless you request and schedule a DMV hearing. It is vital that you have an experienced DUI attorney to take care of a DMV hearing, as there are issues that could be raised that can prevent a suspension or revocation of your license.
After your DMV hearing, you must address your actual DUI charge in court. With backgrounds in prosecution, law enforcement and certified specialists in criminal law, we are able to effectively help our clients through the DUI process. We are proud of our impressive record in successfully defending DUI charges. Should you choose to work with a lawyer from our firm, you will be able to breathe easier knowing that your case - and thus, your future - has been placed into completely capable and reliable hands. If you would like to learn more about how the members of our firm can step up to fight for you, please do not hesitate to contact us today!