What You Need To Know About Fighting DUI Charges
If you’ve been recently charged with a DUI in Southern California, the very first thing that you need to do is hire a downtown Los Angeles DUI lawyer. You have a much higher chance of getting a favorable outcome for your DUI case with a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney on your team. Following are several, critical things to remember as you prepare for your day in court.
Remain Tight-Lipped Concerning The Details Of Your Case
Whether you’ve been pulled over simply for exhibiting the signs of DUI or have been in a major, alcohol-related accident, it’s vital to avoid discussing the details of your case with anyone other than your lawyer. If and when your case does go to trial, any statements that you’ve made outside of the confidential, attorney-client relationship can be used against you. As such, avoid sharing details with jail staffers, court representatives, witnesses, law enforcement agencies, and members of the press.
You Always Want To Hire A DUI Lawyer Of Your Own
Although the State of California has its own set of DUI laws and penalties, these can differ significantly between different counties, cities and other jurisdictions. Due to this fact, you always want qualified, local counsel that is well-versed in the laws that are most applicable to your DUI arrest. You also want a lawyer who specializes in DUI charges, rather than one who services multiple practice areas. This type of tightly focused and needs-specific counsel is not what you’re likely to get if opting to receive a public defender.
If your income is low and you have limited assets, however, seeking public defense may be your best bet. You will, however, have to show the court physical proof of your inability to secure legal representation on your own. Bear in mind that public defenders often have high caseloads and thus, these professionals will not be able to give your cased the individualized attention it deserves. More importantly, this type of lawyer won’t have the ability to handle license suspension issues at a local DMV.
Understanding The Level Of Offense
The severity of your DUI charges will be determined by a number of things. For instance, if you’ve faced DUI charges several times in the past, your lawyer will have a harder time seeking leniency from the judge. This is also true if your DUI arrest was made in conjunction with an alcohol-related, injury accident in which someone was seriously harmed or killed, or in which major property damages were incurred. DUI events such as these often result in felony DUI charges, extended jail time and other, more stringent penalties. Drivers who operate their vehicles while under the influence and who are not at or over the legal drinking age will also face higher penalties than will drivers who are at least 21.
What To Expect Financially When Fighting DUI Charges In LA
Fighting DUI charges in Southern California can be incredibly costly. In addition to the legal fees associated with hiring a reputable Los Angeles DUI lawyer, you may wind up paying court fines as high as $10k along with up to $500 in fees to enter a court-approved alcohol program. If required as part of your DUI penalties, there can also be the additional cost of having an ignition interlock device installed in your car.
Make Sure To Obtain The Police Report For Your DUI Arrest
Before consulting with your lawyer, be sure to obtain the police report for your DUI arrest from the Department of Motor Vehicles or the court. While you may have a clear memory of this event, understanding how it’s been documented and the specific claims that have been made against you are critical. The details in your DUI arrest report will give your DUI lawyer a clear understanding of how to build your defense.
You May Want To Consider A Bargaining Agreement
A lawyer can review the details of your DUI charges to determine whether or not a bargaining agreement might be your best bet. With a plea bargain, you may have the ability to accept lesser charges, with less severe and far less costly penalties. Offers like these are often available in instances in which no major property damages have been sustained and no one has been physical harmed. One thing to note, however, is that you should never attempt to negotiate or accept a plea bargain without a dedicated DUI lawyer by your side. This professional will make sure that this agreement is feasible, fair and wholly representative of your best interests.