Owning a vehicle can make life convenient for you in a number of ways. If you are single, the car will allow you to enjoy the freedom of movement as you can go wherever you want to be provided you have some gas money. If you have a family, on the other hand, you can use the vehicle to drive kids to school on your way to work. When the vehicle breaks down, your life can take a turn for the worse as you will have to find alternative means of transportation for the entire family. Losing your drivers license may also force you to find alternative means of transportation for the entire family, especially if you are the only licensed driver in the household. The other option would be to hire a driver for the family car, but this can be costly. That is why you need to keep your driving record clean and do everything possible to ensure you do not lose your driving privileges.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
If you like to go out for a drink with friends, colleagues or your spouse, youshould never drink and drive. Ideally, you should have someone in the group, who does not drink, to take you home safely. The alternative is to leave your car home and take a cab to your favorite watering hole. This is because alcohol impairs your judgement, so you should never operate a machine or drive a car when you have taken any amount of alcohol. There is a suggestion that drinking two beers or glasses of wine should be the limit if you intend to drive. The truth, however, is that people respond differently to alcohol, so those two beers or glasses of wine might be over the limit for some people. The best option is to avoid alcoholic drinks if you intend to drive later on in the day or night.
The LAPD and state police have the right to arrest and detain anyone who is found to be driving while drunk. If you are pulled over by a traffic officer and a breath test administered, you can expect to be arrested if you get a reading of 0.08 on the breathalyzer. This means that you will have to spend the night in jail. This is mandatory. The police will then take you to court and prefer DUI charges on you. A DUI conviction comes with a number of penalties, including;
When you are found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol, you will be required to pay a $390 fine. However, penalties and assessments can push the monetary cost of the DUI conviction to nearly $2,500, especially if you are a multiple offenders.
2. Jail Time
If you are a first offender, you can expect to spend the night of the arrest in jail plus 13 more days if you cannot afford to pay the fine. If you are a second offender, you will have to spend a mandatory minimum jail time of 96 hours. Depending on the severity of the offense, the judge may also send you to county jail for a period of up to one year.
3. Suspension of Driver License
Second and subsequent DUI offenders can expect to have their license suspended temporarily or permanently. This is what will affect your family the most, so you need to take proactive measures to ensure you do not get convicted of the crime. You can start by hiring the best Los Angeles DUI defense attorney.
4. Other Consequences
Once convicted, the court may order you to attend 18-30 months of DUI school. An alcohol treatment program, community service, and AA meetings might also be required. Once you have a DUI on your record, you will not be able to get a job that requires driving skills. Furthermore, your auto insurer may cancel your current auto policy. If your auto insurance policy has already expired, getting your policy renewed, or a new policy for that matter will become extremely difficult. In fact, the only firms that may be willing to underwrite your auto policy may quote unreasonably high insurance premiums. Since insurance is a legal requirement, and nobody else is willing to underwrite your policy, you will have to pay up.
Fighting a DUI Charge
As you can see, DUI penalties are quite serious and can change your life significantly. Therefore, you need to search for the best DUI defense attorney to help you fight the charges. The best lawyers normally start by looking at the charge sheet, your treatment while under custody, the circumstances surrounding your arrest as well as the reputation of the arresting officer among other things. If there is no weak point in the case up to that point, they will start analyzing the evidence provided by the prosecutor to find loopholes. This analysis will help them come up with a watertight legal defense that will get you the desired outcome.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a DUI Defense Lawyer
There are tens of thousands of lawyers in LA, so you need to be careful when searching for an attorney. Start by making a short list of attorneys who have a lot of experience with DUI cases in the city of LA. The most experienced attorneys should always be given priority consideration because they know how to work the system.
ii) Success Rate
You can always plead guilty to the charges. The fact that you are looking for a lawyer means that you want the case dismissed or a non-guilty verdict issued. Therefore, you should pay attention to the success rate of the attorneys on your list and choose the ones with the highest success rates.
iii) Hourly Rate
The reputation of an attorney as well as the hourly rate they charge are two of the most important factors to consider, so be sure to choose a reputable attorney who charges the most competitive hourly rate.