DUI Crimes

Under state law, it is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) that is more than .08, regardless of circumstances. However, that number may actually be lower in some cases. For instance, a driver’s age, commercial driver’s license, and status as a repeat offender will factor into an individual’s legal limit. For people accused of drunk driving, the reality is that the technicalities of the charge should take a back seat to your more pressing need for legal representation for the time being.

If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, you need to reach out to an experienced lawyer before speaking with law enforcement about your charges. As a former Assistant District Attorney, Aaron Spolin understands many of the tactics that will be used against you and, more importantly, how to defend your rights and protect your future, both in and out of the courtroom. If you choose to work with Spolin Law, we can develop a comprehensive legal strategy regarding the charges that have been brought against you.

Immediate Consequences of a Conviction

It is important to fight a DUI conviction because the consequences of conviction are serious and long-lasting.  A dismissal or not-guilty verdict at trial will prevent any of the criminal consequences that would otherwise follow a DUI conviction.

The consequences of any DUI conviction are likely impact the way you live your life. Aside from the fact that you may have to serve some jail time, you are likely to have your driver’s license revoked as well. When you finally regain your driving privileges, you may have to use an interlock ignition system just to start your vehicle. As detailed below, the severity of each of these penalties will be dependent on the number of DUIs that you have been convicted of in the past 10 years. It should be noted that so-called “wet reckless” charges and prior DUI convictions from other states will be used when calculating the number of offenses that you have on your record.

The following are the recommended sentences for DUI offenses.  Judges have discretion to use or deviate from these guidelines:

First Offense DUI

• Jail—Between 4 days and 6 months
• Fines—As much as $1,000
• License Suspension—Between 30 days and 10 months
• Ignition Interlock Device Requirement—May be required in some counties

Second Offense DUI

• Jail—Between 10 days and 1 year
• Fines—As much as $1,800
• License Suspension—2 years, though it may be possible to reduce it to 1 year
• Ignition Interlock Device Requirement—Yes

Third Offense DUI

• Jail—Between 120 days and 1 year
• Fines—As much as $1,800
• License Suspension—3 years
• Ignition Interlock Device Requirement—Yes

Fourth Offense DUI

• Jail—16 months
• Fines—As much as $18,000
• License Suspension—4 years
• Ignition Interlock Device Requirement—Yes

Though first, second, and third offense DUIs are usually considered to be misdemeanors under state law, a fourth offense within a 10 year period of time will likely be charged as a felony. That being said, every DUI may potentially be charged as felony if the accident caused great bodily harm to a victim or if the accused has a prior felony DUI conviction.

Long-Term Consequences of a Conviction

Though the immediate consequences of a conviction should be clear enough, the reality is that a conviction will likely affect your life far beyond the scope of the penalties that are handed down by the court. Assuming that you do not lose your employment as a result of your conviction, it will be necessary for you to find another way to get around Los Angeles until you can finally get your driver’s license back. Once you do get your license back, you will still need to file an SR-22 with your insurance company, which will significantly increase your monthly premium.

On top of everything else that you will have to deal with if you are convicted, the fact is that a DUI conviction will appear on your criminal record. So, if you are applying for a new job, a major loan, or anything that requires a background check, that conviction will show up and could affect whether you are employed or whether you get the loan. As potentially devastating as DUI charges can be—immediately and over the long run—it will be important to remember that you will still have the opportunity to defend yourself with the help of an experienced defense attorney.

How to Fight & Win DUI Charges

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you need to reach out to an attorney who can defend your rights and help you protect your future as soon as you are able.  At Spolin Law, we understand that individuals are frequently pulled over with minimal alcohol in their system, yet they may be still arrested.  Additionally, certain roadside stops are illegal and may result in suppression of the illegally-gained evidence.  Attorney Aaron Spolin, a former Assistant District Attorney, handles all DUI cases personally, and in many cases he will represent clients at DMV administrative hearings when the DMV is attempting to take a client’s license even before a criminal conviction has occurred.

To learn more how Spolin Law can protect you and your reputation, call us at (310) 424-5816.  We provide free consultations.

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