El Monte DUI Lawyer

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Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be dangerous to the impaired driver, other drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians. Judgment and reaction time are both impaired, which can result in serious repercussions. Not only does it pose a safety risk, but driving under the influence (DUI), is a serious criminal offense in California. If you find yourself arrested for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated (DWI), you’ll need an attorney who will stand by your side and help you through every step of the process.

Prosecutors in California are notorious for aggressively pursuing convictions for these offenses. DUI Charges can result in several different penalties depending on the severity of your situation. You can face incarceration in county jail, or even state prison. You’ll also likely face probation, hefty fines, and driver’s license suspension. In many instances, you’ll be required to attend DUI education courses to qualify for getting your license back in the future. If an accident was caused by the impaired driver, restitution may be owed to anyone who was hurt or had their property damaged.

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, you need an experienced DUI lawyer in El Monte. A criminal defense attorney can help you face every obstacle created by these serious charges in Los Angeles County.

How an El Monte Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

A DUI charge can impact every aspect of your life. Such charges can carry repercussions for years to come. A defense attorney understands the unique nature of each case and intimately knows the types of proceedings that are associated with DUI charges. A good attorney is your best option for avoiding the worst possible convictions. Even if you complete your sentence, a DUI charge on your criminal record can continue to cause problems. Many employers, landlords, and higher education institutes run background checks on potential candidates. A misdemeanor or felony DUI could prevent you from getting a good job, finding an affordable living situation, or securing scholarships and financial aid through colleges and universities.

Because of the seriousness of the charges you could face, it is vital to contact an El Monte DUI attorney, ideally immediately following your arrest. This allows your attorney to get to work right away to provide a better chance of avoiding conviction or minimizing penalties as much as possible.

Why Hire an El Monte DUI Lawyer

If you can’t afford an attorney, the state will assign a public defender to represent you. While public defenders are usually hard working and have plenty of experience, they are often burdened with a heavy workload. This often creates a situation where they are unable to dedicate the time and attention that your case needs to truly provide you with the best possible defense. Hiring a professional, El Monte criminal defense attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive the highest quality legal representation. This provides you with the best chances of avoiding conviction, reducing penalties, and in some circumstances having your case entirely dismissed.

When you choose The Law Offices of Daniel P. Flores to represent you, our firm will immediately begin investigating the details concerning your arrest and booking. Our firm understands every step that officers must take when arresting an individual for a DUI. We will make sure that the arresting officers had probable cause to stop you, upheld your rights, and followed all the laws of due process. If any of these steps were incorrectly conducted, we can often find grounds to have the case dismissed. If the arrest was completely lawful, the next step will be to build your optimal defense strategy.

There are a lot of moving parts to consider when you are arrested for a DUI charge. For example, you have ten days to request a hearing with the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. This DMV hearing can postpone the suspension of your driver’s license until your court hearing is resolved. In some circumstances, you can avoid losing your license altogether. The Law Office of Daniel P. Flores can handle every aspect of this hearing for you. We can request the hearing on your behalf, help you prepare, and represent you every step of the way.

An additional advantage of hiring an El Monte criminal defense lawyer is that you have someone on your side who knows all the different sentencing options that might be applicable to your case. The right attorney can push for alternative options to severe penalties, such as community service, house arrest, sober living, DUI education programs, or incarceration in a private or city jail. If you have been arrested for DUI, contact our firm. Our team can explain all your options to you and create an effective argument that can convince prosecutors or judges to approve the sentencing alternative.

What Constitutes as a DUI Charge?

There are several different factors that can lead to a Los Angeles DUI charge. Common occurrences that lead to a DUI charge include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: This is the most commonly occurring DUI charge in California. It involves having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is above the legal limit. This ranges from .08% to.15%. While there are several factors involved in what impacts a person’s BAC, a .08% BAC is usually caused by around 4-5 drinks in an average adult. Your arresting officer will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test to determine your exact BAC.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs: Anything that alters your perceptions can prove dangerous while driving. This includes marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and even prescription drugs. An officer may ask you to take a drug test, or field sobriety test to determine if you are under the influence of anything.
  • Driving with a combination of drugs and alcohol: If you are pulled over while under the influence of both drugs and alcohol, you are likely to face more severe penalties.

There are a few key aspects to remember if you find yourself pulled over for suspected DUI. The first is that law enforcement has to establish probable cause for pulling you over. This means that they have to prove that they witnessed behavior that indicated you could be driving under the influence. This could be swerving, missing traffic signs, or even driving too fast or too slowly.

You have no legal obligation to perform a field sobriety test or a preliminary alcohol screening (breathalyzer test) before your arrest. If the officers want to take a blood sample, they have to acquire a warrant or have adequate suspicion that you could be driving under the influence of drugs or at a felony DUI level.

California law does require you to submit to chemical testing following an actual arrest. You could refuse, but this would result in a mandatory license suspension, regardless of your final test results. Refusal can also look back in court, potentially increasing the number of penalties that you are facing.

DUI Penalties in El Monte

The penalties for DUI in California vary depending on several factors. It is important to note that DUI charges are priorable, which means that repercussions become more severe with each following DUI conviction that takes place within 10 years. Criminal and administrative penalties for a DUI conviction can vary on the specific offense and can increase if there are aggravating factors. Penalties in California include:

  • 1st Offense Misdemeanor – This penalty includes up to 6 months in county jail, 3-5 years of probation, fines ranging from $390-$1,000, license suspension of 4-10 months, and court-approved DUI school. If you are eligible for an interlock ignition device (IID), you may be able to continue driving. In many circumstances, you can lower your driver suspension time by agreeing to the installation of an IID (an ignition interlock device—essentially a breathalyzer machine wired to your car’s ignition so that you must blow into it and pass to start your vehicle).
  • 2nd Offense Misdemeanor – This can result in 96 hours to 1 year of county jail time, 3-5 years’ probation, $390-$1,000 in fines, 2-year suspension of driver’s license, and 18-39 months of DUI school.
  • 3rd Offense Misdemeanor – This penalty can include 10 days to one year in jail, 3-5 years of probation, $390-$1,000 in fines, 3 years of driver’s license suspension, and 30 months in a DUI education course.
  • DUI Misdemeanor with Injury This can result in anywhere from 5 days to 1 year in county jail, 3-5 years of probation, $390-$5,000 in fines, 1-3 years of driver’s license suspension, restitution to the injured party, and either 3, 18, or 30 months of DUI school.
  • 1st Offense DUI Felony with Injury – This charge comes with a penalty of 16 months to 16 years in state prison, with the addition of consecutive years depending on the number of people injured and the severity of their injuries. $1,015-$5,000 in fines, 1-year driver’s license suspension, restitution to the injured party, 18 or 30 months of DUI education courses, and 3 years with the designation as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO), and a strike on your criminal record in accordance with California’s three-strike law.
  • Felony DUI – This penalty can include 16 months or 2-3 years in state prison, $390-1,000 in fines, up to 4 years of license suspension, 18-39 months of DUI school, and an HTO status of 3 years.

Aggravating Factors

Numerous circumstances can impact the overall penalties you are looking to face. Any existing criminal record can also increase your jail or prison sentencing. Aggravating factors include:

  • A BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Refusing to submit to a BAC test upon arrest
  • Driving at excessive speeds
  • Causing an accident
  • Driving with a child under 14
  • Driving under the influence while under the age of 21

How Much Do DUI Lawyers Cost in Los Angeles?

Pinpointing an exact price for any legal work can be difficult. Costs vary drastically depending on the unique aspects of your case and how long it takes to make its way through the court system. Factors that can affect the cost of representation may include where the arrest happened, what charges are involved, and, of course, the lawyer you choose and the quality of their services.

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500-$5,000 for a fairly straightforward first-time DUI misdemeanor offense. Aggravated circumstances or repeat offenses can increase the complexity of your case, often leading to a higher cost for legal representation. If your case requires a jury trial, your attorney fees could end up in excess of $10,000.

How Much Does a Good DUI Attorney Cost?

With any service, you are often paying different rates depending on the level of experience your service provider has. A good attorney could cost you more because they are worth the extra expense. A good attorney is going to have the experience and knowledge to provide the best possible odds for your specific case. When you explore your options, you’ll want to consider the added value of having someone on your side who has real-world, hands-on experiencing helping clients in difficult situations mitigate the consequences of DUIs and other charges.

How Do I Find the Best DUI Attorney?

Finding yourself under arrest for a suspected DUI can feel overwhelming, and you may not know where to begin. The most important thing to do right away is secure a reliable and experienced criminal defense attorney. This allows your attorney to get to work on your case right away, which will lead to the best results possible. Before agreeing to work with a specific attorney, it is beneficial to write down all the questions you may have. This will help guide your conversation as you reach out to different offices.

Your questions can include:

  • How long have you been a criminal defense attorney?
  • What are your rates?
  • Have you handled similar cases?
  • Do you pursue plea bargains?

When asking your questions, it is important that you are completely open and honest with your attorney. You can’t risk leaving out any crucial information, even if it feels embarrassing. Your attorney needs to know everything to be able to build the right case for you.

Contact The Law Office of Daniel P. Flores

If you find yourself facing DUI charges in El Monte, The Law Office of Daniel P. Flores can help. Our firm has the experience and knowledge necessary to provide you with the best odds of avoiding conviction and lowering your financial repercussions. We will fight for you and seek alternative sentencing routes to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact our office today to learn more.


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