Effective DUI Attorneys Representing Drivers in North Hollywood and Throughout Southern California
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (or both) is illegal. It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Conversely, driving under the influence of drugs does involve a subjective determination as to being under the influence. There is a common misconception that if you are under the influence of a legal prescription drug, you are not committing a DUI. This is false. You can commit a DUI driving under the influence of any drug, legal or not.
A first, second, or third DUI charge within 10 years is a misdemeanor. A fourth or subsequent DUI charge within 10 years is a felony. A DUI involving injury to any other person may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Generally, the factors which determine whether a DUI causing injury will be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor are:
- The severity of the injuries. Generally, “soft tissue” injuries are not considered serious enough to warrant felony charges
- Whether it is a first or subsequent offense
- Any other aggravating circumstances such as hit and run, extremely high BAC, high speed, etc.
The Legal Process
When you are charged with a DUI, two parallel legal processes begin. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) begins a process to suspend your driving privileges. You only have 10 calendar days from the date of arrest to formally challenge this action. Consequently, it is essential that you secure legal counsel as soon as possible in order to ensure you meet this deadline. This procedure by the DMV is known as an “APS” (Administrative Per Se) suspension/revocation action. This action is independent of the criminal prosecution through the courts.
The other process which ensues is a criminal prosecution. Although this is a driving offense, it is not akin to a simple speeding ticket. The conviction is a misdemeanor (or felony) criminal conviction which remains on your record for life. The court has the power to sentence you to up to six (6) months in jail for a first offense, 364 days in jail for a second or third offense, and three (3) years in jail for a felony (or more, if it involves serious bodily injury or death). Many people (mistakenly) fail to realize that this is a criminal matter and must be taken very seriously.
We are Here to Help From Start to Finish
Wegman & Levin handles both parts of your DUI case — the DMV and the court. In many cases, our clients are able to avoid having to appear in court. Additionally, we offer financing to make the process as seamless and stress free as possible.