DUI Defense in Los Angeles, CA
Have you recently been arrested for drunk driving?
There's one thing you must understand: An arrest does not mean you are guilty.
Even if the officer said you failed the field sobriety tests or even if the chemical test showed a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, you can still fight your DUI charge. Don't do this alone. Fight for your innocence with the help of a Los Angeles DUI attorney at Gold & Witham.
Ready to fight your drunk driving charges? Call Gold & Witham at (800) 716-6791!
Work with Proven Los Angeles DUI Lawyers
The defense strategies we use differ greatly from case-to-case, depending on the nature of your alleged offense, any prior arrests / convictions, and even what court your case will be handled in. We've been doing this a long time, and with experience comes familiarity.
Listed below are examples of the types of DUI cases we can handle for clients:
- Commercial DUI
- DMV Hearings
- Drugs & DUI
- DUI Accidents
- Felony DUI
- Multiple DUI Arrests
- Out of State Arrests
- Under 21 DUI
Overview of DUI Charges in California
California's main drunk driving law can be found in the Vehicle Code § 23152:
(a) It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle. (b) It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
In order to be arrested or even stopped under suspicion of DUI, a law enforcement officer must have a lawful reason for doing so—or, in other words, the officer must have "probable cause."
In the state of California, this means one of two things:
- Law enforcement officer had warrant because of a traffic violation such as speeding.
- Law enforcement officer had warrant because of a sobriety checkpoint.
If you are stopped for either reason and the officer believes you may be under the influence, they will ask you to submit to field sobriety tests. At this point, you are not under arrest. Only after a lawful arrest will you be required to submit to chemical testing to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Refusing a chemical test is grounds for automatic license suspension.
California's 10 Day Rule
If you are tested to have a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater—less for commercial and underage drivers—then you can be charged with DUI and your license will be suspended. However, you do still have the right to both an administrative and a criminal hearing.
The DMV hearing will evaluate your right to drive and the criminal hearing will deal with your criminal charges. In many cases, we can restore our clients' driving privileges as well as get their criminal charges either reduced to a lesser charge or dismissed completely.
For all drivers arrested for driving under the influence, you have only 10 days to request a DMV hearing! If you do not schedule this hearing, your license will automatically be suspended.
Common Types of DUI Offenses
Listed below are a few different examples of DUI-related crimes:
- Driving with blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. In all states, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. This is your basic DUI charge.
- Refusing a chemical test. The law requires all drivers who have been lawfully arrested under suspicion of DUI to submit to a chemical test such as a breath or blood test. Urine tests are sometimes required—especially in the event of a possible DUI of drugs case. Refusing a chemical test is against the law and can warrant a one-year license suspension.
- Driving under the influence of a narcotic or prescription drug. Driving with a behavior-modifying or impairing drug in your system is against the law as much as drunk driving. However, it's difficult to determine how much of a drug can constitute "impairment."
- Car accidents caused by drunk driving. DUI of 0.08 percent or higher involving an accident—whether it leads to property damage, injury, or death—is an aggravated form of a driving under the influence offense. Any type of DUI accident could be charged as a felony.
- Underage drivers drinking and driving. In California, there is a "zero tolerance" law when it comes to underage drinking and driving. Any person who is under the age of 21 and who is tested to have any measurable alcohol in their system can be arrested for drunk driving.
Gold & Witham Can Protect Your Legal Rights
At Gold & Witham, our DUI attorneys have the necessary experience to represent clients who have been charged with DUI. Because our attorneys have been practicing criminal law for more than 40 years and have experience at the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, we are able to create innovative and strong defense strategies for the clients. It is our job to defend your rights and to ensure that you are given every opportunity at freedom that the justice system can provide. At Gold & Witham, that is exactly the service we provide to each client.