Los Angeles DWI Lawyer

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A DWI (driving while intoxicated), also known as a DUI (driving under the influence) charge is a very serious matter.

As your Los Angeles DWI defense attorneys, it’s our job to make sure the charge has a minimal impact on your life.

An open and shut case?

Many people believe DWI cases are “open-and-shut.” You blow into a breathalyzer and fail to walk the straight line. That’s it. You’re guilty, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. Like any aspect of criminal law, there are nuances and issues which mean the case isn’t as straightforward as it seems. For example, there are severe issues with breathalyzer test accuracy which could mean even you might think you’re guiltier than you actually are. The margin of error on a breathalyzer test is as high 15%, which means 23% of motorists who are charged with a DUI/DWI have not violated the law.

Some factors can push test results higher. For example, using mouthwash prior to taking the test can make a difference.

There are even ways for these tests to create false positives because they can pick up on metal compounds present in vinegar, turpentine, and even diabetes.

Los Angeles DWI Laws

Even your first DUI is very serious, even though it counts as a misdemeanor. You can be punished with:

  • Fines of up to $1000.
  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A suspended driver’s license.

Some of these penalties can be mitigated with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. For example, we’ve been able to get some of our clients community service and mandatory alcohol counseling instead of jail time.

DUIs causing injuries or fatalities can be even more serious. They can be charged as a felony, either vehicular manslaughter or second-degree murder.

A photo of street light in Los Angeles

Did you refuse a breathalyzer test in LA? Should you?

While it is your legal right to refuse a breathalyzer test, it’s important to know California is an “implied consent” state. That is, you are implying consent to a breathalyzer test every time you get behind the wheel of a car.

Refusing a breathalyzer test has consequences. The state can suspend your driver’s license for up to 1 year the first time, up to 2 years the second time, and up to three years the third time. You will also have to pay an $125 fine. The state can impose these consequences even if you’re not convicted of anything.

So, is it better to take one, or is it better to refuse?

This is something of a Catch-22. If you consent to the test and are charged with drunk driving you can open yourself up to license suspension anyway, along with jail time, even bigger fines, and a criminal record. For many people, living with the consequences of the refusal is preferable to giving the police rope to hang them with.

A skilled DUI attorney can defend a refusal, which could help you get your driver’s license back. For example, we may be able to show the cops didn’t have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.

Keep in mind the police still have the right to arrest you if you refuse a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. Once you’ve been arrested refusing additional testing can result in additional charges. Police can also obtain a warrant for certain tests, such as the blood alcohol test.

It’s a good idea to retain an attorney immediately if you can, so you can have expert legal advice.

I was innocent, I refused the breathalyzer test, and I still have to drive to work!

It is possible to obtain a “hardship license” allowing you to drive to and from work or school if your license has been suspended due to refusing a breathalyzer test. To do this you will have to obtain an SR-22 form from your car insurance company and file it with the DMV.

The SR-22 proves you’ve met the state’s minimum insurance requirements.  You may also be able to get a hardship license if you were convicted of a DUI. In that case, you’d have to show proof of enrollment in a DUI treatment program in addition to providing your SR-22.

A photo of a judge gavel in Los Angeles

DWI/DUI Law Gets Complex Fast!

It may be possible to get your charges dropped. There are many ways to cast doubt on the idea that you were legally under the influence when the cops pulled you over. The unreliability of field sobriety tests, the accuracy of breathalyzer tests, and the validity of pulling you over in the first place.

There are also procedures and processes officers are required to go through when they pull you over. For example, law enforcement is supposed to observe you for a full 15 minutes before you take a breath test. Did the cops do that in your case, or did they do something else?

Were the cops properly trained to administer any of the tests they gave you? If they weren’t, or if the tests weren’t administered properly, any evidence from those cases is tainted.

Were you mentally alert and coherent when the police pulled you over? We can weave this into your defense as well.

You’d be surprised how many times people can be arrested for DUI even though their breathalyzer test shows them blowing under the legal limit. You’d be surprised how many times people who are not impaired and who are not drunk get arrested.

You will almost never receive a defense this through by trusting your case to a public defender, who will almost always suggest you plead out. Don’t let law enforcement ruin your life just because you stopped and had a quick beer with a friend before work. Contact Greco-Neyland today and get the defense you deserve.

Los Angeles DWI Lawyer

inne-rpage-seperator

A DWI (driving while intoxicated), also known as a DUI (driving under the influence) charge is a very serious matter.

As your Los Angeles DWI defense attorneys, it’s our job to make sure the charge has a minimal impact on your life.

An open and shut case?

Many people believe DWI cases are “open-and-shut.” You blow into a breathalyzer and fail to walk the straight line. That’s it. You’re guilty, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. Like any aspect of criminal law, there are nuances and issues which mean the case isn’t as straightforward as it seems. For example, there are severe issues with breathalyzer test accuracy which could mean even you might think you’re guiltier than you actually are. The margin of error on a breathalyzer test is as high 15%, which means 23% of motorists who are charged with a DUI/DWI have not violated the law.

Some factors can push test results higher. For example, using mouthwash prior to taking the test can make a difference.

There are even ways for these tests to create false positives because they can pick up on metal compounds present in vinegar, turpentine, and even diabetes.

Los Angeles DWI Laws

Even your first DUI is very serious, even though it counts as a misdemeanor. You can be punished with:

  • Fines of up to $1000.
  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A suspended driver’s license.

Some of these penalties can be mitigated with the help of a qualified criminal defense attorney. For example, we’ve been able to get some of our clients community service and mandatory alcohol counseling instead of jail time.

DUIs causing injuries or fatalities can be even more serious. They can be charged as a felony, either vehicular manslaughter or second-degree murder.

A photo of street light in Los Angeles

Did you refuse a breathalyzer test in LA? Should you?

While it is your legal right to refuse a breathalyzer test, it’s important to know California is an “implied consent” state. That is, you are implying consent to a breathalyzer test every time you get behind the wheel of a car.

Refusing a breathalyzer test has consequences. The state can suspend your driver’s license for up to 1 year the first time, up to 2 years the second time, and up to three years the third time. You will also have to pay an $125 fine. The state can impose these consequences even if you’re not convicted of anything.

So, is it better to take one, or is it better to refuse?

This is something of a Catch-22. If you consent to the test and are charged with drunk driving you can open yourself up to license suspension anyway, along with jail time, even bigger fines, and a criminal record. For many people, living with the consequences of the refusal is preferable to giving the police rope to hang them with.

A skilled DUI attorney can defend a refusal, which could help you get your driver’s license back. For example, we may be able to show the cops didn’t have probable cause to pull you over in the first place.

Keep in mind the police still have the right to arrest you if you refuse a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. Once you’ve been arrested refusing additional testing can result in additional charges. Police can also obtain a warrant for certain tests, such as the blood alcohol test.

It’s a good idea to retain an attorney immediately if you can, so you can have expert legal advice.

I was innocent, I refused the breathalyzer test, and I still have to drive to work!

It is possible to obtain a “hardship license” allowing you to drive to and from work or school if your license has been suspended due to refusing a breathalyzer test. To do this you will have to obtain an SR-22 form from your car insurance company and file it with the DMV.

The SR-22 proves you’ve met the state’s minimum insurance requirements.  You may also be able to get a hardship license if you were convicted of a DUI. In that case, you’d have to show proof of enrollment in a DUI treatment program in addition to providing your SR-22.

A photo of a judge gavel in Los Angeles

DWI/DUI Law Gets Complex Fast!

It may be possible to get your charges dropped. There are many ways to cast doubt on the idea that you were legally under the influence when the cops pulled you over. The unreliability of field sobriety tests, the accuracy of breathalyzer tests, and the validity of pulling you over in the first place.

There are also procedures and processes officers are required to go through when they pull you over. For example, law enforcement is supposed to observe you for a full 15 minutes before you take a breath test. Did the cops do that in your case, or did they do something else?

Were the cops properly trained to administer any of the tests they gave you? If they weren’t, or if the tests weren’t administered properly, any evidence from those cases is tainted.

Were you mentally alert and coherent when the police pulled you over? We can weave this into your defense as well.

You’d be surprised how many times people can be arrested for DUI even though their breathalyzer test shows them blowing under the legal limit. You’d be surprised how many times people who are not impaired and who are not drunk get arrested.

You will almost never receive a defense this through by trusting your case to a public defender, who will almost always suggest you plead out. Don’t let law enforcement ruin your life just because you stopped and had a quick beer with a friend before work. Contact Greco-Neyland today and get the defense you deserve.

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