Top DUI Defense Attorneys in LA & OC
Our skilled attorneys understand that a DUI arrest and losing your license can have a major impact on your personal and professional life. Our experienced DUI lawyers have handled cases ranging from simple misdemeanor drunk driving, multiple DUI offenses and felony cases including vehicular manslaughter and "Watson murder" charges.
Regardless of the severity of your case, your DUI lawyer will carefully deconstruct the evidence and uncover any flaws or errors that can contribute to a successful DUI defense. Our aggressive defense will help achieve the best possible outcome for you.
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How to fight DUI charges & win
California DUI cases are rarely hopeless. Police officers bungle roadside investigations. Breathalyzers and blood testing are prone to error. Medical conditions and certain foods render falsely high blood alcohol readings. Our experienced DUI defense lawyers know how to capitalize on these issues to win cases or reduce the charges.
Most people arrested for a California DUI charge assume the evidence against them is insurmountable. Most of them are wrong.
DUI & DWI cases often have flaws or errors
Fighting a DUI or DWI charge almost always makes more sense than simply pleading guilty. For example, did you know:
- More than 100 interfering substances, medical conditions and equipment malfunctions can cause DUI breathalyzers to generate falsely high readings?
- DUI blood testing is prone to error. When we re-test clients' blood samples at independent laboratories, we frequently get different results...and sometimes find that the original sample was contaminated?
- Police officers are required to follow a standardized set of procedures in DUI roadside investigations...and very few of them do?
There are four key elements to a prosectors case
In a DUI criminal case, the standard of proof requirement for the prosecution is beyond reasonable doubt. If the case is not 100% free of reasonable doubt then the court can dismiss the case. The four key elements prosecutors typically use to try and convict are:
- Driving impairment patterns: The NHTSA has identified 24 visual driving clues for police officers to detect impaired drivers such as swerving or running stop lights
- Physical signs and symptoms: Observations such as red eyes, alcohol odor or unsteady gate are probably the most easily discredited by the defense
- Field sobriety tests such as the one leg stand or Nystagmus tests
- Chemical test results or refusal: There are many ways to defeat breath and blood test results
Most successful DUI defenses and DWI driving while intoxicated defense strategies involve discrediting or exposing errors in any of the above elements to create a reasonable doubt. Only the best DUI attorney knows how to attack the above elements in Los Angeles & Orange County DUI and DWI defense.
DUI Can Cause an Automatic DMV License Suspension
In California, DUI and driving while intoxicated DWI charges trigger a criminal court process and a parallel California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administrative process. The process and procedure involved in a DMV hearing is different than the criminal court.
After a DUI arrest in California, you only have 10 days to request a DMV hearing in order to keep your license to drive. If you do not request the DMV hearing on time, your license will automatically be suspended after 30 days.
Generally your Los Angeles DUI attorney conducts the DMV hearing on your behalf. You may or may not be asked to attend. Our primary objectively is to convince the DMV not to suspend your drivers license. But your lawyer may also use the DMV hearing as an opportunity to gather evidence that may prove useful in court.
For example, we can subpoena the breathalyzer's maintenance and calibration logs, often revealing a history of malfunctions and inaccurate readings. We can also subpoena the arresting officer to testify at the DMV hearing...and illicit testimony about poor DUI training and mistakes in the investigation.
The different procedures involved in a DUI court case and DMV hearing are complex and the cost of losing is high, so let our experienced Orange County DUI lawyers help you every step of the way.
What to do after a DUI
The entire process, from getting pulled over, through field sobriety test, an arrest, a chemical breath tests, all the way to your release from custody, can happen quickly and become a blur over time. It is important to document as much as you can about what happened throughout the entire process. Write down as much as you can remember, including:
- What happened when you were pulled over
- What the police officer said about sobriety tests, and how they were executed
- What the police officer said about a preliminary alcohol screening test (breathalyzer)
- What happened during the arrest & transportation to the police station
- What the police officer said about providing a chemical breath test
- How the officer executed the chemical breath test
All of this information may be helpful for exploring defenses available to you in your California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administrative license hearing and in your criminal case. Even though police officers conduct DUI stops all the time, they can make mistakes or take shortcuts in violation of your rights. An unconstitutional traffic stop should not lead to a criminal conviction.
Successful DUI Defenses To Keep Your License
The first thing after a DUI arrest is to make sure you act quickly to keep your license to drive. After a DUI or DWI arrest, the police will take away your driver’s license and give you a temporary license to drive for 30 days. In this case, you only have 10 days, as opposed to the standard 30 days, to act in order to keep your license from being automatically suspended. The temporary license says you have 10 days to request a formal administrative license suspension hearing from the DMV.
The DMV administrative license suspension is separate from the criminal proceeding. In most cases, simply being arrested for driving with a limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content or higher will lead to a suspension, even if you are later found not guilty of drunk driving. Your LA DUI attorney at law can make sure you file your DMV hearing request in time, and even represent you before the DMV hearing as well as your criminal court hearing. This is important for anyone who needs their car to get around to work or school, and can’t risk losing their license to drive.
Call 949.424.5450 for a Free confidential case review with a California DUI attorney.
Immigration consequences of a California DUI
If you are a non-citizen with a single conviction for California DUI -- without any additional aggravating factors -- the odds are that you will not face immigration consequences such as deportation. However under certain circumstances, a California DUI conviction may be considered a deportable crime or an inadmissible crime under criminal immigration law and affect your ability to stay in the US.
For example, you may be deported, have trouble reentering the US or have trouble adjusting immigration status if you are convicted of:
- DUI while driving on a suspended license
- DUI or DWI of drugs
- DUI involving child endangerment charges such as being convicted for driving drunk with a child in the car
- Multiple DUIs or a DUI on top of convictions for other crimes
It is very important that all non-citizens facing DUI charges should be represented by a Los Angeles DUI attorney and immigration attorney who understands both immigration law and criminal law. There is a reason why many clients call Chudnovsky Law the best DUI lawyer in Los Angeles & Orange County for non-citizens. Non-citizens need defense strategies that carefully consider and avoid the potential immigration consequences of a DUI conviction.
Impact of a DUI Conviction on Naturalization
DUI convictions can affect a persons ability to become a US citizen due to the requirement that citizens demonstrate good moral character. Evidence of a criminal history, including a California DUI, could affect a person's application to naturalize.
In reviewing an application to naturalize, the Attorney General can review the person's conduct from all time periods, but usually focuses on the five years preceding the application. A single uncomplicated DUI conviction would not be likely to prevent you from becoming a citizen. But a DUI combined with other problems, such as multiple DUI convictions, could prevent showing good moral character.