LOS ANGELES DUI LAWYER - LA DUI ATTORNEY
Michael Rehm - (323) 963-8283
Residents of Los Angeles know how maddening it can be to cope with the city's traffic. In addition to daily commuters, highways are jammed with tourists on their way to beaches, Hollywood, the Getty Center, and the city's other attractions.
After unwinding in the evening at the city's legendary clubs and restaurants, drivers may encounter a more serious problem than crowded roads. In the most recent year for which statistics are available, more than 5,000 drivers were arrested in Los Angeles for driving under the influence (DUI).
Los Angeles County accounts for more than 20% of all California DUI arrests. More than 25,000 DUI arrests are made every year in Los Angeles County.
A DUI arrest can lead to serious consequences. An automatic driver's license suspension may take effect if arrested drivers do not request a hearing within 10 days. It is important to request that hearing to preserve the opportunity to avoid a license suspension.
Drivers arrested for DUI in Los Angeles also face jail time, a substantial fine, and the possibility of a longer license suspension, as well as an order to equip vehicles with an alcohol detection device known as an ignition interlock.
Los Angeles DUI Prosecutions
Almost 5% of DUI cases in Los Angeles County are prosecuted as felonies. Prosecutors usually charge a felony when a driver is accused of causing serious accident injuries while driving under the influence. Prosecutors also have discretion to charge drivers with a DUI felony when they have at least three prior DUI convictions in the last ten years.
Between 4% and 5% of DUI charges in Los Angeles County involve allegations that a driver was under the influence of drugs. Cases involving drugs are more likely to be contested because it is difficult for prosecutors to prove that a driver is under the influence. A DUI involving alcohol typically relies on the allegation that the driver was “over the limit.” There is no comparable “limit” when a driver is accused of driving after consuming drugs.
Los Angeles DUI Convictions
In the most recent year for which statistics are available, Los Angeles County prosecutors won a DUI conviction in 74.7% of their cases. More than a quarter of all prosecuted drivers avoided a DUI conviction.
Too many drivers think there is no hope of prevailing if they are arrested for DUI. They plead guilty without getting legal advice. Yet statistics show that drivers who contest their charges are often successful.
Drivers charged with DUI are convicted of a “wet reckless” in 5.6% of Los Angeles County cases. A wet reckless charge avoids an automatic referral to DMV for a driver's license suspension. Another 4.4% of charges result in a conviction of a different traffic offense, typically one that avoids any risk of jail time or other serious consequences.
In addition to arranging a plea bargain, DUI lawyers were able to obtain dismissals or acquittals in 15.3% of Los Angeles County DUI cases. Dismissals typically follow legal challenges to the reasons the police stopped or arrested the driver. Other challenges focus on whether the officer followed correct procedures to obtain a reliable test result.
Drivers who are arrested for DUI in Los Angeles need to understand their rights. Attorney Michael Rehm can make the difference between harsh DUI penalties and a favorable resolution of charges.
DUI Procedures in Los Angeles
When a DUI arrest is made within the Los Angeles city limits, the case is usually prosecuted by the City Attorney's office. Charges following DUI arrests made within the city are generally heard at one of these locations:
- Los Angeles Metropolitan Courthouse, 1945 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles
- Airport Courthouse, 11701 S. La Cienega, Los Angeles
- Van Nuys Courthouse, 14400 Erwin St Mall, Van Nuys
Arrests outside of the city limits will be prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. The cases could be assigned to a courthouse in Los Angeles, Alhambra, Burbank, Compton, Glendale, Downey, Long Beach, Inglewood, Pasadena, Torrance, or Santa Clarita, among other locations.
The time from arrest to resolution depends on the assigned judge's workload and how vigorously the case is defended. While Los Angeles County DUI charges involving alcohol are resolved in an average of 109 days, DUI charges involving drugs take an average of 176 days to resolve.
Los Angeles DUI Attorney Michael Rehm can be reached at (323) 963-8283 for free, confidential consultations. Call to find out how Attorney Rehm can help with the specific facts of your case.