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Los Angeles DUI/DWI Defense Lawyers

Experienced Attorneys Representing Individuals Facing DUI/DWI Charges in California

Drunk driving is a serious problem in the State of California and can lead to motor vehicle accidents and deaths. As a result, DUI is punished very harshly under the California Penal Code.
In addition to fines and jail time following a DUI conviction, you may face an administrative driver’s license suspension by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). There are also special considerations with DUI refusal cases, which arise when a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test.

If you are facing DUI or DWI charges in the State of California, you should have an experienced criminal defense lawyer by your side advocating for your rights. At The Law Offices of David S. Chesley, our skilled legal team has years of experience representing individuals charged with drunk driving offenses. Our experienced California DUI defense attorneys can represent you in court and may be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal – such as for a “wet reckless” – on your behalf.

The Basics of California DUI’s

In the State of California, it is against the law for anyone to operate a motor vehicle under the following circumstances:

  • 0.08 percent or more blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if you are an adult who is 21 years of age or older who is operating a passenger vehicle in the State
  • 0.04 percent or more BAC if you hold a commercial driver’s license and you are operating a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor-trailer or other large truck
  • 0.01 percent or higher BAC if you are under the age of twenty-one

California DUI laws apply to more than just alcohol. Specifically, you cannot legally operate a motor vehicle in the State if you are under the influence of illegal drugs or if you have consumed an excessive amount of over-the-counter or prescription drugs which have alcohol in them, such as cough medicine.

A DUI conviction in the State of California can result in serious penalties that may affect both your personal and work life, as well as your ability to drive. Potential penalties for a California DUI conviction include:

  • Monetary fines
  • Criminal license suspensions
  • Jail time
  • Community Service
  • Completion of a driver improvement program (i.e., DUI school)
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your motor vehicle
  • Administrative license suspension

A good criminal defense lawyer on your side during a DUI trial or sentencing hearing can make all the difference. The California DUI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley can advocate for a reduced penalty on your behalf and help to minimize the most serious consequences associated with a criminal DUI conviction.

Refusing to Take a Blood or Breath Test for Alcohol

In addition to the standard penalties imposed for a DUI conviction, if the driver refuses to take a breath or blood test at the scene, the court may impose additional penalties. These additional penalties are known as sentence enhancements, rather than as additional criminal charges. Although an enhancement does not require an additional court appearance, it can still result in additional jail time, probation, or community service hours.

The amount of the additional penalty for the refusal depends upon a variety of factors considered by the sentencing judge. Those factors typically include:

  • The driver’s criminal history of arrests and convictions
  • The driver’s prior history of refusals (if he or she has been charged with prior DUI’s)

If the driver made a good-faith effort to take a blood or breath test but was unable to do so, that may result in a dismissal of the refusal or a reduction in the criminal enhancement penalty. Generally speaking, a first offense refusal can result in an additional 48 hours of jail time, while a second offense refusal can result in an additional 96 hours. A third offense refusal can result in an additional ten days of incarceration.

In some instances, an experienced California DUI defense lawyer can reduce a sentence enhancement by putting forth a strong legal argument on your behalf. The skilled California DUI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley can help you do just that.

DMV Hearings

If a California police officer arrests you for drunk driving, he or she will take your driver’s license and provide you with a notice of suspension. This notice serves as your temporary driver’s license for the next 30 days.

The notice also states that you are entitled to a DMV hearing in order to prevent your license from being suspended. However, you must request this hearing within ten days following your DUI arrest. If you fail to request a DMV hearing during this ten-day time period, you will face an automatic license suspension once the 30 days expire.

During a DMV hearing, the rules of evidence and other legal guidelines are much more relaxed than they are in a traditional courtroom setting. In some instances, the hearing may even take place over the phone. At a DMV hearing, you can be represented by a lawyer that you pay to represent you. During the hearing, you will be allowed to do the following:

  • Challenge any evidence which is introduced against you
  • Subpoena witnesses to testify at the hearing (including the police officer who arrested you)
  • Examine witnesses under oath
  • Cross-examine witnesses called by the State
  • Testify as to your version of the events that transpired

The California DUI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley can represent you at a DMV hearing and can introduce evidence on your behalf, in order to help minimize the consequences of your DUI arrest.

Plea Deals and the “Wet Reckless” Charge

One of the legal benefits of having a lawyer represent you during a DUI case is that he or she may be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal on your behalf. In some cases, a California prosecutor may offer a wet reckless plea where your blood alcohol concentration is at 0.08 percent – or if the prosecutor would rather have you convicted of an alcohol-related offense than face the risk of losing the DUI case at trial.

There are some advantages to pleading to a wet reckless charge. A wet reckless plea looks better than a DUI conviction on your record and also appears better for prospective employers or educational institutions who may be looking at your criminal record. It also generally has a shorter period of probation associated with it and may make you eligible for a misdemeanor expungement more quickly.

An experienced California DUI defense attorney at The Law Offices of David S. Chesley can help you decide if accepting a wet reckless plea is something you should do under your unique circumstances.

Call a California DUI Lawyer Today

DUI penalties upon conviction can be harsh, and self-representation is not usually the best way to proceed. At The Law Offices of David S. Chesley, our skilled attorneys are experienced at representing drivers at DMV hearings, criminal DUI trials, and sentencing hearings. Our lawyers are tireless advocates who can help you obtain the best possible result in your DUI case and minimize the consequences as much as possible.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a California DUI/DWI lawyer, please call us today at 1-800-755-5174, or contact us online.

DUI Alcohol

DUI Alcohol

According to VC 23152 (a), it is illegal for any person to drive under the influence of alcohol.

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DUI Marijuana

DUI Marijuana

As experienced defense attorneys, we have various instances of the successful defense of DUI marijuana cases.

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DUI Drugs

DUI Drugs

The drug can be any controlled, illegal or prescription substance that can impair a person’s ability to drive a vehicle safely.

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Hit and Run

Hit & Run

A hit and run case is when the driver after hitting another car(s) or damaging the property did not stop and left the scene without notifying other drive or property owner and law enforcement.

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Drunk in public

Drunk in Public

You must consult an experienced defense lawyer for your legal representation in court to avoid conviction or to reduce charges to minimum.

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Driving Without a License

The situation and circumstances of your charges play an important role in determining the conviction and penalty.

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Areas We Serve

Recent Results

  • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

  • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

  • Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

  • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

  • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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