Los Angeles DUI Attorneys
Arrested for Drunk Driving in Los Angeles County?
After a DUI arrest, many people wonder if they truly need the services of an attorney. If you have been charged with a DUI in California, you will face the possibility of serious penalties such as jail time, costly fines, probation, and more. The harsh consequences of a DUI conviction can disrupt your life for years to come, and they only increase with every subsequent DUI charge.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speaking with a Los Angeles DUI attorney at Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP could significantly increase your chances of avoiding a conviction. Let us get to work on your defense – give us a call today.
DUI Cases We Handle
Our Los Angeles DUI lawyers can help with cases involving:
- First DUI offense
- Second, third, or multiple DUIs
- Felony DUI
- DUI involving drugs
- Underage DUI
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Refusing chemical and blood tests
California is notoriously tough on DUI offenders. You must take action immediately after an arrest to build a strong defense.
DUI Laws in California
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a severe offense in California, and the state has strict laws to deter drunk driving and protect public safety. In California, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Additionally, drivers under 21, commercial drivers, and drivers operating a hire vehicle are subject to lower BAC limits.
Challenging Field Sobriety Test Results
Many do not realize that DUI charges can be defeated in court and that you don't have to accept a conviction just because you have been accused of a crime. Our firm has handled many DUI cases that involve "failed" field sobriety tests, and we have successfully challenged and defeated these DUI charges in court.
There are three types of field sobriety tests used by law enforcement officers:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test
- Walk and turn test
- One-leg stand Test
Police officers must receive proper training to administer and interpret sobriety tests. External factors can distort the results even if an officer is qualified to give the test.
According to some studies, even the most reliable field sobriety test is only 77% accurate in determining whether a driver has a BAC above .10%. If a suspect has physical or mental impairments, if an officer moves around while conducting the test, or if the suspect's attire interferes with their ability to perform the test, this is grounds to dispute your DUI.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I failed a breathalyzer test?
A failed breathalyzer test does not automatically mean you will be convicted of DUI. If you have been arrested because you failed a breathalyzer test, our Los Angeles DUI lawyers can help you determine the best legal strategy for fighting your charges and defending your rights.
If I only had one drink, can I be convicted of DUI?
You can be convicted of DUI if you meet one of two criteria: Your blood alcohol content was higher than .08, or your driving was so impaired that the prosecution can prove you were driving under the influence. Depending on your weight and the time between your drink and when you began driving, it is possible to be considered “under the influence” after one drink.
I took a nap in my car and was arrested for DUI. How is this possible?
Even though you weren’t driving, your presence in the driver’s seat, especially if the motor was still running, can be considered circumstantial evidence proving that you had been driving under the influence of alcohol. If you failed a field sobriety test or chemical test shortly after you were found asleep at the wheel, then the prosecution can attempt to convict you of drunk driving.
Are all DUI charges the same, or is one less serious than another?
A DUI charge that does not involve an accident or at least two prior DUIs is a misdemeanor, which is far less serious than a felony DUI charge. Felony DUI charges typically occur when there is an accident with injuries or the person has already been convicted of three or more DUIs in the last 10 years.
If I was the only person injured in my DUI accident, will that still count against me?
No. You can be charged with DUI regardless, but if you were the only person injured, you cannot be charged with DUI causing injury, which is a more serious offense. A true DUI causing injury case occurs when the driver causes an accident and injures another driver, passengers, a pedestrian, etc.
If the person injured in my accident was a passenger, does that help my case?
No. It doesn’t matter whether the injured person was riding in your car or someone else’s car. As long as someone other than you got hurt, you can be charged with a DUI causing injury.
I took the blood test and registered a BAC of above .08. Does this mean I lose my case?
No. A blood alcohol content of .08 does meet the legal definition of drunk driving; however, just because the police chemical test shows a BAC above a .08, it does not mean you will be convicted. There can be numerous circumstances which render the test result inaccurate. Your DUI attorney will consider all of these factors and more to determine if there is a potential defense.
If I plan to plead guilty to drunk driving, why do I need an attorney?
Even if you plan to plead guilty, you still need the help of a DUI attorney. An attorney can examine the facts of your case to determine whether you could plea bargain to a lesser DUI charge – for instance, a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony or reckless driving instead of DUI. An attorney is also much more likely to obtain a lesser sentence on your behalf than you will.
If I was the driver in an accident involving multiple victims, what charges am I facing?
You may be charged with DUI causing injury (assuming none of the injuries were fatal). California law does not allow for you to be charged with multiple counts of felony drunk driving.
Can I be charged with a DUI after using marijuana?
Yes. DUI charges can be applied for driving under the influence of marijuana.
What is an IID?
IID stands for “ignition interlock device.” An IID requires an individual to breathe through a machine attached to their vehicle before the engine will start. As of July 2010, an IID can be ordered as a consequence of any DUI conviction in Los Angeles County.
Contact Our Los Angeles DUI Attorney Today
Don't wait after a DUI charge. Our attorneys can get started immediately, helping you build a strong defense for your charges and working to protect your driver's license. Contact our firm for a free case review to learn more about the next steps.
Contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP today to schedule a FREE case review with our DUI lawyer in Los Angeles.
Decades of Proven Defense Experience
At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, we have over 50 years of combined experience representing clients charged for driving under the influence. We effectively fight against DUI charges and have been able to obtain hundreds of dismissals for our clients.
If you or someone you love have been charged for DUI in the Los Angeles area, Ventura County, or any of the surrounding Southern California communities, please speak with a Los Angeles DUI lawyer at our firm.
“We are blessed to have you for our lawyer and will highly recommend you with your professional and educated advice!”
1,000's of Cases Handled In & Out of Court
50+ Years of Combined Legal Experience
No Recovery, No Fees for All Injury Cases
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