First DUI Attorney in Los Angeles

Proven Criminal Defense Lawyers Serving Southern California

Driving under the influence (DUI) allegations are often the first time many individuals find themselves in trouble with the law, as well as the first time they must navigate what can be a confusing and complex criminal justice system. Although DUI charges may be relatively common in an era when law enforcement now prioritizes crackdowns on impaired driving, a first-time DUI is still a serious criminal charge that poses substantial penalties and long-term consequences.

At Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, our Southern California DUI lawyers have extensive experience protecting the rights, freedoms, futures, and driving privileges of clients charged with all types of DUI allegations. From standard misdemeanor DUIs to those involving aggravating circumstances, elevated penalties, and even felony charges, we have the tools and resources to advocate aggressively for clients facing difficult circumstances.

Why Choose Our Team?

  • Award-Winning Criminal Defense Lawyers with 50+ Years’ Experience
  • We’ve Secured Hundreds of Case Dismissals
  • Our Firm Serves Clients Throughout Southern California, 24/7
  • We Have a Reputation for Handling Tough Cases

Our DUI defense lawyers proudly serve clients throughout the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and beyond – and we know the ways law enforcement and prosecutors in these jurisdictions handle DUI cases. Call (800) 462-7160 or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation.

Understanding DUI Charges in California

Under California law, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Per state statute, you can face a first-time DUI if you have never been charged with such an offense at any time in the past (including out-of-state DUI charges), been convicted of a “wet reckless” or similar offense, or have been charged 10 years or more after a previous DUI conviction. Law enforcement will also have the right to arrest you under suspicion of DUI if any of the following applies:

  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or greater;
  • A law enforcement officer believes your ability to safely operate a vehicle is impaired (even if your BAC level is under .08);
  • Driving under the influence of drugs (including prescription medications and OTC drugs);
  • Driving under the influence of marijuana;
  • Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.

DUI Penalties

Once arrested and booked for DUI, you face serious penalties that can have a devastating impact on your financial well-being, employment opportunities, and your freedom. For example, standard misdemeanor DUI charges for a first offense are punishable by:

  • Court fines and fees
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Court-ordered DUI education course (paid for at your own expense)
  • Court-ordered ignition interlock device (IID), depending on circumstances and jurisdiction
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Probation

These are only general guidelines to penalties for a first-time DUI offender, and the penalties in your case are dependent upon the individual facts involved. For example, there are a number of aggravating circumstances that can result in elevated charges and penalties, including:

  • Registering a high BAC level (i.e. .15 or greater)
  • Refusing a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine (automatic license suspension)
  • Driving on a suspended license
  • DUI with a child passenger
  • DUI resulting in accidents, injury, or death (grounds for felony DUI charges)
  • Drug possession, hit and run, and other related offenses

If any of these factors are involved in your case, you must be aware that even though it may be your first DUI charge, the penalties can be substantially increased – including longer or mandatory terms of imprisonment.

Discuss Your Case During a FREE & Confidential Consultation

Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP has earned a reputation for aggressive criminal defense, and is prepared to provide the experienced representation you need during both criminal proceedings and administrative hearings with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) pertaining to your driving privileges. Because time is of the essence, we strongly encourage you to reach out for more information about your case, rights, and how we can help by contacting us for a FREE consultation. We’re available 24/7 to help!