The top 5 mistakes made in a Santa Clarita Drunk Driving case
If you or someone you love has been arrested for drunk driving or driving under the influence, avoid
these common mistakes! The following is a list of the biggest blunders that persons accused of DUI
1. Thinking the DUI charge is a traffic ticket.
DUI is a charge that will stay with you forever, if you are convicted. The DMV will
record it on your driving record until you are dead. In addition to that, your insurance
company will be notified of the conviction because you must file an SR-22 with the DMV in
order to have your driving privilege restored after the suspension. Once you are convicted
of the offense you cannot go back and get the conviction completely removed, erased or
expunged from your record despite what some non-lawyers might try and have you believe.
The fact of the matter is that the time to do something about keeping your record clean is now,
if you plead guilty the case is over and the conviction for drunk driving stays with you in
2. Not hiring a Local experienced Drunk Driving Lawyer to defend you.
The law of driving under the influence is complex and you need experienced legal
guidance. You must raise the right defenses at the right time or you will lose them.
Evidence may dissipate, memories fade and witnesses can be lost. A defensible drunk driving
case can quickly become a lost cause. Do-it-yourself legal defense does not work in these
3. Hiring the cheapest Lawyer in town.
The prosecution has almost unlimited financial resources to prosecute you. You
need to hire an attorney and pay a fee which will allow him to put time and effort
into your case to counter the prosecution. Attorneys must earn enough in the time
they spend on your case in order to keep their doors open and make a living wage.
The cheapest Lawyer will dump your case if you do not plead guilty immediately.
Look for a reasonable, predictable fee, not the lowest. Further, it's best to hire an attorney
who is not a "jack of all trades", in other words- a DUI is a criminal matter-hire a criminal
defense attorney, not someone who also does other areas such as personal injury, divorce,
wills and trusts, etc. You would not go to a podiatrist for a heart problem, therefore do not go
to the "family attorney" or general practitioner for your DUI. When looking for Lawyer to
represent you it is also important that you will not be "passed off" to a paralegal or case
manager, some law firms engage in this practice which we believe is not in the best interests of
4. Not requesting a hearing at the Motor Vehicle Department within 10 days.
A competent Lawyer should handle this for you. If your license was taken when you
failed or refused to take an alcohol test and no DMV APS Hearing is requested, your license
will be suspended or revoked for up to two years. Driving during this time is a
serious jailable offense, regardless of whether you need to drive for work or
personal reasons. The clock starts ticking once you receive the "pink piece of paper"
advising you of the suspension. If you were arrested on charges of DUI in the Santa Clarita
Valley then a hearing would be held in the Van Nuys Office of Driver Safety.
5. Taking the advice of someone other than an attorney about your case.
You will get advice, some of it good, some of it bad, some of it based upon personal
experience in other jurisdictions, or years ago, that may not apply in your case at all, from
your family and friends, even co-workers. Don't listen to anyone except an attorney
experienced in DUI law. You may choose a lawyer or risk the consequences of
representing yourself. By hiring an attorney immediately following your citation, you
won't miss any deadlines. Judges won't know if they should protect your rights
unless someone defends you. For example, overworked prosecutors may use
reports from inexperienced or over-zealous police officers to over-prosecute a case.
Defense attorneys are aware of these tendencies and are trained to handle such
situations. If you ask the judge to let you be your own attorney, he or she must
allow this in most cases. But do not do this. In all DUI cases, get a lawyer quickly.
You should meet with legal counsel immediately after arrest if you can (you have a 10
calendar day deadline after arrest).
One final note. Driving after your license has been suspended or revoked is a crime.
Driving on a suspended license (Vehicle Code section 14601) is more serious an offense
than your original charge. There may be provisions for you to drive for work or personal
reasons. After a period of time, you may qualify for an interlock device. If arrested for driving
during this time, you may have to post a $10,000 bond just to get out of jail, and you car will
be impounded for 30 days. If convicted, you face mandatory jail.
If you have been arrested for a alcohol related driving offense Contact our Santa Clarita
Valley Office for a free no obligation evaluation of your case. We have over 25 years of combined
experience representing individuals in the California Courts, including Valencia, Santa Clarita and all of
Los Angeles County. We are here to help. Call us for a no fee evaluation by the actual attorney who
would be representing you in Court 1-877-281-5010, toll free.