Los Angeles DUI Attorney
A good defense starts with the right attorney
There’s one thing we need to get out of the way right off, we’re not trying to frighten you into choosing our firm. The fact of the matter is you can destroy your case immediately by choosing the wrong Los Angeles DUI attorney. We are here to help you through this most difficult situation.
We know you’re worried — worried about going to jail, having your license revoked, getting fired, and just what all this is going to cost you not just now, but in the long run. You know this DUI is going to remain on your record for a long time, and it is a humiliating experience you’re going to have to recall the rest of your life. The worst thing you can do right now is choose the wrong Los Angeles DUI attorney to trust.
Being worried about who you can rely on to give you the best defense at this point is probably the smartest thing you can do. The Law Office of Avi Zvulun comes with a mountain of experience, and we’re not going to use scare tactics to try to get you to hire our firm. You want someone you can afford, who isn’t going to take advantage of you and that you can trust. How are you going to find that on the Internet?
You can’t be sure what you’re getting from an advertisement and we’re not going to ask you to trust us at The Law Office of Avi Zvulun just based on our website. We’d like you to come in to talk to us, give us a chance to give you a free consultation and to earn your trust. Give us a call at 818-720-5288 and we’ll prove to you we’re the right firm to represent you.
But before you even make that call, let’s start off with some basic information about a DUI charge
What are the police looking for in your driving?
When you’re out on the road, there are a few things that the cops are looking for to determine if you’re under the influence. The list is fairly extensive and includes abnormal driving habits like straddling lanes, turning too wide, near impacts of other cars or objects, driving too fast OR too slow, using the wrong signal when changing lines or turning, and these are just the beginning. The list basically includes all the actions you can take while driving that show that your judgment is impaired.
The best way to avoid getting hit with a DUI is, of course, to avoid drinking and driving, even if the amount you’ve had isn’t enough to impair your driving abilities. There are a lot of reasons you could do something wrong on the road that leads cops to think you’re impaired, and even the slightest hint of alcohol on your breath could be enough to land you behind bars.
What are the police looking for when they pull you over?
- Odor of alcohol on breath
- Flushed face
- Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes
- Slurred speech
- Fumbling with wallet trying to get license
- Failure to comprehend the officer’s questions
- Combative, argumentative, jovial or other “inappropriate” attitude
- Staggering when exiting vehicle
- Swaying/instability on feet
- Leaning on car for support
- Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing
- Stumbling while walking
- Disorientation as to time and place
- Inability to follow directions
The Police Encounter
Once you’ve been pulled over, there are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself from a DUI. The first is to remember your Fifth Amendment rights — you don’t have to answer any questions that will serve to incriminate you. A polite refusal to respond to any questions pertaining to your night’s activities without an attorney present may result in some hostility from the officer, but it will protect you when it comes time to enter the courtroom.
One thing a lot of people don’t know is that field sobriety tests are completely voluntary, there is no legal pressure requiring you to take them, and it is strongly advised that you refuse to do so. These tests are in no way objective and the results will serve as one more tool the officer can use against you in court. So when these are brought up, we cannot advise you strongly enough to avoid taking them. Should you choose to cooperate with these tests, only cooperate with those that have been federally approved.
These consist of a battery of three tests:
- Heel-to-Toe (also referred to as “walk-and-turn”)
- One-Leg Stand
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – The HGN test, a relatively recent development in DUI investigation. The officer attempts to estimate the angle at which the eye begins to jerk (“nystagmus” is medical term for a distinctive eye oscillation); if this occurs sooner than 45 degrees, it theoretically indicates a blood-alcohol concentration over .05%. The smoothness of the eye’s tracking the penlight (or finger or pencil) is also a factor, as is the type of jerking when the eye is as far to the side as it can go. This test is not accepted by the medical community, however, it continues to be widely used by law enforcement.
Everyone is familiar with the concept of a Breathalyzer test. What most people don’t know is that if you’re older than 21, you have the legal right to refuse the one done in the field. You can specifically request that you are taken to the station for a real test. While you cannot refuse this test — you are under legal obligation to do so due to implied consent laws — you do have a choice which you take.
In many jurisdictions, you can request a secondary blood test if you agree to a primary Breathalyzer test. The breathe sample cannot be saved, and so it can’t be reanalyzed later by your defense lawyer. Remember to ask for this blood sample after the breathe sample is taken at the station.
Blood analysis has the benefit of being the single most accurate measurement of your blood alcohol level, and should absolutely be requested if you are certain your BAC is below the legal limit. There are far too many issues that render breathe machines inaccurate. If you think your BAC is above the legal limit, stick with the Breathalyzer, it is by far the easiest to refute in a courtroom. It’s known inaccuracies make it very easy to impeach.
This may seem like an obvious position to take here, but remember that most police officers these days are being recorded through the entire process. You want to present a polite and respectful attitude towards them, as it will go a very long way in your defense and ultimate release from custody.
The last step you want to take is to contact the DMV within 10 days of the DUI charge to prevent your license from being suspended. By notifying them that you are requesting a hearing they cannot immediately put the suspension into effect. The next step, of course, is contacting a qualified DUI defense attorney. This is where we come in, when you need the best in Los Angeles DUI attorneys, contact Avi Zvulun at 818-720-5288.
CALIFORNIA CRIMINAL AND DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE PENALTIES FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND/OR DRUGS (VEHICLE CODE SECTION 23152)
FIRST OFFENSE within 10 Years
$390 to $1000 fine, attendance at a 3 month, 6 month or 9 month alcohol/drug program, plus 48 hours to 6 months in jail and the court may also suspend your license for 6 months. Your license shall be suspended for 6 months if the offense occurred in a vehicle which requires a class 1, 2, A, or B license. As a result of the court conviction, the DMV will suspend your license for 6 months, but a restricted license may be available. Probation of up to five years.
SEPARATE DMV PENALTIES: .08 or greater 4 month suspension
Refusal: 1 year suspension
SECOND OFFENSE within 10 years
A fine of $390 to $1000, plus 10 days to 1 year in jail and a 2 year license suspension, a license restriction allowing driving only for work and alcohol/drug program for the duration of the program. However, your license shall be suspended for 2 years if the offense occurred in a vehicle which requires a class 1, 2, A, or B license. Installation of interlocking device for up to 3 years. As a result of the court conviction, the DMV will suspend your license for 2 years, but a restricted license may be available after the first year of suspension. Probation of up to 5 years.
SEPARATE DMV PENALTIES: .08 or greater 1 year suspension
Refusal: 2 year revocation
THIRD OFFENSE within 10 years
120 days to 1 year in jail, $390 to $1000 fine, and a 3-year license revocation and an 18-month or 30 month alcohol/drug program if you have not completed one before. Probation of up to 5 years.
SEPARATE DMV PENALTIES: .08 or greater 3 year revocation
Refusal: 3 year revocation
FOURTH or Subsequent offense within 10 years
16 months, or 2 or 3 years in state prison, or 180 days to 1 year in county jail; $390 to $1000 fine, and a 4-year license revocation and an 18-month or 30 month alcohol/drug program if you have not completed one before. Probation of up to 5 years or parole of up to 3 years.
SEPARATE DMV PENALTIES: .08 or greater 4 year revocation
Refusal: 4 year revocation
DEFENSES TO THE DUI ALLEGATION
There are many potential defenses to a DUI charge given the complexities of the alleged offense:
For a free consultation with Los Angeles DUI attorney Avi Zvulun, call (818) 720-5288.