When you talk about the best in an area like DUIs, you want an attorney with a lot of experience in DUI defense and someone who has experience in the court where your case is pending.
I've been doing this for 30 years. I worked for the district attorney's office, and I worked for a superior court judge. Then in the early 1990s, I opened my criminal defense practice defending people just like you who have DUIs in the San Fernando Valley.
The courthouses that serve the Valley are Van Nuys court, San Fernando court, and some other outlying courts surrounding the San Fernando Valley. So, what you want is someone who has experience in those courts and has done a lot of DUI cases so you can end up with the best result.
If it's your first offense, I would say do it once, do it right and never do it again. If you have other DUIs, you want to get the best DUI defense attorney in the San Fernando Valley because you don't want a lengthy jail sentence.
Once you start getting into second, third, and fourth-time DUIs, the stakes go up, and the prosecutor and judge are much harsher and are not willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. California prosecutors use two main DUI statutes use to file charges against defendants for driving under the Influence:
- Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC defines driving under the influence of alcohol,
- Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC defines driving with .08% or higher BAC.
Most defendants are charged under both statutes. Most DUI cases are prosecuted as a misdemeanor but could be filed as a felony under certain situations, such as victim injuries and prior DUI convictions.
After your DUI arrest, you must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days and request a DMV hearing. Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will explain this topic in further detail below.
What Are the Most Common DUI-Related Laws in California?
- Vehicle Code 23152 VC – driving under the influence,
- Vehicle Code 23153 VC – DUI causing injury,
- Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC – DUI of drugs,
- Vehicle Code 23222(b) VC – possessing marijuana while driving,
- Vehicle Code 23221 VC – drinking, smoking marijuana in the vehicle,
- Vehicle Code 23224 VC – possession of alcohol under 21,
- Vehicle Code 23136 VC – zero-tolerance law,
- Vehicle Code 23140 VC – underage driving with .05% BAC,
- Vehicle Code 20002 VC – misdemeanor hit and run law,
- Vehicle Code 20001 VC – felony hit and run law,
- Penal Code 191.5(a) – gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated,
- Penal Code 191.5(b) – vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated,
- Penal Code 273a – child endangerment,
- Vehicle Code 23103 VC – wet reckless law,
What Are the Penalties for VC 23153 DUI Causing Injury?
One of the most commonly charged statutes is California Vehicle Code 23153 VC DUI causing injury. This law is described as driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and, while doing so, causing an accident where someone was person is injured.
VC 23153 is a “wobbler” that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the details of the case and the defendant's criminal record. If convicted of a misdemeanor prosecution for DUI causing injury, the possible penalties include:
- Custody in county jail for up to one year,
- A maximum fine of up to $5,000,
- Completion of an alcohol or drug program,
- Driver's license suspension for up to three years,
- Restitution to any injured victims,
- Informal summary probation.
In a VC 23153 felony prosecution, the possible penalties include the following:
- Custody in state prison for up to four years,
- A maximum fine of up to $5,000,
- A “strike” under California's three-strikes law
- Completion of a DUI school that is court-approved,
- Driver's license revocation for up to five years,
- Habitual traffic offender,
- Pay victim restitution,
- Habitual traffic offender status for three years.
Why Do You Need a Defense Lawyer with Experience?
As far as the characteristics go of the best DUI defense attorney in the San Fernando Valley, that's someone who has experience not just as a DUI defense attorney but also in the court and with the prosecutors and judges you're going to be dealing with.
You also want someone who has trial experience. Most DUIs don't go to trial. However, you want to have an attorney who has done trials because that attorney will be respected.
The prosecutors aren't just going to say this guy only resolves cases; he never goes to trial, so why should we offer him or his client a reasonable resolution? Also, attorneys who do trials know how to evaluate a case from a pro-defense standpoint versus pro-prosecution.
You have to realize that judges and prosecutors are typically looking to protect society and are not looking at the defense side of things, so it's up to a good defense attorney who has experience in the San Fernando Valley to point out those things.
Why Do Lawyers Closely Review All the Details of a DUI Arrest?
So, what do I do if you get arrested in the San Fernando Valley and have a DUI pending? I have you come into the office and give me all of the information related to the case.
Don't leave anything out. Don't hold back so that I can evaluate the case from your perspective, but also see what type of issues we might have when I go into court.
I'm going to be looking to see if you might have been illegally stopped, if your car may have been searched unlawfully or if there are any problems with the blood or breath test, and obviously, I'll sit down with the prosecutors and see what their position is. We will meet after that and decide our best strategy.
First, you have to know what the other side is thinking before evaluating your position and what makes sense for you. So, if you want the best DUI defense attorney, you fortunately, have landed on the right website.
Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. Let me put my years of experience in the local courts to work for you. The Hedding Law firm provides a free case evaluation by phone or contact form.