San Fernando Valley DUI Attorney
The National Advocacy for DUI Defense (NAFDD), 2013 – Ronald D. Hedding was recognized by The National Adovcacy for DUI Defense as one of the top 100 Driving Under The Influence Attorneys in the State of California.
A WINNING TRADITION SINCE THE 1970’S FOR THE HEDDING LAW FIRM
My father Ronald W. Hedding started his law practice in the 1970’s in the Van Nuys area. He is still practicing and handling DUIs all over the San Fernando Valley. Over the course of the past 25 years I have also been defending DUI cases with great success and passion.
It definitely helps having two attorneys in the family with the same name who have handled so many DUI cases in the courts throughout the San Fernando Valley and Van Nuys, California.
We both enjoy what we do and we take pride in helping our clients achieve the best results possible. One thing that I can definitely represent to you is that we are well know in the court system and can give you an honest and straight forward assessment of you case and also let you know what you can realistically expect the outcome to be.
There is not holding back punches and we will not waste your time and money. If you have to be involved with a DUI, then you should do it once, do it right and never do it again!
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A DUI is driving under the influence of alcohol or some other drug to the point that you cannot safely operate a motor vehicle. If you fail the field sobriety tests, for example, then you could be charged with a DUI, if they could prove your blood alcohol level was a 0.08 or greater. It’s then presumed that you have a blood alcohol level that’s too high to safely operate a motor vehicle. DUI charges are covered under California Vehicle Code 23152.
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or other drugs is a crime in almost every state for a car driver or a motorist. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater in California. However, the number is even lower for a commercial driver that is .04%, and for drivers under the age of 21 the threshold for BAC is set at just .01%.
Driving under the influence proves disastrous not only for the driver but also for the potential parallel car. There is a likely possibility that the driver might collide with the adjacent car, and the person might expose to the serious car injuries. In such a scenario, the first party driving license can be canceled.
However, by hiring an experienced DUI attorney can not only help you by guiding and supporting them through the complex legal process but also secure their future opportunities by reducing the charges or obtaining a “not guilty” verdict.
Penalties For A First Time DUI In California
Fines and penalties for DUI first, second, third, or fourth vary depending on what happened. Usually, for a first time DUI, you could get up to six months in jail, a $390 to $1000 fine, plus a 200 percent penalty assessment on whatever fine it ends up being.
You could get a three month, six month, or nine month alcohol program on a first offense DUI, probation for three to five years, and then there’s other penalties that they can give you, depending on the level of intoxication and exactly what you did. You can be ordered to never drink alcohol while you’re on probation. You can even have a SCRAM bracelet put on your ankle, depending on how bad the circumstances are.
If you refuse a breath test, you will be presumed to be DUI and you will lose your driver’s license for one year. Other penalties for a refusal could include jail time, if the situation is serious enough.
If you are arrested for DUI, the police will take your license away from you and send it to the DMV. Then, you’ve got a battle to try and get the driver’s license back. You will need to hire an attorney and you’re going to be entitled to a DMV hearing that you can request within 10 days.
You can drive as long as you have a valid driver’s license. When you get arrested for DUI, you’re usually given a citation to appear in court and then given a temporary driver’s license. You can drive on that for 30 days, as long as your license isn’t suspended for some other reason.
After that, you’re going to be entitled to a DMV hearing and that’s going to control exactly what happens with your ability to drive in the future.
Will I Go To Jail For A Second DUI In San Fernando Valley?
On a second time DUI in San Fernando or Van Nuys, CA there is a minimum of 96 hours in jail up to a maximum of one year in jail. Additionally, if you’re still on probation for your first DUI, you could get another six months in jail tacked onto that.
However, just because you get arrested for the second time DUI doesn’t necessarily mean you have to plead guilty to it. It is possible to try to get the charge reduced to a wet reckless or a lesser charge that doesn’t trigger the mandatory minimum 96 hours in jail. If you’ve got to do the 96 hours in jail, it is sometimes possible to serve the time in a private jail and do it in 48-hour weekend blocks.
THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT DUI CASES
One thing we do not do, is provide a person with false hope that they are going to get their DUI case dismissed in order to obtain their business. Once we have had an opportunity to read the police report and discuss the matter with you, then we will conduct any appropriate investigation.
Once we are satisfied we understand the circumstances of your case and have a legal opinion regarding your case, then we will explain your options and advise you how your case should be handled.
If you want an attorney to tell you what the real chances are of winning your case and to figure out the best way to deal with your particular case, Call us at (213) 542-0940 and set up a same day free face to face consultation.
The time to evaluate whether you are going to trial on a DUI case is once you and your attorney have gone over all of the facts and defenses related to your case. Attorneys are sales people who are telling your to fight your case in a jury trial before they have all of the facts are not professional and are not there to help you!
Most everything in DUI defense is based in common sense and fairness. If the prosecutors can not prove that you are guilty, then the case should be dismissed or fought in front of a jury.
If they can prove the case against you, then your attorney should negotiate the most favorable deal possible for you. There is no magic pill or defense to win a DUI case. There are many defenses, but they are attacks on the police / prosecutor’s case that make sense based on problems they have proving what they need to prove to win.
LEARN THE STEP BY STEP APPROACH TO WIN YOUR DUI CASE
When you think about winning a DUI case in Van Nuys, you have to have a realistic approach based on your particular circumstances and evaluate things the right way. For some a win will be fighting the case in front of the jury and proving that they are innocent.
For others, a win will mean your attorney convincing the prosecutor to give you the best possible deal. While others, will not be able to get a complete dismissal, but have their charges reduced to something less than a DUI. The crucial first move is to find an attorney that will be honest with you about which category you fit in. Once you know what your target win is, then you can put the road map together and execute the plan to get the win.
Therefore it is essential that you find an attorney that knows what they are doing in the DUI arena, who will give you an honest assessment of your case and who has the connections and the know how to get the job done for you!
Don’t be fooled by the salesman that answers the phone for the law office that you call. My office manager (who has worked for me for 16 years) understands how DUI’s work in the San Fernando Valley and can give you good information about how to proceed.
But, he knows that it is important that you speak to me about exactly what happened and what your chances are. I have been in the trenches for 25 years and will give you REAL information about how things work and what you can realistically expect to happen. Taking control of your DUI is just a phone call away!
WHY ARE WE SO SUCCESSFUL WHEN IT COMES TO DEFENDING A DUI CASE?
There are many reasons why our clients are raving about the results that we get for them. To start, we are honest with them before they hire us regarding the potential outcome of their DUI case.
As I continue to represent people everyday I hear stories about them calling other attorneys and being lied to about the possibilities of their case. Or, being told a bunch of “mumbo jumbo” that does not make any sense.
Most people realize that the judicial system is set up to be fair and reasonable and using your common sense is the way to go. Attorneys promising or saying things that don’t make sense (but sound great because you don’t want a DUI conviction) are simply not telling the truth most of the time and are looking to take your money and run.
We will tell you the truth about your chances and be realistic with you, so you come away understanding what is likely to happen to you. If you are charged with a felony DUI, the prosecutor must be able to prove specific elements of the crime in order to obtain a conviction. These elements are covered in the California Jury Instructions pursuant to California Vehicle Code 23153(a). Another reason we are so successful is because we have done so many DUI case over such a long period of time, that our experience helps us in achieving a result that most attorneys can not.
Simply put…when you have traveled a road time and time and again and had success, you know what to watch out for and you know when it is time to strike. Only battle tested skill and experience can prepare an attorney for this.
Twenty five years in the San Fernando Valley court system, including the Van Nuys Court, San Fernando Court, Burbank Court, and the Glendale Court, has taught me that there is no substitute for experience, know how and relationships that are built up over time. We know the players in the system that your case is pending and we know how to get the best result. Taking control of your DUI case is only a phone call away!
WHEN IS LAW ENFORCEMENT MOST LIKELY TO STRIKE REGARDING A DUI?
You can count on law enforcement being ready to strike on every major holiday. They will be out in force waiting to pull over any vehicle in their path in the late hours of the night. It is unfortunate that they are trying to take advantage of what should be a happy time for most people.
It is one thing if a person is out driving dangerously versus just driving home and being illegally pulled over for nothing. This is where a powerful advocate must come in on your side and turn the tide in your favor!
Another time that law enforcement is more likely to be out in force is on the weekends after 10 p.m. As the night progresses past midnight, the police figure that most people driving around have probably had some alcohol and for them it is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Even though they are not legally permitted to randomly pull vehicles over, they do it anyway and just make up some excuse for the pull over. Again, savvy DUI defense attorneys know how to use this situation to your advantage and get the most mileage out of a potential defense.
California Vehicle Code 23152(a)
Driving under the influence (DUI) is legally defined under California Vehicle Code 23152(a) as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and/or operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher.
People may get stopped by law enforcement for suspected DUI if they exhibit certain erratic driving behaviors such as: swerving, disobeying traffic signs, disobeying traffic laws, running traffic lights, or weaving in and out of traffic lanes.
Before law enforcement can legitimately make a DUI traffic stop, they must have sufficient probable cause. Once a person is stopped for DUI, law enforcement will carefully evaluate the persons physical and mental condition.
If a person is slurring his/her words, cant answer questions, has bloodshot eyes, or has open containers in his/her vehicle, law enforcement can further investigate the situation by asking the person to submit to a breath alcohol test or field sobriety tests.
If a person is convicted of drunk driving, he/she faces a variety of legal consequences, which may include: jail time, fines, court and legal fees, DUI School , community service, and probation. Additionally, the person may lose his/her driving privileges for a set period of time.
If you have been charged with DUI in Van Nuys or San Fernando, you need to consult with a reputable DUI Defense Attorney immediately who has forensic knowledge, investigative resources, and legal training it takes to successfully fight your DUI charges.
We have successfully handled a variety of DUI cases, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies. Our attorneys understand the adverse consequences people face when they are convicted of DUI. That is why we do everything we can to fight for our clients.
If you have been charged with DUI, call the Hedding Law Firm! Our skilled legal team will investigate the facts surrounding your case, contest evidence presented against you, and place every effort into your defense.
STRATEGY IF YOU HAVE A DUI IN THE VAN NUYS SUPERIOR COURT
Each court in the San Fernando Valley handles DUI cases a little differently. The judiciary and prosecutors try and shoot for consistency when dealing with DUI cases, however, like anything in human affairs, people and their attitudes and personalities can impact the outcome of a case.
Your first strategy should be to hire an attorney that has handled many cases in the Van Nuys courthouse. There are many different nuances that can cause a case to move in the right direction or the wrong direction.
A local attorney knows who to talk to, how to investigate and what to say to the powers that be in order to achieve a result you can live with. Of course, all cases spin on their own set of facts. For example, the higher your blood alcohol reading, the more difficult it will be to obtain a result that does not significantly damage your good standing.
After hiring an experienced attorney, that has litigated and negotiated many DUI cases in the Van Nuys court, let them do their job for you. Most good attorneys are naturally going to try their best to get you a result that is fair under the circumstances of your case.
The better the result, the more happy you will be and the more likely you will refer them cases in the future. Moreover, realize that there are many political pressures against a defense attorney as them weave their way through the system in the best interests of their client.
I have seen first hand many different scenarios over the course of the past twenty five years. But, all and all I must say that the best attorneys will obtained the best results most of the time.