What is your best defense strategy if you are arrested for driving under the influence in Woodland Hills, CA? I've been handling DUIs now for the past 30 years.
If you were arrested in Woodland Hills, you probably received a citation to appear in the Van Nuys courthouse. The citation directs you to this courthouse because they have jurisdiction over all arrests in that area.
You have a lot at stake. You could get your driver's license suspended for many months or years, depending on whether it's your first, second, third, or fourth DUI. The prosecution agency has two primary DUI statutes they use to file charges against someone for driving under the Influence:
- Vehicle Code 23152(a) VC prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol,
- Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC prohibits driving with .08% or higher BAC.
Most people are charged with both statutes. Most California DUI cases are prosecuted as a misdemeanor but are filed as a felony under specific circumstances, such as victim injuries and prior DUI convictions.
After you are arrested for VC 23152, you have to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within ten days of your arrest and request a DMV hearing.
If you don't, you will lose your right to this administrative hearing, and your driver's license will automatically go into suspension after 30 days. A lawyer could request the hearing and represent you.
If convicted of VC 23152 driving under the influence, the penalties will always depend on whether somebody was injured and your criminal history. Some DUI convictions will carry jail time and require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers will review further below.
Reviewing the Details of Your Drunk Driving Arrest
As far as a good strategy, you want to hire an attorney who has experience practicing in the Van Nuys courthouse. Of course, I brought this up for a reason, and I made this post for a reason. I have been handling DUI cases in the Van Nuys courthouse now for 30 years with a great deal of success.
After you have hired your attorney, the next thing you want to do is give your attorney all of the information related to your case. Don't leave any information out. Make sure your attorney knows the whole story from your perspective, even if part of that story is not necessarily helpful to you.
When I sit down with a client who has been arrested for a DUI in Woodland Hills, I want to know why the police gave for stopping the vehicle because they're not allowed to stop cars for no reason.
I also want to know how much the person had to drink or whether they were using any drugs, whether the drugs are legal, and the surrounding scenario of the contact with the police.
I am getting all of this information to assess whether or not you were illegally stopped or if any of your other rights were violated because, strategy-wise, we're looking to dismiss the case, if possible.
The first step would be to find an illegal stop or search or illegal contact with the police. Of course, the police realize they're not supposed to stop a person for no reason, so they're often smart enough to put in their police report the reason for the stop.
Then, of course, we're going to assess whether or not there might be any video evidence, either from the police dashcam if they have one or a bodycam video if they were wearing a bodycam video at the time of the stop.
What Are the Related California Offenses?
- Vehicle Code 23153 VC – DUI causing injury,
- Vehicle Code 23152(f) VC – DUI of drugs,
- Vehicle Code 23222(b) VC – driving with marijuana,
- Vehicle Code 23221 VC – driving smoking marijuana,
- Vehicle Code 23224 VC – possess 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,
- Vehicle Code 20001 VC – felony hit and run,
- 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.
What Are the Penalties for Vehicle Code 23153 VC?
In a misdemeanor prosecution for DUI causing injury, the potential penalties include:
- Up to one year in county jail,
- A maximum fine of up to $5,000,
- Alcohol or drug program,
- Driver's license suspension,
In a VC 23153 felony prosecution, the penalties include the following:
- Up to four years in state prison,
- A maximum fine of up to $5,000,
- DUI school that is court-approved,
- Driver's license revocation,
- Habitual traffic offender,
- Victim restitution.
Free DUI Case Review
So, to summarize your strategy, if you've been arrested for a DUI in Woodland Hills, you first want to hire an attorney. Next, you want to ensure that attorney practices in the court where your case is pending.
In this case, the Van Nuys court will control the San Fernando Valley. Finally, you want to make sure you give the attorney all of the information related to your case without omitting anything, even if it might harm you and your situation.
The next thing you need to do is listen to your attorney. Your attorney will try to do everything they can to assist you and get you the best possible resolution in your case.
I first deal with the DMV, who will be trying to take your driver's license away, and next, I will deal with the criminal court and try to do everything I can to minimize the damage to both your driving record and your criminal record. In doing so, I'm going to use my experience – both in the Van Nuys court and in dealing with the DMV related to DUI cases.
If you or a loved one has a DUI and were arrested in Woodland Hills and need help, you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Make the call.
Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. Let me put my 30 years of experience to work for you to get the best possible result in your case. Hedding Law Firm offers a free case review by phone or contact form.