Pasadena DUI Attorney: Get the Urgent Help You Need
It is crucial to seek the assistance of a highly-rated DUI lawyer if you or someone you know is dealing with a DUI charge in Pasadena, CA. A DUI conviction can result in severe consequences, including costly fines, a license suspension or an ignition interlock device system, probation, and possibly even jail time. Pasadena, being part of Los Angeles County, experiences a high number of DUI arrests each year, and the charges are prosecuted very aggressively by the prosecutor’s office.
To avoid or minimize the negative effects of a DUI conviction, it’s vital to have an experienced and aggressive Pasadena DUI attorney on your side. The Law Offices of Hart Levin is available around the clock to help clients all around LA with their DUI defense. Our team of experienced attorneys work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for each case, protecting your rights and defending you against DUI charges. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a free consultation.
What Happens When You Get a DUI in Pasadena?
The DUI process in Pasadena begins with an aggressive prosecution for those drivers accused of driving under the influence, even if it’s their first offense. Anyone facing a DUI charge is detained by the police for up to 48 hours before being released, purportedly for their safety and to ensure that they are sober. However, the 48-hour hold is more like a form of pretrial punishment since sobriety typically returns within twelve hours or less.
After being discharged, defendants will be required to appear in front of a judge for an initial court hearing known as an arraignment. We are able to appear on behalf of our clients in most cases, preventing the need for our clients to miss work only to wait around in court for many hours. This is just the first part of the criminal case after a DUI arrest. The DA will seek as much punishment as they can get. To reduce or avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction, it’s essential to contact a top-rated DUI attorney in Pasadena as soon as possible upon release. Waiting to get the legal help needed to safeguard one’s professional and personal life from the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction is not recommended and can be very dangerous.
California DMV Administrative License Suspension Hearing: (Admin. Per Se)
Following a DUI arrest in Pasadena, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin the process of suspending the driver’s license, 31 days after the DUI arrest. To contest or challenge the suspension, the DMV hearing demand must be sent and received within 10 days of the arrest, to avoid an automatic suspension.
Trying to overturn a license suspension order without the guidance and expertise of a skilled Pasadena DUI defense lawyer can be challenging for any driver. As expert DUI attorneys, we are knowledgeable about challenging the justification for the arrest and discrediting any proof of alcohol or drug impairment.
Defending DUI Charges in Pasadena With the Help of a Top-Rated DUI Defense Lawyer
When charged with a DUI, it’s crucial to retain the services of a skilled and experienced DUI attorney in Pasadena who will tirelessly work to challenge the prosecution’s case. The Law Offices of Hart Levin is dedicated to conducting a comprehensive examination of every aspect of your case to prepare your best defense strategy.
Using our experience and legal training, we carefully scrutinize the events leading up to your arrest, as well as the evidence gathered by law enforcement. We recognize that even the smallest piece of information can make a significant difference in developing a successful defense strategy:
- Were there adequate legal grounds for the driver’s vehicle to be stopped?
- Did the officer have adequate interaction with the driver to detect clear indications of drug influence or alcohol intoxication?
- Can the officer’s statements be substantiated or contradicted by bodycam or dashcam footage?
- Did the driver undergo field sobriety tests (SFSTs)?
- Were the SFSTs conducted following the proper testing procedures?
- Were the existing weather, road, and lighting conditions suitable for administering and assessing the SFSTs?
- Was the officer’s evaluation of the driver’s performance accurate?
- Was a breathalyzer test performed at the station?
- Did the officer monitor the driver for fifteen minutes to ensure that they did not burp, vomit, eat, drink, or smoke before administering the breathalyzer test?
- Was the breathalyzer properly certified and calibrated at the time of your test?
- Is the breathalyzer operator currently certified to administer the test?
- Were the documents associated with the breath test appropriately validated and provided within the legally mandated time frame?
DUI Penalties in California
The repercussions of a DUI conviction in California are severe:
1st Offense Misdemeanor DUI
If you are charged with a first-time misdemeanor DUI offense in Pasadena, the penalties can be severe. The offender may face up to six months in county jail, fines ranging up to $20,000, and a suspension of their driver’s license for four to twelve months. The court may also order the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for up to one year, allowing them to drive only after passing a breathalyzer test. In addition to these penalties, the defendant will be required to attend a DUI school for either three, six or nine months, depending on the severity of their offense and the specific alcohol level, known as a BAC level.
2nd Offense Misdemeanor DUI
If someone commits a second misdemeanor DUI offense in Pasadena, the consequences could include spending 96 hours to one year in a county jail, fines ranging up to $20,000, and having their driver’s license suspended for two years. The driver will only be able to drive with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their car for one year, except in cases of a “refusal.” Additionally, they would have to attend a DUI school for either 18 or 30 months, depending on the severity of their offense and BAC level.
3rd Offense Misdemeanor DUI
If a person is convicted of a third misdemeanor DUI offense in Pasadena, they will face severe penalties. These penalties could include imprisonment in a county jail for a period ranging from 120 days to one year. Additionally, the offender may be fined up to $20,000, and their driver’s license may be suspended for three years.
Alternatively, the convicted individual may be allowed to continue driving with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their vehicle for two years. However, they will still be required to attend a DUI school for 18 to 30 months. These harsh measures aim to reduce the likelihood of repeat DUI offenses and promote safe driving habits.
DUI with Injury (Misdemeanor):
If you are charged with a DUI with injury in Pasadena, you could face serious consequences. This type of offense is classified as a misdemeanor and may result in imprisonment for 5 days to one year in a county jail. In addition to jail time, you may also be fined up to $20,000, and you may be required to pay restitution to the injured parties.
A DUI with injury conviction may also result in the suspension of your driver’s license for one to three years. Alternatively, you may be allowed to drive with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for six months to twelve after the suspension period. Furthermore, you will be required to attend DUI school for either three, six, nine, 18, or 30 months, depending on the severity of your offense and alcohol level.
1st Offense DUI with Injury (Felony):
If a person is convicted of a first-time DUI with injury and it’s categorized as a felony, the penalties may involve a prison sentence of 16 months to 10+ years, along with fines ranging up to $20,000. They may also be ordered to pay restitution to the injured parties and have their driver’s license suspended for one year or more. Alternatively, they may be allowed to drive with an IID for one year. Additionally, they must attend DUI school for up to 30 months.
Felony DUI (Fourth DUI within Ten Years):
If someone is convicted of a felony DUI due to having four DUIs within ten years, they face serious consequences including imprisonment for a period ranging from 16 months to 10+ years, fines ranging up to $20,000, and a suspension of their driver’s license for 5+ years. Additionally, they would be required to attend DUI school for either 18 or 30 months as a part of their sentence.
The True Cost of a California DUI
Dealing with a DUI charge can have significant implications that extend far beyond the legal punishments imposed by the authorities. A DUI conviction can lead to severe and long-lasting repercussions that may take years to recover from or may never be fully resolved. If you’re facing this difficult situation, it’s essential to seek the guidance of a high-caliber DUI defense lawyer who can guide you through the legal proceedings and mitigate the potential harm.
The Law Offices of Hart Levin in Pasadena comprehends the seriousness of a DUI conviction and offers reasonably priced services and payment plans. By retaining our services, you may be able to save thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses related to fines, auto insurance, and worst-case scenarios such as jeopardized careers, reputation, and family relationships.
Suffering a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, even if it’s just for a short period, can result in significant problems that can jeopardize your employment, particularly if driving is a crucial aspect of your work. Employers may be hesitant to keep staff who have been found guilty of DUI on their payroll, which can restrict job possibilities, create financial hardships and increase the cost of their insurance.
Additionally, a DUI conviction can have social ramifications with relatives, friends, neighbors, and colleagues distancing themselves, owing to the stigma associated with it. Future landlords, loan officers, and employers may perceive a DUI conviction as an unfavorable attribute, thereby decreasing opportunities for those who have been found guilty.
To prevent these adverse effects, it is essential to retain the services of an experienced DUI attorney in Pasadena immediately following an arrest. With our firm’s assistance, you can navigate the DUI process with minimal legal repercussions and protect your future prospects.
How Much Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Is Illegal?
When driving in California, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances that impair your ability to drive safely. To determine the level of impairment, law enforcement officials use breathalyzer testing devices to assess the amount of alcohol present in your breath, which is known as your blood alcohol content (BAC).
To be convicted of a DUI offense in California, the driver’s BAC level must meet or exceed the legal limit, which can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the driver’s age and personal circumstances. However, regardless of these factors, it is important to never drink and drive, as even a small amount of alcohol can impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
Driver is 21 years old or older . . . BAC of 0.08 or higher
Driver is under 21 years old . . . BAC of 0.01 or higher
Any driver who is on probation for DUI . . . BAC of 0.01 or higher
Any driver of a vehicle requiring a CDL . . . BAC of 0.04 or higher
Any driver with a paying passenger in vehicle . . . BAC of 0.04 or higher
It is possible to face a DUI charge in California even if there is no evidence of the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The state imposes the same legal consequences for anyone who operates a moving vehicle while their consumption of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs their mental or physical abilities to the extent that they cannot drive with the same level of caution as a sober person in similar circumstances. And in cases where the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test and no alcohol result is obtained, the DA can and will still prosecute the driver under the theory that the refusal to cooperate is an indication that the driver is aware of their guilt and is attempting to hide it from the police.
Will I Lose My License?
When someone is convicted of a DUI in California, their license is usually suspended, but there are exceptions. The rules surrounding license suspension for DUIs in California are intricate, and can be impacted by a variety of factors, such as prior DUIs or the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level at the time of arrest.
Adding to the complexity, the DMV may impose a suspension regardless of the driver’s criminal DUI charge’s outcome. Seeking the advice of a seasoned DUI attorney in Pasadena is essential to minimize or avoid a DUI-related license suspension.
A qualified Pasadena DUI lawyer can assist in navigating California’s DUI license suspension laws, determining if the driver qualifies for limited driving privileges or other alternatives to a complete license suspension. Their legal expertise can also help mount the best possible defense and representation to potentially avoid or shorten a license suspension.
How Long Will a DUI Stay on My Driving Record?
Individuals who have been found guilty of a DUI offense in Pasadena may have the chance to remove their conviction from their public record. However, there are specific criteria that must be met before being considered for expungement. The offender must have fulfilled all the conditions of their sentence and cleared any outstanding fines or restitution.
If the offender had served time in state prison as part of their sentence, they are not eligible for expungement. However, if they had served time in county jail, which does not count as prison time, they may still be eligible for expungement which would remove the conviction from their record.
To successfully expunge a DUI conviction, the offender must provide evidence of rehabilitation that justifies the court’s decision to clear their conviction from the public record. For those with multiple DUI convictions, proving rehabilitation may be more challenging, but it is still possible to obtain expungement at the discretion of the court.
DUI Defense Before Trial in Pasadena
As a top DUI attorney in Pasadena, Hart J. Levin and his expert team of attorneys provide a proactive approach when it comes to defending their clients, laying the groundwork well before the trial commences. By thoroughly scrutinizing the prosecution’s case, an experienced attorney can pinpoint any weak links or gaps in the evidence required for a conviction. This vigorous defense strategy encompasses drafting legal motions to quash evidence obtained unlawfully, exposing flawed investigative techniques leading to unreliable evidence, and questioning unsupported conclusions made by law enforcement officers.
With a proven track record of successfully dismissing DUI charges prior to trial and securing not-guilty verdicts at trial, Hart Levin is a skilled negotiator who can often convince prosecutors to downgrade DUI charges to a less severe offense with fewer long-term implications for their clients. Through their extensive knowledge and experience in defending DUI cases, the premier Pasadena DUI firm known as The Law Offices of Hart J. Levin provides an aggressive defense and a glimmer of hope for their clients.
Expert Pasadena DUI Lawyer
Hart J. Levin and his expert team of Pasadena DUI attorneys have earned a well-respected reputation for outstanding legal expertise in handling over 6,000 DUI cases. Their exceptional knowledge of California’s DUI legal system, diligent work ethic, and exceptional courtroom skills have earned the firm a reputation for achieving outstanding outcomes for their clients. The Law Offices of Hart J. Levin’s area of expertise is in defending clients who are facing DUI and related charges, ranging from first-time DUI offenses to more serious felony DUI cases involving severe injury or death.
For those seeking the top DUI lawyer in Pasadena or elsewhere in California, Hart J. Levin and team stand out as accomplished, dedicated, and highly skilled legal professionals.