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Police are always out in full force and on the lookout for anyone driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Los Angeles. This intense focus on stopping and arresting those who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both results in thousands of charges filed every year in the city. However, there are many who are wrongfully arrested and charged with crimes that they did not actually commit. Nonetheless prosecutors almost always file charges against those arrested and accused of illegal conduct by police officers and in most cases they will seek the most serious penalties. Upon conviction of a DUI charge, a defendant may lose his or her license, be sentenced to time in jail, placed on probation, be required to participate in a drunk drivers program, be ordered to install an Ignition Interlock device in their vehicle, and be ordered to pay exorbitant fines and fees.

As a DUI defense attorney, Daniel E. Kann has represented thousands of people charged with driving under the influence and he has seen it all. Through his experienced and skilled representation, harsh penalties that can affect all aspects of his clients' lives have been prevented or at least minimized so as to protect their rights and driving privileges. If you or a loved one has been accused of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, get in touch with The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann to learn more about the charges you face and your legal options as a defendant.

Criminal Court Process v. DMV Administrative Process

It is important to note the distinction that exists in every DUI case between the criminal court process and the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) administrative per se process. When one is arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, the criminal charge of DUI is filed with the court by the prosecuting agency. The prosecuting agency can be the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office or the City Attorney's Office for the City of Los Angeles. The charges that are filed in court are Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), Driving While Impaired and if alcohol is involved Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), Driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 or Higher.

As for the DMV administrative proceeding, which is held separate and apart from the criminal court process, the DMV will attempt to make a finding as to whether a driver drove his or her vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), Driving with a BAC of .08% or higher. The DMV can suspend a person's driver's license pursuant to a court conviction of DUI or upon their own finding of a violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) at an administrative hearing.

The Criminal Court Process

During the criminal court process, the prosecutor's focus will be on whether or not he or she can prove that you violated the law and operated your vehicle while impaired due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), and in cases where alcohol is involved that you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher at the time of driving pursuant to Vehicle Code Section 23152(b). In the event of a conviction, a defendant can have his or her license suspended for months or even years, be forced to pay various fines to the government and other organizations, participate in a drunk drivers program, install an ignition interlock device in the vehicle, and even spend time in jail.

These penalties can worsen due to various aggravating allegations. For example, those who have been previously convicted of a DUI or multiple DUI's within the last ten years will be at risk of longer license suspensions, being ordered to participate in a longer DUI program, and additional jail or prison time. Moreover, DUI charges can be aggravated if a collision occurred, a minor was in the vehicle with the defendant, or the defendant's BAC measured .15% or higher. As stated, such aggravating factors can result in additional charges and penalty enhancements, which include longer license suspension and additional jail or prison time.

There are multiple defenses against a DUI charge. A skilled DUI defense attorney, upon carefully evaluating the facts of your particular case will determine which defenses should be pursued and executed in order to best defend your rights. Some defenses include, illegal vehicle stop, i.e., lack of probable cause or reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle, the driver was not impaired or did not have a BAC of .08% or higher at the time of driving, improperly administered field sobriety tests, or improperly maintained or calibrated breath test/chemical test equipment used in your case. Should any of these or other defenses be applicable in your case, your charges may be dismissed. Through intense investigation by our team of investigators and tenacious demand for evidence held by the prosecution or law enforcement that may prove your innocence, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann may have your case dismissed. Please contact us for more information.

The DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing

After being arrested for drunk driving, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will move to suspend the driver's license of a defendant. Drivers or their attorneys must contact the appropriate DMV Driver Safety Office within 10 days of the date of their arrest to schedule a hearing. Should you not request a hearing within this time period your right to an administrative hearing will have been waived and the DMV will automatically suspend your driver's license after 30 days from the date of the alleged incident.

During the course of the DMV hearing the hearing officer will focus on three main factors. These factors include, whether the driver was stopped legally, did the driver drive with a BAC of .08% or higher, and whether the driver was lawfully arrested. If officials believe that these factors are satisfied by the evidence which often consists of the police report and the officer's sworn DMV affidavit, also known as the DS-367 form, your license will be suspended. However, there is hope. A driver is entitled to many of the same rights at a DMV hearing as they are at a criminal trial. These rights include the right to cross-examine the arresting officer, the right to have an expert witness testify on behalf of the driver, and the right to discovery of evidence that is favorable to the driver and may potentially avoid a driver's license suspension. An experienced DUI defense attorney will subpoena favorable evidence directly from the law enforcement agency involved in the case.

It is important to remember that this hearing is separate from your criminal case. Both the results of a criminal case and the outcome of a DMV hearing will not have an effect on one another.

Staying Out of Jail and On the Road

At The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann, we are dedicated to preserving the rights of those who would have their professional and personal lives seriously damaged by a DUI conviction. Daniel E. Kann is an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense attorney who has represented numerous clients facing charges that would place them in jail, subject them to thousands of dollars in fines, and loss of their right to drive. If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving, it is vital that you do not hesitate to contact an attorney to represent you. Time is of the essence in preventing your loss of driver's license and gathering evidence needed to refute claims made by the prosecution. To learn more about our history of success and years of experience, call our offices at (310) 954-9356.