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Los Angeles DUI Lawyer


In the Los Angeles area, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is one of the most commonly prosecuted offenses. Law enforcement is increasing patrols and establishing more checkpoints. The police are ramping up efforts to arrest people for DUI.

A DUI arrest can result in criminal charges, a driver's license suspension, and various other unforeseen consequences. It is essential that anyone arrested for a drunk driving offense contact a Los Angeles DUI attorney immediately. The attorney should be dedicated to the field, knowledgeable, and experienced. Read Richard Wagner's bio

“Mr. Wagner is extremely knowledgeable and takes his time to really make you understand the circumstances and options of your case. A true pro!” F.T. Read what others have to say

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Los Angeles Drunk Driving Lawyer

Richard Wagner is a DUI lawyer based in Southern California. He is dedicated to defending those accused of DUI offenses. He has a deep understanding of how to effectively defend such cases.

Mr. Wagner spent his first two years as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. He opened a DUI defense firm. The Law Office of Richard Wagner helps those arrested or charged with DUI in the Los Angeles area.

What Happens In Court For DUI 

A typical DUI process begins when a police officer sees a driver commit a traffic violation and then pulls over that vehicle. The violation does not have to be related to impaired driving. In many cases, the reason for the stop could be an equipment violation. Examples include window tint or your license plate light not working.

In California, officers must have a reasonable suspicion to believe that a driver has violated the law in order to stop a vehicle.

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DUI Checkpoints are an exception. The police do not need any reasonable suspicion that the driver has done anything wrong. Drivers passing through a checkpoint may be briefly detained to see if they are under the influence.

After the vehicle has been stopped, the police officer will approach and begin talking to the driver. They are looking for signs of impairment, such as bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, or an odor of alcohol.

The officer may suspect that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They will ask the driver to get out of the car. This is to perform a DUI investigation. This includes field sobriety tests to look at your balance and coordination, as well as your ability to follow instructions.

The officer may try to get the driver to take a breathalyzer. The law requires the police to get your permission or consent if you are 21 years of age or older. The PAS test is not mandatory for most drivers. However, if you are under the age of 21 or on DUI probation, then the PAS test is mandatory.

This test in Los Angeles will be conducted using a hand-held breathalyzer. It is battery-operated and called a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device. In LA, police use the Alco-Sensor VXL or Lifeloc FC20.

It is essential to have an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney represent you if you have been accused of drunk driving. Their expertise can help you navigate the legal system and protect your valuable rights.

What Is A Chemical Test For DUI?

If the officer believes that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he will arrest you. The officer will give you the choice of giving a breath or blood sample.

The breath or blood testing after you have been arrested is referred to as the chemical test. In LA. the DataMaster DMT or EC/IR II breathalyzers are used.

Refusing to take a test does not stop the prosecutor from charging you with a DUI. Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), you can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, Section 23152(f) covers driving under the influence of a drug.

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The prosecutor will also file the refusal sentence enhancement, which could add jail time and increase your punishment and penalties. For first-time offenders, the DMV penalty for drivers who refuse chemical testing is a 1-year suspension. During this period, they are not able to get a restricted license.

In Los Angeles, breath tests are conducted using a machine at the police station. The test results are printed out in the form of a receipt. Drivers who select the blood test are sometimes transported to a hospital. Or, the police arrange for the blood tech to meet them at the jail.

The blood test results take time because your blood has to be transported to the crime lab. The police can only use a blood test to measure drug levels if they arrest you for DUI drugs. There is no breath test available.

Criminal Charges For DUI

The police officer writes a report and sends it to the prosecutor. The prosecutor reviews the report and decides what charges to file. If your case gets filed, the next step is your arraignment. Read About Arraignments in California

In most DUI cases involving alcohol, the prosecutor charges you with misdemeanor DUI, violating California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), driving under the influence of alcohol, and Vehicle Code Section 23152(b), driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more.

What Happens If You Have A Drug or Marijuana DUI in Los Angeles?

Due to changes in policy and the law, as well as attitudes toward marijuana, DUI marijuana cases are on the rise.

Increasingly, law enforcement is arresting and prosecutors in LA are charging drivers with driving under the influence of a drug in violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152(f). Read about DUI Drug Cases in California

It is illegal to use narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. However, many people don't realize that it is illegal to drive while under the influence of prescribed medications.

Medications like Soma, Clonazepam, Vicodin, Xanax, or Ambien can cause driving impairment. The fact that a defendant has a valid prescription is not a defense to a DUI drug charge.

DUI Defenses in Los Angeles County

There are defenses that may be raised in fighting your case. The defense may be able to challenge the vehicle stop if the officer did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Arena LA CA

This is done by filing a motion to suppress the evidence, according to California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC. If successful, the judge will exclude all evidence from the unlawful stop. This often leaves the prosecution with no other option but to dismiss the case.

The defense may be able to attack the results of the breath or blood test by challenging the results. The defense may also be able to demonstrate how the driver was in the absorption phase during breath testing, which would mean that his or her test results would have been higher than his or her actual BAC. Read about how breath test results are not reliable when you are tested in the absorption phase

The defense should review and examine the arrest reports and all evidence. They should check for any errors in the prosecution's case.

In some cases, the prosecution may consider a reduced charge, including reducing your DUI case to a wet reckless pursuant to California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5, speed exhibition under California Vehicle Code 23109(c), or reckless driving, California Vehicle Code Section 23103.

DUI Penalties in Los Angeles County

DUI Penalties vary depending on the facts of the case and other factors, including a person's criminal history. If you have a prior DUI within ten years, you would face mandatory jail time and an 18-month drinking and driving alcohol education class. If you have 2 prior DUIs within ten years, you are looking at a minimum of 120 days in the LA County Jail.

Your punishment could become more severe if you were driving on a suspended or revoked license, speeding while driving recklessly, if you have a high blood alcohol level, or driving with a child in your car. 

Attorney Wagner fights your case. He also negotiates alternatives to county jail, such as electronic confinement, SCRAM, work furlough/work release, and rehab programs. 

The prosecutor can charge you with a felony if you get a fourth DUI within a ten-year period. The judge can sentence those convicted of their fourth DUI to state prison.

Defendants who are involved in DUI accidents face increased penalties. They will have to pay restitution to the victims if they are convicted and put on probation.

The prosecutor can charge you with DUI causing injury under California Vehicle Code Section 23153. This charge applies if the DUI accident caused injury to another person. This offense is called a “wobbler” because it can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. Read about DUI Causing Injury Cases

In addition, those who are convicted can lose their driving privileges for up to a year on a first-time DUI conviction. This license suspension is separate from the DMV suspension that is a result of your DMV Hearing.

To challenge this Admin Per Se suspension, you must request a hearing with the DMV. This must be done with the Commerce or El Segundo Driver Safety Office within ten days of his or her arrest. It is recommended that you have an experienced Los Angeles DUI Attorney do this for you. Read about DMV Hearings

DUI Lawyer Los Angeles

Los Angeles DUI lawyer Richard Wagner has earned a reputation as a top-notch trial lawyer. Mr. Wagner knows how police and prosecutors investigate and file criminal cases against you. He knows that you do not want to go to jail, lose your job, or suffer damage to your reputation.

It is critical to take action if you have been arrested for or charged with Driving Under the Influence. Speak with a respected Los Angeles DUI lawyer for the best results.

Richard Wagner is a former Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney. He has experience as a prosecutor and is highly respected in the legal community. This is due to his in-depth knowledge of DUI law.

Mr. Wagner is a highly-regarded DUI attorney in Los Angeles. He is dedicated to providing his clients with the best defense.

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Contact The Law Office of Richard Wagner for your Los Angeles DUI at (714) 721-4423 for a FREE Consultation.