Even though DUI is generally charged as a misdemeanor for a first offense, DUI cases are prosecuted with the same aggressive force as serious felonies in Los Angeles. Driving under the influence occurs when a person is operating a motor vehicle (or is in physical existence of a motor vehicle) while under the influence of alcohol, or controlled substance, to the extent that their mental facilities are impaired and / or their blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.
In Los Angeles and Orange County, a first offense DUI will typically result in a license suspension, hefty fines, community service and a mandatory class at a state DMV approved program. Most of the time after someone gets arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles; they are forced to spend the night in jail, and sometimes are required to install a car ignition locking device into their vehicle. A Los Angeles DUI conviction will generally stay on the offender's permanent record for several years, resulting in higher insurance premiums and sometimes bad credit.
A DWI in Los Angeles is very similar to a DUI. DWI stand for, 'driving while inoxicated' and just like a DUI, it is unlawful for anyone who has a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more, to drive a motor vehicle. To be persuaded of a DWI in Los Angeles, the prosecution must prove that the defensive was driving or possessed actual physical control of the vehicle while inoxicated by drugs or alcohol. They must also prove that the arresting officer had legal, reasonable suspicion for stopping the vehicle in the first place.
If you have been convicted of a DUI in Los Angeles, it is very important that you contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer immediately. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help identify important pretrial issues and dramatically improve your chances during the case.