California DUI Defense: The Misdemeanor that Carries Steep Penalties

California DUI: Drunk driving is one of the most common criminal charges in California. Drivers who are found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding .08 percent can be charged with driving under the influence, more commonly known as DUI.

After an arrest, it is very important for that person to contact an attorney for representation due to serious consequences that are time sensitive. For example, drivers have only 10 days to request an administrative hearing from the DMV, otherwise they face a possibility of loss of their driving privileges for up to a year for their first offense. Any additional DUI offenses can lead to more stringent punishment.

When arrested for a DUI there are two common charges that a prosecutor files against a defendant:

Punishment for DUI offenses in California may depend on prior DUI offenses. That means you will face tougher penalties if you already have prior DUIs on your record. For this purpose, any DUI in the last 10 years will count against you. Here are the specific penalties for a first, second, third or fourth (or subsequent) DUI within a 10 year periods:

Taxi / limo / ride-share drivers, such as Uber/Lyft, are now subjected to arrest for DUI if their BAC is 0.04%, the same goes for commercial drivers under VC 23152(d).

Also keep in mind that it is unlawful in the state of California to drive any vehicle while addicted to drugs or being under the influence of any drug or drugs, stand alone or combined. The list of the following links explain them all in details:

Most California DUI arrests begin with a traffic stop or a checkpoint. The officer asks you to perform a series of field sobriety tests and to blow twice into a handheld breathalyzer. After the arrest, the cop usually will ask you to take a blood or breath test at the police station, jail or hospital (you’re required by law to take this test, refusing the chemical test may result in tougher California DUI  penalties and a one-year drivers license suspension).

There Are many types of DUI crimes but for most misdemeanor DUI arrests, the police will release you within few hours, but the case is not the same for felony DUI or a DUI that led up to an accident especially if it causes the death of somebody else, in those cases you may have to post bail. The following list includes most DUI related cases happen all the time in California:

Upon release after an arrest – in case it was a short one – you should be given two documents: a citation to appear in court, and a pink temporary license. The cops will usually take your California driver’s license and mail it to the DMV. If you’re from out of state and get a California DUI, the police here can’t take your physical license.


Drunk driving can have a significant adverse impact on the future of the defendant and his loved ones. However, with the help of skilled criminal defense attorney it is possible to beat a California misdemeanor or felony DUI charge.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Los Angeles, defending yourself can be terrifying and complicated, especially with the long-lasting penalties associated with a DUI conviction. You could go to jail, incur significant fines, have an ignition interlock device installed in your car, lose your license or have your driving privileges restricted, or be required to participate in a DUI treatment or education program.

When facing DUI charges in California, it is important that you speak to a Los Angeles criminal attorney who has experience handling California DUI cases, so you can understand your rights under the law and determine the DUI defense strategy with the highest chance of success. Consult our legal team at KN Law Firm today. Reach out to us call/text to determine how to best proceed with your case.


I just got a DUI, what’s the first thing I should do?

Consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. California Law states that if you do not contest the DMV’s suspension of your license within 10 days of your arrest, you lose any chance at saving your license.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can handle all of this for you. A DMV hearing must be requested right away. The hearing itself will not take place for approximately a month, but if a hearing is not requested within 10 days, your right to a hearing is gone.

Attorney Chris Nalchadjian provides full-service representation on DUI cases including Court appearances and all DMV matters. Attorney Nalchadjian has handled lots of DUI cases successfully throughout LA county courts.

I am worried about going to court, I can’t miss any more work?

Well, you’ve come to the right place. You may never have to appear in court if you retain the offices of Attorney Chris Nalchadjian. With some exceptions, Attorney Nalchadjian can use Penal Code Section 977 to appear on your behalf and resolve your matter without you stepping foot in court. DUI cases customarily take 3-4 different hearings that can tie you up in court all day. Attorney Nalchadjian can save you from all this hassle. This would allow you to not miss any more work and move on with your life.

I didn’t call the DMV within 10 days, is all hope lost?

Not true. If you did not contact the DMV within 10 days, We can still help you obtain a restricted license which will allow you to drive to and from work. Contact us immediately for assistance.

I know that I drove drunk, why pay an attorney?

Good question. Some of the happiest clients I’ve had are the ones that thought they had no shot at saving their license or staying out of jail.

Most people don’t realize that DUI law is one of the most complex areas of criminal law. To the average citizen, it may appear that you have no hope.

But each DMV hearing and DUI case needs to satisfy ALL of the technical requirements of California Criminal Law. The average citizen has no idea what these technical requirements are and by not hiring an experienced attorney throws away any shot they have of a getting a good result.

What if I just can’t afford to hire an attorney?

You can’t afford not to. A DUI arrest can affect every aspect of your life, from your ability to work to your freedom. Hiring the wrong attorney or not hiring an attorney can cause you to lose your license, your job and your freedom.

We at KN Law Firm realizes that this is a financially difficult time. We make payment plans available to most of our clients.

What are some defenses I may have to my DUI?

DUI cases are very complex and involve many intricate laws that the police must have complied with. An experienced criminal defense attorney can analyze your case with a fine tooth comb and find what issues your case may have. Here are some defenses:

  • Lack of Probable Cause to stop-Police had no reason or a weak reason to stop your vehicle
  • Unlawful Arrest-Police did not have probable cause to arrest you.
  • Unreliable chemical test-Attorney Anthony Arzili requests all records for the machine you use to verify its calibration and accuracy.
  • Lack of Driving evidence-Police’s evidence of your driving is weak
    or lacking.
  • 15 minute observation period- Police did not observe you
    Continuously prior to your chemical test.
  • Rising Blood Alcohol defense- your B.A.C was not over .08
    at time of arrest but peaked over during arrest and investigation.

What are some things that can make my DUI more serious

Enhancements are factors that can make a somewhat routine DUI into a more serious DUI. Enhancements can cause the D.A. to request jail time, longer alcohol classes, and more community labor.

  • Was there an accident?
  • Was there dangerous driving? i.e. speeding, reckless driving.
  • Did you have high Blood Alcohol Content?
  • Did you refuse to take a chemical test?
  • Did you have underage passengers?
  • Have you ever been convicted of DUI before?

Simply having one or more of the above factors can mean you are facing the loss of your freedom, your license or both. Consult an attorney that has been able to dismiss painful enhancements for his clients. For a free consultation, please contact KN Trial Attorneys at (888) 950 0011.

What sets Mr. Nalchadjian apart?

Honesty, Experience, and familiarity with your court. The 3 things you need in an attorney. Attorney Chris Nalchadjian says it like it is. Unlike other attorneys that “sugarcoat” facts or scare you into hiring them, Mr. Nalchadjian treats his clients with the respect and honesty.

He has handled many DUI cases successfully. He has handled serious felony DUI’s, Refusals, DUI’s with priors, First time DUI’s, etc. He’s seen every little nuance and wrinkle in the law and he brings that experience to your case.

You can not over emphasize how important it is for your attorney to “know your court.” Familiarity with the decision makers, Judges and DA’s, in your court can make all the difference in your court. Attorney Nalchadjian limits his practice to L.A. cases only. This allows him to know the people in his courts better than most attorneys that chase cases to any county.

What if I have more questions?

Contact KN Law firm for a free, no obligation phone consultation. If you would like to set up an appointment with Anthony Chris Nalchadjian, he can sit down with you and patiently answer all your question.
Call (888) 950 0011.

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