Torrance DUI Defense Attorney
What is a DUI?
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether illegal, prescribed, or over the counter, is a crime in Torrance, CA, resulting in a DUI charge. Under California’s Vehicle Code, impaired driving can result in driver’s license suspension, jail time, and expensive fines. Therefore, you must contact our experienced DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible after your DUI arrest, so we can begin looking at the facts of your case to build a powerful defense.
The prosecution decides whether to charge you with a felony or a misdemeanor DUI by considering the details of your case and prior convictions. While most first-time DUIs are charged as misdemeanors. This is not always the case. If your impaired driving caused severe injuries, the prosecutor would not hesitate to charge you with a felony. Some of the formal charges for driving under the influence in Torrance include but are not limited to:
California Vehicle Code 23152(a)(b)
Under California Vehicle Code 23152(a), it’s against the law to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system, and California Vehicle Code 23152(b) establishes the legal blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or higher as the legal limit. Therefore, if the police stop you with a BAC higher than 0.08%, they can arrest you for a DUI. However, it’s important to note that police can charge you with a DUI if you’ve consumed any amount of alcohol under VC 23152(a).
DUI in a Commercial Vehicle Laws | California Vehicle Code 23152(d)
California has much higher standards in place for commercial drivers. Under California Vehicle Code 23152(d), operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher is against the law. Commercial vehicles transport property or people for business purposes, such as trucks, taxis, and buses. A personal car counts as a commercial vehicle if you’re working for one of the popular rideshare companies. For example, you’re on the clock for Uber and get pulled over with a BAC higher than 0.04% in Torrance. Even though your BAC is not over the legal limit for most drivers, the police can charge you with a commercial DUI. Your conviction may result in the loss of your job.
Felony DUI Laws | California Vehicle Code 23153
Under California Vehicle Code 23153, you can be charged with a felony DUI in Torrance for driving under the influence and injuring another person due to your negligence. For example, you’re hurrying to get home after having a few drinks at the bar. As you’re speeding down the highway, you crash into another car. The other driver suffers a broken collarbone. The police will likely charge you with DUI causing injury because you drank alcohol before driving and were speeding.
DUI While on Probation Laws | California Vehicle Code 23154
Suppose you’re convicted of a DUI and placed on probation. The police pull you over and give you a breathalyzer. If the chemical test finds any alcohol in your system, they can arrest you for a DUI under California Vehicle Code 23154. The court may also find you guilty of a probation violation.
Underaged DUI | California Vehicle Code 23136
Minors under the age of 21 are prohibited from having any amount of alcohol in their system while driving. Under California Vehicle Code 23136, the police can charge minors with an underage DUI for having a BAC of 0.01% or higher while driving.
Consequences Of A DUI | What You’re Facing
The legal penalties for a DUI conviction vary depending on the circumstances of your case and criminal history. However, each type of DUI charge can result in the loss of your freedom and a heavy financial burden. If you’re accused of driving under the influence in Torrance, you need to contact our experienced DUI defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible. You can learn more below about the serious penalties for first, multiple, and felony DUIs in Torrance, CA.
Penalties for a First DUI Conviction
For a first DUI, the prosecution in Torrance generally files misdemeanor DUI charges. However, suppose there are other factors such as a child in the car or injuries resulting from an alcohol-related wreck. In that case, the penalties could significantly increase, and you may face felony charges instead. A first DUI conviction can result in the following punishments:
- A fine of $390 to $1,000 along with penalty assessments can increase the total to over $2,000
- 48 hours to 6 months in the county jail
- Mandatory license suspension for 6 months
- One-year suspension of your commercial license
- Probation for 3 to 5 years
- 30-hour first offender’s DUI school
- $125 fee to get your license reinstated at the DMV
- Ignition interlock device (if ordered by the judge)
Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction
A second DUI is also charged as a misdemeanor in Torrance most of the time. However, the prosecution can charge you with a felony for any enhancing factors discussed below. The court can order the following penalties for a second DUI:
- Maximum fine of $1,000 plus penalty assessments
- 96 hours up to 364 days in jail
- Mandatory license suspension for two years
- Commercial license revocation
- Probation for 3 to 5 years
- 18 to 30 months of DUI school
- Ignition interlock device
Penalties for a Third DUI Conviction
Though a third DUI conviction is a misdemeanor, you’ll face a more serious sentence. The court can order the following penalties for a third DUI conviction in Torrance:
- A fine up to $1,000 plus penalty assessments.
- 120 to 364 days in county jail
- License suspension for 3 years
- Probation for 3 to 5 years
- 30 months of DUI school
- Ignition interlock device
Penalties for a Fourth DUI Conviction
While a fourth DUI can be a misdemeanor, the prosecutor will often file felony charges for a fourth DUI within 10 years. You will face the following penalties for a fourth DUI conviction in Torrance, CA:
- A fine of up to $1,000 plus penalty assessments
- 16 months, 2 or 3 years in prison
- With probation, a minimum of 180 days in jail
- License revocation for up to four years
- 30 months of DUI school
- 90-day impound or forfeiture of your vehicle
- Designation by the DMV as a “Habitual Traffic Offender”
- Self-help meetings, rehab, or community service as conditions of probation
DUI Sentence Enhancements
In determining your sentence for a DUI conviction in Torrance, the judge considers all the details of your case. Certain factors can enhance your DUI sentence, which means you will face increased penalties, including:
- BAC of 0.15% or higher
- BAC of 0.20% or higher
- Active probation for a prior DUI or another crime when you receive another DUI conviction
- Refusing a blood or breath test
- Driving recklessly without regard for others
- DUI with a child in the car
- Being involved in a wreck
- Causing injury or death
Professional and Personal Consequences
The costs of a DUI are not limited to fines and DUI school fees. Your car insurance rates dramatically increase, and this higher rate lasts from 3 to 7 years after your DUI conviction, which adds up to thousands of dollars lost. Plus, you may have to depend on others to drive you to and from work if the court suspends your license. You’ll also have to miss work due to mandatory DUI classes and court dates. All of this can put your job in jeopardy. Finding a new job may be challenging with a criminal conviction on your record, which only adds weight to your financial burden. The stress of your finances and legal battle can cause problems in your relationships and change your outlook on life. It’s not easy to have a positive outlook with so much going wrong.
At Wallin & Klarich, we understand that you’re under intense pressure. Our DUI attorneys can give you expert legal advice when you need it the most. We’ll take some of the stress and pressure off your shoulders. When you hire us, you get much more than just an attorney. You’ll have our skilled defense team working on your behalf, so you don’t have to struggle alone!
Fight Back | Possible Defenses Against DUI Charges
Whether this is your first DUI or a repeat offense, our experienced DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help fight your DUI charges. We’ve helped thousands of clients facing DUI charges in Torrance by presenting powerful defense strategies. The most effective legal defenses for DUIs include:
Lack Of Probable Cause
If the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop or arrest you, our attorneys can argue this defense and file a motion to suppress evidence. If successful, incriminating evidence such as high BAC results could be excluded from your trial, resulting in a dismissal or reduction of your DUI charges.
Faulty Chemical Test
A blood alcohol content well over the legal limit doesn’t mean that there’s no way out of a conviction. In many cases, we’ve been able to show the chemical test was faulty or not calibrated correctly, and if we find evidence of faulty equipment in your case, we could raise this defense for you too.
Improper FST Procedures
Police officers must follow the guidelines for conducting Field Sobriety Tests (FST). If the officer did not do so, your attorney could request that the court exclude evidence from your FST. Less evidence against you increases your chances of a not guilty verdict.
Hiring The Right DUI Defense Team | How We Can Help You
You don’t settle for an average lawyer with your future at stake. Instead, you hire an experienced attorney with the knowledge to defend you against serious charges. At Wallin & Klarich, we believe everyone deserves excellent legal representation. While choosing the right defense lawyer requires careful consideration of many factors, four key aspects quickly set skilled law firms apart from the rest:
- Commitment to clients
- Integrity in action
- Legal expertise
- Community respect
Our Commitment To You | The Wallin & Klarich Difference
At Wallin & Klarich, we are committed to our clients. When you trust us with your case, we never take it lightly because we understand your life’s hanging in the balance. We set aside time to go over what to expect and any new developments in your case, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Our attorneys treat you with integrity, starting with an honest, genuine conversation between us. We’re upfront with all our fees from the very beginning, and once we’ve had time to investigate your case thoroughly, we lay all your available options on the table. To ensure your questions and concerns never go unheard, we return your phone calls and emails within 24 hours and keep an on-call criminal defense lawyer for after-hours legal emergencies. Most importantly, we guarantee a judgment-free environment for you and your loved ones.
Wallin & Klarich | Unparalleled Legal Expertise
Our 40+ years of experience sets us apart from the crowd of defense lawyers. We’ve defended thousands of clients facing DUI charges with remarkable success. Some of our clients came to us with nowhere else to turn and no hope of winning their case. However, our background allowed us to spot strengths in their cases, which an attorney with less experience would’ve missed.
By tailoring our defense strategies to fit the specific details of your case, we increase your chance of success. We have the added advantage of knowing the techniques of local prosecutors and the personalities of judges in Torrance. Our passion for defending the unfairly accused is the driving force behind each of our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich.
Discover how our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help you fight false accusations in Torrance, CA. Contact us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL.
Respected & Recognized | Wallin & Klarich
The community recognizes the Wallin & Klarich name for our strong values and legal expertise. For over 40 years, we’ve built our powerful reputation by maintaining our integrity, valuing our relationships with clients, and consistently striving to redefine excellence. For more insight, check out our recent and past success in the courtroom.
Our Notable Cases | Wallin & Klarich Newsworthy Legal Strategies
Many attorneys point to their experience or skill in defending sex crime cases, but our attorneys deliver positive results even in the most complex legal dilemmas. Over the past 40+ years, many of our legal battles have captured the media’s attention. Television, newspapers, and the digital world have covered some of our most notable moments. We encourage you to explore our newsworthy cases below to learn more about our law firm.