San Fernando Valley Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyers

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California DUI laws are tougher than ever, find a lawyer who will fight for you

We know that DUI laws are tough in California.  DUI’s carry the potential for jail or prison, lengthy probation terms, DUI education programs up to 18 months long, stiff fines, multiple points on our driving records, increased insurance rates, ignition interlock devices, mandatory AA meetings, SCRAM devices and more.  To make things worse, they get tougher with each conviction.

With Covid, I have seen cases get put off for many months before we see the inside of a courtroom.  By the time we get to court, the client’s license has long since been suspended due to the Administrative Per Se process.  This is why it’s now more important than ever to talk to a lawyer as soon as you get arrested.  Don’t wait.  Even if you don’t hire a lawyer right away, please, please, please protect your rights.  Request a DMV hearing or ask your lawyer to do it for you before it’s too late.  By the time you go to court in three months, it may be too late for your lawyer to help you.

We must contact DMV within ten days of the DUI arrest to protect your rights.  It’s a simple process and many lawyers will do it for you if before you pay them.  I normally require a small deposit before setting an APS hearing, but not nearly as much as my fee for the DUI.  I know money it tight for some these days.

Before we know it that fateful day will come, and you will be due in court to face the music.  Please don’t wait until the day before court to try and hire a lawyer.  Why?  Well, if you are going to hire a lawyer, give them the opportunity to do as much as they can for you.  Let them get all the discovery from court and from the DMV.  Let them pursue all avenues to try and help you.  Did you know that the DMV is considered a “civil” matter as opposed to a criminal matter.  Thus, the rules are different for discovery, continuances, and hearings.  If we request a DMV hearing, we could get discovery from them or by way of subpoena even before a criminal case has been filed.  In some cases we even do the DMV hearings before we set foot in court.

This could mean we get to cross examine a cop under oath before they have a chance to speak to a district attorney and rehearse their story.  I recently did a DMV hearing in El Segundo where I subpoenaed a cop for the hearing before the criminal case got to trial.  The case was a second DUI for a commercial driver in the movie business.  He was a .24 blood alcohol.  Fortunately for us, the cops were not prepared at the DMV hearing.  I worked them over.  We lost the hearing but won the war.  I got a transcript of the DMV hearing and gave it to my prosecutor in the criminal case.  I got my client was reduced offense and avoided a lifetime suspension of his commercial license.

The moral to the story is that we need to use every opportunity we can to help our clients.  By using the civil process to gain an advantage in the criminal case, I saved my client jail time, fine money and his career as a teamster in the movie business.  If you lawyer tells you that doing a DMV hearing is a waste of time, call another lawyer.  If your lawyer tells you that he never wins DMV hearings, maybe that’s because he doesn’t try hard enough.  If your lawyer tells you that he can’t get your case reduced, I will tell that we have an expression in this business:  Good things happen when we answer “ready for trial”.  That means when we put the prosecutor to task and don’t just cave in like a house of cards, we may be able to obtain a more favorable outcome in a criminal case.  One thing is for sure, if we don’t try, we won’t ever know.

If you or someone close to you was arrested for DUI, call an experienced lawyer immediately.  I do have time to talk to you about your case.  It’s almost always a free initial consultation and I will go the extra mile for you.  I like to be a hero.  It makes me feel good and getting great results for clients is good for business.

Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or email me at:

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