Santa Monica DUI Lawyer

California has some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation, and it is highly advised that you seek the assistance of an experienced Santa Monica DUI Lawyer immediately. Do not underestimate the potentially devastating consequences of a DUI conviction.  If you’re found guilty, you may face thousands of dollars in fines, a suspended or revoked license, and possibly even jail time. While public defenders can offer some help, the only surefire way to get an outcome in your favor is to hire a trusted and skilled Santa Monica DUI Lawyer.

If you have received DUI convictions in the past, the stakes are especially high, and the consequences especially fierce. Don’t simply assume that the court will give you the benefit of the doubt. Even if you believe strongly in your innocence, the judge is almost certain to side with law enforcement if you don’t have expert legal representation on your side.



In California, being charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a criminal offense. Many motorists have difficulty accepting the reality that a conviction for drunk driving comes with harsh penalties, including a California criminal record, stiff fines, loss of driving privileges, increased insurance rates, possible jail time and possible loss of your professional license.

Why you need to secure a capable Santa Monica DUI Attorney for your defense. 

The variations in the DUI penalties depend on the many factors surrounding your DUI charge. The importance of securing an aggressive, skilled and effective Santa Monica DUI lawyer from the Law Advocate Group, LLP, cannot be underestimated. As seasoned DUI criminal defense attorneys, we strive to achieve favorable outcomes for all of our clients by working hard and giving our clients the personal attention they deserve.

California DUI Arrest – Two Distinct Cases

When you are arrested in California for a DUI, there are two distinct cases that are brought against you – the DMV case and the criminal case. DUI charges are made against over 1.4 million drivers annually. Last year 35% of all California defendants who were arrested for DUI kept their driver’s license simply by requesting a DMV hearing within the allotted time period.

Santa Monica DUI Lawyer 1. DMV Case – There is an administrative hearing controlled by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), where the fate of your driving privileges will be determined. Many motorists charged with DUI don’t realize that this DMV hearing must be scheduled within 10 days after arrest; otherwise, the defendant’s California driver’s license will be automatically suspended 30 days following the arrest date. Trying to represent yourself is not recommended as most defendants will not understand the technical issues raised at the hearing, and will lose due to their inability to understand the legal requirements at the hearing.

Unlike California criminal court, the DMV hearing is very informal and run by a Driver Safety Office (DSO) Hearing Officer, instead of a lawyer or a judge. Although the standard of proof is much lower than in criminal court, the chances of a person winning without an experienced Santa Monica DUI Lawyer are not very good.

2. Criminal Case – Usually the criminal case follows the DMV hearing. Depending on the facts surrounding you California DUI arrest, you risk facing jail time, fines, rehabilitation, driver education school, community service (live-in or out-patient), CALTRANS (physical labor), having your vehicle impounded, law enforcement’s installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, attendance at the Hospital and Morgue program (HAM), or any combination of the above. Penalties for California drunk driving or DUI charges can increase if one or more of these circumstances applies to you:

  • Having a prior DUI conviction within the last ten (10) years
  • At the time of the arrest:
  • Speeding or driving recklessly
  • Driving with a child under the age of 14
  • Having an excessive (over .20%) blood alcohol content (BAC)
  • Refusing any chemical test, such as breath, blood, or urine.

The best possible outcome you can expect from a California DUI charge will result from having a qualified DUI lawyer in Santa Monica. From alternative sentences to sentence reductions, the uncovering of the weaknesses in your case, and various strategies geared toward challenging the prosecution, the odds of a favorable outcome are vastly increased when experienced and aggressive Santa Monica DUI Attorneys are fighting your battles.


DUI Penalties – You Need A Solid Santa Monica DUI Lawyer on your side

The specific circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest and number of times you have been charged or arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) will determine your final sentence. California DUI convictions are also “priorable” offenses meaning that with each subsequent DUI conviction, the punishment increases. The outcome of your case depends in great part to the experience, skill, and effectiveness of your DUI lawyer.

First DUI Offense – Misdemeanor

  • Summary (Informal) Probation for three years
  • 48 hours minimum to 6 months in county jail; the 48 hours minimum in jail must be served continuously
  • Fines from $390 to $1000 plus mandatory penalty assessments or approximately thirteen days of community service; Total costs including fines, penalty assessments, and court costs range from $1500 to $2400
  • License Suspension for six to ten months
  • A three month court approved alcohol and drug education program (AB 541 class)
  • Ignition Interlocking Device required in Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare and Sacramento counties in a pilot program

DUI Lawyer in Santa Monica Second DUI Offense- Misdemeanor

  • Summary Probation for three to five years
  • 96 hours minimum to a maximum of one year in county jail
  • Fines stay in the same general range as in a First DUI (see above)
  • License Suspension for two years that may be converted to a restricted license after 12 months
  • An 18 to 30 month court-approved alcohol program
  • Interlocking Device may likely be required on a second DUI conviction.

Third DUI Offense- Misdemeanor

  • Summary Probation for three to five years
  • 120 days (minimum) to a maximum of one year in county jail
  • Fines stay in the same general range as stated above
  • License Suspension for three years which may be converted to a restricted license after 18 months
  • A 30 month court-approved drug/alcohol program
  • Installation of an IID (Ignition Interlocking Device). An IID is an instrument that is attached to your car that does not allow the car to start until you provide an alcohol-free breath sample.

Fourth DUI Offense –Felony

  • Parole for three years
  • Sixteen months to three years in state prison
  • Fines stay in the same general range as stated above
  • License revocation for four years
  • Automobile Forfeiture (possible).
  • A 30-month alcohol treatment program
  • Designation as a “Habitual Traffic Offender.”


The above penalties are typical for standard DUI offenses. The penalties for your DUI conviction can be increased if there are additional facts and circumstances in your DUI arrest such as:

  • Refusing to take a chemical test
  • Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .20% or more
  • Causing an automobile accident
  • Driving recklessly or at excessive speeds
  • Having a child 14 years or younger in the car
  • DUI with injury which can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.


Our team of Santa Monica DUI Lawyers have acquired over 80 years of combined experience in DUI legal representation. Our skills and knowledge are a top resource for our clients. Law Advocate Group, LLP is highly respected by industry peers and judges.

If you have a criminal matter specifically involving DUI or DWI, please take a moment to visit our website or call us at: 844-326-3646