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Los Angeles Felony DUI Lawyer

Los Angeles Felony DUI Lawyer: Everything You Need to Know

Getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is scary enough, but facing felony DUI charges in Los Angeles can feel downright terrifying. The stakes are so much higher with a potential felony conviction – we’re talking possible jail time, thousands in fines, loss of driving privileges, and collateral damage to your career, immigration status, and civil rights.

When you’re facing this kind of serious criminal charge, it’s absolutely critical that you have an experienced Los Angeles felony DUI lawyer on your side. The right attorney can analyze the details of your case, spot potential defenses, and fight aggressively to protect your future. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about felony DUIs in LA and how a skilled drunk driving defense lawyer can help.

What Makes a DUI a Felony in California?

There are a few specific circumstances that can turn misdemeanor DUI charges into a felony offense in California[1]:

  • It’s the driver’s fourth DUI offense in 10 years
  • The driver has a prior felony DUI conviction on their record
  • The DUI accident caused injury or death to another person
  • There was a minor passenger in the vehicle when the DUI occurred

Let’s break these down in more detail:

Fourth DUI Offense

A fourth DUI charge within 10 years of the first will be filed as a felony under California law. This is true even if the first three offenses were charged as misdemeanors[2].

The 10-year “washout period” means your record must stay clean for a full decade before the count restarts. For example, if you had DUIs in 2015, 2018, and 2022, a new DUI arrest in 2023 would be a felony.

Prior Felony DUI

If you were previously convicted of a felony DUI, any new DUI arrest can also be charged as a felony – even if it’s been 10+ years. The key is having that prior felony DUI conviction on your record.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

DUI Accident with Injury or Death

When a DUI driver causes an injury accident, they may face additional felony charges beyond the standard DUI. For example:

  • DUI causing serious bodily injury – can be charged as felony assault with a deadly weapon (the vehicle). This carries 1-4 years in state prison[3].
  • DUI causing death – can be charged as felony vehicular manslaughter. This can mean up to 6 years in prison[4].

The severity of injury and number of victims may increase the potential sentence. Your attorney can negotiate reduced charges as part of a plea bargain.

DUI with a Minor Passenger

If there was a minor (under age 14) riding in the vehicle when you were arrested for DUI, prosecutors can add felony child endangerment charges under California Penal Code 273a. This exposes you to further jail time and fines[5].

As you can see, these felony DUI circumstances have life-changing implications. The penalties are severe compared to a misdemeanor DUI. That’s why it’s so important to have an advocate in your corner from day one.

How a Los Angeles Felony DUI Lawyer Can Defend Your Rights

Facing any criminal charge is scary. But felony charges that threaten your freedom, finances, family, and future are downright terrifying. The instinct is often to plead guilty just to end the nightmare.

Resist that urge! The experienced Los Angeles felony DUI lawyers at [Chudnovsky Law][6] always advise clients: do NOT plead guilty until you’ve explored your options with a lawyer.

An attorney can evaluate the evidence, identify procedural problems or illegal police conduct, and potentially get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial. If the case does go to trial, they can aggressively confront all evidence against you before a judge or jury.

You have constitutional rights – including the right to legal representation and to refute questionable evidence. An LA DUI lawyer knows how to fight back against rights violations that can get key evidence thrown out.

Some of the most common defenses they may use include:

  • Illegal traffic stop – If police lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over, all subsequent evidence can be excluded.
  • Faulty field sobriety tests – These tests have [high error rates] and may have been improperly administered.
  • Invalid chemical test – Problems with blood, breath or urine testing can call BAC results into question.
  • Medical conditions – Some medical issues like diabetes mimic signs of intoxication during FSTs.
  • Involuntary intoxication – You unknowingly ingested something that reacted with prescribed medication.
  • Miscalculated BAC – Errors in converting or estimating your BAC from the chemical test.
  • Rising BAC – Your BAC was lower when driving but continued rising until the test.

Without a skilled DUI lawyer, you may never realize these defenses apply to your case. And if you plead guilty without their advice, you lose all ability to fight back later on.

That’s why it’s critical to have legal experts like [Chudnovsky Law][6] analyze the arrest details before you make any admissions. This gives you the strongest position for getting charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial.

And if your case does go to trial, an experienced Los Angeles felony DUI attorney has the courtroom skills to attack the prosecution’s arguments. They know how to create reasonable doubt in the minds of judges and juries.

How a Felony DUI Conviction Can Impact Your Life

The penalties for a felony DUI go far beyond jail time and fines. This type of conviction can have devastating collateral consequences that impact every area of your life:

Driver’s License

A felony DUI conviction brings an automatic 1-3 year driver’s license suspension. You may also need to complete DUI school and pay license reinstatement fees before getting your driving privileges back.

Immigration Status

Any felony conviction can bring immigration consequences like deportation or denial of citizenship for visa holders.

Professional Licenses

Felony convictions can cause you to lose professional licenses and career opportunities in healthcare, education, real estate, law, and other fields.

Gun Ownership

Felons lose the ability to legally own firearms or ammunition under both state and federal law.

Voting and Jury Service

Felony convictions strip your civil rights like the ability to vote, serve on a jury, or hold public office.

Child Custody

Judges may use a felony DUI when deciding child custody and visitation rights in a divorce or family law case.

Housing and Loans

Landlords and lenders can deny housing or credit applications due to a felony conviction.

This barely scratches the surface of how a felony DUI can derail multiple areas of your life. And if you plead guilty without exploring defenses, you may be stuck with these consequences.

That’s why the smartest first move is calling an attorney like [Chudnovsky Law][6] for a free case evaluation. They can analyze the arrest details and help you make informed decisions about how to proceed.

FAQs About Los Angeles Felony DUI Defense

If you’re worried about facing felony drunk driving charges in LA, some common questions may be running through your mind. Here are answers to a few of the most frequent concerns:

What will happen to my driver’s license if I’m convicted?

A felony DUI conviction brings a mandatory DMV license suspension of 1-3 years. You’ll need to complete DUI classes, pay all fines, and apply for reinstatement to get your license back once the suspension ends.

Can I go to jail for a felony DUI even if it’s my first offense?

Yes, a felony DUI carries potential jail or prison time even without prior convictions. The circumstances of the incident (like injury, death, or child endangerment) make it a felony. First-timers can and do receive custodial sentences.

What if I can’t afford a DUI lawyer for my felony case?

If you cannot afford private counsel, ask the court to appoint a public defender at your first court appearance. They can provide legal defense services at no cost. However, their caseloads are often very heavy.

Should I just plead guilty and take the consequences?

No! Pleading guilty without exploring defenses closes off your options. A skilled lawyer may get charges reduced or dismissed pre-trial, saving you from dire consequences.

Can I fight my felony DUI if I failed the breath test?

Yes, absolutely. There are many ways to challenge breath, blood, or urine test results – including improper procedures, equipment errors, medical conditions, and more. Thorough investigation and defense can create reasonable doubt.

Don’t lose hope if you’re facing felony drunk driving charges in Los Angeles. The defense attorneys at [Chudnovsky Law][6] are here to help protect your rights, your freedom, and your future at this critical time. Call them today for a free consultation.

References:

[1] https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/defense/laws/dui/felony-dui/

[2] https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/how-many-duis-can-you-get-before-its-a-felony-in-california

[3] https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/dui/dui-with-injury/

[4] https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/dui/vehicular-manslaughter

[5] https://www.shouselaw.com/ca/dui/child-endangerment

[6] https://chudnovsky-law.com/

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/can-dui-charge-beaten-the-stop-was-illegal.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3077254/

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Todd Spodek

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

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JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

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ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

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CLAIRE BANKS

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RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

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CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

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