If you just got arrested by the police for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you need to quickly hire a Los Angeles DUI attorney to assist you as soon as possible. The criminal justice system moves faster than a civil lawsuit, so timely legal representation is essential.

Finding a reliable Los Angeles DUI attorney can be done through referrals from someone who has previously used their services. If personal referrals are not an option, searching online or consulting your local bar association can help you find qualified attorneys.

Regardless of how you find an attorney, it is crucial to interview them to ensure they are the right fit for your case. Here are five questions you must ask your Los Angeles DUI attorney before making your decision:





    Are You a Specialist in DUI Cases? How Many of Them Have You Won?

    When facing DUI charges, it’s crucial to have an attorney who specializes in DUI defense. Attorneys who focus primarily on DUI cases are more familiar with the specific laws, procedures, and defense strategies that can make a difference in your case. Here are key points to cover when asking this question:

    • Specialization: Ask the attorney if they specialize in DUI cases. A specialist will have in-depth knowledge and experience dealing with DUI laws and nuances.
    • Experience: Inquire about the number of DUI cases they have handled. The more cases they have worked on, the more likely they are to have encountered a variety of situations similar to yours.
    • Success Rate: It’s not just about the number of cases handled but also their success rate. Ask how many of those cases resulted in favorable outcomes, such as reduced charges, acquittals, or dismissals.
    • Recent Cases: Ask for examples of recent DUI cases they have handled. This will give you an idea of their current experience and success rate.
    • Certifications and Training: Some attorneys have additional certifications or training specific to DUI defense, such as completing courses on breathalyzer operation or field sobriety testing. These credentials can be a sign of their commitment and expertise in this area.

    Example Questions to Ask:

    • “Do you specialize in DUI cases, and how long have you been practicing DUI defense?”
    • “Can you share your success rate in DUI cases?”
    • “Can you provide examples of recent DUI cases you’ve handled and their outcomes?”
    • “Do you have any special certifications or training related to DUI defense?”

    Will You Be the One to Actually Handle My Case?

    When you hire an attorney, it is important to know who will be handling your case day-to-day. In larger law firms, the attorney you initially speak with might be part of a larger team, and your case could be assigned to another attorney within the firm. Here are some key points to consider when discussing this question:

    • Primary Attorney: Ask if the attorney you are speaking with will be the one to personally handle your case. Understanding who will be your main point of contact is crucial for effective communication and case management.
    • Team Approach: If the case will be managed by a team, inquire about the roles of each team member. It’s important to know who will be working on your case and in what capacity.
    • Meeting the Assigned Attorney: If your case will be assigned to another attorney, request to meet and interact with that attorney before making your decision. This ensures you feel comfortable and confident with the person who will be directly managing your defense.
    • Experience and Expertise: Confirm the experience and qualifications of the attorney who will be handling your case. Ensure they have the necessary expertise in DUI defense to provide the best possible representation.

    Example Questions to Ask:

    • “Will you be the attorney handling my case, or will it be assigned to someone else within the firm?”
    • “If my case is assigned to another attorney, can I meet them before proceeding?”
    • “How does your team approach work, and who will be my main point of contact?”
    • “What is the experience level of the attorney who will be handling my case?”

    Los Angeles DUI Attorney - Call Arash Hashemi (310) 448-1529

    Do You Have Any Special Training in the Administration of Field Sobriety Tests?

    Field sobriety tests are a crucial part of DUI cases, and prosecutors often present these tests as key evidence. Your attorney needs to be knowledgeable about these tests to effectively challenge their accuracy. Here’s what to look for:

    • Understanding of Approved Tests: Ensure your attorney knows which field sobriety tests are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk-and-Turn, and One-Leg Stand tests.
    • Challenging the Evidence: An attorney trained in these tests can spot flaws in how they were administered, which can be vital for your defense. They should be able to question the conditions under which the tests were given and the officer’s adherence to proper protocols.
    • Breathalyzer Knowledge: If your case involves a breathalyzer test, having an attorney who understands how these devices work, including their limitations and potential errors, can be a big advantage. This knowledge helps in questioning the reliability of breath test results.

    Questions to Ask:

    • “How familiar are you with the NHTSA guidelines for field sobriety tests?”
    • “Have you had success in challenging field sobriety test results in court?”
    • “Can you assess and challenge the validity of breathalyzer test results?”

    How Much Are Your Fees, and How Are They Structured?

    When discussing fees with a potential DUI attorney, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re paying for and if there are any additional costs that could arise. Here’s what to consider:

    • Initial Consultation: Clarify if the initial consultation is free. This meeting is your opportunity to understand the attorney’s fee structure and services.
    • Fee Structure: Ask whether the attorney charges a flat fee or an hourly rate for DUI cases. A flat fee can provide predictability, whereas an hourly rate may vary depending on the complexity and duration of your case.
    • Additional Costs: Inquire about any extra costs that might come up, such as fees for expert witnesses, re-testing of blood samples, or filing motions. Understanding these potential costs upfront can prevent unexpected expenses later on.
    • Payment Plans: If paying the full fee upfront is challenging, ask if the attorney offers payment plans. This can make it easier to afford quality legal representation by spreading out the payments over time.

    Example Questions to Ask:

    • “Is the initial consultation free?”
    • “Do you charge a flat fee or an hourly rate for DUI cases?”
    • “What additional costs should I expect during the course of my case?”
    • “Do you offer payment plans to help manage the cost?”

    What Is the Worst and Best Case Scenario That Can Happen?

    It’s impossible for any DUI attorney to guarantee the success of your case. However, an experienced attorney should be able to provide a realistic outlook based on their past experience with similar cases. Here’s what to consider:

    Best Case Scenario:

    • Case Dismissal: The charges against you are dropped due to insufficient evidence or procedural errors by the police.
    • Reduced Charges: The DUI charge is reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving, which carries lighter penalties.
    • Acquittal: If your case goes to trial, the jury finds you not guilty.
    • No License Suspension: Through a successful defense at the DMV hearing, you avoid license suspension.

    Worst Case Scenario:

    • Conviction: You are found guilty of DUI, which could result in severe penalties.
    • License Suspension: A DUI conviction or losing the DMV hearing could lead to the suspension of your driving privileges.
    • Fines and Penalties: You could face hefty fines, mandatory DUI education programs, and community service.
    • Jail Time: In more severe cases, particularly if there are aggravating factors (e.g., high BAC, accident causing injury), you might face jail time.
    • Increased Insurance Rates: A DUI conviction typically results in higher auto insurance premiums.

    An experienced DUI attorney can help mitigate these risks by:

    • Challenging Evidence: Contesting the legality of the traffic stop, the administration of field sobriety tests, or the accuracy of breathalyzer results.
    • Negotiating Plea Deals: Working with prosecutors to reduce charges or penalties.
    • Representing You at DMV Hearings: Fighting to retain your driving privileges.

    Example Questions to Ask:

    • “Based on your experience, what are the best and worst outcomes for a case like mine?”
    • “How do you plan to approach my defense to achieve the best possible outcome?”
    • “What strategies have you used successfully in past DUI cases?”

    Requesting a DMV Hearing

    Following a DUI arrest, it’s crucial to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license promptly. The process to retain your driving privileges starts with requesting a DMV hearing. Here’s what you need to know:

    Why Request a DMV Hearing?

    • Timely Action Required: You or your attorney must contact the DMV Driver’s Safety Office to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest. This hearing is your opportunity to contest the suspension.
    • Consequences of Inaction: Failing to request a DMV hearing within the 10-day window results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. For California licenses, the suspension starts 30 days after your arrest. If you hold an out-of-state license, your driving privileges may be suspended in your home state.

    Impact of License Suspension:

    • Personal Hardship: Losing your license can severely impact your daily life, including your ability to commute, take care of family responsibilities, and maintain social connections.
    • Professional Consequences: A suspended license can lead to job loss or difficulty finding employment, particularly if your job requires driving.

    How We Can Help:

    • Expert Legal Representation: The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi works diligently to help clients avoid license suspension. Our experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer will aggressively defend your rights at the DMV hearing.
    • Challenging Evidence: We will scrutinize the evidence presented, challenge any inaccuracies or procedural errors, and raise all appropriate defenses to set aside the suspension.

    Common DUI Myths

    There are many misconceptions about how to handle DUI situations and how certain actions can affect your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and legal standing. Here are some common myths debunked:

    MYTH: Time and/or Food Will Lower BAC

    • Reality: Eating food may help mitigate the effects of alcohol, but it does nothing to lower your BAC. The body metabolizes alcohol at a consistent rate, and the highest BAC spike typically occurs about an hour after your last drink. Waiting it out is not a reliable strategy to avoid a DUI. The best advice is to not drive if you’ve been drinking.

    MYTH: Putting a Nickel in Your Mouth Can Trick the Breathalyzer

    • Reality: This popular myth has no merit. The presence of metal in your mouth will not affect the results of a breathalyzer test. Furthermore, officers usually ensure your mouth is empty before administering the test. Relying on such tactics can lead to serious legal consequences.

    MYTH: Breath Spray Can Help Lower BAC Levels

    • Reality: Breath sprays typically contain alcohol and other substances that can actually increase your BAC reading. Additionally, the use of breath spray can arouse suspicion among officers. Instead of lowering your BAC, breath sprays can complicate your situation further.

    MYTH: Your Chances Will Improve if You Refuse to Cooperate with the Police

    • Reality: Refusing to cooperate with the police can significantly worsen your situation. Being polite and cooperative is crucial. Non-cooperation can lead to additional charges and make the officers more determined to pursue other evidence against you. Acting civilly and complying with lawful requests is the best approach.

    Breathalyzer / Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

    A DUI court conviction in Los Angeles County typically results in the DMV requiring you to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. An IID is a breathalyzer that connects to your car’s ignition system and prevents the engine from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Mandatory Installation: Following a DUI conviction, installing an IID is often mandatory. This device ensures that you cannot drive under the influence by requiring you to pass a breath test before starting your vehicle.
    • Duration: The length of time you must use the IID depends on the specifics of your DUI offense and your driving history. It can range from several months to a few years.
    • Cost and Maintenance: Installing and maintaining an IID involves costs for the device, installation, and regular calibration. These costs are typically borne by the driver.

    Benefits of IID Installation:

    • License Reinstatement: An IID allows you to regain driving privileges more quickly, as it provides a safeguard against driving under the influence.
    • Compliance: Demonstrating compliance with IID requirements can positively influence court and DMV proceedings, showing your commitment to responsible driving.

    Car Insurance Rates

    A DUI conviction can have significant financial implications beyond legal penalties, notably affecting your car insurance rates. Here’s what to expect:

    • Increased Premiums: Following a DUI conviction, your car insurance premiums will likely increase significantly. Insurers view DUI offenders as high-risk drivers, which results in higher rates.
    • Potential Costs: The increase in premiums can amount to thousands of dollars over time, adding to the overall financial burden of a DUI conviction.
    • Minimizing Impact: The driver’s license suspension from the DMV and the court can sometimes be minimized by asking for the suspensions to run concurrently. This means the period of suspension imposed by the DMV and the court happens simultaneously, potentially reducing the overall impact on your driving record and insurance rates.

    How a DUI Attorney Can Help:

    • Negotiation: A skilled Los Angeles DUI attorney can negotiate on your behalf to minimize penalties and seek concurrent suspensions.
    • Legal Guidance: Your attorney can provide advice on steps to take following a conviction, including insurance implications and strategies to mitigate long-term costs.

    Why Choose The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi?

    When facing a DUI charge, you need a defense attorney with extensive experience and a proven track record. Arash Hashemi has been an active member of The State Bar of California since December 2002. On his second day as a lawyer, Arash was already in court, participating in a bench trial. Over the years, he has handled a wide variety of criminal cases, from simple DUIs to complex felonies, including murder.

    Arash has also represented thousands of Californians accused of violating their probation or parole and has argued cases before the California Court of Appeals. He is admitted to practice before all California State Courts and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California. Currently serving as the 2024 President of the Criminal Courts Bar Association, Arash brings a wealth of knowledge, dedication, and a deep understanding of California’s criminal justice system to every case he handles.

    Contact a Los Angeles DUI Defense Attorney & Schedule Your Consultation Today

    For expert legal assistance with your DUI charges, contact The Law Offices of Arash Hashemi. With over 20 years of experience in criminal defense, Attorney Arash Hashemi and his team are dedicated to providing professional, effective legal representation. We understand the serious implications of these charges and are committed to providing a solid defense to protect your rights and future.

    Questions to Ask Your Los Angeles DUI LawyerSchedule a Consultation:

    • Phone: (310) 448-1529
    • Email: Contact@hashemilaw.com
    • Address: 11845 W Olympic Blvd #520, Los Angeles, CA 90064
    • Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, with flexible scheduling options available, including weekend appointments.





      11845 W Olympic Blvd #520, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      Monday—Friday 8:30AM–5:00PM

      (310) 448-1529

      Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to predict outcomes, as individual circumstances vary and laws may change over time. Those seeking legal advice should consult with a qualified attorney to understand how current laws apply to their specific situation. For detailed legal guidance on the topics discussed, please contact our law firm directly.