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California DUI Defense Attorney

A DUI charge is the most common type of crime that we defend at the Law Offices of Fred Thiagarajah.  50% of our caseload involves the defense of DUIs.   Fighting a DUI on your own is almost impossible, but having an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side can be the difference between innocence and guilt.  Fred Thiagarajah has handled about 1700 DUI cases as a former prosecutor and defended approximately 600 DUI cases since he became DUI defense lawyer.  With that much experience under his belt, Fred Thiagarajah knows how to evaluate a DUI case from top to bottom and as your DUI defense attorney, he will show you the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  In fact, you can contact our DUI defense team now for a free DUI case evaluation.

A DUI case can be fought, but it takes an experienced DUI defense lawyer in order to get the right result.  With law offices throughout Southern California, Fred Thiagarajah’s team has successfully defended misdemeanor and felony DUI clients in Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

The DUI Process

When a person is arrested for a DUI, they are charged with two separate crimes – driving under the influence of alcohol, as defined by Vehicle Code Section 23152(a), and driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher, as defined by Vehicle Code section 23152(b).  You can be charged with driving “under the influence” even if your blood alcohol level is less than a .08%!  These are two separate crimes and the first thing to understand about a successful DUI defense is that your DUI defense lawyer must be able to defend against both of these charges.   Attacking the “under the influence” part requires an analysis of your driving, an explanation of your objective symptoms (i.e. bloodshot eyes or slurred speech or odor of alcoholic beverage), and an evaluation of your performance on your field sobriety exercises.   Attacking the blood alcohol level requires knowledge of how alcohol is absorbed, processed and eliminated in the blood stream, and the problems of chemical tests in measuring your alcohol level.  Resolving a DUI case in court can take several court appearances, which can last a few months.   If you have our DUI defense attorneys on your side, you don’t need to appear in court for most misdemeanor DUIs.  In fact, most of the time our DUI defense attorneys can handle your DUI case from beginning to end without you ever having to step inside the courthouse.

In addition to defending your case in court, an experienced DUI defense lawyer will also need to fight your case with the DMV.  In California, the DMV is the only agency that controls what happens to your driver’s license.  Most people who arrested for a DUI have their driver’s license confiscated and are given a pink piece of paper that’s a temporary 30-day license.  After that temporary license expires, a person’s driver’s license can be suspended from four months to two years, depending on the circumstances of their case. In order to prevent this license suspension, a person has 10 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing with the DMV.  It’s important to contact a reputable DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible so that this hearing can be set up.  Fred Thiagarajah’s DUI defense team will contact the DMV on your behalf and set up a time for your DMV hearing, which has different procedures and different standards than a criminal case.   And if your DMV hearing falls outside your 30-day temporary license, we will make sure your driving privileges are extended until the time of the hearing.

DUI Consequences

Not only can a DUI conviction lead to criminal penalties and a driving license suspension, but it can also have professional licensing and immigration consequences.  Many professions that require licensing from a state board, such as doctors,  nurses, lawyers, accountants, contractors, teachers, real estate agents and stock brokers, all require background checks.  A professional who has a DUI conviction on their record risks losing their professional license, or never acquiring it in the first place.  Perhaps the most severe impact of a DUI conviction involves immigration consequences.   Although most DUIs don’t have immigration consequences, there are some types of DUIs that can have drastic immigration consequences.  Non-citizens who are permanent residents, with a green card, or temporary visitors with a visa, can be denied admission or naturalization or even deported, with certain DUI convictions on their record.

The Right Lawyer

Choosing the right DUI defense lawyer will be the most important decision someone can make when facing DUI charges.  Many people who face DUI charges are good people who made a mistake or exercised poor judgment.  There are also some people who have been wrongfully accused of DUI, based on a misunderstanding or false evidence.  You need a DUI defense attorney who will listen to your side of the story carefully, who will evaluate the evidence thoroughly, who will negotiate with the judge and the District Attorney’s office skillfully, and who will fight in trial aggressively.  You need an attorney like Fred Thiagarajah.

As a former Deputy District Attorney, Fred Thiagarajah has the negotiating skills and trial experience necessary to get the best results for his clients.  For an example of his work, please see his case results and read his client testimonials.  With criminal defense offices in Newport Beach, Beverly Hills and Riverside, Fred Thiagarajah has DUI defense experience in Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside Counties.

Fred Thiagarajah – The Right Lawyer.  The Right Result.  The Right Choice.


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