Does My Nephew Need a DUI Lawyer?

Does My Nephew Need a DUI Lawyer?

Question:  Does my nephew need a DUI lawyer?  My nephew was arrested for a DUI early this morning.  To complicate things, he had his seven-year-old son with him in the car at the time he was pulled over by the officer.  It’s his 1st DUI, but I don’t know what his alcohol level was.  He informed me they did a blood test on him. I’ll be very surprised if it was over .08, but I really don’t know at this time. This is completely out of character for him. His is still at the local police station. What do we do at this point?  How can I get him out of jail?  The arrest took place in Sherman Oaks.  Based on what I can gather from looking into it online, his criminal case will be in Van Nuys Court. 

Answer:  Sorry to hear you and your nephew are going through this.  I know how stressful this situation is for both of you.  First off, I would highly recommend that he have a DUI defense attorney defend him in court.  There will likely be an enhancement charge on top of the DUI for having a Child in the car at the time of driving when he was arrested for DUI.  There may also be a separate Child endangerment criminal charge. 

Additionally, based on the DUI arrest there is a separate DMV process that is applicable to the defense (otherwise the DMV will very likely automatically suspend your nephew’s driver license based on his DUI arrest).  The request for that DMV hearing needs to be done within ten (10) days of the arrest date.  If retained in time, I would handle that as well.

In most cases out in Los Angeles County on a first offense misdemeanor DUI, the person arrested is released approximately 6-12 hours after getting booked, and signing “a promise to appear” citation for a future court date.  At any time, he can also bail out using a bail bondsman or by posting the full bail directly.  Personally, I would advise to wait a bit (ie. the day) unless there is an specific reason otherwise.  Even bailing out often takes a bit of time for processing. 

I am very familiar with Van Nuys Court and regularly and successfully defend DUI charges both at that court and where his DMV hearing will take place if requested in time (ie. Van Nuys Driver Safety Office).

 Feel free to contact me at 818-336-1384 with any questions or to discuss further.  Additionally, there is more information about DUI and DUI defense on my website


Philip Hache, Attorney