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Long Beach DUI Defense Attorneys

Aggressively Defending Against DUI Charges in California

A DUI arrest can lead to serious consequences in California, even for first-time offenders. If you were arrested for a DUI offense in Long Beach, securing a robust defense from a skilled DUI defense lawyer is paramount to avoiding the harsh penalties of a criminal conviction. At Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, we understand how frightening and frustrating it can be to navigate the legal complexities of DUI charges. That’s why our firm is committed to safeguarding your freedom and future by providing the aggressive representation you deserve. Our highly skilled attorneys are well-versed in the intricacies of criminal law to vigorously defend your rights and fight for a favorable outcome on your behalf. 

Don’t throw away your future by failing to seek legal counsel after a DUI arrest. Call (310) 361-3068 to schedule a free consultation

What Constitutes DUI in California? 

Under California Vehicle Code (VEH) § 23152(a), it’s illegal to drive while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. Law enforcement officers can use field sobriety tests, chemical tests, and their own observations to establish impairment. Refusal to submit to a chemical test can result in automatic license suspension and other penalties.

A DUI is committed when a driver operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher (VEH § 23152(b)). This is true even if the driver believes they weren’t intoxicated or impaired at the time of the DUI stop. However, there are certain exceptions to this legal limit, including:

  • Drivers under 21: Under California’s zero-tolerance policy, underage drivers can be arrested for DUI if they operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.01% or higher. 
  • Commercial drivers: Drivers with a CDL license cannot operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04% or higher. 

It’s crucial to understand that DUI isn’t limited to alcohol, but also extends to drugs, including lawfully prescribed substances. Whether you were impaired by illegal narcotics or over-the-counter medications, you can still face DUI charges. 

Can I Be Arrested for DUI with a BAC Under 0.08%?

Yes, you can. If law enforcement has reasonable cause to believe you were driving while impaired, they can still arrest you for DUI—even if your BAC was less than 0.08%.

Types of DUI Offenses

Depending on the unique circumstances of the offense, defendants can face various DUI offenses, each with varying penalties if convicted. Types of DUI include: 

  • Misdemeanor DUI: A misdemeanor DUI is the most common type of offense in California. A first-time misdemeanor conviction for DUI can result in up to six months of jail time, fines between $390 and $1,000, license suspension for four months, and other penalties.
  • Felony DUI: A felony DUI is considered a serious offense with severe consequences. A conviction for felony DUI can result in prison time, hefty fines, long-term license suspension or revocation, and other penalties.

Understanding Aggravating Factors for DUI

If certain “aggravating factors” are present, a DUI offense may be escalated to an aggravated DUI. This includes causing injury or death while driving under the influence, having prior DUI convictions, having minors in the vehicle at the time of arrest, and other circumstances. Consulting an experienced DUI defense attorney is paramount to understanding the charges against you and reducing or avoiding the life-altering penalties of a felony conviction.

Common Locations for DUI Arrests in Long Beach

While a DUI arrest can happen at any time and place, being aware of high-risk areas can help drivers remain cautious, make wise decisions, and avoid unnecessary legal troubles. High-traffic areas are especially prone to DUI stops in Long Beach, such as: 

  • 710 Freeway: This major freeway sees high traffic volumes and frequent DUI checkpoints.
  • Pacific Coast Highway (PCH): The PCH is a heavily trafficked route with high volumes of commuter and recreational traffic, making it a hot spot for DUI stops.
  • Downtown Long Beach: Downtown is known for its popular nightlife. Its high concentration of bars and clubs makes it a common stop for DUI arrests.
  • Shoreline Village: This area is a hotspot for dining and entertainment, attracting many visitors. 
  • Belmont Shore: This location is known for its beachfront bars and restaurants, making it a frequent area for DUI enforcement.

Do Long Beach Police Conduct DUI Checkpoints?

Yes, the Long Beach Police Department conducts frequent DUI checkpoints to identify and arrest impaired drivers. Some warning signs of a DUI checkpoint include slow-moving traffic, flashing lights, uniformed officers, cones or barricades blocking the road, and signboards indicating a sobriety checkpoint ahead.

Contact Our Skilled Defense Attorneys Today

If you were arrested for a DUI in Long Beach, don’t leave your future up to chance. A DUI conviction can result in severe fines, jail time, license suspension or revocation, and other life-altering penalties. Having an experienced defense can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. At Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, our fierce defense attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience in defending clients against all types of DUI offenses. Whether you’re going through a rough time or simply made an honest mistake, we can work tirelessly to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. Let us protect your hard-earned reputation by providing the skilled representation you deserve. 

Arrested for driving under the influence? Contact us online to discuss your case with our DUI defense attorneys in Los Angeles County. 

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    Our FAQ

    Have questions? We are here to help. Still have questions or can't find the answer you need? Give us a call at 310-361-3068 today!

    • Should I Hire A Torrance Juvenile Attorney For My Child?


      The right counsel can help you avoid pitfalls that may arise in the case, such as the juvenile court’s determination that the case is serious enough (i.e., felony) to justify your child being charged and tried as an adult. If your child is tried as an adult, his or her case is moved to adult criminal court, and if convicted, may go to prison with adult offenders.

      The defense lawyers at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, have handled over 1,000 juvenile cases over the course of their combined 60 years of experience. We will make every possible effort to allow your child to remain in juvenile court. We can attend your child’s fitness hearing, where the court makes the decision regarding whether to try your child as an adult or a juvenile. Psychiatric reports, probation reports and legal arguments can be arranged to help convince the juvenile court to retain its jurisdiction over the minor.

      As Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles deputy district attorney, the lawyers at Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, know the criminal process inside out, giving them a distinct edge when they represent you in court. They are well-respected and well-known by Los Angeles prosecutors and judges.

      If your child has been charged in a criminal case, contact Ernenwein & Mathes, LLP, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers today at (310) 361-3068 for a free case review.

    • What Kind Of Punishment Will My Child Received If She Or He Is Convicted?

      Generally, punishments fall into four different categories. First, your child may be sent home on probation. Second, the juvenile may be sent to a placement facility within the community, such as a boys’ or girls’ home. Third, the juvenile may be sent to a camp facility. The camp may be a short-term camp and last as little as four months or as long as 12 months. Finally, your child may be sent to DJJ, which is a juvenile version of an adult state penitentiary.

    • If My Child Is Convicted, Will The Conviction Remain On His Criminal Record?

      If you hire us, we will try to get your child’s case deviated out of the criminal justice system through deferred entry of judgement or to seek informal probation with dismissal or a dismissal after formal probation. If we can secure these as conviction/sentencing options, the offense will not go on his or her criminal record. If a plea of no contest or conviction occurs in a case, the record can be sealed after the juvenile’s 18th or 21st birthday.

    • My Child Has Been Taken Into Custody. What Can He/She Be Charged With?

      Depending on the seriousness of the charged offense, the prosecutor can file either misdemeanor or felony charges. If a minor is convicted of a misdemeanor, he will be placed on probation, detained in a juvenile facility, such as a boot camp or a ranch, ordered to pay a fine or a combination of these punishments. If the minor is convicted of an infraction, such as a motor vehicle violation, he or she will usually be punished with a fine.

      However, the minor will face much more severe consequences if he is convicted of a felony. The court may sentence to incarceration in a state institution, such as the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), which is the equivalent to a state prison sentence for adults. In addition to or in the alternative, the court may order house arrest (electronic monitoring), commitment in a youth center, probation, parole or undergoing treatment programs.

      There are rules and procedures that are unique to the California Juvenile Court and, therefore, make it very different from adult criminal court. For instance, juveniles are not entitled to jury trials (the theory being that, since juveniles are being rehabilitated rather than punished, they are not entitled to all protections otherwise afforded adult criminals). Juveniles also have no right to bail.

    • If You Were Not Drunk When The Fatal Crash Occurred
      Even if you were not drunk when the accident took place, you could still be charged with vehicular manslaughter. The prosecution will need to show that you committed an unlawful act while driving and were grossly negligent. For example, if you were speeding or driving recklessly, it could be considered an unlawful act. Gross negligence could come into play, too, which basically means you disregarded the safety of others.
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