Many people are arrested every year for various DUI offenses, and the complicated legal options for handling the case is hard for the typical layperson to navigate. Therefore, it’s important you contact a professional DUI attorney in Laguna Hills, CA. The Orange County DUI Attorney law firm is here to assist you in avoiding or delaying license suspensions, and other legal difficulties when facing a DUI charge. We specialize in providing broad representation and legal services when defending DUIs and assist you in exploring different case options and lessening the charges.

Apart from getting a jail term and paying court fees, you might find it difficult in education or employment opportunities after a DUI verdict. At our law firm, we make sure that our clients don’t experience these harsh consequences. We offer our services in Laguna Hills, CA, and we specialize in dealing with DUI related cases like aggravated DUI, vehicular homicide, and DMV related cases such as revocation of licenses. In this article, we will explain how the process of handling your DUI case works.

The DUI Court Process In Orange County

The reality of a DUI sentence in California can be devastating. As reliable Laguna Hills DUI attorneys, we understand that the legal consequences such as fines, prison term, and license revocation are harsh. Additionally, a DUI conviction can also affect your job prospects and finances.

What are the Processes that Start with a DUI arrest?

If this is your first crime, and there are no aggravating circumstances, you may be convicted with a misdemeanor DUI offense in the criminal courts. However, a DUI arrest will trigger another procedure at the Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend your driver’s license. You’ll need the legal representation of a professional DUI attorney to handle the two processes. You will have to call the lawyer immediately since you will have ten days to ask for a hearing with DMV to challenge your license suspension.

During the DUI arrest, the officer in charge will seize your license and serve you a suspension notice that notifies you that the DMV has begun a license revocation process. If you decide to challenge the license revocation, you have a maximum of ten days to ask for a DMV Administrative Per Se hearing. This is where our Orange DUI attorney will fight against your license suspension.

How long will the DMV Suspend the Driver’s License?

In case you fail to do something, you relinquish your rights to a DMV hearing, and this body will automatically suspend your license after one month. Your driver’s license will be suspended for four months if it is your first DUI crime. If you’ve committed subsequent DUI offenses, the DMV will suspend your license for 12 months. During the DMV hearing, your lawyer will defend why the licensee should not be suspended. Bear in mind that an appeal for restricted license won't be considered during the trial. In case they suspend our licenses, you can process a restricted license at their offices.

Whether or not the driver’s license is suspended, you will still have a criminal case to answer for driving under the influence. For this reason, you need to hire reliable DUI attorneys to help you with the legal process.

What will you consider when looking for a DUI Attorney?

Getting a professional Laguna Hills DUI attorney to advise and fight on your behalf in the criminal court and DMV is essential. Our lawyers specialize in representing offenders caught driving under the influence. The law and science involved in DUI cases can be complicated. Therefore, you need an attorney who is highly knowledgeable about DUI laws and extensive experience representing clients.

Your attorney must have a reputation for being ethical, competent, and successful. Our lawyers will give you the confidence you need throughout the entire process.

How will Our Lawyers Defend you Against the Charges?

In most DUI cases, a defense lawyer will look at the officer who made the arrest. If the defendant’s rights were violated in any manner the defendant was arrested for a DUI offense; it's likely that the charges can be dismissed. The lawyer might also contest the outcome of any DUI Breathalyzer, urine, or blood test. If the officer who made the arrest testifies against you at a criminal court, your lawyer might challenge the evidence.

Our DUI attorneys have won a considerable percentage of DUI cases for many clients with dropped charges and not guilty verdicts. Nevertheless, if the defendant will be liable for the charges, and the testimony of that charge is overwhelming, the suspect can request a plea bargain.

Once convicted of DUI, what are the Penalties?

The criminal consequences of an adult find guilty of a first offense, and misdemeanor driving under the influence charge includes:

  • Prison time of up to six months

  • Up to five years’ probation

  • Heavy fines of up to $1000

  • Enrollment in a drug education class or therapy program

  • Suspension of driver’s license of up to ten months

What are DUI Enhancements?

Some situations can trigger the enhancement of DUI penalties. The consequences can be enhanced with long prison time, hefty fines, and lengthier driver’s license suspensions. These situations include:

  • A passenger below 14 years was in the car when it was pulled over

  • The suspect refused to do a DUI test

  • The suspect caused damage to property, caused injury or even death

  • The suspect’s blood alcohol level recorded over 1.5% when the test was done.

The suspect exceeded the speed limit of 20 miles per hour on Surface Street or over 30 miles per hour over the speed limit on a highway. However, the prosecutor should prove the enhancement before it is attached to the case.

Different types of DUI Offenses

Here, we talk about various types of DUI cases and break down the offenses that might affect you.

  • Misdemeanor and Felony

    Many DUI suspect will be convicted of a misdemeanor during the first offense. This type of DUI can lead to penalties of varying lengths and fines. In most cases, the penalties will match the level of the violation. However, a misdemeanor offense doesn’t relinquish the rights of the defendant, like voting rights.

    A DUI felony happens when a suspect’s drunk driving leads to an accident with another car, person, or property. In these cases, the offender will face a one-year jail term and additional fines suitable to the sternness of the offense.

    A DUI offense can automatically come to a felony case if the driver committed a crime, ignored an obligation while driving or injured another person.

  • DUI offense with high alcohol blood concentration

    DUI above 0.15% offense happens when an offender records a higher concentration of alcohol in the blood. This offense might attract consequences enhancements. In Orange County, the enhancement comprises of hefty fines, lengthier prison time and lengthy enrollment in alcohol education short courses.

  • DUI of alcohol and drugs

    There is a vast difference between driving under influence offense and a drug offense. A driver is found guilty of DUI offense if there is enough evidence to show that he was driving under the influence when the arrest was made. The driver can also be charged with drugged driving if found intoxicated by drugs and alcohol when the arrest was made.

    Nevertheless, testing for driving while intoxicated first-hand is impossible. In this case, the offender will be impaired by a substance and incapable to drive safely to be charged with DUID. There must be substantial evidence to show that the offender was impaired while driving.

  • DUI homicide offense

    A DUI crime will be considered homicide if another person dies while driving under the influence of liquor and drugs. According to penal code 191.5, the crime is considered as a vehicular homicide while drunk. Penalties for this offense comprise of a $10000 compensation to the offender’s next of kin, life imprisonment or 15 years jail time.

    DUI situations that cause death are charged as second-degree homicide offenses. This entails manslaughter curtailing from having no regard for another man’s life. Before the defendant is convicted of a DUI homicide, the prosecutor will need to prove:

    • You knowingly and deliberately acted in neglect of another man’s life.

    • The outcome of your deeds was life-threatening to people

    • Your deliberate actions lead to the death of another person

VISA DUI for Non-immigrants

A mere DUI charge might be more infuriating to immigrants due to the risk of inadmissibility and deportation. DUI incidents that might trigger negative impact on the defendant’s immigration status comprised with revoked licenses. Having several DUI offenses on your file and committing a DUI crime with an underage passenger is also a serious crime.

The US immigration ruling allows the denial of entry in any state for committing drug-related offenses or several offenses with a jail term of more than five years. You can also be deported if the court considers the crime as a felony and the offense attracts over a year state jail time. Your Laguna Hills DUI lawyer will assist you to battle the case to evade being deported and get citizenship.

Different levels of DUI offenses

For the majority of people convicted with DUI, it's mostly their first offense. Nevertheless, penalties will increases if the offender is arrested with over DUI offenses.

  • First offense

    Typically, this is a misdemeanor offense. Based on the level of blood alcohol content (BAC) when the arrest was made, the consequences you face will vary and could comprise of prison time or a fine of up $ 2000.

    Some instances of first offense DUI charges may be comprised of underage DUI, driving while intoxicated with a passenger below 14 years and military DUI. As the Zero Tolerance Law in California states, driving under the influence of any amount of alcohol as a person under 21 is against the law. Such a conviction will attract a fine of up to 100 and at least a 12-month license suspension.

  • Subsequent DUI offenses

    The aim of the consequences given on the first offense is to warn offenders against committing the same crime. Repeating the crime will lead to a second offense, third offense, or even forth offense DUI which comes with harsher penalties.

    If you are arrested with a second DUI offense, you risk a prison term of at least one year or a fine of up to $1000. Third and for the DUI offenses might attract hefty fines, and lengthier jail terms. Moreover, you might be required to take an alcohol education course and register as a regular traffic offender at the DMV.

Categories of DMV Offenses we handle

The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) is the authorized body mandated to regulate the automobile industry, granting identities, vehicle registration, and licensing in California. A minor DUI offense can result in the license suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicle. Circumstances like declining to take the chemical test might need to you to appear in a DMV hearing to determine if the license suspension should be relinquished. Let’s have a look at the top three DMV cases that can be handled by our Laguna Hills DUI attorney.

  1. Out-of-state driver for DUI offenses

    The DUI laws are applicable to any citizen, whether they reside in California or outside. While the officers don’t have the right to convict you under these laws to seize your license, they will give you a suspension order. The order indicates that the driving privileges are suspended for at least one month.

    With the help from your attorney, a DMV hearing will be arranged to contest the suspension. The DMV will notify the county of residence about your arrest if it acts as in per the Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC). Note that you might face the consequences like a prison term, hefty fines, and probation for the out-of-state DUI offense. This is because the IDLC lets US states share information on DUI sentences. You will be forced to install an IID in your vehicle and be required to enroll in a drug and alcohol education course.

  2. Suspension for CDL

    Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is granted to drivers to allow them to drive different types of vehicles. They are comprised of trucks that ferry dangerous chemicals, double trailers, cars that carry up to ten passengers, or a school bus tank and a truck that weighs over 25000 pounds. A driving while intoxicated or DUI offense might lead in the suspension of a commercial driver’s license for at least one year. You will also not be allowed to apply for a restricted license.

  3. License suspension

    Once the court frees you from the DUI offenses, you might be forced to appear for a DMV trial to know the verdict of your license revocation. With the help from our DUI attorney, you will apply for a restricted driving permit if it’s a first DUI offense. However, having an SR22 form submitted a month after the license suspension is essential.

Why Attend the DMV hearing

Also known as administrative hearings, DMV hearings allow you to contest your case with the evidence given by our attorney if accused with a DUI offense. The DMV will evaluate your attorney’s evidence and argument to determine if you are legally detained for DUI offense. The evidence will also establish if the officer in charge of the arrest was certain that you were driving under drug influence.

The results of a DMV hearing will rely on if you agreed to do the chemical test or not. Your attorney might contest that some impediments vetoed you from providing sufficient air on the Breathalyzer.

The role of a lawyer in the hearings is assisting you in making sure your driving privileges are not affected. Bear in mind that DMV hearing is not the same as criminal cases. A DUI offense call attracts a license suspension. Nevertheless, your lawyer can use the win acquired at the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) hearing to bargain a better deal for your case. They can also prove to the court of law that the accusations are weak.

How to Obtain SR22 Forms

You only need to obtain this form when your DUI offense caused in the license suspension. Some of the situations that might force you to get this form include DUI offenses, refusing to pay parking vouchers, displeased verdict license suspension, or when your uninsured vehicle is involved in a crash. Our attorneys will assist you in submitting the SR22 forms. The form will help you to apply for a restricted driver’s license. Some of the common types of SR22 forms include Policy Certificate of the owner, Broad Coverage Policy Certificate and Operator's Policy Certificate.

Apart from getting an SR22 form, you will need to join an acknowledged DUI institution and attend to course to be given a constrained license.

Challenge DUI Convictions by Getting the Support of a DUI Lawyer Near Me

Getting an Laguna Hills DUI lawyer is one of the best decisions to make when arrested for a DUI offense. The lawyer who will be helping you get the justice you need will have many duties. They will present evidence supporting your defense, object the prosecutor’s testimonies, and advocate for a better ruling. Hiring an Laguna Hills DUI attorney assures you of an excellent case result.

The Orange County DUI Attorney law firm offers the best legal services for DUI cases and DMV hearings to all residents in Laguna Hills, CA. Our attorneys have extensive experience handling all types of DUI cases such as DUI resulting in injury, Watson Murder, DUID, and felony DUI. Contact us through 949-377-2280 and book consultation at no cost today!