Being arrested for DUI in Orange County is often a traumatic and unexpected experience. If convicted, you will be stigmatized and considered irresponsible. Nevertheless, the truth is that people facing DUI charges are law-abiding citizens who made a simple mistake. When the prosecution team attempts to portray you as a criminal, you need a competent attorney. Let the legal team at Orange County DUI Attorney guide you through the process with empathy and compassion.
Different DUI Services Offered by Our Competent DUI Defense Attorneys
According to the California Department of Alcohol and Drugs Program, there were approximately 24,343 car accident-related injuries, and 1,768 people succumbed to car accidents in 2010. Therefore, this should not come as a surprise why California has one of the most stringent DUI laws in the United States. As a result, if you are charged with drunk driving, you need to hire an experienced Olive DUI attorney. Read on to learn the various services we offer.
First time DUI
If arrested for drunk driving in California, you are likely to be charged with both or either of the following crimes:
- VC 23152 (a), where it is illegal to operate a car while drunk, or
- VC 23152 (b), where it is an offense to drive a car with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more.
A first DUI offense in Olive is a misdemeanor, and it carries the following penalties:
- Three (3) to five (5) years of summary probation,
- Enrollment in a three to nine-month DUI school,
- Penalty assessment and fines that range from $1,500 to $2,000,
- Work release,
- Travel restrictions to Canada,
- Up to six months in county jail,
- Installing an ignition interlock device in your car for six months, and
- Suspension of a driver’s license for six months.
Sometimes, the judge could impose probation for the first DUI conviction. If probation is ordered, you must comply with the conditions below:
- You shouldn’t operate a car with any alcohol in your system,
- Install an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least six months,
- You should not be charged with another offense, and
- You shouldn’t refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test if accused of a subsequent DUI crime
Drunk-driving in California is priorable. That means consequences increase with consecutive wet reckless or DUI conviction within ten years. To be found guilty of a second DUI offense, the prosecutor should prove that a defendant:
- Drove a car, and
- Had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater at the time of the arrest or that the defendant was drunk after consuming drugs or alcohol.
A second-time drunk driving conviction has penalties like:
- Typically, three years of informal probation
- Up to one year in jail
- Fines that range from $390 to $1,000
- Successful completion of a thirty-month DUI school
- Installing an IID for a year
- Suspension of a driver’s license for two years (However, you can convert the license to a restricted driver’s license after twelve months or get an IID restricted license immediately)
Third-time Driving Under the Influence Offense
If accused of a drunk driving offense for the third time, you will realize that the penalties are different from what you received after a first-time or second conviction. The answer hinges on the case’s circumstances.
The section below gives a framework of the consequences and punishment you could expect if you get a third-time DUI conviction in Olive, California. The penalties include:
- Three (3) to five (5) years of summary probation
- One hundred and twenty days to a year in jail
- Fines that range from $2,500 to $3,000
- Completing a thirty-month DUI school
- Installing an IID for two years
- Revocation of a driver’s license for three years (However, the license can be converted to a restricted driver’s license after eighteen months or obtain a restricted driver’s license straightaway provided you install an IID in your vehicle)
Commercial DUI Offense
Under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (d), it is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or greater.
It is worth noting that this limit applies only when you are driving a commercial car. In layman’s language, when you drive a non-commercial motor vehicle like a small truck, motorcycle, or car, the standard legal limit of 0.08 percent applies.
Additionally, these limits are stringent and apply irrespective of where your driving was impaired by alcohol or not.
What Penalties Does Commercial DUI Attract?
A DUI conviction could result in:
- Criminal Charges
A first-time commercial DUI charge is punishable by:
- Summary or informal probation
- A maximum of a year in jail
- Up to thirty-six months in a DUI school
- Fines that range from $390 to $1,000
These penalties increase with subsequent DUI convictions. Also, you are likely to be charged with a felony if found guilty of DUI with injury in any car.
- Suspension of your Commercial Driver’s License
You will also have your driving privileges withdrawn for a year. The withdrawal applies irrespective of whether you were driving a commercial motor vehicle during the arrest or not. Additionally, the suspension will apply should you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test.
A Second-time DUI Conviction Could Result in Loss of your CDL for Life
If convicted of a second drunk driving offense, you risk losing your CDL for life. This penalty is mandated by both federal and California law. It’s, therefore, critical fighting all drunk-driving charges vigorously. To fight the charges, your defense lawyer will craft legal defense like:
- The chemical test results weren’t accurate, and
- The arresting police officer didn’t use the proper procedure at the time of your arrest.
Getting a Restricted Driver’s License After Being Charged with DUI
If your driver’s license was withdrawn due to DUI, your experienced Olive DUI Attorney can assist you in applying for a restricted non-commercial driver’s license unless:
- The court disallowed it, or
- Your driving privileges were withdrawn for failing to complete or submit a blood, breath, or urine test.
So how do you get the restricted license? Currently, there are only 2 kinds of restricted licenses, namely:
- IID Restricted Driver’s License
This type of restricted driver’s license permits you to operate your vehicle anywhere provided you have an IID installed in your car. An IID is a breathalyzer that prevents a vehicle from starting should the gadget detect alcohol.
You can request the IID restricted driver’s license straightaway. If the California Department of Motor Vehicles withdrew your driving privileges after an arrest, you should use the breathalyzer for only four months. On the contrary, if convicted of drunk driving, you will need the IID for 6 months. It is worth noting that if your blood alcohol content is greater than 2, you will get the IID restricted driver’s license after ten months.
- Restricted Driver’s License
You can request a restricted driver’s license after your driving privileges have been withdrawn for thirty days. The restricted license will enable you to:
- Operate your vehicle to and from a drunk driving school
- Operate your vehicle during or to and from work
- Drive yourself or your loved ones to seek medical attention for severe medical conditions
- Drive your child to and from school in case there is no available school bus or public transportation
What are the Requirements for IID Restricted License or Restricted License?
To get an IID restricted license or restricted license, the California DMV requires you to bring an SR22. SR22 is a financial responsibility form.
Other common conditions for obtaining the IID restricted driver’s license or restricted license include:
- Paying $125 (or one hundred dollars if the motorist was below 21 years of age) as reissue fee, and
- Enrolling a drunk driving treatment program.
If convicted of drunk driving, you will have a criminal record unless you get an expungement. Expungement is obtainable by all defendants who were sentenced to and completed probation successfully.
To erase your criminal record, you should bring a petition with a court of law. The judge will analyze your petition to check eligibility.
In case the expungement is granted, you will be asked to withdraw your plea of guilty or no contest. Then you will be allowed to enter a not guilty plea, and your charges will be dismissed.
Benefits of Expungement
One of the benefits of expungement is the fact that it makes getting a job easier. This is because the law prohibits potential employers from inquiring about convictions during interviews. However, after a conditional job offer has been made, your boss could lawfully inquire about your convictions.
Typically, DUI conviction should be revealed, but it isn’t necessary to disclose an expunged DUI conviction.
So takes place when your employer discovers your expunged conviction? Both your current or prospective boss should not discriminate against you based on an expunged conviction. In other words, provided the conviction is expunged, the employer should not consider that when considering you as a candidate for promotion or employment.
Other benefits of expungement include:
- It is easier to acquire a California professional license
- Stops the DUI conviction from being used to question your integrity in court unless you are being charged with a subsequent offense, and
- Sometimes it can help you in avoiding immigration consequences like deportation.
Olive, is a work, travel, and tourist destination for many guests. Often, you require a motor vehicle to move around. Unfortunately, this could complicate things should you visit wineries, have a drink after dinner or celebrate with your friends. This is because even a few drinks can result in a DUI arrest.
If you have been arrested for DUI and you have an out-of-state license, you need to consult a knowledgeable Olive DUI attorney immediately.
What Takes Place After Been Arrested?
When arrested with a California license, the police will cease your driver’s license and then issue you with a temporary license. Nonetheless, California police don’t have the power to cease a license issued by another state.
Therefore, when arrested, you will maintain your out-of-state license. But your driving privileges in the state of California will be withdrawn in thirty days. That means after the thirty days, you cannot drive a car in California. Luckily, you can fight the penalty in question through a California DMV hearing.
In case you’re only visiting Olive for a few days, you may not require to request the DMV hearing. But if you intend to operate a car in California in the near future, the hearing will allow you to fight for the driving privileges.
You are required to request a hearing within ten days after your arrest. Failure to do so in time will result in losing the right to the hearing.
Do You Have to Return to Olive to Attend Your Court or DMV Hearing?
One of the benefits of having a DUI defense attorney is the fact that the Olive DUI attorney can appear on your behalf for both the DMV and court hearings. Failing to hire an attorney means you will be accountable for the hearings as well as risk having an arrest warrant issued.
California DUI Offense Can Lead to Loss of Driving Privileges in Your State
Often, your home state will discover about your arrest. Most states belong to Interstate Driver’s License Compact (IDLC), where they share information about license suspension, traffic arrests, charges, and conviction with other states.
Depending on where your license is from, the DUI penalties can be serious than they would be in California. Often, it could result in the suspension of the license.
Chemical Test Refusal
Chemical tests are part of DUI investigations. They are used to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s body during the arrest. The tests take samples of your blood, urine, or breath.
According to implied consent law, if arrested for DUI, you should not refuse to submit a chemical test without facing the consequences. This applies regardless of whether you have already submitted to a PAS (preliminary alcohol screening) test or not.
Before 2016, this rule applied to blood and breath tests. These changes come after a Birchfield v. North Dakota decision issued by the Supreme Court of the United States. The decision held that it’s unlawful for any state to make it an offense to refuse a chemical test without a legal warrant. That means states cannot make refusing a chemical test after an arrest a different offense.
On the contrary, California imposed additional penalties on defendants for chemical test refusals. Generally, there are two potential consequences. First, if convicted, you will face enhanced penalties. Second, your driver’s license will be suspended.
To fight the charges against you, the Olive DUI attorney will use either of the following legal defenses:
- The arrest was unlawful
- The law enforcer did not advise you on your responsibility to submit to the chemical test
- The refusal was due to a health condition or severe injury that isn’t related to drugs or taking alcohol
If charged with DUI, you might hear the prosecution team say that the case has aggravating factors. Aggravating factors are facts of a case that make the crime more severe than the standard offense. Therefore, you are likely to face additional penalties for the offense you are arrested for.
Discussed below are the most common factors that enhance DUI sentences in California:
- Excessive BAC
It’s unlawful to operate a vehicle with a BAC greater than 0.08 percent, but under California VC 23578, driving with a BAC higher than 0.15 percent may result in enhanced penalties. Even when you receive probation, the judge could impose punitive terms and conditions that will make your life more overwhelming.
- Excessive Speed
Driving above the posted speed limit by 30 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour on a freeway or any road, respectively, could subject you to an increased penalty. According to California Vehicle Code 23582 VC, you will receive an additional sixty days to your sentence.
VC 23582 requires the judge to impose the sixty-day jail sentence as a probation condition if you are placed on probation for the drunk-driving charge. Moreover, the law requires the sixty days to be imposed as a consecutive and additional sentence so that it can’t overlap the sentence imposed for the initial DUI charge.
- Reckless Driving
Reckless driving can be defined as operating a car in wanton or willful disregard of property or persons’ safety. In other words, operating your car in a way that puts other vehicles or people in danger even if you didn’t actually cause a car accident.
Like excessive speed, reckless driving is an aggravating factor that results in an additional sixty-day sentence on the terms described above.
- Having a Minor in your Car as a Passenger
Having a child below fourteen years of age in your motor vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest could subject you to an additional forty-eight-hour sentence. The sentence is compulsory, even when probation is granted as a penalty. Moreover, the sentence can’t be stayed or divided into short periods, which could be served in intervals.
Tough as aggravating factors are, you can fight them by hiring an experienced Olive DUI attorney. Provided you’re represented by a lawyer specialized in DUI defense, you have a fair shot at winning the case.
Find an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Near Me
In Olive, a driving under the influence conviction will leave you facing severe consequences that can negatively affect your employment opportunities, family, reputation, career, among other aspects of life. Moreover, the conviction can permanently blemish your driving record. As a result, it is essential to consult one of the qualified attorneys at Orange County DUI Attorney. We can help you protect your freedom and rights every step by tailoring our services to your situation. Contact us at 949-377-2280 today for an initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense options.