After getting arrested for DUI in Orange County, a person may feel lost, not knowing what to do next to secure their release. The legal system is sometimes a little complicated, and only people with experience with DUI cases can help you navigate the process. At Orange County DUI Attorney, we offer guidance and legal help to ensure that a DUI defendant understands what needs to be done and does it on time to avoid additional penalties. Therefore, if you have been arrested and are facing DUI charges in Rossmoor, get in touch with us. We will also represent you in court to ensure that your rights are respected throughout the process.
Orange County DUI Laws
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most severe offenses in Orange County and the state of California in general. California has in place very stringent laws that make it illegal for a person to operate a vehicle while drunk or drugged. Laws against drunk/drugged driving in the state are provided under Section 23152 of California Vehicle Code. Under this law, it is illegal or a person who is under the influence of drugs or any alcoholic beverage to drive. The law also makes it unlawful for a person to operate a car with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.08%
If you are suspected to be operating a vehicle under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, the police officers at a DUI stop-point will pull you over. An officer may stop you after noticing that you are driving erratically. Sometimes traffic officers set up DUI checkpoints where they randomly stop and question motorists. If an officer observes ant signs of intoxication, you might be arrested and charged with DUI. But before that, the officer will conduct a field sobriety test after stopping you to check whether or not you have been driving under the influence.
In the state of California, there are up to seven misdemeanors under California DUI laws. These could be used to convict a person that is facing charges for drunk/drugged driving in the state. They appear in different sections under the first DUI law. They are:
Section 23152(a): It is the law against operating any vehicle while a person is under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol impairs a driver both physically and mentally. A driver under the influence of alcohol will not be able to operate a vehicle just the same way as a sober person would.
Section 23152(b): It is the law against operating a vehicle when a person's BAC is 0.08% or more. With this law, the arresting officer does not need to prove that you were driving under the influence as long as your DUI test results show a more significant than standard BAC.
Section 23152(c): It is the law that makes it unlawful for a person to operate any vehicle when they are addicted to any drug
Section 23152(d) is the law against operating a commercial vehicle with a BAC level that is at or more than 0.04%
Section 23152(e): it is the law that makes it illegal for a driver driving with a passenger in passenger for-hire vehicles to operate with a BAC of 0.04% and more
23152(f) makes it unlawful to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs
23152(g) makes it illegal to operate a vehicle while under the combined effect of drugs and alcohol
The most frequently used of these are the first two subsections of California DUI laws. It is because they provide clear guidance to prosecutors on how they should convict DUI cases. It is worth mentioning that each of these misdemeanors attracts very severe penalties, which include jail term and hefty fines. For that reason, it is advisable to get yourself a competent Rossmoor DUI Attorney to help you fight the charges you are facing. A well-skilled and experienced attorney can convince the court to drop your charges or reduce them to more lenient charges.
What Can a Rossmoor DUI Attorney Do For You
There is a lot that a person facing DUI charges in Orange County can benefit from a DUI attorney. Your attorney will start by explaining to you the charges you are facing and their legal implications. It helps you understand the gravity of your charges so you can make the best decisions to support your case.
Your attorney will also recommend the best course of action to take in your case. The nature of your case will determine this, the amount of evidence that has been gathered against you, and other details of your case.
The most important role for your attorney will be representing you in court during the hearing of your case. You need someone conversant with the state DUI laws to help fight the charges you are facing.
Your attorney will also handle all the administrative details involved in your case. There are legal documents to file with the criminal court and DMV to ensure that your case is going on smoothly. Your attorney will also be there to fight any attempt by the DMV to revoke or suspend your driver’s license.
Types of DUI Cases a Rossmoor DUI Attorney Can Help With
Drunk/drugged drivers in California face a wide range of DUI cases. It depends on the circumstances surrounding their situation and whether or not it is their first DUI conviction. Fortunately, there are competent DUI attorneys in Orange County that are willing to take up your case, no matter what your DUI charge is. Some of the DUI cases you can find help with include:
California Misdemeanor DUI
The conviction of the first three DUI arrests within ten years in California is misdemeanors. The penalties for each conviction vary, though, with the subsequent sentence carrying a heftier penalty than the previous one.
A 1st DUI offense happens when a person is arrested and charged with DUI for the first time in the state of California. Your first arrest will be full of confusion and regret, which is why you need to work alongside an experienced attorney. Other than guiding you throughout the legal process, he will fight the charges you are facing, so you will not have to face the hefty penalties that come with a DUI conviction. Some of the penalties you could get after your first DUI conviction include:
- A fine that could go anywhere between $390 and $1000
- Jail time for at most six months
- You are likely to face a license suspension of six months
- Three years of DUI probation. It could be increased to up to five years
- Installation of an ignition interlock device system for six months
A 2nd DUI offense happens if you get arrested for DUI within ten years after the first conviction. Even if you are already familiar with the legal system, the idea of a second conviction will still be terrifying. It is because penalties are heftier than what the offender got after their first conviction. Some of these penalties include:
- A fine that could go anywhere between $390 and $1000. Together with penalty assessment fees, you may end up paying up to $4000
- Jail time for at most one year
- You are likely to face a license suspension of one year
- Three years of DUI probation. It could increase to up to five years. During probation, the defendant must complete a court-recommended DUI program for 18 to 30 months
- Installation of an ignition interlock device system for one year
A 3rd offense DUI happens if you get arrested for the third time within ten years. As mentioned above, penalties for a third DUI conviction will be heftier than what the defendant got after their first or second convictions. Some of the penalties you could get include:
- A fine that could go anywhere between $390 and $1000. Together with the substantial penalty assessment fees, you may end up paying up to $18000
- Jail time for at most one year and 16 months in California prison
- You are likely to face a license suspension of one year from DMV or three years from the criminal court. After the first six months of license suspension, DMV allows the driver to apply for a restricted license.
- Three years of DUI probation. It could go up to up to five years. During probation, the defendant must complete a court-recommended DUI program for at least 30 months
- Installation of an ignition interlock device system for two years
The need for a competent Rossmoor DUI Attorney is to ensure that you are not facing these hefty penalties. You also need someone by your side for emotional support during the hardest period of your life. The good thing with an experienced attorney is that he/she will know the tools and strategies to use to fight your charges depending on the circumstances of your case.
California Felony DUI
Unfortunately, not all DUI cases get a misdemeanor conviction. Some are convicted as felonies, and they come with even more heftier penalties. After the third conviction, for instance, any other DUI arrest that will be made within ten years will be convicted as a felony. Here are the cases that could lead to a California DUI felony conviction:
- When a person is arrested for the fourth time within ten years after three DUI sentences
- When a person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes an accident that results in death or injury of another person
- If the driver’s BAC was higher than the required standard or their previous driving record calls for additional charges
Misdemeanor and felony DUI convictions differ so much in the state of California. A person that is convicted of a felony could face severe fines, and in case their recklessness resulted in death or injury of another person, then they may even face a life sentence.
Some of the penalties an offender is likely to face after a felony DUI conviction include:
- Hefty fines that could range between $390 and $5000 depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal record. in addition to those, the offender is likely to face substantial penalty assessment fees that could raise the total of fines paid to $18,000
- Payment of restitution to every injured party that was involved in the accident
- Jail time for 16 months to three years in a California prison
- Driver’s license suspension for a maximum period of 4 years. There is a possibility of getting a permanent license suspension
- DUI probation for between three and five years. within the probation period, the defendant will be required to enroll in and complete a court-approved DUI program for at least 30 months
- The defendant will also be required to have an IID system installed in their vehicle for at least three years
- DMV will also need the defendant to register as a habitual traffic offender, which is detrimental to your social standing and professional life.
Fighting to have the above penalties is possible if you have a competent Rossmoor DUI Attorney by your side. Your attorney could have your charges dropped or reduced. He/she will also negotiate with DMV on your behalf to ensure that you are not losing your driving privileges for a long time or even for good.
Possible Legal Defenses for California DUI Cases
Having a DUI attorney by your side means that you are ready to fight the DUI charges you are facing. It is not advisable to sit back and wait for the judge to announce your sentence. The law gives everyone a chance to defend themselves against any accusations they may get. A skilled Rossmoor DUI Attorney will be able to identify and use any legal doubts and flows to key evidence against you to get you a more lenient charge. Fortunately, several defense strategies could be used in your favor, depending on the nature of your case. These are:
Inaccurate breath or blood tests:
There has always been a debate about the accuracy of DUI tests and whether or not they can be entirely relied upon as proof that a person was indeed driving with a higher than standard BAC. Slight errors in breathalyzers will, for instance, lead to inaccurate test results, which cannot be relied upon entirely. Your attorney could take advantage of this to have the court dismiss breathalyzer test results. If that was the main proof of DUI that the prosecutor had, the court might drop your charges for lack of sufficient evidence. If there were other indications of drunk driving, your charges could be reduced significantly.
There was no probable cause for arrest
The court will want to know why you were stopped and arrested for DUI. If the arresting officer is not giving a likely cause for your arrest, your attorney could have the evidence gathered against you dropped. The law requires an officer to have a good reason to stop and arrest a motorist for drunk driving. This could be seen in the way the driver is operating their vehicle and how inattentive he/she is to the traffic rules. If the driver is speeding or is continuously veering off their lane, it could mean that they are unstable. This will be a good reason to stop and have them tested for DUI.
The rising blood alcohol
This defense strategy is based on the fact that alcohol takes between 45 minutes and three hours after consumption to get fully absorbed into the system. It means that a driver's blood could test positive for higher BAC while, in the real sense, they were operating with a much lower and safer BAC. If there was a significant delay after you were stopped and when the DUI test was taken, your attorney could blame the delay for the higher BAC results. If the arresting officer did not observe any signs of intoxication at the time of arrest, your charges could be dropped.
No proof of driving
One of the most critical elements of California DUI is that the defendant was the one operating the vehicle at the time of the arrest. If the prosecutor is not able to prove that you were driving the car, then there may not be enough evidence to convict you of the offense. If, for instance, the police arrested you in a parked car, there is no way to prove that you were operating a car while intoxicated. This defense could also apply if you were involved in an accident, but no one saw you driving a vehicle while intoxicated.
Find an Rossmoor DUI Attorney Near Me
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is essential to know that you can fight the charges you are facing down to a more lenient charge or no charges at all. However, you need the help of a competent DUI attorney. At Orange County DUI Attorney, we have the best team of experienced DUI attorneys in place. We not only help our clients get the justice they deserve but also walk with them every step of the legal process. Call us at 949-377-2280 if you are arrested in Rossmoor, and let us change the result of your case.