Orange County First Offense DUI Attorney
Repeat DUI defendants face far more serious consequences than first-time defendants, however, this does not mean that first-time defendants simply get a slap on the wrist. The consequences of a DUI conviction are serious–even for first-time defendants. If you have been charged with DUI, seek legal representation at once. Let the attorneys at The Law Offices of Todd Landgren aggressively fight to reach a favorable outcome in your case.
What Are The DUI Laws in California?
The legal BAC limit is 0.08%, which means drivers that have BAC levels above this limit are considered intoxicated. However, it’s important for drivers to know that you can be arrested for DUI even if your BAC level is below 0.08%.
The law states that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This definition of DUI seems simple, but many drivers do not understand the meaning of “under the influence.” The term “under the influence” means that a driver’s physical or mental abilities are so impaired because of alcohol consumption that he is no longer capable of safely operating a vehicle.
If a police officer believes a driver’s abilities are too impaired to drive safely, he can arrest the driver for DUI even if his BAC is below 0.08%. For example, if you are driving erratically and slurring your speech, the officer may assume that you are intoxicated regardless of the results of your chemical test.
It can be difficult to prove that a driver was too impaired to drive if his BAC was below the legal limit. But, that doesn’t stop police officers and prosecutors from trying to do so anyway.
What Are The Penalties For First-Time DUI Defendants?
In many cases, a first offense DUI is a treated as a misdemeanor in the State of California. However, the charges can be more serious and even be classified as a felony under certain circumstances. These circumstances include situations where the DUI resulted in an injury or fatality.
Some first-time defendants may end up serving jail time, but this typically does not happen with first offense DUIs. While the person may not serve a sentence in an Orange County jail, they can still face serious penalties.
The penalties associated with a first-time DUI offense in California include the following:
- A fine amounting to approximately $2,000 or more
- Driver’s license suspension for a month or more
- Five, or more, months of restriction following the suspension where the defendant may only operate a vehicle on a limited basis
- Placement on probation for a period of three to five years
- Potential requirements to complete additional miscellaneous drunk driving treatment programs
- One year suspension in chemical test refusal cases
- Mandatory ignition interlock device for your vehicle following the license suspension period
These charges should not be taken lightly. Community service, suspensions, jail time, mandatory classes, fines, and more are all potential repercussions in a first offense DUI case.
These are the standard penalties that first-time DUI defendants face, however, the penalties are enhanced in certain cases. For example, a drunk driver who crashes into another car and injures someone can face more serious consequences than a driver that did not harm anyone. You can also face additional penalties for driving under the influence with a child under the age of 14 in the car. This is considered child endangerment since driving while intoxicated exposes the child to possible danger.
A DUI conviction can also impact your future–even if this is the only DUI offense on your record. Having a DUI conviction on your record can make it harder to find employment, especially if your job involves driving or operating heavy machinery. DUI can also raise the price of your car insurance for years following your conviction. In fact, many DUI defendants are unable to afford car insurance because of the steep increase in price.
How Can Defense Lawyers Assist With DMV Hearings and DUI Court Cases?
First-time DUI defendants will face two separate legal proceedings after an arrest. Each case proceeds independently on its own timeline, but the two cases can affect one another. The criminal case is heard in superior court. If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by the court.
The administrative law proceeding involves the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). At the time of arrest, police often confiscate your driver’s license and provide you with a temporary license that is only valid for 30 days. Your driver’s license is then sent to the DMV, where an action is commenced against your driving privilege by the DMV’s Driver Safety Office. People who are arrested for DUI have the right to challenge this suspension by scheduling a hearing with the DMV within ten days following a DUI arrest.
If a demand for hearing is not made within this 10-day window, the licensee loses his/her right to challenge the suspension. If a hearing has been scheduled, the DMV will hold off on suspending your license until they know the outcome of the hearing. This means that your license remains valid while the hearing is pending and while we prepare your defense.
While each of these proceedings is independently argued, each may be used to gain advantage in the other. It is best to hire a DUI attorney who can handle both the criminal and DMV legal proceedings. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Todd Landgren routinely handle the fight for clients’ freedom in criminal court and at the DMV. Contact us today to discuss your case with our skilled attorneys.
How Can An Attorney Help A DUI Defendant Restore Their Driving Privileges?
First-time DUI defendants can also lose their driving privileges. Being unable to drive makes it difficult for DUI defendants to get to work, which is why many of them are eager to restore their driving privileges. This can be done in several ways. First, you can wait until your suspension period has come to an end. At this point, you can restore your driving privileges by paying a reinstatement fee and showing proof of SR-22 insurance.
If you do not want to wait until your suspension period is over, you can apply for a restricted license after 30 days. A restricted license reinstates limited driving privileges. Having this license allows you to drive for work and to attend DUI school. The DMV will issue a restricted license to first-time defendants who provide proof of SR-22 insurance, pay a reinstatement fee, and show proof of enrollment in a DUI school.
An attorney can help first-time DUI defendants understand their options and restore their driving privileges. Contact The Law Offices of Todd Landgren to learn more about our legal services.
How We Help Drivers In Orange County Fight DUI Charges
Your best bet at protecting your future is seeking legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately after a DUI arrest. The DUI attorneys at The Law Offices of Todd Landgren have successfully used countless defense strategies to help clients who are facing DUI charges.
We know that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are committed to helping first-time DUI defendants fight their charges. Let us stand by your side and defend your rights through every step of the criminal case and DMV hearing.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Award-Winning DUI Defense Law Firm
Have you been arrested and charged with DUI for the first time? If so, contact The Law Offices of Todd Landgren as soon as possible after your arrest. Our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and reach the best possible outcome in your case. To schedule a free consultation, call 949-752-1122 or fill out the form on our website today.
I had a felony DUI with GBI enhancement...I am a vet and thought my life was over. He took over from the beginning and told me what I had to do in order to become a better man and prove to the courts I wasn't a bad person. I was set to do 2-3 years in state prison and got.