If you’re facing a DUI in Aliso Viejo, you need the right legal representation to defend yourself. The penalties for a DUI in California have greatly increased over the years, and driving under the influence is considered a serious criminal offense.
If you get convicted of DUI, you could lose your driver’s license, spend thousands of dollars in fees and fines, and possibly do jail time. But a good Aliso Viejo DUI lawyer can help you pursue a better outcome like lighter penalties, a less severe charge, or even walking away free.
Is Fighting a DUI Charge Worth It?
Yes, it almost always is. While it might seem simpler to not fight a DUI charge and do what the court asks, that can have long-term repercussions that you can’t predict. Getting a job, acquiring a loan, and other opportunities that we might take for granted are much harder when you have a DUI charge on your criminal record.
Paying for a DUI attorney in Aliso Viejo might seem like an unnecessary cost, but your decision will pay for itself. Avoiding costly fines, jail time, and months of DUI school is worth the trouble of fighting your charge. Our DUI lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you can talk to someone who knows what they’re doing and can tell you if fighting your charge is worth it.
How Much Does a DUI Attorney in Aliso Viejo Cost?
How much your DUI lawyer charges you depends on the specifics of your situation. Each DUI case that we work on is different, so we treat each one with care and tailor our services to your needs. Factors that will affect your lawyer’s fees include:
- The difficulty of the case: The fact is, the more work that a case takes, the more expensive it will be. Most lawyers charge by the hour, so if your attorney has to work more hours, they’ll charge more money.
- Special fees and services: Some cases require certain medical tests and subpoena fees. Sometimes, your lawyer will even offer rides to and from the courthouse. Those expenses will drive your lawyer’s fee up.
- Your DUI attorney’s experience: Better lawyers cost more. Some attorneys will try to lure you in with low fees, but that means that they cut corners or won’t know how to handle every aspect of your case. Don’t fall for a cheap lawyer.
When you meet with one of our Aliso Viejo DUI attorneys, they will assess your case and give you an idea of what you might have to pay. Before they get started on reducing or dropping your charges, they’ll make sure you know what you’re getting into and agree with you on their rate.
How Can a DUI Lawyer in Aliso Viejo Help Me?
Many DUI defendants in Aliso Viejo assume their case is unwinnable because of how severe California law is on DUIs. But that’s not true!
Good DUI attorneys routinely work on and win some of the most unlikely cases, bringing a much better outcome than if their clients had pleaded guilty and not tried to fight the charge. There are many ways a DUI lawyer can fight your case for you, including:
Challenging “Proof” From Your Blood Alcohol Level Test
In most DUI cases, the strongest evidence is from the blood alcohol level test. This is typically either a breath or blood test administered after your arrest. The prosecution will treat this as hard evidence that you were driving under the influence and had a high amount of alcohol in your system.
But DUI attorneys know there are many things that can go wrong with these tests. They’ll look at:
- When you were tested
- Whether the breath machine was maintained and calibrated properly
- How the blood samples were handled
If officers waited too long after your arrest to test you, your blood alcohol level won’t be the same as when you were first arrested. In fact, your BAC can rise sometimes after the test if your body was still absorbing the alcohol, for example.
And breath machines, if not regularly maintained and calibrated, can produce faulty results or their data can skew high. In addition, blood samples from the blood test must follow a very specific process for drawing, storing, and transportation. If not, the results aren’t accurate.
Scrutinizing Officer Methods
Your lawyer will look to see if any of your rights were violated during your arrest, such as you not being read your Miranda rights, which are rights afforded to you by the 5th Amendment. Police officers are humans too, and they can make mistakes.
Your lawyer can also subpoena an officer to appear in court and give their testimony, then compare that testimony to what they wrote in their arrest report or the testimony of a witness. Beyond that, DUI attorneys look at every step of the DUI process taken by police to find areas that were inconsistent, inaccurate, or that violated your rights.
Fighting for a Fair Plea Bargain
After you’re arrested, the prosecutor will often visit you and try to offer a “deal” for admitting guilt. They’ll try to claim this deal is better than the penalties you’d face otherwise, but that’s rarely the case. The prosecution just wants to see if you’ll be willing to give in to a “guilty” plea to a severe sentence.
But with a DUI lawyer who knows how to successfully navigate DUI cases, pursuing a plea bargain can be very favorable to you. They will use their research into the evidence to seek a lesser sentence than if you had outright pleaded “guilty.”
Getting Charges Dropped
If your lawyer can compile enough information demonstrating your rights were violated and/or errors were made during the DUI process, they might get enough evidence thrown out to have your charges dropped completely – leaving you to walk free.
These are just a few of the ways a DUI lawyer benefits your case. DUIs carry serious consequences on their own, so you need an experienced legal presence on your team who can fight for you.
What if I Was Arrested for DUI and I’m Under 21?
The legal age to consume alcohol in California is 21. If you are under this age and caught drinking and driving, the state is even more strict on you than a regular DUI case. California has a Zero Tolerance Law that states it’s illegal under the age of 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or 0.01% or higher.
This is known as an “underage” DUI and is much stricter than the 0.08% or higher for drivers over 21. According to California Vehicle Code (CVC) 23600, drivers on probation for a prior DUI are also subject to the Zero Tolerance Law, but their limit is 0.04% BAC.
If you are caught with a higher than 0.01% BAC under the age of 21 while driving and it’s your first offense, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If you refuse to take the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test or you fail to complete it, you’ll have the same outcome.
That’s not all, though. In addition to the one-year license suspension, you’ll face the criminal penalties of a regular DUI. The exact total penalties you’ll face depends on factors like how much alcohol was in your system. Either way, this is all the more reason to seek a good DUI lawyer as soon as you can after being arrested.
Talk to an Aliso Viejo DUI Attorney Today
There’s nothing more beneficial to a DUI defense case than a DUI attorney with a solid track record and expertise in this type of defense. We can get you started with a free consultation where you and your DUI lawyer in Aliso Viejo.
Your attorney will discuss your arrest, your case, and the evidence prosecution may use against you. Then, they will poke holes in the evidence by looking for weak spots – they’re much more common than you’d think. For your free consultation, contact us today by phone or by completing the form to the right.