A DUI is a serious offense that can carry hefty fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and even time in jail. California law considers DUI to be a criminal offense. If you have found yourself facing a DUI, you need the best legal support in defending yourself and fighting a DUI charge.
Our law group will get you a free consultation with a top Brea DUI attorney best suited to the details of your case. They will guide you through the legal process, scrutinize the evidence against you for any weak spots or rights violations, and pursue the most favorable outcome for you.
What to Do if You Get a DUI in Brea
If you are arrested for driving under the influence in Brea, there are some steps you can take (and avoid) to reduce negative consequences. If you were taken to jail after your arrest, you would usually be released within a few hours. After that, you should:
- Contact a DUI attorney in Brea, CA, as soon as you can
- Contact the DMV within ten days to get an administrative per se hearing (If you do not, your license could be suspended for an extended period)
- Report to your court date
- Adhere to any punishment set out for you, including fines, classes, license restrictions, and even probation or jail time
- Make sure you have the proper insurance, as your provider may have dropped your plan
An experienced DUI attorney can guide you through this process and even provide services like rides to and from the courthouse. Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer before you do or say anything about your DUI charge.
What Happens if You Are Convicted of a Brea DUI
If you are found guilty of a DUI in Brea, the impact could substantially impact your life for years to come. There are not only criminal penalties to worry about but collateral consequences as well. Some of the top criminal penalties you could face if you are found guilty include:
- Incarceration in a county jail or California state prison
- Court fines and penalties
- Restitution to alleged victims
- Completion of community service hours
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) at your own cost
However, the collateral consequences could be more damaging in the long run. Examples of fallout from a DUI could include:
- Increased auto insurance rates
- Being labeled a dangerous driver
- Issues with child custody or visitation rights
- Job loss or termination
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
- Difficulty finding work
- Being disqualified from federal student aid
- Loss of your firearm rights
- Loss of your voting rights
It Is Possible to Beat a DUI Charge in California
Winning a DUI case is possible, but your best bet is to work with an experienced Brea DUI lawyer. The best attorneys have a solid track record of success in cases where their clients get a much lighter sentence or, in some cases, win entirely and walk away free of the charges against you.
A DUI lawyer in Brea, CA, will use the following tactics to use the prosecution’s evidence against you in your favor.
Negotiate with the Prosecution
This is often the best way to beat a DUI charge. An attorney will work to bring the prosecution to the table and bargain for a better outcome for you. A skilled DUI lawyer in Brea knows what to say to ensure you get the best deal possible.
Examine How You Were Arrested
Under the law, you are guaranteed certain rights, known as the Miranda warning, when placed under arrest. If the officer did not follow the proper procedure or violated your rights when arresting you, your lawyer will find this out and use it when defending you.
Look for Inconsistencies in the Testimony
It is common for police reports, police statements in court, and witness reports to conflict. Sometimes, an officer will write one thing in their police report but say something different in court—or a witness testimony will be completely different from an officer’s. Even if the officer has the best intentions, they are still human and sometimes make mistakes.
Your DUI attorney in Brea will find any inconsistencies in information or procedure that could be used in your favor when building your case.
Check the Accuracy of Test Results
If law enforcement had you take a breath or blood test, your lawyer will examine these results and how they were obtained. It is widespread for improper procedures to skew results and produce a false or inaccurate reading. Your lawyer will challenge any issues. If they are found, the test results may not be allowed in court.
A DUI lawyer will work tirelessly for their clients. The sooner you are represented after your arrest, the better. Your lawyer can get to work immediately looking at the evidence and uncovering ways to challenge it.
Think About Entering a Pretrial Diversion Program
Preparing to go to court is crucial. However, if you can avoid going to trial, you should. First-time DUI offenders in Brea may be eligible for a pretrial diversion program. However, you must meet specific requirements before the prosecutor reduces the charges against you or dismisses the case.
Some potential requirements could include the following:
- Paying court costs and fines
- Paying the victim’s restitution
- Completing a drug or alcohol treatment program
- Taking regular or random drug or alcohol tests
- Meeting with a probation officer
- Finding a job
- Attending group therapy or mental health counseling
However, it is crucial to complete the terms of your program. Otherwise, you can expect the district attorney to proceed with your initial DUI charges and resulting penalties.
How to Get a DUI Dismissed in Brea
While one DUI does not have to ruin your life, having it on your record can keep you from finding a job or getting a good insurance plan. Having your DUI dismissed can make that problem go away.
Your lawyer can move to dismiss your charge using Penal Code (PEN) § 991 for a misdemeanor or PEN §995 for a felony. The basis for dismissal can be the violation of your rights during your arrest or insufficient cause to continue with your case.
Your Brea DUI attorney will look for evidence (or lack thereof) that proves that the judge should dismiss your case. This can be a dismissal without prejudice, meaning the prosecution can refile charges, or dismissal with prejudice, meaning the court will not hear your case again.
Three Crucial Deadlines to Know in a DUI Case
There is typically a certain amount of time between a DUI arrest and the trial, but that time should be spent wisely—and there are some fast-approaching deadlines you will need to be very mindful of meeting:
1. Your License Suspension and DMV Hearing
After your arrest, the California DMV will automatically place an administrative suspension on your driver’s license unless you contact them within ten days of the arrest. You must request a DMV hearing to keep your license between now and the trial.
A DUI lawyer can help you request and schedule this hearing. And there are other benefits of this hearing besides having a chance to convince the DMV you should get your license back:
The license suspension usually begins 30 days after your arrest, but it is often hard for the DMV to schedule your hearing that soon. This will delay your suspension until the hearing date, which might not happen for months.
An Advantage for Your Lawyer in Court
This DMV hearing allows your lawyer to get more information about your case. They can subpoena the officer who arrested you to get their testimony before the trial. Having this information will allow your lawyer to look for any inconsistencies in the officer’s story, which can help you in court.
A Chance to Keep Your License
If you succeed during the DMV hearing and delay your suspension, and your lawyer wins your DUI case in a month or two, you might not have to lose your license at all.
2. The Arraignment
The second deadline you need to understand is the arraignment hearing. During this short hearing that occurs less than two weeks following your arrest, you will either plead guilty, not guilty, or, in some cases, no contest.
The arraignment is your first chance to show the prosecution you plan to fight your conviction. DUI cases take money and resources, so you and your DUI lawyer can demonstrate that your case will be complex. This can help you get a better deal.
3. The Trial
Trials usually happen within 30-45 days after the arrest. However, your lawyer will fight to get you a deal out of court before this time, in which case you may be able to resolve your case without the need to go to trial.
This is why contacting a DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest is so essential. The sooner you can get an experienced attorney on the case, the better your chances of avoiding a trial altogether.
Talk to a DUI Lawyer in Brea Today
Do not go it alone after a DUI arrest. The law takes this type of offense seriously, and you need experienced legal help to fight for the best outcome possible. We can get you a FREE consultation with a top Brea DUI lawyer.
They will examine your case and get to work as soon as possible, looking at the evidence against you and your best options for minimal penalties. Call us today, or fill out our secured contact form for your free consultation.