If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Costa Mesa, you’re likely worried about what happens next. A DUI is indeed a serious offense in the state of California, so it’s important to understand your options. However, there’s no reason to assume the worst.
While the road ahead won’t exactly be smooth sailing, you can take certain crucial steps to improve your outcome. And that starts with hiring a legal professional who can examine your situation and help you take informed action as soon as possible. This means it’s time to speak to a Costa Mesa DUI lawyer.
Our website is dedicated to helping those facing a DUI connect with the best possible DUI defense attorney for their case. We can get you in touch with an experienced DUI lawyer who will offer a FREE, no-strings-attached consultation to get started. Don’t wait—the moments following a DUI arrest are the most important in ensuring your best outcome. Call (310) 862-0199, or complete the form to the right to get in touch with the best attorney today.
What Should I Expect When Facing a DUI in Costa Mesa?
Here is an overview of what you need to know will happen after a DUI arrest:
Starting from the day you’re arrested, you have just 10 days to save your license. This means the local DMV will put a suspension on your license for 30 days unless you take action to stop it. You’ll have to request a DMV hearing within 10 days. (You can file the request yourself or have your attorney do it for you.)
Doing this doesn’t guarantee you’ll avoid the 30-day suspension, but it’s your only chance to try. Other advantages of requesting the hearing include:
- Giving you more time. The DMV may delay your license suspension until the date of your hearing, and scheduling the hearing can take time—sometimes, it can be months later
- Testimony before your trial. During a DMV hearing, your lawyer can use a subpoena to get evidence from the officer who arrested you. This is a good chance for your lawyer to look for any weak spots or inconsistencies in the officer’s story so they can be more prepared for your trial
- Increased chance of keeping your license. If the DMV hearing goes well, you could avoid losing your license at all—which is one less thing to worry about during the DUI case
Your Criminal Proceeding
After the arrest, you’ll face a criminal proceeding. The first step is an arraignment hearing where you’ll enter your plea: Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest. You’ll likely never plea Guilty unless your attorney specifically advises it. This is just another reason working with a DUI lawyer can be so beneficial. They can ensure each step of this process is carefully planned and considered with your well-being in mind.
During the arraignment, your lawyer will work to negotiate a better outcome for you. Ideally, this will be successful and you’ll never need to go to trial. However, if you do continue to trial, a jury will then decide your outcome.
California DUI Penalties
If you are convicted of DUI, you should know the penalties in Costa Mesa and all of California are steep even though DUI is treated as a misdemeanor (less severe than a felony). Penalties you may face include:
- Large fines and court costs
- Jail time
- License suspension and/or limited driving privileges
- Treatment/education programs
- And more
Penalties because more severe if you have previous DUI offenses, your BAC was particularly high, you refused to take a breath or blood test after you were arrested, or if anyone was injured or killed while you were driving under the influence. Sometimes, simply having a strict judge can increase your penalties.
You could also face additional charges beyond the DUI, such as traffic violations.
Your Lawyer Will Look for Weak Spots
A good lawyer will do everything in their power to reduce the severity of your penalties if you are convicted. From pretrial to the day in court, they’ll be looking for holes in the prosecution’s evidence. This could include looking for ways your rights were violated during the arrest or questioning the validity of the arresting officer.
Will I Be Put on Probation?
In many cases, California DUI probation lets you avoid going to jail by agreeing to specific terms. Usually, this includes:
- Paying fines: Depending on the county, this can include a base fine between $390-$1,000 for a first offense
- Completing a DUI school
- Agreeing to never drive with any measurable amount of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in your system during your probation
- Agreeing to submit to a DUI blood or breath test if the defendant is arrested on suspicion of DUI
- No commission of any other criminal offenses during the probation period
Probation lasts three years minimum for a first DUI offense, and it can easily last more. If you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of your DUI probation, such as driving and driving, it can result in a probation violation (PV). If you violate probation, the judge can revoke your probation, give additional penalties without trial, and sentence you to jail.
It’s crucial to know that probation is not a privilege but a right. Adhering to the terms of your probation means being granted an alternative to jail or prison, and it should not be taken lightly.
Speak with a Costa Mesa DUI Lawyer Today
Facing a DUI is hard, but don’t worry alone. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know exactly how to proceed after looking at your case. They can fight for your best outcome and ensure you’re treated fairly during the process. We can connect you with a great DUI lawyer as soon as possible. They’ll offer you a FREE, no-obligation consultation to go over your case and help you determine your next best steps. To get in touch with the best attorney today, call us (310) 862-0199, or fill out the form to the right.