Getting arrested for a DUI in California is a serious criminal charge, but it doesn’t have to be the end. You might worry that a DUI will damage your reputation forever and always affect your life. Maybe you assume it’s not even worth fighting the charge. But DUI defense lawyers know there is hope.
Every day, DUI lawyers fight offenders and beat DUI charges. They work to challenge the evidence against you and may be able to negotiate a lighter sentence, get your charges reduced, or even leave you walking away completely free. In any case, hiring a Dana Point DUI attorney is worth it.
Will I Lose My Driver’s License After a DUI?
In most cases, yes. But you may be able to control how and when the suspension happens—and if all goes well with your DUI lawyer and your case, you might never have your license suspended.
After your arrest, the police will take your license away and give you a temporary license, which is a piece of paper. After 30 days, the temporary license will expire and the California DMV will place an “administrative suspension,” also known as “admin per se,” on your license—unless you contact them within 10 days of the arrest.
How To Keep Your License After a DUI
When you contact the DMV, you’ll need to request a hearing where you can try to convince them to not suspend your license. You can do this yourself, but it’s easiest to have a DUI lawyer request the hearing for you.
During the hearing, they can represent you and provide a solid case for the DMV to let you keep your license. Plus, the hearing date is usually scheduled months in the future – giving you and your lawyer more time to prepare. And if you end up winning your case before the DMV hearing date, you won’t have to attend it at all.
If you win the DMV hearing, you can keep your license until your court date for the DUI. If you are convicted of a DUI on the day of your sentencing, you will lose your license on that date. You can avoid losing your license at all if:
- Your DUI lawyer wins your case for you (the ideal outcome)
- Your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution for a lesser charge than a DUI
- The prosecution’s evidence is challenged enough to have the case dropped or dismissed
Losing your license is the most immediate threat after a DUI arrest, and it’s significant. Life becomes much harder if you aren’t able to drive yourself places. That’s why fighting the suspension should be you and your lawyer’s first priority, besides avoiding jail time, after your arrest.
Is Fighting a DUI Worth It?
In short, yes. You may be tempted to just take your sentence to avoid a lengthy court battle, or the prosecution may approach you with a tempting plea deal. These might not be in your best interest. While every attorney does have their fee, a skilled DUI lawyer will save you money by reducing or even eliminating your charge – and not charging anything up front.
A Dana Point DUI attorney can give you a free consultation so that you know what you’re up against and what steps you should take next. In that consultation, they can let you know if you should fight your DUI or take your initial plea deal. Then they’ll get to work on your case.
Should I Plead Guilty to a DUI?
You will likely feel a lot of pressure to plead guilty to a DUI. There are two main areas this pressure typically comes from:
1. The Prosecution
An attorney from the District Attorney’s office, also known as the prosecutor, will visit you soon after your DUI arrest. Even if this person shows sympathy for your situation and is friendly, it’s important to remember that they are actively working against you. Their main goal is to convict you as cheaply and quickly as possible.
This prosecutor will likely describe what a DUI sentence usually looks like, then offer you a deal that sounds much better. It could be offering you community service instead of jail time or a lesser jail sentence. However, the truth is this “deal” isn’t much different from a regular DUI sentence. They’re just trying to get you to admit guilt so they can win.
Never let the prosecutor pressure you into any “deal” without consulting an experienced DUI lawyer first.
2. A Court-Appointed Lawyer
Sometimes the court gives you a free lawyer, or public defender, for your case. This lawyer will want to assist you, but they ultimately don’t have the resources or time of a true DUI lawyer.
He or she will likely meet with you for a short period of time and don’t know much about the important details of your case. And they’ll probably advise you to plead guilty and take the first deal offered by the prosecution, saying this option is less costly and will get you out of jail sooner. But this is almost never the best option for you.
You need a DUI defense lawyer who can devote the time and expertise to lining up evidence against you and poking holes in it. A DUI lawyer will only advise taking a deal after they’ve bargained for the best possible outcome for you.
3. Your Conscience
You might also feel pressure from your own conscience to plead guilty and get the whole thing over with. But we urge you not to do this until you’ve spoken with a DUI defense attorney. The DUI system in California has become widely unfair in recent years, and DUI penalties have increased drastically.
A DUI conviction can impact your life for many, many years. And in most situations, we’ve found the cost is much greater than what fits the crime. Don’t jump at the first opportunity to get out just because you made an honest mistake. Contact a DUI defense lawyer first.
How Much Does a DUI Attorney in Dana Point Cost?
How much your DUI attorney in Dana Point costs will depend on several factors in your case. Most DUI lawyers charge by the hour, and don’t have any up-front fee. You will agree on your lawyer’s rate before you hire them.
Factors that could affect your lawyer’s cost include:
- Time they put into your case
- The difficulty of your case
- Lab tests
- Subpoena fees
- Rides to and from the courthouse
- Your lawyer’s experience and skill level
Before you decide to hire a lawyer, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. We offer free consultations so that you can get an idea of what your case entails and how our attorneys can help.
Talk to a Dana Point DUI Lawyer Today
The moments after a DUI arrest matter – and it can be hard to make the right decisions without an expert eye on your case. Contact a Dana Point DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to pursue the best possible outcome for your DUI.
You may be able to lessen your consequences or even have all charges dropped. And we can get you a FREE consultation with one of the top DUI lawyers in the area. To get a free consultation today, contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.