In Orange, CA, a DUI conviction can severely impact every aspect of your life. Even a first-time conviction can result in thousands of dollars in court fees, a license suspension, and possibly even time in jail. If you happen to be get convicted of multiple DUIs, you can be facing even more severe consequences.
This is why it’s important for you to retain an Orange DUI attorney for your drunk driving defense. The right attorney can help explain the facts of your case and help mitigate or eliminate any possible penalties you could be facing. If you’d like to get in touch with an experienced DUI attorney, you can call us today at (310)879-1631. If you’d prefer, you can also submit your information on this website and we’ll reach out to you to schedule your free appointment.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Orange
Once an officer has arrested you for a DUI offense, you’ve been entered into a fast-moving legal process that can bring you to trial within about 45 days. However, the process has a few steps along the way that can severely impact your life. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to retain a DUI attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested.
Automatic License Suspension
Once you’ve been arrested for DUI, California’s DMV has an automatic administrative process for suspending your license. From the date of your arrest, you have 30 days to request a hearing to contest this automatic suspension, which is also known as an Admin Per Se Suspension. If you don’t contest the automatic administrative process, you’re facing a four-month-long suspension before you are even convicted of a DUI.
A DUI attorney can represent you at the administrative hearing. Even if the DMV decides to uphold the suspension, your attorney can use this as an opportunity to see what the weaknesses are in the prosecution’s case and help build the best possible drunk driving defense.
Shortly after your arrest, you will be brought before a judge to see how you respond to the charges. You have three potential responses:
- Not Guilty – You would like to proceed towards trial to contest the charges.
- Guilty – You are willing to accept the charges as the prosecution has brought them.
- No Contest – You do not accept guilt for the charges, but you agree to be treated as if you had been found guilty.
The prosecution will likely recommend that you accept a guilty plea, possibly suggesting that it will make things easier. While it does the process quicker, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get a lesser charge for accepting a guilty plea. This is one reason why a DUI attorney is likely to recommend you plead not guilty and proceed to trial.
Say you’ve pleaded not guilty to DUI charges. You will be given a trial date at your arraignment, which is usually within about 45 days from the date of your arrest. If you haven’t done so, hiring a DUI attorney sooner will allow you to build a better defense against your drunk driving charges.
At trial, a jury will consider the evidence brought by the prosecution and the defense raised on your behalf. If found guilty, you will likely face the same penalties you might have faced from pleading guilty at arraignment. If found not guilty, you are free of your charges without additional consequences.
However, in many cases, DUI cases don’t proceed to trial. With a skilled DUI attorney, you may be able to reach an agreement with the prosecution. This agreement may involve accepting a lesser charge such as in a wet reckless plea bargain or, if the evidence is particularly weak, dismissing the charges altogether.
Types of Penalties for a DUI
If you are convicted of a DUI, either because you accepted a guilty plea or you were found guilty at trial, your penalties will depend heavily on the circumstances of your arrest. California treats multiple DUI offenses in the past 10 years much more harshly than first-time offenses.
However, the nature of the penalties you could face doesn’t change based on your status as a repeat offender. If convicted of a DUI, you will face fines and court fees that will cost you thousands of dollars. You can also face a license suspension of up to three years and will be sentenced to attend a DUI education program. You may also face jail time in addition to any you served after your initial arrest.
These penalties can be in addition to other penalties that you face because of your DUI arrest. You even can be facing more severe penalties if your DUI involved injury to another person or if you refused a breathalyzer test when you were arrested.
Don’t Build Your Drunk Driving Defense Alone!
Once you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Orange, CA, you’ve only got a limited time to prepare yourself for possible consequences coming your way. Even if you think there have been some obvious mistakes, don’t assume the prosecution will drop the case. You need to present a solid defense for the drunk driving charges you face, and a competent DUI attorney can help you present the strongest possible case.
If you believe having an expert on your side will make your life easier, don’t wait to contact us. You can either call us at (310)879-1631 or fill in our easy-to-use web form to schedule a free consultation. This initial consultation is a great opportunity to see what a competent attorney can do to help you and, on top of being free, comes with no pressure to sign any contracts.
If you’re facing a drunken driving charge, don’t wait to reach out to a DUI attorney and start preparing your defense today!