Getting arrested for DUI in Fountain Valley might feel hopeless, and it’s certainly a serious charge, but never assume it’s the end. DUI defense lawyer regularly beat DUI charges and seek better options after the arrest process. No matter your situation, you may have a chance at reduced charges, a lighter sentence, or possibly even walking away a free person.
You might also wonder what to expect after a DUI arrest. In most cases, it’s the first time our clients have been arrested for this, and they have questions about whether they’ll go to jail or have to forfeit their driver’s license. That’s where the information below and working with a Fountain Valley DUI lawyer can help. To speak with an experienced attorney about your case today—and for free—contact us today at (310) 862-0199, or fill out the Free Case Evaluation form to the right.
What Do I Do If I Was Arrested for DUI in Fountain Valley?
The DUI process moves quickly after an arrest—but that doesn’t make it any less confusing. As soon as you’re arrested, the clock starts ticking on impending certain legal deadlines you don’t want to miss. Here are four main steps to take after being arrested for DUI in Fountain Valley.
1. Hire a DUI Defense Lawyer
Hiring an experienced local defense lawyer first and foremost will help the following steps go more smoothly. Plus, your lawyer can guide you through the process and help you stay calm. It’s stressful enough trying to do everything on your own while also worrying about defending yourself. A legal professional will know the best ways to make the process less overwhelming.
2. Request a DMV Hearing to Keep Your License
Starting from the date you’re arrested, the California DMV will put an automatic suspension on your driver’s license within 30 days—unless you take action. You’ll need to call the DMV and request an administrative hearing within 10 days of your arrest. During this hearing, you can try to get your license back.
Not being able to drive during the DUI process makes everything more difficult. That’s why requesting this hearing should be your top priority after your arrest. And your best bet is to talk to a DUI defense lawyer before that hearing. They can help you through it.
3. Discuss the Best Defenses for Your Case
A DUI lawyer will work to build the best defense in your case. In the State of California, there are three main types of defenses for a DUI charge:
- You weren’t intoxicated.
- Your driving wasn’t impaired.
- The arresting officer didn’t follow correct procedure.
Getting arrested for DUI does not mean a definite conviction. With a strong defense, you may be able to fight DUI charges and avoid the strict DUI criminal penalties in California.
4. Explore Plea Bargain Strategies
Another strategy in a DUI case is the plea bargain. This is an alternative to a case moving to jury trial, and it involves negotiation to get your sentence or your charges reduced.
Under a plea bargain, you typically either:
- Plead guilty to driving under the influence in exchange for lighter agreed-upon penalties.
- Plead guilty to a lesser charge, often resulting light penalties.
Plea bargains typically result from negotiation between the prosecutor and your defense lawyer. If you’re offered a plea bargain, it’s crucial to consult an experienced lawyer to ensure you’re actually getting a good deal.
What Does a Fountain Valley DUI cost?
Penalties for when you get a DUI in Fountain Valley and the rest of California are not small—and they get steeper with each successive DUI charge.
For a first-time DUI, the penalties include:
Fines begin at $390 for a first-time DUI charge and go up from there. This doesn’t include other fees, however, which brings the total up to a minimum of around $1800.
The DMV initial suspends your license 30 days after your arrested. Even if you are able to get your license back after that hearing, you will still lose it if you are convicted of DUI.
Time in Jail
Jail time is a penalty of a DUI conviction, even if it’s the first time. For a first offense DUI, you’ll face at least two days in jail and possibly up to six months.
If convicted of DUI, you’ll also have to take and complete and three-month-long DUI education class. This is typically $500, at your own expense, plus other fees.
With each repeat offense, the penalties increase, leading to more jail time and tens of thousands of dollars in fees—not to mention losing your license for years and having to install an interlock device on your car.
Because the penalties of a DUI conviction are so intense, it’s best to get a DUI lawyer on your team as soon as possible so they can fight for a lesser penalty.
How Can a DUI Lawyer Improve My Odds?
Many people are surprised to hear that seemingly solid test results from a DUI arrest can’t be contested. However, the truth is test accuracy can vary widely, and errors happen more often than you’d think. A good lawyer may look at factors like your urine, blood, or breath test results to identify any potential errors.
But this is just the beginning. A DUI defense lawyer will also analyze records of your arrest and look for any ways your right may have been violated. Officers are human too, and it’s not uncommon for mistakes to be made during and after your arrest that don’t uphold your rights.
In addition, your lawyer can determine if there were any errors in officer testimony, such as unfair assumptions that get taken as fact but are actually inaccurate. Just because the arresting officer thought you were drunk doesn’t mean you actually were.
DUI lawyers know how to sift through each case carefully and meticulously, looking for any gray areas or weak points. They are wholly dedicated to winning your case above all else. Adn at the very least, they will work to get you the best deal possible, so your end result will be more desirable than going it alone.
Speak With a Fountain Valley DUI Lawyer Today
Don’t try to deal with a DUI charge all alone. If you want the best possible outcome following your arrest, you need an experienced legal professional on your side. To get a FREE consultation with the best local DUI lawyer for your case, contact us today to get started. Call us at (310) 862-0199, or fill out the form to the right today.