In Fullerton, DUI is typically considered a misdemeanor that comes with heavy penalties. A conviction can lead to license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines and safety classes, and often jail time. In other cases, the penalties could be worse. But this doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
In fact, hiring an experienced DUI lawyer is the best decision you can make when facing a DUI. Almost all defendants have no legal training or experience to understand the complicated details of DUI law—which is also constantly changing. If you were arrested for DUI, you need a good Fullerton DUI lawyer on your side.
We can help you. We’ll connect you with a local DUI attorney for FREE who can look at your case and determine what you need to do next. Since every case is unique, it takes the eyes of an expert to truly know how to defend you. To get your FREE consultation, call us at (310) 862-0199 or fill out the form to the right today.
Will My License Be Suspended?
After you’ve been arrested and released, police will give you a citation to appear in court and a pink piece of paper that serves as a temporary license. Your actual California driver’s license will be taken by police and mailed to the local DMV. (The exception is if the DUI happens in California but you live out of state; police can’t take your actual license in this case.)
This next step is important: Within 10 days of your arrest, you must contact the DMV to request a hearing. If you don’t do this within the 10-day limit, you’ll automatically forfeit your right to a hearing and your license gets suspended.
Your Fullerton DUI lawyer can request this hearing for you. They will often try to schedule it further out and may even be able to influence which officer is assigned to your case. But extending the date of the case, you’ll have more time to prepare. (In fact, if the hearing is months away and you win your criminal case beforehand, you might never have to do the hearing at all.) Generally, your lawyer will conduct this DMV hearing on your behalf—meaning you might not even need to attend.
Your lawyer will take advantage of this hearing in several ways by:
- Convincing the DMV to not suspend your license
- Using the hearing as a chance to get the evidence they can potentially use for your case in court—like maintenance logs of the breathalyzer used you or testimony from the arresting officer
- Looking for any mistakes made during the investigation or arrest that could have violated your rights
If the DMV findings are in your favor, they won’t issue a license suspension. If they aren’t in your favor, you’ll receive a notice and your license will go into suspension within a few days.
If your license does get suspended, you can often get a restricted license within 30 days that allows you to drive to/from the court, alcohol programs, and work. Your DUI lawyer may be able to get you a restricted license sooner.
What If This Is My Second DUI?
Under California DUI laws, the minimum penalty changes based on the number of offenses. For a first offense, if no one was hurt or killed, the minimum penalties are:
- Fines and costs of approximately $1,800, including the minimum fine of $390 and fees paid to the government
- License suspension for at least four months (including 30 days from the DMV, unless you take the steps above, and 90 days from criminal penalties)
- 48 hours of jail time. This can be waived, but it increases your license suspension by 90 days
- Alcohol treatment program costing $500, which is mandatory and must be completed if you want to reduce your license suspension time
If this is your second DUI, the penalties are more severe. At minimum, you’ll face:
- Fines and costs of approximately $1800
- 96 hours of jail time
- License suspension for at least a year and restricted driving for two additional years
- Long-term alcohol treatment program, either 18 months or 30 months costing $1,800. This is mandatory and required if you want to seek a reduced license suspension
- Interlock device installation on all of your vehicles, which you must pay for
Again, these are just minimum penalties. At maximum, you could face fines and fees totaling $4000, license suspension of two years plus two years of restricted driving privileges, one year of jail time, and your car being impounded for 30 days.
That being said, judges have a lot of discretion regarding how they apply consequences to repeat offenders. They have the power to offer you a deterrent program instead of jail time or give you weeks or months of jail time instead of a year. This is where your DUI lawyer can help fight for your rights and a lighter sentence.
However, if you face a second DUI while still on probation for a previous one, the judge is likely to be harder in their sentencing. This situation is automatically a probation violation, probably even if you aren’t convicted of the new DUI. This is because even if you had less than the normal 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in your system, you still violated your probation by drinking and driving. But even in this case, you still have options—like seeking alcohol treatment. Plus, your DUI lawyer will know what to look for in the judge who sees your case as they fight for a better outcome.
Speak with a Fullerton DUI Lawyer Today
Don’t suffer through a DUI case alone. You need a good lawyer who can defend you and make sure your rights are upheld. And the sooner you act, the better your chances. To get connected with the best DUI lawyer for your situation right away, call us at (310) 862-0199, or fill out the form to the right to get started with a FREE consultation.