A DUI conviction in Garden Grove can result in long-term consequences, including a criminal record, mark on your driving record, suspended license, and more. However, a DUI case is not hopeless. Many defendants are surprised to learn that errors in testing and other sources of “proof” are more common than one would think. That’s why working with a lawyer who knows these types of cases can be so crucial to increasing your chances of receiving less penalties—or of the case being dismissed altogether. A Garden Grove DUI lawyer can give you your best chance.
We can get you in touch with the best DUI attorney for your unique case and situation. During a FREE case evaluation, they can look at the details and help you explore your best options for fighting the case. Call us today at (310) 862-0199 or simply fill out the form to the right to get in touch. We’ll connect you with an attorney as soon as possible to get started on your case.
Should I Plead Guilty in My DUI Case?
More often than not, it makes more sense to fight the DUI case instead of pleading guilty. This is because errors are often uncovered during your attorney’s investigation of the case, including:
- Malfunctions in equipment like breathalyzers that could lead to falsely high readings
- Police officers not property following standardized procedures during the roadside investigation after DUI stops
- Errors, such as contamination, in DUI blood testing
- Any other weak spots in the case that violated your rights
A DUI lawyer will visit the scene, cross-examine and subpoena police officers, look at the maintenance history of breath test equipment, have blood samples re-tested at an independent lab, study the arresting officer’s background and training, and investigate anything else that might find issues.
Because of the wide range of potential issues your lawyer may uncover, you’ll often be advised against a guilty plea unless it’s clear the prosecution has solid incriminating evidence.
Prosecutors will sometimes offer a plea bargain—a specific deal in exchange for a guilty plea. However, most DUI attorneys will also urge against this since any early plea bargain will be offered before evidence has been seen by both sides.
What Happens After Being Arrested for Drunk Driving?
Here are some basic stages of what happens after a DUI arrest:
The Field Sobriety Tests
In California, most DUI arrests happen during a traffic stop or a DUI checkpoint. If the officer suspects you’ve been driving under the influence, they will ask you to perform field sobriety tests, which are small physical challenges to check for impairment. You might be asked to perform tests like:
- Stand on one leg for 30 seconds
- Walk along a line without stepping off of it
- Follow an object with your eyes
- Walk a certain distance and turn around
The idea is that these “tests” should be easy for a sober person to pass. However, this is not always accurate, and it can be easy for an officer to claim you failed the test simply if you seemed wobbly, for example. It’s important to know that you are not required to take these tests. Most DUI lawyers would recommend politely declining these tests without providing a reason.
If you did perform a field sobriety test during your arrest, your lawyer can look for ways to fight the test results.
Along with the field sobriety tests, you’ll likely be asked to blow into a handheld device known as a breathalyzer.
Blood or Urine Test
Once you’re arrested, you’ll be taken to the police station (or sometimes the hospital or jail) and asked to take either a blood or breath test. These tests are required by law if you have already been arrested. You should not refuse to take them, as it can dramatically increase your penalties.
Driver’s License Suspension
Most of the time, you’ll be released within a few hours post-arrest. Police will give you a pink temporary license and a citation to appear in court. They’ll mail your real California license to the DMV.
Beginning in 2019, if it’s your first DUI offense, you can apply for an ignition interlock device that prevents your vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected. If approved for this device, you can continue driving without limitation as long as it’s kept in your vehicle.
The first, short hearing of your DUI case is the arraignment. Both your lawyer and the prosecution will stand before a judge and present their cases. You will enter your plea of either Guilty or Not Guilty and the prosecution may offer their plea deal now.
The prosecution shares all of their evidence with your lawyer during the pre-trial. Your DUI lawyer will take this evidence and start investigating for any weak areas—such as breathalyzer result issues or errors on the arresting officers’ part.
Your lawyer has the best bargaining power during the pre-trial, and they can demand a better deal for you. Most of the time, DUI cases are resolved here. In the best case, you’ll get your DUI charge reduced to simple “reckless driving” or something less severe.
If your lawyer feels your case is weak for some reason or the prosecution won’t bargain, they might recommend you go all the way to trial. A court trial has greater risks because your outcome is all-or-nothing, but it’s not always a bad thing. Here, your DUI lawyer will work to convince the jury of your side and, hopefully, they will acquit you.
Speak with a Garden Grove DUI Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, we can connect you with an experienced Garden Grove DUI lawyer who is the best fitting for your situation. The consequences of a DUI can be very serious, but you’ll likely come off better if you have a legal DUI professional on your side. For a FREE consultation with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible, contact us today at (310) 862-0199, or by filling out the form to the right and we’ll help you get started.