Receiving a DUI in Irvine can have serious consequences, but it doesn’t have to be the end—and you have options. A good defense lawyer can look at the situation for ways to question the evidence against you, reduce your charges, and even help reduce your sentence.
You might also wonder about what will happen after a DUI. Will you lose your driver’s license? Are you facing jail time? To get answers and the assistance you need for the best outcome, you need to speak with an Irvine DUI lawyer—as soon as possible.
Our site is designed to connect you with an experienced DUI lawyer fast. We’ll assign you the best fit for your specific case details and concerns. The lawyers we turn to have spent their entire careers working DUI cases and staying up-to-date on DUI laws throughout the Irvine and greater Los Angeles area. Plus, any attorneys we connect you with will give you a consultation for FREE. To get started today, give us a call at (310) 862-0199.
What Happens After a DUI Arrest in Irvine?
In Irvine and the state of California, DUIs are treated as a misdemeanor—but the penalties are serious. If it’s your first DUI, the consequences are typically less serious than a repeat offense. Here’s what you can suspect following a DUI in Irvine:
- Unless you request a hearing with the local DMV and attempt to stop it, your license will be suspended for 30 days after your DUI arrest. You must contact the DMV within 10 days of the arrest and demand a hearing. If you don’t do this, you’ll forfeit your right to have a hearing and the license is suspended automatically after 30 days. An Irvine DUI lawyer can request this hearing for you and can sometimes even influence the schedule of the hearing and the officer assigned to the case—which can work in your favor
- The process will then start with an arraignment, the first step in a criminal proceeding. During an arraignment hearing, you’ll enter your plea of Guilty, Not Guilty, or No Contest
- After this, you may continue to a trial—or your lawyer might be able to prevent you from going to trial through negotiation. If you do end up going trial, a jury will decide your outcome. Your lawyer will use strategies at this point to help win your case
- If the jury finds you guilty during the trial, you’ll face penalties. The severity of these can depend on different factors, including whether you had previous DUIs, the judge, and whether or not anyone was hurt. Depending on the situation, penalties can include fines, court costs, treatment or education programs, limited driving privileges, a suspended license, and/or jail time
A good lawyer will use strategies pre-trial when negotiating a plea bargain and/or during the trial to win your case in court. They’ll look for things like:
- Holes in the prosecution’s evidence
- Violation of your rights during the DUI arrest
- Problems with the arresting officer’s testimony
Even if you are convicted, your attorney will use strategies like these to reduce your penalty severities.
What Are the Penalties for DUI Charges in California?
Your penalties will also depend on how many offenses you’ve had—whether this is your first, second or third or more offense can greatly vary your outcome. A previous DUI offense counts for up to 10 years. That means if you were arrested for DUI five years ago and are arrested again, it would automatically count as a second offense. However, if the first offense was 12 years ago, the new offense would count as the “first” again.
So, penalties can vary depending on the situation—but here are the minimum penalties for each level of offense (assuming no one was hurt or killed):
Minimum penalties for a first offense DUI:
- 48 hours of jail time. This jail time can be waived, but doing so will increase your license suspension to 90 days
- The minimum license suspension is four months, including the 90-day penalty and at least 30 days from the DMV. Many times, the license suspension can be as much as a year or more
- Fines and costs of about $1,800, including the minimum fee of $390 plus different “assessment” fees you’ll pay directly to the government
- Completion of a mandatory $500 alcohol treatment program that lasts three months. You won’t be able to reduce your license suspension time without taking this
Maximum penalties for a first offense are $3,600 total fees and fines, six months’ jail time, and more license suspension and alcohol treatment time. You might also have your car impounded for 30 days and be required to install an interlock device on your car.
Minimum penalties for a second offense DUI:
- Like the first offense, about $1,800 in fines and fees
- 96 hours of jail time
- Completion of a $1,800 long-term (18-months or 30-months) alcohol treatment program. This program is mandatory and won’t reduce license suspension time
- Minimum license suspension of one year and restricted driving (only being allowed to drive to work, work-related errands, and to alcohol treatment) for two years
- Required installation of the interlock device on all of your vehicles
Maximum penalties for the second offense can be up to $4,000 in total fines and costs, a year of jail time, and two years of restricted driving. You might also have your car impounded for 30 days along with the installation of the interlock device.
Minimum penalties for a third offense DUI or more:
- Approximately $1,800 in fines and fees, like with the first and second offenses
- 120 days of jail for third offense or 180 days for a fourth offense
- Driver’s license completely revoke—for a minimum of three years with third offense or four years for a fourth offense. No restricted driving privileges
- Completion of a $1,800 mandatory 30-months alcohol treatment program. You can’t get your license back without completing this
Maximum penalties for a third offense or greater could lead to total fines and fees up to $18,000, jail time up to a year for their offense or 16 months in state prison for fourth offense, license suspension for two years with two years of restricted driving, and car impoundment for 90 days (or total loss of your vehicle to the state).
Get Connected with an Irvine DUI Lawyer Today
A DUI can greatly affect—even ruin—your life without a good defense. Don’t assume there’s nothing that can be done in your case. Speak with a good DUI lawyer—but do it quickly, as deadlines are tight after a DUI. Call us today at (310) 862-0199 to get connected with a great DUI attorney who can help you pursue the best outcome in your situation starting today.