The penalties for drunk driving in Mission Viejo are steep. The city is proud to be one of the safest cities in Orange County, so law enforcement takes the handling of crimes seriously, including DUIs. A conviction could mean losing your driver’s license, jail time, and thousands in fines.
To defend yourself against the worst consequences of this serious charge, it’s important to have the law on your side with knowledgeable legal representation. A DUI lawyer in Mission Viejo can challenge the evidence against you and work to get your charges lessened – or even, in some cases, dropped completely.
What Happens When You Get a DUI in Mission Viejo?
Once you’re pulled over for DUI and arrested in Mission Viejo, you’ll more than likely spend the night under local police services. The time after your arrest is what feels the longest and most nerve-wracking. That’s because it can take months for a DUI case to fully be resolved.
However, this time can be used to your advantage, as it allows you to prepare a defense case and fight for your rights. Here are some things you’ll need to keep in mind, and some actions you’ll need to take, in the days and months following your DUI arrest:
Within 10 Days of the Arrest
You will lose your driver’s license almost immediately unless you take action within 10 days of being arrested. Something called an “admin per se suspension” kicks in and unless you try to prevent it, your license will be suspended 30 days after your arrest.
To try and fight this, you’ll need to contact the California DMV and request a hearing. You only have one chance at this hearing to get your license back, and no appeal is allowed. You can either contact the DMV yourself for this hearing or have your DUI lawyer do it for you.
Within Weeks of the Arrest
During this time, you’ll need to appear at your arraignment, which is a hearing where you’ll enter your plea. Typically, your plea will either be Guilty or Not Guilty.
If a lawyer was appointed to you by the state, that lawyer will often instruct you to plead guilty – but this is very rarely the best option for you. If you have a DUI lawyer on your team, they’ll instead use this arraignment hearing as an opportunity to challenge the prosecution and seek a better deal.
Within 45 Days of the Arrest
During this time, a trial will usually be scheduled at the Mission Viejo courthouse. However, if you have a DUI lawyer working to resolve your case in your best favor, you will probably not need to appear at this trial.
The time after a DUI arrest is precious, and every decision can positively or negatively affect your outcome. Having a great DUI lawyer can make all the difference in several ways.
How Do I Get My License Back After a DUI in California?
Unfortunately, there’s no handy trick to getting your driver’s license back sooner after a DUI. You’ll have to jump through all the hoops set out when you are convicted of your offense.
After a DUI, to get back your license, you’ll have to:
- Wait for your license suspension to end
- Serve any required jail time or other prison sentence
- Finish DUI school
- Get a certain type of car insurance
- Apply to get your license reinstated
These steps can sometimes be complicated. A DUI attorney in Mission Viejo can help you through the process. They may also be able to lessen your sentence so you have less of a burden to reinstate your license.
How Can a DUI Lawyer in Mission Viejo Help My Case?
Many people who are arrested for drunk driving assume their case is hopeless and there’s no reason to hire their own lawyer. This couldn’t be further from the truth! DUI lawyers improve the outcome for defendants in DUI cases all the time – even allowing them to walk free.
Factors that seem like concrete evidence against you, including blood or breath tests and the testimony of the officer who arrested you, are not necessarily as solid or determining as they seem. A DUI lawyer in Mission Viejo knows how to look at all the evidence and identify holes that an untrained eye wouldn’t catch.
Here are some tactics a DUI lawyer might use in your case:
Examining How You Were Arrested
A DUI lawyer will look at the police report from your arrest and determine if any of your rights were violated. If they were, some statements or confessions made might not be allowed in court.
Scrutinizing Office Testimony
Sometimes, the officer who arrested you might say one thing in their arrest report and another thing during your DMV hearing. Your lawyer will find any areas that conflict with each other or other pieces of information that don’t match up, such as a witness testimony that is different from the officer’s.
Police officers are human, and they can make mistakes just like the rest of us. A DUI lawyer will keep this in mind and point out any mistakes they notice.
Challenging Breath or Blood Test Results
To determine your blood alcohol content (BAC), the arresting officer might administer a breath test during a DUI traffic stop or at some point after your arrest. Blood tests are another way of testing the amount of alcohol in your system.
Law enforcement like to think their roadside and other DUI tests are scientific and foolproof – but this just isn’t the case in many situations. For example, studies have shown errors in the blood draw of a blood test can result in a false positive analysis as much as 50% of the time.
A number of things can go wrong with breath or blood tests, such as:
- Improper administration of the test
- Equipment malfunction
- Mis-calibration of a machine
- Improper handling of evidence in the lab
In many cases, these types of details can allow your lawyer to get test results suppressed in your case.
Your lawyer will also look at other possible explanations, such as officers only assuming you were intoxicated or other factors causing an accident instead of drunk driving.
How Much Does a Mission Viejo DUI Lawyer Cost?
Our lawyers don’t charge anything up front. Most DUI attorneys in California work on an hourly basis, but the amount they charge can depend on the details of your case and the services that they provide.
For example, a more experienced or skilled lawyer will most likely charge more. If you see a DUI lawyer who has a very low rate, be wary, as they could have less experience and therefore would be less likely to win your case.
Lawyer fees also depend on expenses like medical tests, rides to and from the courthouse, and subpoena fees. After a free consultation with one of our Mission Viejo DUI lawyers, we can tell you what extra expenses you might encounter in your case.
Speak With a Mission Viejo DUI Lawyer Today
Don’t assume all hope is lost in your DUI. You need the best defense on your side, and you’d be surprised just how much of a difference it can make in the outcome. To get a FREE case evaluation with the best local DUI attorney in Mission Viejo for your case as soon as possible, call us today or fill out our online contact form.