The consequences of DUI charges in Newport Beach are serious and can include license suspension, large fines, and jail time. It can affect all aspects of your life: If you go to jail, you must miss work, and a license suspension can make it difficult to get to work. Eventually, you can lose your job—and a criminal record can make it hard to seek a new one. But don’t lose hope—there are options and your case might not be as cut-and-dry as you think. An experienced Newport Beach DUI lawyer can help you.
We know how overwhelming, even scary, a DUI charge can be. But the sooner you take legal action, the better. That’s why we’ve compiled a database of the best, most experienced DUI defense attorneys in the Newport Beach area. We can connect you with the most fitting lawyer for you based on your needs and their expertise. For a FREE consultation with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible, call us today at 310-906-4831 and we’ll help you get started.
Will I Lose My Driver’s License If I’m Convicted of DUI in Newport Beach?
Yes, at least for a certain period of time. When you’re convicted of DUI in Newport Beach and or anywhere in the state of California, you’ll lose your license at first—even if the DUI was a first offense. However, the details depend on your specific case.
There are three main types of driver’s license suspensions:
1.The Initial “Administrative Suspension”
This suspension happens right after you’re arrested for DUI. The DMV will automatically suspend your license for 30 days after the arrest. However, you can try to stop this suspension if you request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest. If you miss this deadline, there’s no way to recover; there are no appeals.
This hearing is short and can be done either in-person or over the phone. During the hearing, you’ll be asked:
- If it was reasonable for the arresting officer to believe you were driving while under the influence
- If you were lawfully arrested
- If your blood alcohol count (BAC) was 0.08% or higher
These questions are not always easy to answer. You might not know what your BAC was at the time (tests can take weeks to get results back), and even if you’re innocent, the officer may have had a good reason to suspect DUI. A trained DUI lawyer will know what the DMV officer is seeking from your answers and will be able to help you provide the best ones. (For example, they may be able to get the exact results of your BAC test.) Your chances will be best if you hire a DUI lawyer to represent you at the hearing.
This “administrative suspension” can last up to four months. It will also be added to other suspension time you’ll face if convicted.
2. Full License Suspension
During a full suspension, you can’t drive anywhere at all. This takes effect if you’re convicted of a DUI. If it’s a first offense DUI, the minimum for full suspension is two months, which includes the 30 days from the DMV and an additional month from the criminal penalty.
Ideally, your lawyer will be able to fight for the minimum suspension and no longer.
3. License Restrictions
If you’re given a license restriction, it means you can drive only to and from work and to and from your alcohol treatment program. If your job requires you to perform work-related errands, you might also gain access to drive for them.
If this is your first DUI, the minimum time you’ll receive a license restriction is four months, if you don’t need your license to drive to work. If you do need to drive to work, the minimum is five months. You’ll receive this on top of the minimum two months of full suspension for a first offense.
Your DUI lawyer will work to hopefully get you the minimum penalties for your driver’s license, especially if you need to drive to make a living. A longer suspension is possible even with a first-time DUI, so hiring an experienced legal professional is key to improve your chances. They can:
- Help you act fast enough to stop the “administrative suspension” on your license with the DMV
- Advise you on the best choices for your case to reduce your suspension time
- Assist with arrangements for getting to/from work and court arrangements
- Ensure you understand what is needed to get your license reinstated as soon as possible
- Build a strong defense for you (since you don’t lose your license if you aren’t convicted)
Getting Your License Back
Once your license suspension or revocation is finished, you must take steps to get it reinstated; you don’t automatically get it back. First, you’ll need to complete all conditions from your conviction, such as:
- Completing the alcohol treatment program
- Serving the entire license suspension period
- Installing an interlock device on your car (at your own cost), if required
- Finishing traffic school, if required
After completing all requirements, you’ll need to present proof. This includes certificates you received after completing treatment and/or traffic school and proof from the installer of the interlock device that it was performed.
Next, you’ll need to ensure you have car insurance. If you already carry car insurance, the standards will now be higher because your conviction makes you a higher-risk driver. You’ll need to provide proof to the DMV, by filling out a Form SR-22, that your insurance company knows about the changes.
Lastly, to apply for license reinstatement, you’ll need to visit the DMV and complete a Form DL 44. Bring all documentation mentioned above with you. After presenting this and paying a $150 fee, the license reinstatement will be processed.
Can I Refuse to Take a Blood or Breathalyzer Test?
If you have already been arrested, it is illegal to refuse the test. When you applied for your driver’s license, you agreed in advance to take the test, so it’s not optional. Refusing the tests means an additional 1-3 years of license suspension and a $125 fine.
There are three tests you can be asked to take if the police officer suspects a DUI:
- The breathalyzer test. You blow into a machine that evaluates the alcohol on your breath. Results are immediate.
- The blood test. You’ll give a small blood sample, taken in a hospital, that is sent to a lab for analysis. Results can take days or weeks.
- The urine test. Performed in a hospital. This test is less common in California and more likely if illegal drug use is suspected. Results take days or weeks.
Speak with a Newport Beach DUI Lawyer Today
If you were arrested for DUI, don’t miss out on the chance to pursue the best outcome and move on with your life as soon as possible. A great DUI lawyer can help you do this best, and we can connect you with one quickly. Call us 310-906-4831 to get started now.