In recent years, the penalties for getting a DUI in California have become more severe. If convicted, you’ll face a driver’s license suspension, up to tens of thousands of dollars in fines, jail time, and mandatory DUI school. That’s why if you get arrested for DUI, it’s almost always worth it to fight.
DUI defense lawyers have the training and experience to find holes in the prosecution’s case against you. They can look for solutions even in the hardest DUI cases. Having a Placentia DUI attorney on your side can help you immensely when you fight against your charges.
What Exactly Can a Placentia DUI Attorney Do for Me?
If this is your first offense DUI, you may wonder why you need a DUI attorney for? Just because this is your first offense, it doesn’t mean that the judge or the prosecution will be lenient or sympathetic towards you. If you don’t want to deal with the penalties associated with a DUI conviction, you need to actively fight for your defense.
This is especially true if this is your second or third offense or your DUI arrest involves wrongful death, bodily injury, or significant property damages. To prove your innocence, you’ll need help from an experienced attorney that can:
- Gather critical evidence regarding your case.
- Obtain essential documents, such as police reports and medical records that are pertinent to your case.
- Represent you in court and fight for your best interests.
- Handling all external communications with other parties regarding your case.
- Consulting with experts and interviewing witnesses for testimony that supports your defense.
Fighting against your DUI charges can be extremely difficult, especially since it feels like no one is on your side. We don’t believe you should suffer just because of one mistake. Our Placentia DUI attorneys will help you during this challenging time.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in California?
For first-time offenses, you can generally expect the following DUI penalties in California:
- License suspension
- Jail time
- Points on your driving record
- Increased insurance premiums
The more prior DUI offenses you have, the worse your penalties become. For example, if you reach your fourth DUI offense, you will get a felony conviction on your record and have to spend time in state prison. Additionally, you can also permanently lose your privilege to operate any motor vehicle.
The penalties for a DUI can quickly add up and become very steep. The best way to deal with these penalties is not to have to face them to begin with. Therefore, it’s crucial that you fight for your innocence if charged for a DUI in Placentia.
Can I Apply for a License to Get to Work During a Suspension?
After being arrested for DUI, local police will send a report to the DMV, and you’ll receive a temporary license. An administrative hold will be put on your real license, and after 30 days, the DMV will suspend your license unless you take action quickly. You’ll need to call within ten days to request a DMV hearing.
But what if your license does get suspended and you need it to get to work? Not driving yourself to and from your job during the DUI process can make everything more difficult. Thankfully, for first offenders, you can apply for a “restricted” driving license to get to and from court-ordered programs and sometimes to and from work.
You are not eligible for restricted driving privileges if:
- Your license has already been suspended or revoked for another reason
- You have a hard suspension, which means you have a second or third DUI offense within ten years (hard suspensions last one or two years)
- You refused to take a breath or blood test after your arrest
- You held a commercial driver’s license when you were arrested for DUI
If you still need to drive after your arrest, don’t delay in attending your administrative hearing.
How to Apply
If you lost your DMV hearing, you’ll have to wait 30 days before applying. You’ll also need to:
- Ensure you enroll in a treatment program or DUI school and get proof of that enrollment.
- Be sure your auto insurance is up-to-date and get an SR-22 form.
- Bring the above documents to your local DMV office and pay a $125 fee to apply.
You might also need to get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed at your own cost before you can get restricted driving privileges. You’ll also need proof it got installed when you apply. If the process is overwhelming for you, a DUI lawyer can help you complete each step.
How Can I Beat a DUI in Placentia?
If you intend to fight the charges against you, you’ll need to speak with a DUI lawyer in Placentia and start taking legal action right away. This begins with knowing some critical deadlines that impact your outcome.
The DMV Hearing
To prevent license suspension by the DMV after 30 days, you or your lawyer will need to contact them and request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest. Although you don’t have to do this to try and win your case, having your license can make life in between much easier.
Within the next two weeks, you’ll have your arraignment hearing. It’s during this court hearing that you officially plead guilty or not guilty. If you don’t know already at this point, you need to have a DUI defense lawyer. Your lawyer can use the arraignment as a chance to check out the prosecution and get a sense of their evidence against you.
This is also your opportunity to show the prosecutor you won’t be an easy conviction. A good DUI lawyer will show them you’re serious about fighting your DUI, which may persuade them to give you a fairer offer.
The trial date is typically 30 to 45 days after your arrest. However, if your DUI lawyer can resolve your case before this time, you may never have to go to trial at all.It’s the time leading up to your trial that really matters if you want to beat a DUI. The key is hiring an experienced DUI lawyer who can work on challenging the evidence against you.
Look for ways your rights may have been violated, and poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Even if you cannot get your charges dropped entirely, which can and does happen, having a lawyer can help you at least pursue a lesser charge or reduced penalties, which you wouldn’t have a chance of otherwise.
What Happens If You Get a DUI Under the Age of 21?
Drivers under the age of 21 cannot legally drink alcohol, so they may face more penalties than a legal adult who drove while drunk. That’s because even if you’re under the age of 21 and drive drunk in Placentia, you are still liable for the same base penalties as an adult who gets a DUI.
The threshold for underage drivers is also lower. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more is considered driving under the influence for adults. But for those under 21, any amount of detectable alcohol in your system can lead to charges against you.
According to California’s “Zero Tolerance” law under California Vehicle Code (CVC) § 23136. Here’s how the penalties work if you’re found drinking and driving under 21:
- If you have a BAC of between 0.01% and 0.05%, you’ll lose your driver’s license for a year.
- If your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08%, it counts as a criminal charge and will put a DUI on your record. You won’t have to go to jail, but you’ll lose your license for a year, have to pay a $100 fine, and will have to pay for and complete a three-month DUI course.
- If your BAC is 08% or greater, you can face the same criminal charges as adults. That includes driver’s license suspension, thousands of dollars in fees and fines, up to six months of jail time or juvenile custody, three to nine months of a DUI course, and years of probation.
A DUI conviction can greatly impact any future college acceptance and or career, so it’s also in your best interests to get a good DUI lawyer who can defend you.
Speak With a Placentia DUI Lawyer Today
If you’re facing a DUI in Placentia, you need a good DUI lawyer on your side. Don’t put yourself at risk for the long-lasting negative effects that a DUI conviction can have on your life. Instead, get the legal support you need today. Schedule a free consultation with one of our Placentia DUI lawyers online or over the phone. We are available 24/7 to assist. Contact us today.