Anaheim DUI Lawyer

Driving can be a dangerous activity. Between treacherous roads, bad weather, and negligent drivers, we risk our lives every time we get behind the wheel of a car. However, if you get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence, the risk increases immensely.

Driving while Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious offense. The law is not tolerant of these situations, and individuals who are found guilty of DUIs often face lifelong consequences. There is very little leniency, no matter how many DUIs you have amassed.

Whether it is your first case of drunk driving or your fifth, it is important to understand that an arrest is not a final verdict. Neither is it an admission of guilt. There are steps you can take to fight your case and preserve your freedom, lifestyle, and reputation.

The Law Offices of Christopher McCann: Your DUI Lawyers Anaheim

When it comes to fighting DUI cases, it is important to have the right lawyer on your side. Our team has been representing individuals for over 15 years. We do this because we understand that DUI charges are scary, and many people go through the worst time in their life while they navigate the legal system. We aim to be a point of support to you during this time.

We believe in developing trust and communication with our clients. No matter what your scenario may be, you can be sure that we will outline your rights, discuss your options and potential outcomes, and help to advise you to the best possible outcome. We keep you updated every step of the way, so you never have to feel confused or lost while your case moves through the legal system.

It is our passion to help people through the dark period after a DUI. We are here to support you and help you win; our results speak for themselves.

What Is a DUI Charge?

Alcohol and drugs can impair a person’s ability to drive a car. Through years of research and development, the federal and state governments have determined that a person can drive a car relatively effectively as long as their blood alcohol content is below .08%. If a driver drives with a blood alcohol content above .08% or while under the influence of any amount of drugs, they are liable to be charged for driving under the influence if a police officer pulls them over. Police officers use breathalyzers and field sobriety tests to determine a driver’s blood alcohol level.

Anaheim DUI Attorney

Why Do I Need an Anaheim DUI Attorney?

Sometimes, individuals who have been arrested for a DUI believe that they can fight their case themselves. Others believe that they do not need an attorney for a first-time offense, while yet others believe that there is no point fighting against the evidence of a breathalyzer test. All of these assumptions are false. It is entirely possible to fight DUI charges and win, as long as you have proper legal representation.

When you attempt to represent yourself, you run the great risk of being unable to offer a rebuttal to the facts of your case and the reality of the law. Prosecuting attorneys paint extremely effective pictures of defendants’ wrongdoings, making it difficult to argue with them. Without proper legal training, you will likely be unable to defend yourself effectively.

Most importantly, however, there is a lot at stake for you when you face DUI charges. If you should lose, you face fines, potential jail time, license revocation, and a permanent record of the event. If you win, your life can go back to relative normalcy. Do not gamble with your life and the lives of your family members. Hire a DUI defense attorney to represent you in your case.

Potential Penalties for Drunk Driving

As mentioned, the law is not lenient about DUI arrests or charges. You will not avoid punishment simply because you have never had a DUI before or because no one was hurt. If found guilty, you will face penalties.

Exact penalties may vary a bit depending on the reality of your case. However, there is a general outline of what you can expect for DUI charges.

First Offense DUI Penalties

If you are convicted of your first DUI, you can expect to receive:

  • A misdemeanor charge
  • Jail time ranging from 0-6 months
  • A fine ranging from $390-$1000
  • A license suspension lasting six months
  • 6 or 12 months with an interlocking ignition device
  • Details of the offense on your record

These penalties are not insignificant and warrant the help of a licensed Anaheim criminal defense attorney.

Second Offense DUI Penalties

For your second DUI, the punishments increase. A repeat offender can expect to receive:

  • A misdemeanor charge
  • Jail time ranging from 96 hours -a year
  • A fine ranging from $390-$1000
  • A license suspension lasting 1 year
  • 12 months with an interlocking ignition device
  • Details of the offense on your record

As you can see, if you are found guilty of a second DUI, you will be serving some jail time. An Anaheim criminal defense lawyer is vital.

Third Offense DUI Penalties

A third DUI offense can expect to see significantly more severe punishments, as the law begins to view the offenses as a habit rather than isolated incidents.

If you are charged with a third DUI, you can expect to receive:

  • A misdemeanor charge
  • Jail time ranging from 120 months to a year
  • A fine up to $1,800
  • A license suspension lasting 3 years
  • 2 years with an ignition interlocking device
  • Details of the offense on your record

The jail time for a third DUI is much more significant than the potential jail sentencing for a second or first DUI. You can expect to spend at least 4 months in jail for your third DUI offense.

Though the above are all categorized as misdemeanors, the consequences are impactful. It is important to understand that any DUI charges can have lasting consequences that may impact the rest of your life.

Felony DUIs

In some situations, a DUI is categorized as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. This carries significantly longer prison times, more severe punishments, and many more personal consequences. Avoiding felony DUI charges is essential for those who wish to live a normal life.

The law categorizes a DUI as a felony if:

  • It caused serious injury to another person
  • It caused another person to die
  • The offender has had 3 or more DUI convictions within the past decade
  • The offender already has a felony DUI charge

Please note that it is possible for a first-time DUI offense to be considered a felony if it seriously injures or kills someone. As we mentioned, there is no leniency for first-time offenders.

Punishments for Felony DUIs

If the court finds you guilty of a DUI, the consequences will reflect the details of your case. Though they are more severe than misdemeanor offenses, your personal conviction may vary slightly depending on the details of the event.

Generally, felony DUIs receive:

  • Prison time ranging from 16 months-4 years
  • Additional prison time depending on the number of individuals who were hurt or killed
  • A fine ranging from $1,015 and $5,000
  • License revocation lasting between 1 and 10 years
  • 3-5 years of formal probation
  • 18-30 months in a DUI educational program

If you have repeat felony DUI offenses, you will see increases in the punishments. The fines will likely grow, and you will almost certainly face longer prison time per offense.

Aggravated Felony DUIs

There are certain circumstances, apart from inflicting injury or death, that can increase your punishment for a DUI. A felony DUI is considered aggravated when certain circumstances made the action especially dangerous or neglectful. Circumstances include:

  • Driving with a child in the car
  • Driving especially fast or recklessly
  • Driving while under the influence and on probation
  • Fleeing from the police
  • Your BAC was .15% or higher

This illustrates some of the variability in these cases. Punishments can be increased or decreased depending on the details of your case. It’s your attorney’s job to argue the circumstances and minimize the penalties (or avoid them altogether).

Potential Defenses Against Drunk Driving Charges

Many people believe that there is no way to fight DUI charges, as they believe breathalyzers and field sobriety tests to be 100% accurate. This is untrue. There are many ways to fight DUI charges, and your attorney can advise you which is best for your unique situation.

One way to fight against a DUI charge is to call the efficacy of the breathalyzer into question. Breathalyzers are not perfect machines, and they are known to produce results that are not entirely accurate. Other field sobriety tests are similarly flawed and are often subject to the arresting officer’s observations, which can be skewed.

An improper stop is another way to defend against a DUI charge. The law states that a police officer may not pull someone over without a cause to do so. This protects citizens and ensures privacy when they are not a threat to public safety. For example, many officers claim that a driver was swerving, which led them to perform a traffic stop. However, they cannot legally pull you over for swerving unless you cross a line on the street or hit something. The stop must have been for a true and legal reason in order for the DUI charges to remain valid.

Duress can come into play in DUI situations as well. If you get behind the wheel of the car to avoid immediate danger, and you would not have under different circumstances, your attorney may argue that you only committed the crime under duress. Similarly, entrapment can be used as well. If you were encouraged by apoliceman to continue to drink over the legal limit, and then you drive and they pull you over, the officers have committed entrapment.

Finally, rising blood alcohol content can be an effective defense as well. This is especially true if the distance between your point of origin and your destination is especially short. A rising blood alcohol defense argues that your blood alcohol content was not above the legal limit when you began to drive, but it reached its legal limit while you were in the car only because the officer stopped you. This argument states that if you had not been stopped, you would have reached your destination without breaking the law.

There may be other defenses as well, depending on your situation. However, these encompass some of the most commonly used defenses for individuals who have been accused of driving under the influence.

Implied Consent

Sometimes, individuals who get pulled over and know that they would fail a breathalyzer or field sobriety test decide to refuse the tests. They believe that in doing so, they will avoid creating major evidence against themselves. It’s important to know that this is not wise.

When you receive your license, you agree to implied consent. This means that you consent to submitting to field sobriety and breathalyzer tests if asked to do so by a police officer. If you choose to refuse the tests, you will face a fine of $125, as well as a minimum of a one-year license suspension.

Please note that you have better chances of avoiding consequences by fighting your case with an experienced attorney. Even if you are ultimately found guilty, the license suspension for a first-time DUI offense is shorter than the license suspension if you refuse to submit to breathalyzer and field sobriety tests.

The DMV

The Department of Motor Vehicles has additional rules and regulations on top of what is required by law. This means that you are subject to penalties through the DMV that are unrelated to penalties you receive in court. A DMV license suspension is your first.

When you get a DUI, you must submit paperwork to the DMV quickly afterward if you would like to keep your license. If you do not submit this paperwork or submit it incorrectly, you face losing your license through the DMV. It is important to take action right away if you want to avoid this.

The DMV may also require you to reapply for a license or may suspend your license on their own if you fail to meet their requirements and deadlines. In order to avoid this, it is important to have an experienced DUI attorney on your side. We can help you navigate the DMV protocol as well as the legal system, ensuring that you avoid any unintended or unplanned consequences.

DUIs and Marijuana

Though marijuana is recreationally legal in California, it is still against the law to drive a car while under the influence of drugs. Though there are no standardized tests for marijuana, a police officer can still arrest you if they believe you to be under the influence of marijuana. If found guilty, you face similar consequences as you would when driving over the legal BAC.

Unintended Consequences of an Anaheim DUI Arrest

Though there are many official consequences and punishments for DUIs, there are several unintended consequences that many individuals experience. Though these punishments are not given by the court, nor are they intentional, they can have a significant impact on a person’s life and future.

Some unintended consequences of DUIs include:

  • Inability to find a good job
  • Inability to find stable housing
  • Loss of friendships
  • Fractured relationships with family members
  • Rejection from credit programs and bank loans
  • Depression and anxiety

Though this list is not meant to intimidate, it does illustrate several other reasons to hire an experienced DUI attorney to fight your case. There is a significant amount at stake when you go to court for a DUI, all of which is worth the investment in an expert attorney.

What To Do if You Are Pulled Over

If you have been pulled over for a DUI, it can be helpful to know what to do. If this happens to you, follow these steps:

  1. Remain calm and answer all the questions you are asked. Try not to implicate yourself, but don’t lie either. Give as little information as you can.
  2. Submit to any breathalyzer or field sobriety tests the police officer requests.
  3. If you are arrested, cooperate with the officer.
  4. Contact your attorney when you get to the station. Do not answer any further questions or speak with anyone until your attorney arrives.

There is very little you can do in the moment to fix a DUI charge or arrest. However, the less you say and do, the stronger your case may be. Allow your Anaheim DUI attorney to speak for you to be sure that you do not say anything that would count as an admission of guilt.

DUI Lawyer Anaheim, CA

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer for DUI?

The cost of your DUI attorney can vary and depends on many different factors. We can do a consultation with you to discuss these factors and evaluate your case, so you will know what to expect.

Contact Experienced Anaheim DUI Lawyers

We have been serving the Anaheim area for many years. An Anaheim DUI lawyer understands the community here, and understands the impact that a DUI can have on the citizens of the area. We work diligently to make sure that our clients feel heard and understood and have the best chance of avoiding lifelong consequences. We know that these situations are intimidating and emotional, which is why we provide empathetic, honest legal service to our clients. We believe that everyone deserves compassion and understanding when in moments of crisis.

To begin the legal processor to ask any questions you may have about our Anaheim County DUI lawyers, please contact our office today.