Dealing with a DUI Charge in California
Driving under the influence (DUI) is against the law in California. Any driver arrested for DUI will likely face a host of penalties. This is especially true for drivers who have histories of past DUI violations; DUI conviction penalties increase with subsequent offenses. All drivers have a responsibility to drive safely, obey the traffic laws, and refrain from drinking and driving. However, the police have a professional duty to ensure that arrests are conducted under the rules of due process and that arrested suspects’ rights are preserved.
If you or a relative face DUI charges, dealing with a DUI charge in California is much easier with the right attorney by your side. At the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, we understand the significant consequences a DUI conviction can have on your life. We want to help you avoid them if at all possible.
Can a DUI Be Dismissed in CA?
An experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer’s first goal in any DUI defense case should be to determine whether any grounds for case dismissal exist. Many DUI cases are thrown out of court because arresting officers failed to follow proper procedures, violated a suspect’s Constitutional rights, or otherwise failed to uphold due process for the suspect. Your Orange County DUI defense lawyer should carefully review the police record for your arrest and evaluate whether the arrest was justified and lawful. DUI cases may be dismissed due to lack of evidence, improperly obtained evidence, due process violations, or other possible reasons.
How Do I Get My License Back After a DUI Conviction?
One of the penalties for DUI in California is suspension of the convicted person’s driver’s license. A first-time DUI offense usually results in a six-month driver’s license suspension, but this could be extended for serious DUI offenses. Suspension will also be longer if an arrested person has a history of prior DUI convictions.
In some cases, a person convicted of DUI can petition a judge to allow them to maintain a restricted driver’s license that allows them to continue working and attend required DUI classes and community service appointments as their sentence dictates. The only way to have your driver’s license reinstated following a DUI conviction is to either petition for a restricted license you can use for specific purposes until your suspension period ends or wait out the suspension period.
How Likely Is Jail Time for First DUI?
Jail time is always a potential penalty for a DUI conviction in California. However, first-time DUI offenders are unlikely to face jail time unless they caused an accident, damaged property, injured someone, or resisted arrest. Most first-time DUI violations that do not result in injury or death typically result in probation with no jail time. An Orange County DUI defense lawyer is your best resource if you are concerned that the circumstances of your first-time DUI conviction could lead to jail time. In fact, a good attorney can potentially help a first-time DUI offender plead down to a “wet reckless,” which typically incurs much lighter penalties than a DUI conviction.
Should I Fight My DUI?
You have every right to defend yourself from criminal charges of any kind. The strength of the evidence against you determines how likely you are to succeed in fighting your DUI. When dealing with a DUI charge in California, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. The police must have had probable cause to conduct the traffic stop that led to your arrest, and you have the right to challenge both the circumstances of your arrest and the validity of their evidence against you.
If you simply accept the conviction, you risk facing the full range of penalties that accompany a DUI charge. If you are arrested in California for DUI, you have the right to make a phone call and speak to an attorney after booking. Take advantage of this right and consult an Orange County DUI defense lawyer to determine how likely you are to beat the charges you face.
Potential Consequences of DUI Conviction
If you are unable to plea to a lesser charge and face conviction, the penalties you might face, and the long-term consequences of your arrest can be steep. First, DUI conviction often leads to fines and mandatory DUI school and/or drug and alcohol counseling. DUI conviction also entails driver’s license suspension for at least six months, with the possibility of the convicted driver qualifying for a restricted license if they need it for work.
Multiple DUI offenses will compound these penalties. For example, while a first-time DUI conviction may not result in jail time for the offender, a second DUI conviction would incur a minimum of 96 hours up to a maximum of one year in jail. Once an individual has been convicted of DUI four times, they face felony penalties as well as permanent loss of their driver’s license, mandatory substance abuse treatment, and more.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
Every US citizen can obtain defense representation free of charge when facing criminal cases by working with public defenders. While the overwhelming majority of public defenders are experienced and reliable attorneys, they typically manage many cases at a time. They simply cannot provide the same degree of individualized attention that a defense client could expect from a private defense firm.
When you work with the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann in your DUI case, you can rest assured you will have a team of fierce legal advocates at your disposal to answer your questions and help you feel more confident about your case. You can trust your Orange County DUI defense lawyer to thoroughly scrutinize the evidence being used against you and to review the circumstances of your arrest, booking, and treatment to ensure due process has been followed.
Dealing with a DUI charge in California can make it feel like your whole life is on hold. Without the right legal counsel on your side, you could face serious personal and professional consequences from a DUI conviction that cause you problems for years to come. If you are ready to discuss your defense with a compassionate and reliable Orange County DUI defense lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann today and schedule a meeting with our team.