Driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious offense in Southern California with very serious consequences. If you or someone you know has recently been arrested for DUI and face criminal charges for the offense, you can trust your situation to our team. Our compassionate law firm, coupled with my skills and experience, can make a huge difference in your case. I can help explain your rights and the value of hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests in court. A DUI arrest can not only lead to significant legal penalties but also damage your personal and professional reputation, potentially jeopardizing your parental rights, legal right to drive, and future job opportunities.
Prosecutors in California pursue DUI cases very aggressively, and you can expect the arresting officers in your case to look for every bit of evidence they can find to prove your guilt and maximize the legal penalty you will incur. However, I am an experienced Southern California DUI attorney who can help you determine the best available defenses in your case and assist you in minimizing the fines and other penalties a DUI conviction might entail.
Do you know your rights after being arrested for a DUI? I am Christopher McCann, managing attorney of the Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann, APC, in Santa Ana. I have dedicated my professional life to protecting the rights of the accused. For more than 20 years, I have represented clients facing drunk driving offenses in California. These charges are serious and need to be handled by an experienced lawyer you can trust. You can face imprisonment, significant fines, loss of driving privileges and damage to your reputation. Do you know what happens after a DUI arrest? I can help you understand the process so you know what to expect.
The harsh reality of a DUI charge needs to be dealt with immediately. I am committed to protecting your rights and will guide you through the entire process, so you know what to expect and what options are available.
Call me right away if you have been charged with a DUI. Do not wait or think the charge will go away on its own.
I will tailor your DUI defense to your specific situation. After speaking to you about what happened and what your goals are for your case, I will investigate the case to learn everything I can about the incidents leading to your stop, arrest, and chemical test, as well as obtain all the evidence necessary to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
The police throughout Southern California patrol their routes and stay vigilant for signs of dangerous, erratic, or possibly intoxicated drivers. If you were pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the officer may claim that you were driving erratically, committed a moving violation, or were weaving in a manner consistent with how an intoxicated person would behave behind the wheel. California law does not require you to submit to a field sobriety test or a preliminary alcohol screening. However, the implied consent laws for drivers in California require them to submit to at least one chemical test following a lawful arrest for DUI or suffer an extended suspension of their driving privilege.
In many cases, it is in your best interests to be cooperative without providing unnecessary or potentially incriminating information. The officers who stopped your vehicle must have reasonable suspicion to conduct the stop. They may claim you have bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, or smell of alcohol to convince you that you must submit to a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. In most cases, these measures simply allow the police to complete their arrest.
It is crucial to remember that if a police officer has pulled you over for suspicion of DUI, they are likely already convinced that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and are simply looking for anything that supports their case. Under California law, you are only required to provide your driver’s license, proof of vehicle registration, and proof of auto insurance coverage during a traffic stop.
If the police ask you other questions, you are well within your rights to politely decline to answer additional questions without the presence of your legal counsel, just be prepared for them to arrest you for DUI if you are uncooperative. Expect that you will need to submit to a chemical test at the police station under California’s implied consent laws.
When you work with me, I will provide you with direct attention and advice throughout your case. I have experience handling DUI cases involving:
I understand the court process for DUI cases, and I personally handle court hearings to ensure everything is handled properly. I will carefully evaluate all evidence and reports in your case to find the best strategy to win your case.
In some cases, it’s possible to challenge the evidence the police bring against you if it does not meet the appropriate legal standards. An experienced Southern California defense attorney can put holes in a prosecution’s case, potentially causing them to fail to meet the Constitutional standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s also possible in some cases for an attorney to help a client charged with a DUI offense to plead to a “wet reckless,” which typically incurs much lighter penalties and fewer long-term consequences than a DUI conviction.
Unfortunately, many individuals commit multiple DUI offenses, and each subsequent conviction entails harsher punishment than the last. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, the typical penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include fines that can total approximately $2,000. Some first offenses could lead to jail time of up to six months depending on the given situation, but most non-injury offenses result in only a term of informal probation and no jail time.
When it comes to actions against one’s license, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will pursue an administrative license suspension on your driver’s license for four months if they can prove a DUI chemical tests reports a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. If you were to refuse your chemical test after a lawful DUI arrest, then this administrative suspension increases to one full year. The license suspension penalty for a criminal conviction for a first-time DUI offense is typically six months. A first-time DUI offense is also likely to lead a three year probation period, during which time the DUI offender may need complete mandatory counseling, a driver safety course, and drug and alcohol education courses.
The penalties for DUI increase dramatically with subsequent offenses. A second DUI conviction will lead to more expensive fines, a minimum of 96 hours to up to one year in jail, three to five years of probation, and a driver’s license suspension for two years. A third DUI conviction typically leads to fines, 120 days or more in jail, three to five years of probation, and a driver’s license suspension of two years or more. Additionally, individuals with multiple DUI convictions will need to drive with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) attached to their vehicle for up to two years. A DUI charge with three prior convictions, can result in a felony conviction, a permanent driver’s license revocation, up to 3 years in prison, significant fines, mandatory substance abuse treatment, and more.
The penalties for a DUI conviction, even a first-time conviction, are very serious, and they can have lasting personal and professional consequences on your life. The police will look for any and all evidence they can find to build a case against you, and without legal representation, you may face much harsher sentencing than you truly deserve. You don’t have to fight this alone. As a Southern California DUI defense attorney, I will be your essential ally when you face a criminal charge for DUI in Orange County or anywhere else in Southern California.
If you or a loved one is arrested on suspicion of DUI, it is imperative to secure legal counsel as soon as possible. Get the personal attention your case deserves by hiring a private Southern California criminal defense attorney like me. You need an experienced attorney representing you if you have been charged with a DUI. Call me at 888-360-4256 or send me an email to schedule a free consultation.