Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer
Have you or a family member recently been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, also known as a DUI, in the state of California? If so, you should contact our Orange County DUI defense lawyer quickly for a consultation to protect your legal rights. Our attorney can advise you of the various legal consequences following a conviction or a voluntary plea agreement.
Our attorney recognizes that being arrested for a DUI is a stressful, sometimes embarrassing experience. However, you do not have to face the situation alone. Our attorney is experienced representing those facing a DUI conviction, and we have a proven track record of effectively defending driving under the influence related charges. Depending on the circumstances, with a proper defense you may have your charges dismissed or reduced, avoiding the most severe legal consequences of a conviction.
What are the California DUI laws?
Essentially, a person is usually charged for DUI related offenses under two California laws. First, under the California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), a person could be convicted of a DUI if the state can prove that the defendant at the time of the arrest was under the influence of alcohol or drugs such that their mental faculties were impaired and affected their ability to operate a motor vehicle. There is not one single test that must be used by the officers involved under this statute to prove your intoxication. Often a field sobriety test at or above the legal threshold could strengthen the prosecutor’s case against you, but other evidence is permissible—such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (eye test). In other words, absent proof of a blood or breath test, you could still be convicted of a DUI, which is why it is important to contact a California DUI attorney to potentially prevent this type of evidence being used against you in court, depending on your arresting circumstances.
In addition, under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b), a person whose blood alcohol content level (B.A.C.) from the result of breathalyzer or blood test measures .08 percent or higher, could be convicted for driving with an excessive B.A.C.. However, our attorney recognizes that there have been several cases in which the defendant was able to escape a conviction because of errors such as faulty equipment or medical issues that caused the test to produce inaccurate results.
What are the penalties if you are convicted for a DUI?
California DUI law is very complicated and potential punishments depend on a wide range of factors. Generally, the range of possible sentences includes:
First DUI Misdemeanor Conviction:
- Sentenced up to six months jail confinement,
- 3 – 5 year probationary period,
- Court ordered fines in the range of $350 - $1,000 fines
- Mandated three – nine months in an alcohol/drug treatment program,
Because California DUI law makes it tougher on persons who have prior related convictions, a DUI conviction within ten years could result in the following:
- Fines in the range of $390 - $1,000,
- Sentenced to serve a minimum of 96 hours to one year confinement in a county jail,
- 3 – 5 year summary probationary period,
- Mandated completion at a California DUI School for a period of either 18 months or 30 months
Third DUI Misdemeanor Conviction:
- Summary probation for a period of 3 – 5 years,
- Sentenced to confinement in a county jail for a period of a minimum of 120 days to a maximum of one year,
- Fines in the range of $390 - $1,000
- Mandated 30-hour California court-approved DUI School,
- Designation as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) in the California DMV database
Beyond these possibilities, you may be subjected to having to an interlock ignition device installed in your vehicle. Also, the California DUI law triggers a civil case against you because your driver’s license will be suspended for at least a temporary period. If you wish to have your driving privileges restored, you will have to file for a hearing with the DMV. Since the law only allows you a short period to request this hearing, you will need to consult with an attorney immediately after your arrest. Our attorney can help you get your driver’s license back and could also get you a restricted driver’s license in the event there are other incidents which could be a barrier to restoration of your license.
What are the California DUI defenses?
Our criminal defense attorney knows that the penalties for a DUI conviction are tough, which makes it critical for you to have the representation from an attorney who is experienced with these types of cases. Our attorney is well aware of the different legal defenses to fight your charge.
In general defendants in a California DUI case have a wide range of defenses available to challenge their charge, including:
- Faulty Breathalyzer and Blood Test Equipment
- Law Enforcement Errors (such as the failure to conduct an appropriate standardized field test)
- False BAC Result due to residual mouth alcohol
- Breath Test was not properly calibrated
- The arresting officer did not have reasonable cause to stop you
Orange County Domestic Violence Defense at the Law Office of Lauren K. Johnson
The criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Lauren K. Johnson is proud to represent all those who have been charged with a DUI offense in our area. We understand that a DUI conviction can carry life-altering results. If you or a family member has been arrested for driving under the influence, get in touch with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after the arrest to ensure that you have an advocate on your side every step of the way. We can be reached by phone at 949-622-5522 or you can send us a message online today.