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I Am Charged With My First DUI Offense - What Should I Do?

So you just got your first DUI offense. You are stressed and upset and wondering what to do next. This is a situation that you have never dealt with before. 

Having never been arrested for DUI before, this situation must seem quite scary. While you think about what consequences you ma be facing for the offense, you know you need to get accurate information and to put together a plan to set your mind ease. That is exactly our job as Orange County DUI lawyers.

To help you through this stressful situation, we've laid out the basic information for what you know about getting you first DUI offense. 

Potential DUI Charges

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

You may be charged with this section if you have an amount of alcohol in your system that impaired your driving. An officer may assume you are guilty of this charge if your driving pattern suggested impairment.

Driving with a .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration or Above

You may be charged with this section if you consumed an amount of alcohol to put you over the legal limit. This may be determined through a breath test or blood analysis.

Driving Under the Influence of a Drug

Be it a prescription or illegal drug, you may be charged under this section if your use of a drug impaired your ability to drive.

The punishment for the charge you face variers based on whether the crime was charged with a misdemeanor. While most DUI offenses are filed as misdemeanors, they may be filed as a felony if a person was injured in an accident as a result of a DUI and that injury was serious. You may also be facing additional punishment if you have prior DUIs on your record. The court and DMV will require you to do alcohol education and install and IID device in your vehicle.

Our job your attorney is to evaluate the evidence and help you either fight your case or get the best possible deal. After we analyze the police report, any audio and any video, we will advise you about all of the possible consequences.

DUI Arrests and How To Handle Them

Now that we understand DUI offenses and their severity, let's look at how to properly handle them.

Getting Booked And Going To Court

After being arrested, the police will book you and either release you on your recognizance or set bail that you can post to be released. The booking process documents that you were there. Many clients reach out to us at this step or after they are released from jail.

Regardless of bail, you will still have to go to court. The court will set a date for the DUI hearing. It is important to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest to preserve that right.

Hire a Good Attorney

It is critical that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled DUI cases in the past. Make sure it is someone specialized in handling DUI cases and is sympathetic to your cause. It is important to understand that having the right attorney by your side can make or break your case. 

When deciding on an attorney, be sure to check referrals and success rates based on a first time DUI cases. Hire someone who shows confidence and has an effective defensive strategy against the court of law. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get a lenient sentence or even get the charges dropped completely for first time DUI offenders. All you need is the right attorney by your side.

You may be facing fines and programs

Along with jail time or probation periods, you may be facing fines ranging from $1800 and above, depending on the severity of the DUI. Those who plead guilty or are convicted will be ordered to attend classes.

These programs address the risks of abuse of alcohol and cover the dangers of drunk driving. They are mandated by the state legislature. Occasionally, a court will agree to vacate a program for an individual who chooses not to drive in the future.

Our job as your Orange County DUI lawyer is to help you every step of the way.

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Lauren Johnson was amazing. She explained everything in ways that were easily understood, & answered all of my question. She was respectful, but also open & honest. She started work on my case the first day we met & got results quickly. She demonstrated passion, concern, and showed true feeling for my situation. My expectations were greatly exceeded. I would say she has an incredible attention for detail, & has a real dedication to her work. Lauren Johnson would be my first recommendation to any of my family or friends similarly in need of legal assistance. - Heather
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I researched a lot of attorneys and had met with two attorneys before speaking with Ms. Johnson and retaining her. I was facing serious charges that could not be on my record, due to my job and was really scared. I felt hopeless & thought my life was ruined...until I found Ms. Johnson... - A criminal defense client (drug case)
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