Thousands of Cases Successfully Handled
We Offer Representation in Spanish
Over 45 Years of Collective Experience
Highly Respected by Peers and Clients
Former Deputy District Attorney
Impressive Track Record of Results
2nd DUI with Collision No Jail Time
DUI - 0.12% BAC Not Guilty
DUI with a Collision No Jail Time
Felony DUI Case Dismissed
Felony DUI Prison Sentence Significantly Reduced
Providing Defense in OC for a Range of DUI Matters
In Orange County, a person can be charged with driving under the influence when their ability to safely operate a vehicle was impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, or when they had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher (or 0.04 for CDL holders or 0.01 for persons under 21 years of age). The exact charges a person can face depend on their situation.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our DUI lawyers in Orange County can defend against a wide range of charges including, but not limited to:
Generally, a first, second, or third DUI in OC is charged as a misdemeanor. However, when aggravating factors are present, these violations can be elevated to felonies, which carry harsher penalties. Aggravating factors are things that make the offense worse. They can include:
- Excessive BAC: A BAC of 0.15 or above is considered excessive.
- Chemical test refusal: Refusing to be subject to a blood, breath, or urine test to determine BAC or whether drugs are present in the driver's system can lead to an enhanced sentence.
- Excessive speed: Driving more than 30 mph on a freeway or 20 mph on any other road while under the influence can result in an additional 60 days to the defendant's sentence.
- Reckless driving: If a person was under the influence and driving in a way that showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others or property, they could face enhanced penalties.
- Minor in the vehicle: A defendant could be subject to a mandatory 48 hours in jail if they had a minor under 14 years of age in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
- Causing an accident: When considering sentencing, a judge might impose harsher penalties if the defendant caused an accident that led to the injury of another.
Aggravated DUI charges are serious. Allow our OC driving under the influence attorneys to defend you.
A first, second, or third OC DUI violation is typically a misdemeanor. Although misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, they are still severe. A conviction can lead to jail, fines, and suspension of driving privileges. The defendant may also be required to attend an alcohol abuse education treatment program and will have a mark on their criminal record.
A few situations exist when an Orange County DUI can be charged as a felony. This includes when the driver has 3 or more previous DUI convictions, a prior felony conviction, or caused an accident resulting in injury. Felony DUIs can lead to up to 4 years of imprisonment, a fine, and driver's license suspension.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
A person might be charged with DUI drugs if their motor or mental faculties were affected by a prescription medication or an illicit substance like cocaine. Typically, if an officer suspects that a person was driving under the influence, but a preliminary screening did not detect alcohol, the officer might attribute physical conditions or driving behavior to drug use. These cases often rest on the officer's or a Drug Recognition Expert's observations.
If a person is drunk or buzzed, they might do the responsible thing and not get behind the wheel. They might hop on a bicycle as an alternative mode of transportation. Unfortunately, riding a bike while drunk can still lead to DUI charges in Orange County. The offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by fines only.
In Orange County, persons under 21 years of age are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Note that the individual does not have to be drunk to be facing charges. A conviction under California's Zero Tolerance law can result in a 1-year driver's license suspension. A conviction under the underage DUI law can result in a fine and a requirement to complete an alcohol education program.
Regardless of the offense you have been accused of, our Orange County DUI attorneys are ready to provide the vigorous defense you need.
Orange County DUI Arrests and Loss of Driving Privileges
In an OC DUI case, police officers need probable cause to stop and arrest someone. Probable cause means that the officer had a concrete, legal reason to justify their actions. For instance, the police cannot pull someone over because they had a hunch that the individual was intoxicated after seeing them walk out of a bar. They can only make a stop if they observe the driver engaging in unlawful behavior, such as running a red light.
Likewise, after an officer pulls a driver over on suspicion of driving under the influence, they can only make an arrest if they have a justifiable reason to do so. Justifiable reasons might include poor performance on field sobriety tests or the driver's physical condition suggesting that they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
After an officer arrests a driver on suspicion of DUI in Orange County, they will order the individual to submit to chemical testing to determine whether alcohol and/or drugs are present in their system. Under California's implied consent law, any person lawfully arrested for driving under the influence has implicitly agreed to be subject to these tests.
If the driver refuses or fails (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher) the test, they can be subject to immediate driver's license revocation. The arresting officer will confiscate the individual's driver's license and issue a temporary one valid for 30 days. The driver has 10 days to request a DMV hearing and challenge the administrative suspension of their driving privileges.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our OC DUI lawyers can represent you at your DMV hearing. There are various ways to contest the administrative suspension of driving privileges, such as arguing that the police did not have probable cause to make a stop or an arrest. We will review your case to determine what course of action to take.
Defenses to DUI Charges in Orange County
Being accused of driving under the influence does not mean a person is guilty. It is possible to challenge the allegation.
Potential defenses to OC DUI charges include, but are not limited to:
- Arguing that the stop or arrest was unlawful
- Arguing that the driver was unlawfully subjected to field sobriety or chemical testing
- Challenging the validity of chemical test results
- Providing an alternative explanation for driving behavior or physical condition
Although the above are some ways an Orange County driving under the influence accusation can be challenged, it is important to note that a one-size-fits-all strategy does not exist. An OC DUI attorney must examine all the facts to determine what defense to mount in a case.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, we are prepared to thoroughly investigate your case and hear your side of the story. By having a complete picture of what happened, we can develop a defense tailored for you.
DUI Expungement in Orange County
An OC DUI conviction has lasting effects. Not only might the individual have to serve a term of incarceration or pay a fine, but they will also have a criminal record. A criminal record can affect a person's ability to find a job, qualify for credit, or even find a place to live.
Fortunately, relief may be available through expungement. A DUI expungement allows an individual to have their criminal case dismissed. Although their record is not completely erased (it is still available in limited circumstances), for the most part, they can legally state that the conviction did not happen.
Individuals can request an expungement of their OC misdemeanor DUI after they have completed their sentence, provided that they meet eligibility criteria. For felony cases, they must first seek a reduction to a misdemeanor and then apply for an expungement.
At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our Orange County DUI lawyers can review your record and discuss your options for relief. We will guide you through the expungement process and help you seek a second chance.