Arrested for DUI in Orange County, California

A DUI charge is when someone operates or drives a vehicle while “under the influence” of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. A DUI is also when someone’s BAC (blood alcohol content) in their body is .08% or greater or if under 21 years of age, .01% or greater.

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DUI Arrests

What is the punishment for DUI in Orange County, California?

Punishment for 1st DUI:

You can be sentenced up to 6 months in the county jail. However, there is no mandatory jail time. In Orange County, most cases will resolve with no jail time. However, in situations where there was an accident or property damage or someone was injured, the District Attorney will want jail time. You will be required to complete a 3 month alcohol program for a standard DUI. If you’re BAC is .15% or greater, the District Attorney will want you do complete a 6 or 9 month alcohol program. You may be asked to complete a Victim Impact class. You will be put on informal probation for 3 years and ordered to pay the DUI fines and fees which come close to $1,500 $2,000.Your driver’s license will be confiscated and you may be given a temporary driver’s license for 30 days. You have 10 calendar days to request a DMV hearing to fight your driver’s license suspension. You should have a good DUI defense attorney to represent you at this DMV hearing. If your BAC is .08% or greater, your driver’s license will be suspended for 4 months. You may request a restricted driver’s license to and from work or school after you have enrolled in the alcohol program. Completion of the alcohol program is required by the DMV in order to fully restore your driver’s license.

Some counties require an ignition interlock device (a small gadget that will prevent your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath) if your BAC is .015% or more or you refused a chemical test. Here, in Orange County, the courts are no longer requiring the ignition interlock device.
Your car insurance will go up and you will need to talk to your insurance company about filling out any paperwork and how much it will go up and for how long.

Punishment for 2nd DUI:

If you get a 2nd DUI within 10 years, you could be sentenced up to 1 year in the county jail. There is a mandatory 10 days in jail by law. In Orange County, the District Attorney will usually want between 45-90 days of jail depending on the facts of your case and how close in time your previous DUI was. You will be required to complete an 18 month alcohol program and possibly a Victim Impact class. You will be on informal probation for 3-5 years and ordered to pay the DUI fines and fees which come close to $1,500- $2000.

Your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year and possibly longer. You will need to contact the DMV as they are in charge of your driver’s license and suspensions.

Punishment for 3rd DUI:

If you get a 3rd DUI within 10 years, there is a mandatory 120 days in jail by law. In Orange County, the District Attorney will usually want between 180 – 365 days of jail depending on the facts of your case and how close in time your previous DUI’s were. You will be required to complete an 18 month alcohol program and possibly a Victim Impact class. You will be on informal probation for 3-5 years and ordered to pay the DUI fines and fees which come close to $1,500 – $2,000.

Punishment for 4th DUI:

If you get a 4th DUI within 10 years, you will be charged with a felony DUI charge. You could be sentenced to 16 months, 2 years, or 4 years in jail. You will be required to complete an alcohol program for the DMV only and usually it is for more than 2 years.

The District Attorney’s office in Orange County will want you to complete a Victim Impact or MADD (mother’s against drunk driving class) and give a sample of your DNA to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. You need a good defense attorney to fight for you and go to the Judge to get a standard DUI offer without these additional (non-mandatory) conditions. Your attorney can also convert any fines to community service and possibly negotiate house arrest or other options instead of any mandatory jail time. Your attorney can also fight to get you less than 5 years probation on a DUI with prior convictions.

How long are you held in jail for DUI in Orange County, California?

For a 1st time DUI, you will usually be held in jail for 1 -2 days and then released with your promise to appear in court for your criminal case. If it is a 2nd or subsequent DUI, you will remain in jail unless you post bail.

How long is a DUI on your record?

In California, a DUI will stay on your driving and criminal record for a period of 10 years. The 10 years are counted from the date of arrest/offense and not from the date of conviction. For example, you were arrested for a first DUI on September 1, 2008 but you went to court and eventually plead guilty on January 1, 2009. If you get another DUI before 10 years from the date of offense – September 1, 2008 – you will be charged with a prior DUI and be facing subsequent consequences.

Is your license suspended immediately after a DUI?

The arresting police officer will likely take your driver’s license and either issue you a temporary 30 days driver’s license or advise you to go to the DMV. Your driver’s license can be suspended immediately after a DUI arrest and a good DUI defense attorney can ask for a DMV hearing to fight that suspension until your court case is settled. If your driver’s license is not taken by the arresting officer, it will be taken in court when you take a plea bargain and conclude your criminal case. You will have to contact the DMV to take the proper procedures such as filling out the SR 22 form and paying fees and wait the suspension period before getting your driver’s license reinstated.

Is a DUI in Orange County, California a felony or misdemeanor?

1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI’s within a 10 year period are usually charged as misdemeanors. A 4th DUI is charged as a felony. However, a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI can also be charged as a felony if someone dies or is seriously injured as a result. If you have a prior felony DUI, any subsequent DUI’s will likely be charged as felonies. You need a good DUI defense attorney to get that reduced to a misdemeanor.
In Orange County, when you get convicted of a 1st DUI, the Judge will give you an admonishment in court that states you have now been advised that if you drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and someone is killed as a result, the Orange County District Attorney can and will charge you with murder.

What is the bail amount for DUI?

The bail amount in Orange County for a DUI is:
1st time: $2,500
2nd time: $10,000
3rd time: $15,000
4th time: (felony) $50,000

Can you pass a background check with a DUI?

A DUI will show up on your background check unless you get it expunged. Most employers ask on job applications if you have been convicted of any felonies. They usually do not ask about misdemeanors. However, if they do a thorough background check, all your criminal convictions will show up. Any certifications, licensing, and/or government background checks will also show any DUI convictions.

Is a DUI a traffic violation in Orange County, California?

The DUI laws are stated in California’s Vehicle Codes. They are considered traffic violations for the purposes of the DMV and insurance. You will need to contact your local DMV and your insurance company regarding what consequences a DUI conviction has in addition to any consequences you face in criminal court.

How do you get a DUI off your record?

You can do an expungement – asking for the dismissal of your conviction based on no further law violations. An expungement will result in (1), an entry in the court record and your rap sheet as a later dismissal of your conviction, (2) allow you to answer legally and honestly that you have not been convicted of a crime on most job applications, and (3) prevent the use of the conviction to impeach you if you testify as a witness.

Can a DUI affect getting a job? Are there career implications?

Getting a DUI can certainly affect getting a job. Some employers will not hire anyone with a DUI conviction. If your job entails driving, a DUI can have adverse effects on your everyday work. If you are applying for certain certifications, licenses, or government jobs, a DUI conviction may make you ineligible. This is why you need a good DUI defense attorney to fight for you and see if they can get your DUI dismissed or reduced.

What is the difference between a DUI & DWI?

A DUI stands for driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Some states call it a DWI. In California, we refer to it as a DUI. But, essentially it is the same thing.

How much does car insurance go up after DUI?

You will need to contact your insurance company to see how much your insurance will go up after a DUI arrest and conviction.

Can you expunge a DUI in Orange County, California?

Yes, absolutely. A DUI expungement in Orange County is just like any other expungement. Your DUI defense attorney can file the proper paperwork on your behalf once you have completed all your conditions of probation.

Do first time DUI offenders go to jail in Orange County, California?

Yes, usually the arresting officer will take you to jail when they decide to arrest you for a DUI. On a 1st DUI, you will most likely be released within 1 -2 days with your promise to appear for your court date.

California DUI Defense

If you or your loved one were arrested and charged with driving under the influence of Alcohol in Orange County California, you may have several options to help defend your innocence. Contact one of our Orange County DUI defense attorneys today. Having had successful DUI case outcomes for the majority of those I have represented, our firm has the experience and history of success that will help you to feel confident about your case moving forward.

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