The Orange County CHP reported making 70 arrests for drunk driving this New Year’s. That number is up significantly from 2011, which reported only 36. As a DUI Defense Attorney practicing in Irvine, California, my experience working with all of the courts in Orange County has shown me that Orange County is one of the strictest when it comes to drinking and driving.
The following are standard penalties associated with a conviction for driving under the influence or DUI, in Orange County, California:
DUI 1st Offense: Jail time (up to 6 months); fines (up to$1,000.00); community service; probation; DUI School; and driver’s license suspension.
DUI 2nd Offense: Jail time (up to a year); fines (up to $1,000.00); community service; probation; DUI School; driver’s license suspension; and vehicle impoundment.
DUI 3rd Offense: Jail time (up to a year); fines (up to $2,000.00); community service; probation; DUI School; driver’s license suspension; and vehicle impoundment.
DUI, or driving under the influence, charges are typically charged as misdemeanors. However, some DUI’s can be charged as felonies. A DUI that is charged as a Felony DUI, usually involves DUI manslaughter; DUI causing serious injury; 3rd DUI conviction within 10 years; and 4th DUI conviction at any time. Drunk drivers who cause injury, or DUI with injury is sometimes referred to as a “wobbler” charge, which means that it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. However, prosecutors typically pursue the charge that carries the most punishment.
A conviction for DUI can carry long lasting effects on a person’s life and for that reason, it is important for anyone facing a DUI conviction, to have experienced legal representation. A good Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney, who has expertise in DUI arrests, will make every effort to have the charges reduced and/or dismissed. A key factor in choosing an attorney is to look for an attorney who is familiar with the Court in which the case is pending, as well as the other Courts in Orange County. A good relationship with the Judges, District Attorneys, Court Clerks and other personnel can influence a positive outcome and ensure that you get the best possible result.
If you would like to know more about driving under the influence laws and the defenses thereto, contact Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney William M. Weinberg at his Irvine, California office at 949-474-8008.