Newport Beach DUI Lawyer
A DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences that could haunt you for many years to come. Under California law, DUI is a misdemeanor — but that doesn’t mean that Orange County courts don’t impose steep penalties on offenders. You may be facing huge fines, loss of your driver’s license, time in jail, and a criminal record that could affect your ability to find employment. If you’re facing DUI charges, an experienced Newport Beach DUI lawyer can help you build a strong defense.
At The Law Offices of Scott Henry, we have the knowledge and skills to fight the charges against you, and will work to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
DUI Penalties You Could Be Facing in California
DUI convictions come with serious penalties, which become increasingly severe with each offense.
If nobody is harmed or killed, a first offense DUI could result in:
- Up to six months in jail;
- Driver’s license suspension for one or more years;
- Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling;
- Required installation of ignition interlock, which prevents your car from starting if your blood alcohol level is too high; and
- Thousands of dollars in fines and fees.
A second DUI conviction could result in:
- Up to one year in jail;
- Driver’s license suspension for two years followed by a restricted driver’s license for two years;
- Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling program involvement for up to 30 months;
- Required installation of ignition interlock in your car; and
- Thousands of dollars in fines and fees.
Penalties for additional DUI convictions only get worse. A third or more offense could result in:
- Felony conviction;
- More than a year in jail;
- Driver’s license revocation for up to four years;
- Removal of your vehicle from your possession;
- Mandatory alcohol abuse counseling program participation for 30 months;
- Tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fees; and
- Subjection to strict rules for a probationary period that could lead to jail if violated.
If you are convicted of DUI, you will also be facing long-term effects on your life. The conviction will be on your criminal record for ten years, which could result in a decrease of credit, increase of car insurance premiums, and a lower chance of obtaining stable employment.
What Can You Expect When Dealing With DUI Charges?
What happens after a DUI arrest? Below, we describe the DUI court process in California:
Arrest, Booking, and Testing
After you are pulled over, arrested, and taken to the police station, you will be booked and required to take a chemical blood-alcohol test. You will also have to give up your driver’s license and be given a temporary 30-day one.
Hiring a Lawyer
Before you say anything to the police, you should first call a DUI lawyer. Your DUI attorney will prevent you from saying anything that could harm your case. While you could go with a public defender, you’ll benefit much more by having an experienced Newport Beach DUI lawyer who will devote more time to your case. They also know what to look for when it comes to challenging DUI charges, and can help you navigate the rest of the DUI court process.
You have ten days after arrest to request a DMV administrative hearing to challenge the revocation of your driver’s license. Your lawyer will be able to make a request for the hearing and guide you through it.
The arraignment hearing will be your first criminal hearing where you and your lawyer will face the prosecutor and judge. At the hearing, you will either plead guilty or not guilty before the judge.
Your lawyer will negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. If you agree to the terms of a plea bargain, you could have your penalties reduced or eliminated during pre-trial.
If you don’t agree to a plea bargain, your Newport Beach DUI lawyer can represent you in trial. They will work to convince the judge or jury that the evidence is insufficient to convict you.
A sentencing hearing is the final step after you have agreed to a plea bargain or been convicted of DUI. Before and during the hearing, your attorney can try to reduce any penalties you are facing.
How a Newport Beach DUI Lawyer Can Help
Your Newport Beach DUI attorney knows that field sobriety tests are often unreliable, and that chemical tests often yield inaccurate results because of botched procedures. We can help you challenge the validity of the evidence against you, as well as the credibility of the officer who arrested you and the circumstances leading up to your arrest. If your driver’s license is revoked, we can help you with filing an administrative appeal.
Contact The Law Offices of Scott Henry Today
If you’ve been arrested for DUI, don’t lose hope. But it’s important to act quickly. An experienced Newport Beach DUI lawyer will give you the best chance of reducing or avoiding the harshest penalties. At The Law Offices of Scott Henry, we know how to fight the DUI charges against you and can help you protect your rights.
Retaining a skilled Newport Beach DUI lawyer could be the most important decision you make in the process. Our team has experience handling thousands of cases throughout Southern California, and we understand the complexities of the Orange County Court system. To learn more about your legal options and possible defenses, contact us today.