Tustin DUI Lawyer

If you’ve been charged with DUI in Tustin, chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious about what to do next. Orange County courts are particularly tough on DUI offenders. And a conviction could mean hefty fines, a suspended or revoked driver’s license, and jail time — not to mention a criminal record that will follow you for years. An experienced Tustin DUI lawyer can help you protect your future.

At The Law Offices of Scott Henry, we know how to build a strong DUI defense, and we can work to have the charges against you reduced or dropped.

Penalties for DUI in Tustin

Penalties that come with a DUI conviction are serious, and the severity of punishment increases with each offense. Consequences are also harsher the more intoxicated you were when arrested, and even more severe if anyone was seriously injured or killed.

First Offense

California law treats a first offense as a misdemeanor. Penalties include:

  • Jail time (up to six months);
  • Driver’s license suspension for one or more years;
  • Required alcohol abuse counseling;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system in your car; and
  • Fines and fees of thousands of dollars.

Second Offense

While a second offense is still treated as a misdemeanor in California, the penalties worsen. They include:

  • Jail time (up to one year);
  • Driver’s license suspension for two years followed by another two years with a restricted driver’s license;
  • Required alcohol abuse treatment program participation for up to 30 months;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system in your car; and
  • Fines and fees of thousands of dollars.

Third or More Offense

A third or additional offense could lead to a felony conviction, as well as the following penalties:

  • Jail time (more than one year);
  • Driver’s license revocation for up to four years and loss of your car;
  • Required alcohol abuse treatment program participation for 30 months;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock system in your car;
  • Fines and fees of tens of thousands of dollars in fines and fees; and
  • A probationary period during which you must obey strict rules or go to jail.

In addition to criminal penalties, a DUI conviction can lead to higher car insurance premiums, a lower credit score, and a criminal record that will impact your ability to obtain a loan or gain stable employment. Our experienced Tustin DUI lawyer can help you.

What Happens After a DUI Arrest in California?

Once you are pulled over and arrested for DUI, you will be taken to the police station to be booked. There, law enforcement will typically administer a chemical blood-alcohol test, as well as seize your driver’s license and replace it with a temporary 30-day license.

At this point, you have entered the California criminal justice system. Below, we outline what happens next in the DUI court process:

DMV Administrative Hearing

You have ten days after the arrest to request a hearing to challenge the DMV’s revocation of your license.

Arraignment

At your first criminal court appearance, you will meet the prosecutor and judge and enter your plea of guilty or not guilty.

Pre-Trial

Before trial, your Tustin DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. If you agree to plead guilty in exchange for reduced penalties, your case will be resolved without the need for trial.

Trial

If you can’t agree on a plea deal, your case will proceed to trial. Your Tustin DUI lawyer will challenge the prosecution’s evidence against you and try to convince the court that the evidence is insufficient to convict you.

Sentencing

Whether you agree to a plea bargain or receive a conviction, you will be required to attend a sentencing hearing. Your Tustin DUI attorney will use this opportunity to reduce your sentence to the extent possible.

What If I Failed My Field Sobriety Test?

When it comes to administering field sobriety tests or conducting chemical tests, proper protocols and procedures must be followed. And even then, the results are notoriously unreliable.

An experienced Tustin DUI lawyer can help you challenge the validity of such test results in court or prove that they are inadmissible as evidence. They can also challenge the credibility of the arresting officer as well as the circumstances that led to the arrest.

An Experienced Tustin DUI Lawyer Can Help

Before you make any statements to the police, speak to an experienced DUI attorney. They will ensure that you don’t say or do anything that could hurt your case or further incriminate you. And while you may be able to have access to a public defender, it’s best to have a dedicated attorney who can devote more time to your case and build a strong defense on your behalf.

An attorney who specializes in DUI defense will know how to fight the charges against you — and can educate you regarding your legal rights as well as recommend strategies to reduce or eliminate penalties.

Contact The Law Offices of Scott Henry Today

At The Law Offices of Scott Henry, we understand the stress you’re facing. And we have the knowledge and skills necessary to help you build a strong defense. As a premier Orange County DUI defense firm, we have defended thousands of clients in an array of DUI matters.

A DUI conviction can have devastating effects on your life. Don’t try to handle it alone. Retaining an experienced Tustin DUI lawyer will ensure that maximize your chances of successfully fighting the charges against you. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.