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Orange County DUI Defense

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DUI Defense: Areas We Serve

Recently been arrested for driving under the influence?

In the state of California, penalties associated with this type of crime are extremely serious and, depending on the charge, life-altering in nature. For this reason, if you are currently facing something of this nature, you do not have a moment to lose.

Our legal team is proud to serve the residents of the following areas:

Gold & Witham also represents clients at the following courthouses:

The Orange County DMV Hearing

If you have been arrested for DUI or refused a chemical test, you only have ten days to request a DMV hearing. This is the administrative, not the criminal hearing. If you fail to request this hearing within the ten-day timeframe, then you waive your right to contest your license suspension. An Orange County DUI attorney from our firm can represent you at the DMV hearing. In many cases, these hearings are held over the phone but we believe the best chance of success is by requesting an in-person hearing. Gold & Witham is also often able to represent clients at these hearings without our clients present.

DUI Penalties in California

California Vehicle Code § 23152 is the statute which outlaws driving under the influence of alcohol over the legal limit and driving under the influence of drugs. If you are convicted of a DUI and your suspension is not cleared at the DMV hearing, then you can face the following penalties:

  • 1 st DUI can warrant up to six months of license suspension, up to six months in jail, fines up to $1,800 and probation up to five years.
  • 2 nd DUI can warrant up to two years of license suspension, up to one year in jail, up to $2,800 in fines, up to five years' probation and required ignition interlock device (IID) installation.
  • 3 rd and Subsequent DUIs can warrant three years' suspension to permanent revocation, years in jail, lengthy probation and IID installation.
  • DUI with Injury or Death can warrant three to four years in state prison (up to ten for gross negligence), up to permanent license revocation and fines.

There are also stricter regulations for drivers of commercial motor vehicles and drivers under the age of 21. For commercial drivers, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04 percent and for underage drivers, there is "zero tolerance" which means .01 percent or higher BAC could constitute an arrest.

Challenging DUI Charges

To effectively challenge a DUI charge in an Orange County court or at a DMV hearing, an attorney must understand the science behind a DUI in addition to the California laws and police procedure for DUI arrests. In order to be convicted for DUI and have your license suspended, the state prosecutor must prove that your BAC at the time of driving was at or above the legal limit. In test refusal cases, a defense attorney must prove to the administrative judge that a suspension is not warranted. Because of this, DUI cases rise and fall based on the evidence. DUI evidence includes police procedure and chemical test results, primarily.

Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests are used by law enforcement officials to determine if the driver whom they pulled over or stopped at a checkpoint might be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These are preliminary tests that take place before a DUI arrest and can include the preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) device, the walk and turn test, the one-leg stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus.

Breath, Blood & Urine Tests
These are the chemical tests required by law after law enforcement has made a lawful arrest. Refusing a chemical test is grounds for an automatic license suspension. Breath tests are most common in suspected driving under the influence of alcohol cases while blood and urine tests are more common in DUI of drugs cases.

Police Procedure
Law enforcement officials have to follow strict procedures when stopping vehicles, making arrests and requiring chemical tests. If improper procedure was used in any phase of the DUI process, then the evidence may be discounted and the charged dismissed or reduced to something like reckless driving.

Contacting Orange County DUI Lawyers at Gold & Witham

Gold & Witham Orange County DUI attorneys have the experience, knowledge and resources you need to combat your DUI head on. A drunk driving offense can result in criminal penalties as well as administrative driving penalties, placing financial burden as well as extreme inconvenience on your everyday life. Call our law firm today to schedule a free evaluation of your case. Trust Gold & Witham with your case!