California DUI

There are many ways to successfully challenge a DUI charge, but the laws are complicated and confusing. It is unfortunate but true that without an experienced DUI lawyer in Orange County, you are likely to find yourself in a battle that you simply cannot win. To add to the already distressing situation in which you find yourself after being arrested for driving under the influence, you have only ten days after your arrest to request a hearing from the DMV or your license will be automatically suspended.

Orange County DUI attorney William Weinberg has successfully defended hundreds of clients charged with DUI. It is very important to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid losing your privilege to drive without a DMV Administrative Per Se Hearing. There are several steps Mr. Weinberg will take to protect your driving privilege and keep you on the road pending the outcome of your case.

But before we get to that, there are some general facts you must know about DUI law in California. Knowing these facts will help you understand why it is crucial to hire the right lawyer right away.

BASIC CALIFORNIA DUI LAW

If you are over the age of 21, it is a crime to drive a car in California if your blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, is a .08 or higher. It is also illegal to drive a car while under the influence of drugs, even prescription drugs if those drugs affect your ability to drive. These laws all fall under the many "driving under the influence" code sections found in the California Vehicle and Penal Codes. Under California law, there is no "good drunk driver." Even if you feel perfectly sober and are certain you can drive without impairment, if your BAC is above .08% (or you are under the influence of drugs), you will be charged with a DUI.

All too often, a driver gets behind the wheel after "only a couple of drinks," thinking he or she is perfectly able to drive. Perhaps that driver is driving in an apparent safe manner and violating no vehicle codes, but suddenly is rear-ended by another car. A police officer is cruising by, stops at the collision and smells the slight odor of alcohol on the driver's breath. Or consider the example of "Dave Defendant" who just left a promotion party in his honor, feeling only a little "buzzed."

DUI CHARGES AND SENTENCING

Even a first-offense DUI can lead to costly and inconvenient consequences. If convicted (or even if you are not convicted but you "lose" at the DMV hearing), your license will be suspended for a period of time. Furthermore, when convicted on a first-offense DUI, the Court will order that you attend DUI-awareness programs and/or classes. You will also be placed on probation and face considerable financial expense in the way of fines, fees, penalties, and increased insurance costs.

In California, a subsequent DUI within 10 years of a prior DUI is considered a "priorable" offense, with increased punishment. First and second DUIs are usually charged as a misdemeanor but subsequent DUIs, or DUIs with injuries (or death) to another party, can be and often are charged as felonies.

The laws regarding sentencing for driving under the influence are complex and confusing. You can read more information on DUI sentencing here. An experienced DUI attorney in Orange County will help you wade through the tangle of laws that affect you and your particular circumstances.

DUI CHECKPOINTS

The United States Supreme Court in its 1990 decision, Michigan Dept. of State Police vs. Stitz, held that the government's interest in protecting citizens outweighed the violation of the driver's Fourth Amendment rights to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure implicated by a sobriety checkpoint.

If you are arrested for driving under the influence at a checkpoint, there are additional defenses that might be available to you as California law has established specific guidelines for sobriety checkpoints. If these guidelines were violated by the police, the DUI arrest can be challenged on those violations. If you were arrested at a checkpoint, please visit the checkpoint page for more information.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, Contact Mr. Weinberg at any time to set up a confidential consultation without charge. He will work with you and your family to setup a fee structure that best suits your circumstances. Orange County DUI lawyer William M. Weinberg will turn over every fact to find a defense. You'll have the confidence that you chose the right lawyer to fight your case.

Orange County DUI Lawyer Blog - DUI

Anyone who is arrested should contact an experienced Orange County DUI Criminal Defense Attorney to determine whether or not their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, were violated.