Once you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), a flood of questions will enter your mind, and that’s understandable. To help you better understand your situation, we are going to answer five key questions about DUI in Orange County.
Continue reading to learn more, and for further assistance don’t hesitate to contact our DUI defense firm! We gladly offer free consultations to individuals facing drug and alcohol-related DUI charges.
1. I only had one or two drinks, can I still be charged with DUI?
Under Vehicle Code Sec. 23152(a), it’s unlawful for someone who is under the influence of alcohol to drive a motor vehicle, so that means that so long as the prosecution can prove that your normal faculties were impaired, then yes, you can be charged with DUI.
2. Did I have to perform the field sobriety tests?
Contrary to popular belief, under California law you have no legal obligation to perform the standardized field sobriety tests. If the officer asks you to perform these tests, you should politely decline. If you were forced to do it, your rights may have been violated during the traffic stop.
If a driver agrees to take these tests (which we do not recommend), they must understand that they are probably being videotaped on the officer’s dash cam and if they have one, on the officer’s body camera.
The camera footage from these tests are used against drivers to make a DUI arrest and secure a conviction in court. Remember, even sober people have difficulty performing these physically demanding tests.
3. Should I have blown into the breathalyzer?
Ask a group of DUI defense attorneys and you will get different answers to this question, so there isn’t a right or wrong answer. The answer is fact specific and depends on the circumstances.
For example, some drivers have had a lot to drink and they’re certain they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is above the .08% legal limit. In these situations, it may benefit the driver not to take a breath test, but they must know that their license will be automatically suspended for one year for refusal.
On the other hand, a driver may have had two drinks but they are not “sure” if they are above the legal limit. In that case it may benefit them to take the breath test, but then again it may not. It’s really a risk that you take either way.
4. What is the “10 day rule” regarding the DMV?
Drivers have just 10 days from the date of the DUI arrest to request a DMV administrative hearing. This DMV hearing is separate from the criminal hearing and strictly addresses the suspension of your driver’s license. If you win the DMV hearing, you will get your driver’s license back from the DMV.
5. Will I have to go to jail?
It depends on your criminal history, whether anyone was injured and the judge hearing your case. For a first-time DUI with no aggravating factors, it’s possible for DUI attorneys to negotiate probation in lieu of jail time. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed so you stay out of jail.
Arrested for DUI in Orange County? Schedule your free consultation with the DUI Queen!