If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, there’s probably a lot that you don’t know about DUI. To help you better understand what you’re up against, here is what you should know about a California DUI:
1. Don’t talk about your DUI to someone other than your attorney.
Please be aware that anything you say can and will be used against you if your case goes to trial. Don’t discuss your DUI with police officers, the jail staff, or court officials.
2. You don’t want to hire just any lawyer.
Not all attorneys are created equal. You do not want to hire a general practice attorney with little experience in DUI defense. Instead, hire a local DUI lawyer who specializes in DUI.
3. Usually, a first-time DUI is a misdemeanor offense.
Most first-time DUIs where no one was injured are misdemeanors. However, if someone else was injured or killed, it’s typically a felony. If you’re charged with a felony DUI, it’s critical that you have legal counsel.
4. You need a copy of the police report.
After a DUI arrest, make sure that you get a copy of the police report. Your attorney needs to have a copy of the report, otherwise, they cannot fight effectively on your behalf. Look over the police report with your attorney and don’t hesitate to ask the attorney about which points affect your case.
5. You may not go to trial.
Believe it or not, the majority of DUI cases do not go to trial because the defense attorney negotiates a plea bargain. If there is overwhelming evidence, the prosecutor may be willing to offer you a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
Or, your attorney may get your charges reduced to something such as a “wet reckless.” Of course, if your lawyer believes that the evidence, or lack thereof points to your innocence, a trial may be in your best interests.
6. If you have a prior DUI, the penalties are worse.
If you have a prior DUI, you may be subject to a longer license suspension, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), higher fines and a lengthier jail sentence. Please note that for sentencing purposes, a wet reckless counts as a priorable offense.
7. DUI convictions have long-term consequences.
A DUI conviction remains on your driving record for 10 years in California and on your criminal record indefinitely. Your insurance premiums will increase significantly, and the DUI can bar you from getting promotions, certain jobs, and housing to name a few.
In the face of DUI charges, take your time learning all the applicable laws, the police report, and the charges with the help of a DUI attorney before you decide on anything.
To learn more about your DUI case, call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.!