What Should I Know About a California DUI?

If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Orange County or in any other part of California, then it’s important that you start learning about the law and the consequences of a DUI.

The more you know about California’s DUI laws, the better your chances of making the right choices from this point forward, especially because what you do from here on out CAN impact the final outcome of your DUI case.

At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc., we specialize in DUI defense. Our founder, Attorney Landry is a fierce advocate for our clients and in order for her to provide the best possible representation, she has become Board Certified in DUI defense, she is a certified instructor for field sobriety testing, and she is a member and lecturer for the National College for DUI Defense.

Now that you know how qualified we are to offer you DUI advice, here is some basic information that you should know about a California DUI. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact our firm for a free case evaluation.

Most DUIs are misdemeanors.
Most DUIs are misdemeanors, unless it’s the driver’s fourth DUI in 10 years, or unless someone else was injured as a direct result of the drunk or drugged driving incident.

The state has one year to file misdemeanor DUI charges.
In a misdemeanor case, the state has one (1) year to file charges against the DUI suspect. So, if it’s been months and you still haven’t heard from the prosecutor, it’s probably just a matter of time until formal charges are filed.

California allows DUI defendants to plead down to a wet reckless.
California allows certain DUI defendants to plead down to a wet reckless, which is not a charge in itself, it can only be utilized in a plea bargain. A wet reckless is much better than a DUI, but it does count as a priorable offense for the sake of future DUI convictions.

A DUI stays on your driving record for 10 years.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports a DUI for 10 years, but once the 10 year mark arrives, it automatically falls off the driver’s record as if it never existed.

A DUI stays on your criminal record indefinitely.
A DUI conviction stays on a person’s criminal record indefinitely.

You should list a DUI on a job application if it specifically asks for it.
DUIs and job applications can seem complicated, but if you know what to do, it’s not a big deal. Basically, you need to list a DUI conviction if the application specifically asks about it.

If you were merely arrested for DUI and not convicted, you may not need to mention it if the application only asks for a history of “convictions.” Also, if the application only asks about felonies, you may not need to list a DUI conviction if it was a misdemeanor. So, read the fine print carefully.

DUIs generally come up on background checks.
If your employer runs a background check, or if your background is investigated for a security clearance application, your DUI will come up.

DUIs involving bodily injury are felonies.
Most first, second and third DUIs are misdemeanors, but if someone is injured or killed, the DUI will be prosecuted as a felony offense.

You can get a DUI for prescription drugs.
It’s illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and this includes prescription drugs that are legally prescribed by your doctor. If you fall asleep at the wheel or have an accident, or are caught driving erratically while you’re on Xanax, Vicodin, Ritalin, or any other medication, you could be arrested for DUI.

You can get a DUI even if you weren’t driving.
You can get a DUI, even if your car is parked on the side of the road or a parking lot, or if you’re sleeping off your alcohol until the next morning while you’re in the driver’s seat. If you’re in “actual physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence, you could be arrested and convicted of DUI.

Actual physical control generally means that you’re in the front of the vehicle and the keys are in the ignition or they’re near your hands or the ignition, meaning, you could easily drive away.

A DUI can affect your future.
DUIs can affect college scholarships, your ability to be on a college sport team, they can affect professional licenses, job opportunities, child custody, and much more.

If you, or someone you love is facing DUI charges in Orange County, contact our office to discuss your case with the DUI Queen for free!

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