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First DUI in Orange County

Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Orange County? If so, and this was your first DUI offense, surely, you’ll be curious about the penalties involved. Even though the penalties for a second and third DUI are greater, a first DUI still has serious consequences.

For starters, a California DUI is what’s called a “wobbler offense,” which means it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. In most cases, a first DUI is prosecuted as a misdemeanor. However, if the impaired driver seriously injured or killed another person as a result of the drunk or drugged driving, it will likely be charged as a felony.

Basic penalties for a first DUI:

  • Fines
  • DUI probation
  • DUI School
  • Community service
  • AA classes
  • MADD Victim Impact Panel
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • A driver’s license suspension

What Can Increase My Penalties?

There are specific “aggravating factors” that can increase the standard penalties for a California DUI. If any of the following applies to your case, you could face enhanced penalties:

  • You had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
  • You had a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle.
  • You had an open container of alcohol in your vehicle.
  • You caused an accident while driving under the influence.
  • You seriously injured someone else while driving under the influence.
  • You accidentally took someone else’s life during the DUI incident.

If you are facing DUI charges in Orange County, it’s critical that you enlist the support of an experienced DUI defense attorney. Even if there’s a lot of evidence against you, that doesn’t mean you should forgo a defense and accept the state’s punishment. In most cases, having a skilled defense lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of a case, even if it’s through a plea bargain that yields a favorable reduction in penalties.

To protect your freedom and your rights, contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation.