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What to Do After a DUI Arrest

Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County? If so, don’t panic. A DUI arrest does not necessarily mean a conviction as long as you hire a good DUI attorney. There are DUI defenses that work and sometimes, they can lead to a reduction to a wet reckless, a favorable plea bargain, or a dismissal.

Even if you took a blood or breath test and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) came back at or above the .08% legal limit, we still may be able to challenge the charges. We will look at the legality of the police stop, the field sobriety tests, and the chemical test evidence to see if everything was handled properly.

Some of the steps you absolutely should take following a DUI arrest include:

  • Requesting a hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles. You only have 10 days to schedule a DMV hearing so be sure to act quickly.
  • Don't give up on yourself. Even if you blew .08 percent or higher it doesn't necessarily mean you'll be convicted. There are several viable defense strategies an attorney can use to help you fight your charges.
  • Write down everything you can remember about the incident. Leave no detail unturned.
  • Be sure to write the down the names of any witnesses who can testify that you were sober at the time you were arrested.
  • Do not fail to appear in court under any circumstances. A warrant could be issued in your name and you could face enhanced penalties should you eventually get convicted of the charges.
  • Learn as much as you can about the charges you are facing.
  • Contact an experienced Orange County DUI attorney who has a solid understanding of California DUI laws and who has a proven record of success.

The DUI Process

There have been issues with Orange County labs in the past, so it doesn’t mean that a result is accurate or that evidence was collected and stored correctly. Additionally, police officers can make mistakes, whether intentional or not. What we’re saying is there is a lot to consider in a DUI case other than the fact that the defendant is facing DUI prosecution.

Notice of Suspension

The Notice of Suspension does a few things:

  • It notifies you of your arrest
  • It lets you know that you have 10 days to request a DMV hearing
  • Allows you to drive under a temporary license for up to 30 days

At the time of the DUI arrest, the arresting officer will confiscate the driver's license, provided that the driver was driving with a current and unsuspended license.

DMV Administrative Review

Immediately following a DUI arrest, the officer will forward their information to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Once the DMV receives the arresting officer's report, suspension order, and any test results, the DMV will begin their administrative review process. During this process, the DMV may decide not to uphold the license suspension/revocation. If they do uphold the suspension/revocation, the DUI offender may request a hearing to contest suspension. Again, DUI offenders only have 10 days from the date of their arrest to request this hearing.This is your only chance to contest license suspension or revocation.

Criminal Hearing

The DMV administrative review and suspension hearing only deal with administrative penalties, such as your right to drive. Because DUI is a criminal offense, you will also have to attend a criminal hearing. For DUI offenses, court dates usually take place not long after the initial arrest. In many cases, DUI court hearings take place the next day. The first step in the criminal court process is the arraignment, where the judge will read your charges to you and you will enter your plea.

Hiring an Attorney

All DUI offenders have the right to have an attorney present. Anyone who cannot afford an attorney or chooses not to retain private counsel can be appointed a public defender. We encourage you not to use a public defender for a number of reasons. Most importantly, their caseloads are incredibly large, leaving them with little time to devote to your defense. Typically, they urge their clients to accept a quick plea bargain even if it is not in their best interests.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS IN A DUI CASE

Whenever you are arrested for any criminal offense, including DUI, you have a right to a defense attorney. You have a right to fight your DUI charges. After a DUI arrest, don’t delay. Contact our firm immediately to speak with an experienced DUI defense lawyer to start exploring your legal defenses.

What are some possible DUI defenses?

  • The traffic stop was illegal. For example, the officer didn’t have probable cause to stop you or the officer followed you after you left a bar.
  • No one read you your Miranda Rights.
  • The breathalyzer that was used to measure your BAC was not calibrated correctly or if gave a false reading because it was defective.
  • The BAC results from the breathalyzer were inaccurate because you have diabetes, you swigged mouthwash before the test, or you recently consumed food.
  • The blood evidence was collected or stored incorrectly.

Please be aware that after a DUI arrest, you only have 10 days from the date of the arrest to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension of your driver license, so it’s very important that you get in touch with our office very soon. If you don’t request the hearing within the 10-day window, your driver license will be suspended automatically.

Related: What Should I Do After a DUI Arrest?

For professional, legal assistance with the DMV hearing and your DUI case, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today.