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Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.
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First DUI Offense Put Our Experience in Your Corner

First DUI Offenses in Orange County, CA

Get a Board Certified DUI Defense Attorney on your side.

Fighting for Your Freedom After a DUI Charge

Have you been arrested for a first-time DUI offense? If 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. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry we can help. Orange County DUI attorney Virginia Landry is a skilled and experienced California Trial Attorney who fully understands the criminal court and DMV hearing processes in California. She will apply her extensive experience to your case, defending your constitutional rights and protecting your driving privileges to help you secure a positive case outcome. You can email Ms. Landry and her staff here. You can also listen to and or download her Orange County DUI Attorneys Podcast episodes by clicking here.

First Offense DUI Penalties In California

For starters, a California DUI is what’s called a “wobbler offense,” which means it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. A 1st offense DUI is also a misdemeanor offense unless there are aggravating circumstances such as having an excessively high BAC, a child in the car, property damage, physical injury or accidental death. To reiterate, 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.

The penalties for a 1st DUI offense in CA include: 

  • Up to 4 month driver’s license suspension
  • Probation for 3 to 5 years
  • 3, 6 or 9 months of mandatory alcohol classes
  • Base fines and court fees of up to $1,000, and additional penalty assessments
  • 0 to 6 months in county jail
  • IID requirements for up to 6 months, other restrictions are possible

Additional Consequences

In addition to the above penalties, if you are convicted (found guilty) of DUI in California under Vehicle Code Section 23152, 23153, or 23154, you will face other serious consequences, including but not limited to:

  • Your auto insurance will skyrocket for several years
  • The DUI will stay on your DMV record for 10 years
  • The DUI will stay on your criminal record indefinitely
  • The DUI can have a huge impact on your career
  • If you are in a child custody battle, the recent DUI will be a problem
  • A DUI can bar you from traveling to certain countries such as Canada
  • If you are studying for a degree or a professional license, the DUI can prevent you from realizing your educational dreams
  • Depending on your current employment, a DUI can lead to a dismissal under California’s “at-will” employment laws
  • If it’s a drug-related DUI and you’re an immigrant, it can trigger deportation proceedings

As you can see, the effects go far beyond the court of law, and can impact your professional and personal life in various ways.

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.

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.

Client Testimonials

    "Best DUI attorney in Orange County. She far exceeded my expectations."
    Best DUI attorney in Orange County. She far exceeded my expectations. You can tell she cares about her clients. She’s strategic and relentless. If you want the best results possible, retain Virginia Landry.
    - Google Reviewer
    "She was very detailed and meticulous on how she handled my case and I couldn't be any happier with the outcome!"
    My case was dismissed DUI, due to her help. I sincerely appreciate it. My case is finally over now. If you have any concerns or cases, and you need help but can't find a trusted lawyer, I highly recommend hiring Virginia. She was very detailed and meticulous on how she handled my case and I couldn't be any happier with the outcome!! She is an excellent lawyer! Do not hesitate to contact her, and again I really appreciate her help!
    - Bella L.
    "Absolutely incredible and worth every penny spent. Her compassion is beyond my understanding"
    WOW!!!!! Virginia Landry is an absolute professional who knows what she's talking about. But she doesn't just talk, she is ALL ACTION. I was quite nervous as she was a referral and I'll have to say I'm so glad I was referred. Absolutely incredible and worth every penny spent. Her compassion is beyond my understanding, especially in these times. I can't say enough other than HIRE HER NOW!!! You will NOT be disappointed. A+++++++++
    - S.D.

What if I Am Granted Probation?

In the event that the court grants probation for a DUI offender after their first DUI conviction, the individual must pay a fine along with other requirements, such as attending courses, community service, etc. In some cases, the court may also decide that the DUI offender must serve at least 48 hours in jail (this does not always happen).

In some instances, drivers who have been convicted of their first DUI may be granted a restricted driver’s license that allows them to drive during specific hours and to specific places. However, the court could decide to forbid this and require an Ignition Interlock Device.  Other conditions of probation typically include DUI School and community service.

How Can a DUI Defense Lawyer Help?

An experienced lawyer can help you in a number of ways in the face of a first DUI offense by working to protect your freedom, driving privileges, reputation, and professional life. After your arrest, you may be asked to submit to a breath or blood test, and your results will influence whether you will face drunk driving charges.

Although you may have taken this test and showed a result that was well above the legal limit, there are ways that an Orange County DUI lawyer can challenge the manner in which the test was conducted or the accuracy of the breath test device itself. There are actually numerous ways to challenge not only breath tests and blood tests, but field sobriety tests as well.

Attorney Virginia Landry will use subpoenas and specialized discovery techniques until she has utilized every resource to fully defend your rights and interests. Contact our firm today for a consultation!

When you are arrested for DUI, the arresting officer will confiscate your driver’s license and give you a “notice of suspension” that will serve as a temporary license. California law requires you to choose between a breath or blood test if lawfully arrested. 

If you failed to complete or declined/refused a breath test or blood test, the DMV will begin suspension proceedings starting on the 31st day after your arrest. 

You must contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest in order to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license, or it will be suspended regardless of the outcome of your case. 

We handle making these arrangements for our clients.

The DMV hearing and your criminal case are two entirely separate parts to your DUI charges. Even if you are not found guilty of DUI, you could still lose your license depending upon how the DMV hearing goes. 

Virginia Landry will be able to represent your interests in your DMV hearing to help ensure that you have the best chance at keeping your driving privileges. 

If keeping your license is important to you, you should speak immediately with an experienced Orange County DUI lawyer to discuss your options and to learn how your right to drive can be protected.

You Only Have 10 Days! If you do not act immediately, you could lose your right to drive.