Orange County DUI – Learn What to Do About a DUI in OC

orange county duiGetting an Orange County DUI can be a major pain in the butt, to say the least.

A DUI conviction under VC 23152 means high fines, the loss of your driver’s license, court-ordered classes to attend, and a conviction on your criminal record that will be visible in a background check.

If you have already received an Orange County DUI conviction, skip down to the heading below that discusses expungement of your conviction.

If you have recently been charged with a DUI in Orange County, I will discuss what you can expect next.

Consequences of an Orange County DUI Arrest

Your Driver’s License

If you get arrested for DUI in Orange County, law enforcement will confiscate your driver’s license.

You will be given a pink piece of paper called the DS-367, which serves as your temporary license for 30 days and advises you of your right to an Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing.

The APS Hearing is a DMV hearing that determines whether your license should be suspended. The hearing officer is to determine whether it is “more likely than not” you were intoxicated during the time of driving (it is a lower standard than the standard set forth in the Superior Court which is “no reasonable doubt”).

If you want to keep your driver’s license, you  are required to attend the APS hearing and present evidence, testimony, witnesses, and/ or experts to the DMV hearing officer in your defense.

You have 10 calendar days from the date of your arrest to request your APS hearing.

If you fail to request your hearing, the DMV will hold the hearing in your absence. If the DMV hearing officer determines it is more likely than not you were driving with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of .08% or higher, then your license will be suspended.

If the DMV takes action against you, you may be able to apply for a restricted license which will allow you to drive for limited purposes, such as to work or school.

If you are under 21, however, your license will be suspended automatically for one year without the ability to obtain a restricted license.

Orange County DUI Court Locations

If arrested for an Orange County DUI, you will be required to report to one of the following court locations in Orange County.

  1. Fullerton Courthouse – “North Justice Center.” Located at 1275 N. Berkeley Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832.
  2. Santa Ana Courthouse – “Central Justice Center.” Located at 700  West Civic Center Dr., Santa Ana, CA 92701.
  3. Westminster Courthouse – “West Justice Center.” Located at 8141 13th Street, Westminster, CA 92683.
  4. Newport Beach Courthouse – “Harbor Justice Center.” Located at 4601 Jamboree Rd., Newport Beach, CA 92660.

Additionally, each of the above court branches offers DUI Courtwhich is a special program available to those defendants who have no history of violence, drug sales, or gang activity in their past.

DUI Court involves a more tailored, hands-on approach in order to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.

Each of the court locations above also implement the DUI Court program, if you are eligible.

Consequences of an Orange County DUI Conviction

Classes to Attend

If convicted of an Orange County DUI, you will be required to complete alcohol awareness classes.

The standard class is a 3 month program under AB 541. However, if you have a high BAC, the court may require you to complete the 9 month program under AB 1353.

Additionally, the court usually will require you to attend a one day Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) class.

Fines to Pay

If convicted of an Orange County DUI, you will face heavy fines. For a first offense, you are looking at a liability of approximately $3,000 in court fines and costs.

For a second or third DUI, these costs are even higher.

Potential Jail Time

Most DUI convictions are misdemeanors, meaning punishable by time in County Jail versus time in State Prison.

However, in some cases, such as when injury has been received by a victim or if you are a repeat offender, you may be convicted of DUI as a felony triggering time in State Prison.

For a first offense, there is a minimum of two days of jail time, and a maximum of 6 months in jail.

For a second offense, there is a minimum of 10 days in jail, and a maximum of one year.

Points on Your DMV Record

An Orange County DUI conviction will result in two points on your DMV record. This will cause your insurance rates to increase significantly.

If you aren’t careful, getting too many points on your DMV record can trigger a negligent operator suspension of your driver’s license, which is a driver’s license suspension by the DMV completely independent of your DUI, based on receiving too many points.

For example, if you get a DUI in year one, and two speeding tickets in year two, this would trigger a negligent operator suspension which could cause you to lose your license again even after you’ve already renewed it after you DUI.

Probation

After a DUI conviction, whether or not you served jail time you will be given probation for at least three years, and in some cases for five years.

During this probationary period, you cannot pick up any new criminal arrests, and you must comply with every term the court ordered you to complete (pay fines, complete classes, etc.).

If you either:

  1. get arrested for another criminal offense (whether for DUI or for any other criminal act), or
  2. fail to comply with the court-ordered terms of probation,

the court will find you in violation of probation and by law can sentence you to the maximum punishment allowable by law (including jail time).

In other words, being on probation is no joke!

Expungement of an Orange County DUI Conviction

When you are convicted of a DUI, it is either as a misdemeanor or a felony. That means the conviction will be reported by the court to the Department of Justice and the conviction will go on your criminal record.

If a background check is conducted on you, your DUI conviction will appear, which does not look good for employment. The purpose of expungement under Penal Code 1203.4 is to remove any stigma associated with this criminal conviction and to prevent employers from discriminating against you. Further, you don’t have to disclose an expunged conviction in most cases.

Requirements for Obtaining an Expungement

Not every one is eligible for expungement. If you were convicted of DUI as a felony and served time in State Prison, you are ineligible.

The good news is most DUI convictions are misdemeanor convictions, and are able to be expunged. However, the following criteria must still be met:

  1. You are not currently serving probation.*
  2. You are not currently charged with any offense.
  3. You are not currently serving a sentence for any offense.

*If you completed probation but were found in violation of probation by the court in some way, this lessens your chances of getting an expungement motion granted by the court

Get Help with Your Orange County DUI

You have constitutional rights that protect you from wrongful prosecution by the government. Often, the arresting officer violates one or more of these rights.

Given the gravity and extensive consequences if convicted of a DUI, it is wise to consult with a lawyer regarding your rights. As Orange County DUI lawyers, we fight to make sure your rights are protected and that the consequences you face are in proportion to the evidence against you.

To contact us for a free consultation, call Attorney Paul Denni at 888-250-8450 or click the Free Consultation button below.

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