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Do You Need a Lawyer for a First-Time DUI in California?

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

A DUI arrest has the potential to result in extremely serious legal and collateral consequences – even if it is your first arrest. Not only could you be facing the loss of your license and significant fines, but you could also experience significant professional and personal problems. Fortunately, there are often ways that an experienced Orange County DUI defense lawyer can protect your rights and your future.

It is In Your Best Interest to Retain an Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI for the first time, you may be wondering whether you really need to invest in the seemingly high costs of hiring a criminal defense attorney for your case. The simple answer to a question about legal representation is that you should always retain a lawyer after a DUI arrest, as the potential consequences of a conviction can be far-reaching and extremely serious.

The Potential Consequences of DUI Conviction

In most cases in California, a first-time DUI a misdemeanor offense, but certain cases, such as incidents involving motor vehicle accidents causing injury or death, may be charged as felonies. Other cases involving accidents with no injuries, alleged offenders having high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels or child passengers, alleged offenders refusing to submit to chemical tests or other aggravating factors can also increase the risk of stiffer penalties. If you are charged with your first DUI, you could be facing:

  • DUI school
  • Significant fines
  • The Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Up to six months in jail

In addition to a criminal case, you should also keep in mind the possible consequences relating to your driver’s license. An experienced attorney may be able to help you obtain a restricted license so you can continue to drive to work or school.

If you have been charged with a DUI in California, the arresting officer likely took your driver’s license and issued you a temporary pink license that is good for 30 days from the date of the arrest. After the 30-day period, the temporary license will expire unless you schedule an administrative DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest, and you win at the hearing.

If you lose the hearing or fail to schedule it within 10 days of the arrest, your driver’s license will be suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case against you. An attorney familiar with California DUI law can represent you in your DMV hearing and protect your right to drive.

California DUI Defenses

The primary reason to hire a lawyer for a first-time DUI is that they can review the facts of the case and find the possible flaws in a prosecutor’s case. This can be important because the attorney may be able to get the charges reduced or completely dismissed. For example, if the police lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over, it may be possible to suppress the evidence gathered during your traffic stop, which will likely result in your case being thrown out.

In some cases, a prosecutor could agree to reduce the charge to reckless driving, which will result in significantly reduced penalties. Importantly, however, the reckless driving conviction will include a note that the offense involved alcohol, and it will count as a prior DUI if you are arrested and charged with drunk driving again within 10 years.

Call Us Today to Speak with an Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer

If you or your loved one has been charged with a DUI, do not wait to retain an attorney to protect your rights. At the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo, we have been protecting the rights of the accused since 1993 and are committed to obtaining the most favorable outcome possible in every case we take. You can schedule a consultation by contacting us online or by calling us at (714) 547-4636.

Client Reviews

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