Brea DUI Lawyer

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It is not uncommon for fatal car accidents in California to be caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs. As a result, the legal system takes a stern stance when prosecuting anyone accused of driving while impaired. Unfortunately, this can result in those accused of a DUI having their rights violated during the arrest, being overcharged, and receiving excessive punishments. For these reasons, getting arrested for a DUI in Brea can feel terrifying and life-shattering.

A DUI arrest and conviction can have serious and far-reaching consequences. Your most effective course of action is contacting a skilled DUI defense attorney to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process. The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman has over 20 years of experience in criminal defense law, including a successful history of handling high-profile and difficult criminal trials. Known for taking on the most notorious and toughest cases, our office will work diligently to ensure you receive the most favorable outcome for your case.

Brea DUI Lawyer

California DUI Laws

Multiple DUI laws affect Brea drivers, including commercial and underage drivers. The DUI laws affecting adult drivers are in Vehicle Code Section 23152:

  • 23152(a): Driving a vehicle while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage is not lawful.
  • 23152(b): It is unlawful to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
  • 23152(e): Driving a vehicle while under the influence of any drug is unlawful.
  • 23152(f): It is unlawful to drive a vehicle while under the combined influence of any drug and/or alcoholic beverage.

Within Vehicle Code Section 23152 is a provision that specifically affects commercial driver’s license holders while they are operating these vehicles:

  • 23152(d): It is unlawful to drive a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher.

Though drivers under the age of 21 can be charged with adult crimes, the major DUI laws affecting this demographic are:

  • Vehicle Code Section 23136: There is zero tolerance for underage drivers operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.01% or higher.
  • Vehicle Code Section 23140: It is unlawful for an underage driver to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or higher.

What Happens After A DUI Arrest?

There are two processes that will begin following a DUI arrest: the criminal law process and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) process.

The Criminal Law Process

After being arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you will typically spend a few hours in jail before being released. It is not common for first-time offenders, especially if there were no injuries, to end up with a bail requirement that will keep them in jail. The next step will be an arraignment, or your first court appearance. This is when you enter an initial plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If you plead guilty, the sentencing portion of your DUI case will begin. If you plead not guilty, the case will enter the pre-trial phase of the DUI process.

This phase is when your attorney will investigate the case and look for any evidence that could reduce or dismiss your DUI charges. If a dismissal is not possible, your attorney will attempt to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor for reduced charges or penalties. If you take the plea bargain, you can avoid a trial. If you progress to a jury trial, the prosecutor must convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt of your guilt. If you are found guilty, your case will progress to sentencing where your penalties will be determined.

The DMV Process

Though most people are familiar with the legal process that will follow when someone is charged with a misdemeanor, it is less common to know the DMV process that will follow. The arresting officer confiscates your driver’s license and notifies you that your driver’s license will be suspended in 30 days. You will be given a temporary driver’s license that will be valid until the suspension has begun. The arresting officer will send your driver’s license to the DMV, which will begin their automatic suspension process. You have ten days from the date of the arrest to request a DMV hearing, a quasi-legal proceeding where you will be allowed to challenge the upcoming suspension of your license. Your license will not be suspended if you succeed during this hearing, but the suspension process will continue if you are unsuccessful.

It is recommended that you plead not guilty and request a DMV hearing, but these actions can be confusing without an attorney’s support. For both the criminal and DMV process, The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman can make a significant impact on your case.

DUI Penalties

There are two determining factors for the severity of the consequences of a DUI conviction:

  • The number of DUIs that are on your record
  • If any injuries occurred because of driving under the influence

Typically, DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, but if someone is injured, you were previously convicted of a felony DUI, or you have three or more DUI convictions within the previous ten years, your charges can be elevated to a felony. DUI penalties include:

  • The incarceration period will range from up to six months to a year in county jail for a first-time offense. Fines will range from $390 to $1,000, as well as restitution if there were injured parties. An ignition interlock device will be placed on your vehicle for anywhere from six months to two years. Though this device can be refused, it will result in a license suspension lasting six months to three years. DUI school will also be mandatory for a term of three, nine, 18, or 30 months.
  • The incarceration period will range from 16 months to three years in state prison. Fines range from $390 to $5,000, as well as restitution if there were injured parties. Depending on the type of felony, an ignition interlock device will be placed on your vehicle for one year, or your license will be suspended for up to five years. DUI school will be mandatory for 18 or 30 months.

The previously discussed penalties are only those that arise from the legal system. Many other potential consequences could arise from a DUI arrest or conviction. They include:

  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Getting fired from a job
  • Inability to find rental housing
  • Losing licensing for your career

Common DUI Mistakes

Some common DUI mistakes include:

  • Self-incrimination. Though you may think speaking freely with the officer will help your case, anything you tell the officer can be used against you in a DUI case. The ideal practice is to avoid saying anything that would give the officer reasonable suspicion to conduct a sobriety test or search you.
  • Downplaying the severity. If you were arrested for a DUI and released from jail quickly, it can lull you into a false sense of security. It may appear that the charges are minimal since you are not being held in jail, but that is far from the truth. The penalties for even a first-time DUI can be severe and are likely to have life-long effects.
  • Failure to appear in court. Forgetting your court date or choosing not to go will have disastrous consequences, including a bench warrant for your arrest. Any bonds or bail you posted will also be revoked.

Brea DUI Attorney FAQs

Q: Do I Need a DUI Attorney?

A: Though it is legally possible to defend yourself in a DUI case, it is not typically recommended. Court processes are not simple, so the skills of a Brea DUI attorney will be invaluable throughout your case. The penalties for a DUI conviction are severe, so it is important to reduce or avoid as many charges as possible.

Q: How Much Does A DUI Charge Cost?

A: The total cost of a DUI will be significant, even for a first-time offense. Court fines can reach $1,000, but there will also be fees associated with towing and impounding your vehicle, the ignition interlock device, driver’s license reinstatement, and DUI school. A DUI conviction can cost upwards of $15,000.

Q: What Do DUI Lawyers Do?

A: A DUI lawyer will be an invaluable resource through your DUI case. They will advise you of the most favorable outcome to your case, then work to attain it by collecting evidence and communicating with the court and prosecutor on your behalf. A skilled DUI attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.

Q: What Is the Difference Between DWI and DUI?

A: DUI means driving under the influence, and DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Though many states use these terms separately to describe the substance the vehicle driver was using, California only uses the term DUI. The DUI charge covers any situation where a person was driving impaired/ under the influence.

Brea DUI Defense Lawyer

The right time to contact a Brea DUI defense attorney is as soon as you are able, as they can help walk you through the entire process. Having their knowledgeable assistance is beneficial as you navigate both the legal system and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) process. At The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman, we have ample experience in the criminal justice system, setting you up for the greatest opportunity for success. Contact us today for a consultation on your DUI case.



real people. real results.

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