Welcome to the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin, where we proudly serve as the premier DUI attorneys in Irvine. Our extensive experience in this field has allowed us to successfully help countless clients facing DUI charges in the Irvine area. With a deep specialization in DUI cases, we are dedicated to contesting evidence, crafting formidable defense strategies, and securing the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our goal is to provide the highest level of legal representation and unwavering support throughout your legal journey.
The DUI Process in Irvine
When facing a DUI charge in Irvine, the legal process begins with a stern approach toward the accused, even if it’s their first offense. Authorities may detain individuals charged with DUI for up to 48 hours in police custody, ostensibly to ensure their safety and sobriety. However, this 48-hour hold can often feel like a form of pretrial punishment, given that most individuals regain sobriety in less than 24 hours. If the arrest occurs around a holiday, it can sometimes be longer than 48 hours in custody before you are able to see a judge.
Upon release, defendants will receive a summons to appear in court on a specific date for an arraignment hearing. It is crucial to have a skilled attorney handle this hearing, as judges may not view the case favorably and may even opt to send the defendant back into custody until they pay a substantial bail amount. To minimize or entirely avoid the severe consequences of a DUI conviction in Irvine, it is imperative to seek the assistance of a DUI lawyer immediately after release. Delaying action may jeopardize your personal and professional life due to the long-term ramifications of a DUI conviction.
DMV Hearing Following a DUI Arrest in Irvine
Acting swiftly and scheduling a DMV hearing right after being charged with a DUI in Irvine is of utmost importance. Failure to do so can result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Our team of experienced DUI lawyers in Irvine is here to guide you through the entire hearing process, which includes requesting and scrutinizing all evidence considered by the DMV. During the hearing, we vigorously challenge the validity of the evidence presented and fight for your right to retain your license.
At the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin, we possess many decades of experience handling DMV hearings and boast a proven track record of success in advocating for our clients. Despite the DMV’s strict procedures, our team maintains one of the industry’s highest success rates in winning DMV hearings. We are fully committed to doing everything in our power to help you maintain your driving privileges and return to the road as swiftly as possible.
DUI Penalties in Irvine
Being in Orange County means that getting a DUI in Irvine subjects you to severe punishment. They are one of the strictest DUI courts in all of California. In Irvine, as well as throughout California, a DUI conviction carries significant consequences:
First Offense DUI
If you are apprehended for driving under the influence for the first time, you could face a misdemeanor charge. This could result in imprisonment in a county jail for up to six months, coupled with a fine of up to $20,000. Additionally, your driver’s license may be suspended for a period ranging from four to twelve months. However, in non-“refusal” cases, you might be able to mitigate some of these penalties by installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for six months. You may also be required to attend a DUI school, with programs lasting three, six, or nine months. It’s important to note that we have successfully prevented jail time in 99 percent of first offense DUI cases.
Second Offense DUI
A second misdemeanor DUI offense in Irvine entails much more severe consequences, such as imprisonment ranging from 96 hours to one year in a county jail, a substantial fine of up to $20,000, and a driver’s license suspension for several years. In certain cases, you may be allowed to drive again, provided you install an IID in your vehicle for a year (this does not apply to “refusal” cases). Additionally, you will be mandated to attend a weekly DUI school program for either 18 or 30 months. But Irvine in particular is especially harsh on repeat DUI offenders. Judges typically ask for many months of jail time.
Misdemeanor DUI with Injury
If you are found guilty of causing a minor injury while operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be classified as a misdemeanor offense in Orange County, including Irvine. The potential penalties include spending anywhere from 5 days to a year in jail, fines up to $20,000, and potential restitution to the injured party. Furthermore, your driver’s license could be suspended for 1 to 3 years without the ability to drive, even with a breathalyzer installed. You will also be obligated to attend DUI school for a duration of 3, 6, 9, 18, or 30 months, contingent on the offense’s severity. In cases involving injuries beyond minor, felony charges may be filed by the District Attorney, significantly raising the stakes.
Felony DUI (Fourth Offense Within Ten Years)
A felony DUI conviction in Irvine carries severe consequences, potentially leading to probation with up to a year in county jail or even 10+ years in state prison, depending on the circumstances. Moreover, hefty fines of up to $20,000 may apply, along with a driver’s license suspension lasting up to a decade. As part of your sentence, you will also be mandated to attend DUI school for either 18 or 30 months. It is crucial to recognize the gravity of a felony DUI offense and the substantial impact it can have on your life.
Understanding the Costs of a DUI in Irvine
As seasoned DUI attorneys in Irvine, we often encounter clients overwhelmed by the deluge of information online regarding DUI charges. Many mistakenly believe they could face fines exceeding $20,000, but this is not the case. Leveraging our legal expertise, we can often minimize court costs, even in the most challenging cases. In instances where we cannot have the charges dismissed entirely, we can usually limit fines to approximately $2,000, and we are equipped to arrange payment plans with the court to ease the financial burden.
At our law firm, we have developed innovative strategies to help clients completely avoid fines, particularly when financial hardship is a concern. We also understand that DUI offenders may be compelled to cover the expenses of DUI programs and classes, and we work diligently to reduce or eliminate these costs. By effectively challenging the charges, we can often circumvent the need for extended classes, which can be financially burdensome.
In addition to court fees and program costs, DUI offenders often grapple with significant increases in their insurance premiums, creating an additional financial strain. As experienced DUI attorneys, we have established relationships with reputable insurance providers that offer our clients special pricing to mitigate these expenses.
We recognize that many clients seek to minimize the punishment and financial consequences of DUI charges. Our unwavering commitment is to help clients avoid substantial fines and other penalties, ultimately guiding them towards a brighter future. As top-tier DUI lawyers in Irvine, we prioritize your needs and relentlessly strive to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to protect your rights and your future.