At the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin, we take pride in being recognized as the top-rated DUI attorneys in Santa Ana. With years of experience under our belts, we’ve successfully fought for countless clients facing DUI charges in the area. Our specialization in DUI cases allows us to thoroughly contest all evidence, craft strong defense strategies, and ultimately achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. We’re dedicated to using our expertise to provide our clients with the highest level of legal representation and support throughout the entire legal process.
What Happens When You Get a DUI in Santa Ana?
In Santa Ana, the process for prosecuting a DUI charge starts with a tough approach towards the accused, even if they are first-time offenders. The authorities can detain individuals charged with DUI for up to 48 hours in police custody, supposedly to ensure their safety and sobriety. However, the truth is that this 48-hour hold can feel more like punishment before the trial, as most people regain sobriety in less than 24 hours.
After being released, defendants will receive a summons to appear in court on a specific date for an arraignment hearing. It’s crucial to have a skilled attorney handle this hearing because the judge may not take kindly to the details of the case and may even choose to send the defendant back into custody until they pay a hefty bail amount. To minimize or avoid the serious consequences of a DUI conviction in Santa Ana, it’s essential to seek the help of a DUI lawyer right after being released. Don’t wait to take action and protect your personal and professional life from the long-term effects of a DUI conviction.
DMV Hearing After a DUI Arrest in Santa Ana
It’s extremely important to act promptly and schedule a DMV hearing right after being charged with a DUI in Santa Ana. Failing to do so could result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Our team of experienced DUI lawyers in Santa Ana is here to assist you. We take care of the entire hearing process, including requesting and examining all evidence that the DMV will consider. During the hearing, we challenge the validity of the evidence presented and fight for your right to keep your license.
Here at the Law Offices of Hart J. Levin, we have years of experience handling DMV hearings and have a proven track record of success in advocating for our clients. Even though the DMV can be strict, our team has one of the highest success rates in the industry when it comes to winning DMV hearings. We are committed to doing everything we can to help you keep your license and get back on the road as soon as possible.
DUI Penalties in Santa Ana
Not only in Santa Ana but all of California, getting a DUI conviction can result in some serious consequences:
1st Offense DUI
If you’re caught driving under the influence for the first time, you could be facing a misdemeanor charge. This means you might be locked up in a county jail for up to six months, as well as being ordered to pay a fine of up to $20,000. On top of that, your driver’s license could be suspended for anywhere from four to twelve months. However, if you’re not a “refusal” case, you may be able to avoid some of these penalties by installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your car for six months. You’ll also have to attend a DUI school, which can last for three, six, or nine months. We can prevent jail time in 99 percent of 1st offense DUIs.
2nd Offense DUI
If you get charged with a second misdemeanor DUI offense, you face more serious consequences. These include spending anywhere from 96 hours to one year in a county jail, being slapped with a hefty fine of up to $20,000, and having your driver’s license suspended for a couple of years. However, in some cases, you may be permitted to drive again, provided an IID is installed in your vehicle for a year (this doesn’t apply to “refusal” cases). On top of all that, you will also have to attend a DUI school every week for either 18 or 30 months.
Misdemeanor DUI with Injury:
If you are found guilty of causing a minor injury while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it can be classified as a misdemeanor offense in Orange County. As punishment, you could be looking at spending anywhere from 5 days to a year in jail, and may also be ordered to pay fines that range up to $20,000. Additionally, you may have to make restitution to the person they injured.
As if that weren’t enough, your driver’s license could be suspended for a period of 1 to 3 years. Alternatively, you may be able to drive again with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle for a period of 6 months. You will also be required to attend DUI school for a duration of either 3, 6, 9, 18, or 30 months, depending on the severity of the offense. Any injuries more than minor injuries often result in the District Attorney filing felony charges against the driver, where the stakes are extremely high.
Felony DUI (Fourth Offense Within Ten Years):
If you are convicted of a felony DUI, the consequences can be severe. Depending on the circumstances, you could face probation with up to a year in county jail or even 10+ years in state prison. On top of that, you may have to pay hefty fines of up to $20,000, and your driver’s license could be suspended for as long as a decade. As part of your sentence, you will also be required to attend DUI school for either 18 or 30 months. It’s essential to understand the gravity of a felony DUI offense and the potential impact it could have on your life.
Cost of a DUI in Santa Ana
As a seasoned DUI attorney in Santa Ana, I often hear from clients who are feeling overwhelmed by the barrage of information online regarding DUI charges. Many individuals mistakenly believe that they could face fines in excess of $20,000, but this is not always the case. With our legal expertise, we can often keep court costs to a minimum, even in the most challenging cases. In the event that we can’t have the charges dismissed entirely, we can usually limit fines to around $2,000, and we can also offer payment plans to help ease the financial burden.
At our law firm, we have developed innovative strategies to help our clients avoid fines altogether, particularly when financial hardship is a concern. Additionally, we recognize that DUI offenders may be required to pay for DUI programs and classes, and we work diligently to reduce or eliminate these costs. By fighting the charges, we can often prevent the need for extended classes, which can be a significant expense.
Aside from court fees and program costs, DUI offenders often face steep increases in their insurance premiums, which can add up to a substantial financial burden. As experienced DUI attorneys, we have fostered relationships with reputable insurance providers who offer our clients special pricing to avoid these costs.
We understand that many of our clients come to us looking to minimize the punishment and financial impact of DUI charges. That’s why we work tirelessly to help our clients avoid hefty fines and other penalties. Our ultimate goal is to help our clients move forward from this event and mitigate its impact on their lives. As top-tier DUI lawyers in Santa Ana, we put your needs first and work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact our team today.