You may know someone who has been charged with a DUI case, you may be facing one, or have faced a DUI at some point in your lifetime. It has become the number one crime in California, including both driving under the influence of alcohol, or drugs, or any combination of both. If caught, you will not only be subjected to the legal proceedings of the court, but would also be required to pay a hefty amount as fine. Most of the people don’t have any idea in regard to the dealing with such legal cases and as a result, often end up in trouble. If you don’t have much knowledge about what DUI actually is, or how it might affect your license, career, or freedom, this article discusses the effects and how to get help.
What is DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime where a vehicle owner drives his vehicle in an impaired state of some kind. You are presumed impaired if your blood alcohol level is above a .08%, or if you are found to be under the influence of any drug. Many jurisdictions have zero tolerance for drunk driving, and laws in court, and at the DMV, are designed to punish you to discourage drunk driving. Depending on the circumstances, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony DUI.
Misdemeanor DUI: For most of the people arrested for driving under the influence, misdemeanor charges will be imposed on them that will be prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney. After being arrested for the violence of driving law, a citation will be issued. The citation will include charges that fall under the violation of either section 23152 (a) and/or (b). According to Section 23152(a), it is an offense to drive while being under the influence (impaired) or under the influence of a drug. This vehicle code section is charged in almost every DUI case and includes all those who are arrested but have a blood alcohol level of any level but are not able to drive safely, or those who don’t have alcohol present in their blood but may have illegal drugs present with them. The second vehicle code section 23152 (b), states that it is an offense to drive to a blood alcohol level of .08% and above. In this case, you need to understand two crucial things. Youcan still be arrested even if your blood alcohol level is below .08% and can be found guilty of an offense if impairment can be proven or if drugs were present. If your case was in Orange County, that is why many choose to seek out the best Orange County DUI attorney to defend charges and protect them through the entire process.
Felony DUI: A felony DUI is charged, if the driver is accused of causing serious bodily injury to any passenger, pedestrian or any other driver while driving under the influence of alcohol or drug. It can also be separately charged even with no bodily injury if it was a fourth or more DUI with 10 years. Felony DUI charges are known to have grave consequences on the accused and it may even subject you to a state prison sentence. In such cases, you will have to act fast if you want to reserve your rights. A DUI attorney will be the best person to help you out with this situation and inform you of your options, and advise you throughout the entire process.
How to choose the best DUI attorney?
If you have been charged with a DUI case, then would typically have received arrest release documents, or a citation with the vehicle code sections that you have been charged with. The legal terms and proceedings involved in the entire process are quite intricate and you need a professional who is both knowledgeable and experienced in this field to professionally handle this situation. There are many attorneys in Orange County, but you would benefit by choosing the right professional for your particular case. Here is list of few important points that you should consider while deciding on your DUI attorney.
- Check for experience specifically in DUI: If you can find a professional who has been fighting DUI cases for years, then there are higher chances that you can be proven not guilty and or end up with a better result than you would have otherwise. Years of experience make professionals knowledgeable in their field and they are best acquainted with the relevant laws and legal proceeding related to the concerned case. With an expert by your side, your chances of coming out clean from the entire matter increase considerably.
- Testimonials and Reviews: If the DUI attorney has managed to help clients with theirDUI matters, and outline their successful results, and point to actual clients that are highly satisfied and happy with serviceprovided, then you can consider going ahead with him.
- Ask for a face to face meeting: If you are searching for the best Orange County DUI attorney, you may want to meet with as many people as you can practically meet with, given any time constraints. Most attorneys offer a free consultation. They will make sure all your concerns and questions are answered, and you can get a clear idea about the pricing, experience, or professional services from each person. You will find out if you even want to hire a professional or not after meeting with several lawyers, and having an in-depth discussion with each about the facts of your case and what they might be able to do in the case.
- Hidden fees or charges: Make sure that you know and understand all the terms and conditions of representation with your DUI attorney before proceeding further. Check whether the fee includes all representation, or if there are extra charges or costs in your case. Ask about payment plans. Being clear about payment terms in advance usually saves people from serious hassles that may trouble them later.
- Your driver’s license: This is one of the most crucial parts of your case. Make sure the attorney that you are visiting knows DMV procedure, and how to assert your defenses to maximize the chances of you winning the hearing. The DMV in their own statistics outline how people that have an attorney representing them have a higher win rate than those that represent themselves.
- Look for the legal help being offered: Being accused of driving under the influence requires a specialty approach, including hiring someone that has specialized knowledge about DUI, and experience with DUI cases. Make sure you ask about the legal services being offered by the DUI attorney, what might be included, and about their experience in handling similar cases. This way, you will be sure of the DUI attorney and would be secure that you have made the right decision.
Legal matters require expert advice, so make sure you choose the DUI attorney that will be your counselor, advocate, and guide, wisely.