You've just been arrested for a DUI. Now what? Your criminal charges will rely on several factors, including your blood alcohol concentration level, if you have prior convictions for drunk driving, was there an accident or injury involved and whether you completed or refused a chemical test of blood or breath.
A strong defense can protect your future. I am Christopher J. McCann, and I represent individuals facing drunk driving charges in Santa Ana and throughout Orange County.
Arrested for drunk driving? Call me at 888-973-6193 to protect your rights.
Understanding the process of what happens after a DUI arrest can help ease your fears. My goal is to guide you through your case, explain your rights and what options are available to protect your future and to preserve your driving privileges. Your DUI arrest will result in two issues that need to be addressed: your court case and your DMV hearing.
Your DMV Hearing
You need to request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest to schedule a hearing so as to preserve your driving privileges. You need to request the hearing and a "stay" on the impending suspension to keep your license valid while the matter is contested. Failure to request a hearing will result in an automatic suspension of your license that goes into effect 30 days after the date of your arrest. I have handled thousands of DMV hearing cases in California for my clients. I know how the process works and what steps to take immediately after your arrest.
Your Court Case
Your criminal court case is serious. You can face harsh consequences for a DUI conviction, including jail time, significant fines and loss of your driving privilege. Below is a list of what happens after an arrest and what you can expect to happen in most DUI court cases in Orange County and the surrounding areas:
- After the arrest, you will be taken in for booking and offered a chemical test of blood or breath to determine your BAC level.
- You will receive a temporary driver's license, receive your citation notifying you of your arraignment (first court date) for your case.
- You may be released after posting bail or on your own recognizance (called "OR," meaning without having to post bail) if it is your first DUI offense and there are no aggravating factors such as a prior conviction or injury-involved accident. If that is the case, someone will have to post bail for you or you will remain in custody for up to 2 days and until a judge orders your release OR if possible.
- In the ensuing weeks of your release from custody, if the district attorney feels there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of your guilt, you will be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. You may also face certain "penalty enhancements" or "special allegations" such as prior convictions, elevated blood alcohol levels over .15% or .20%, or that you refused to submit to a chemical test.
- You will have to enter a plea at your arraignment. Pleas include not guilty, guilty or no contest. Your attorney can attend your arraignment on your behalf, where the prosecutor will provide evidence that includes your blood alcohol test results and the police report.
- A pretrial hearing may be required, which allows your lawyer the opportunity to investigate your case, obtain additional discovery, hear motions or negotiate a plea agreement to settle the case.
- A trial is required if the case cannot be beaten pre-trial and no plea agreement is reached. Your attorney will defend your case in front of a judge and jury to try to win an acquittal. During trial, the prosecution must prove all necessary elements of the charged offenses with proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Every case is different and needs to be carefully evaluated. I have been handling DUI cases for more than 15 years and have the experience, skill and passion to defend these cases. I know how to use the law and evidence in your case and what strategies are available to find the best outcome for you. I have obtained favorable outcomes for many clients through my ability to provide strong representation and find creative solutions in defending DUI cases.
Arrested For A DUI? Contact Me.
Contact me online or call me at 888-973-6193 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced lawyer in Santa Ana.