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Orange County DUI Lawyer

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs

Driving under the influence of alcohol or commonly known as “drunk driving” is governed by California Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) and 23152(b).

VC 23152(a) states “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.”

VC 23152(b) states “It is unlawful for a person who has an 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.”

If you are arrested for a DUI, most likely the prosecutor will file violations of both VC 23152(a) and 23152(b). If your blood alcohol level is less than 0.08, the prosecutor will probably not file VC 23152(b).

You can also be charged with driving under the influence of a drug pursuant to California Vehicle Code section 23152(f).

VC 23152(f) states “It is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle.

If you have a combination of both drugs and alcohol, you will be charged with a violation of California Vehicle Code section 23152(g).

VC 23152(g) states “It is unlawful for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle.”

Know Your Rights After a DUI Arrest

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both can be a scary thing. If you are pulled over by the police while driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, the police will ask you whether you have had any drinks and ask you to exit your car to perform standard field sobriety tests (SFST). You will be asked to perform a series of tests to determine whether you are impaired for purposes of driving. You will also be asked to either submit to a breathalyzer or blood test to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. If the police officer believes your blood alcohol level was over 0.08% and you are exhibiting signs of impairment, he or she will arrest you and book you at the police station. If it is your first DUI arrest, you will likely be released with a citation and a date to appear in court for your case.

There are many factors that determine whether you are indeed impaired even with a measurable amount of alcohol in your system. The presence of alcohol in your system does not in and of itself render you guilty of a DUI. You must have an alcohol reading of 0.08% or greater at the time of driving. There must also be driving involved. There are certain defenses that you may be able to raise depending on your alcohol level, your height, weight, tolerance level, the amount of food eaten, the type of alcohol, the amount of alcohol, and the rate at which you drank it. Driving under the influence charges need to be taken seriously because there can be property damage or bodily injury or even death of a person as a result of a DUI. It will also result in suspension of your driver’s license and possible jail time.

Consequences of a DUI Conviction

A DUI conviction can result in serious consequences, including the loss of your driver’s license, jail time and significant fines as well as adverse consequences on your immigration status. You can also be denied citizenship if you are considered a habitual DUI offender.

A first time DUI offender will not normally receive jail time. A second offense within ten years carries a minimum of 96 hours in jail. A third offense within ten years carries a minimum of 120 days in jail. A fourth offense within ten years is a felony and carries a minimum of 16 months state prison. Moreover, you will have to complete a 3 month, 6 month, 9 month, or 18 month alcohol classes if convicted of a DUI. The DMV will not reinstate your driver’s license until the classes are complete and proof is shown to the DMV.

Handling all Issues Involved in Your Case

We will handle all legal issues stemming from your DUI case. This includes proving a solid legal defense in your criminal case, addressing any immigration ramifications and attending your DMV hearing.

Besides a criminal charge, your DUI arrest may also lead to suspension of your driver’s license. The Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license separate and apart from what the court does. You have the right to contest the suspension by asserting your right to an administrative per se hearing with a DMV hearing officer, within ten days from the day of the arrest. The hearing officer will take into account the police reports and other evidence or testimony from witnesses, to determine whether:

  1. The peace officer had reasonable cause to believe you were driving a motor vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code section 23140, 23152, or 23153;

  2. You were placed under lawful arrest;

  3. You were driving a motor vehicle when you had 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in your blood

In all cases, we will fight to protect your future and work toward a resolution.

Do not wait to contact a lawyer if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. We will protect you and explore all options to get the charges dismissed or reduced.

Is a DUI a felony offense? Not always. You can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony DUI offense in California. Every case is based on specific factors. We will help you understand your charges and what options are available to reduce the impact on your life.

Contact Us

We know how to fight for you in court. Caroline R. Hahn is known as an effective defense attorney and is not afraid to take your case to trial to protect your best interests. Contact us right away if you have been charged with a DUI. Send us an email or call us at 714-530-3104 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation. We speak Korean and Spanish.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Caroline is an excellent attorney! In my first meeting with her, I knew she would do a good job. She has excellent communication skills and is fair, honest, courteous and considerate... I am very grateful for how she fought for me and how she shared excellent points to help prove my innocence. She laid out a thorough closing argument leading to a quick NOT GUILTY conclusion by the jury... I will forever be grateful for her services."
★★★★★
"Thank you so much, Caroline! I am sober and working a 12 step program in AA. You are awesome and I appreciate all your help." T.D.
★★★★★
"If you are looking for an attorney, who is smart, tough, but also understanding, don't hesitate to hire Caroline. Thank you, Caroline!" H.B.