Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that can lead to long-lasting, serious consequences. From a temporary driver’s license suspension to time in a county jail or state prison to never being allowed to drive again, the potential results of a conviction are wide-ranging and can affect the rest of your life.
In Irvine, CA, and throughout Orange County in general, police officers are constantly on the lookout for drivers who are impaired by legal or illegal substances, including commonly prescribed drugs.
If you’ve been arrested for and charged with a DUI, you should seek expert legal assistance right away by contacting Seyb Law Group and scheduling a free consultation with a DUI attorney.
Connect with an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney in Irvine, CA
The Irvine DUI attorneys at Seyb Law Group have a reputation for providing exceptional services to clients who have been charged with DUIs. Our highly skilled and experienced DUI attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you build a compelling case and tell your side of the story in a way that will make others listen.
An experienced DUI attorney from one of our Southern California law offices will be your shoulder to lean on and help you design a defense strategy that suits the unique circumstances of your case, whether it involves alcohol, drugs, reckless driving, or other elements.
The Most Common DUI Charges in Irvine, Orange County
Any kind of DUI is considered a serious offense in Irvine, the greater Orange County area, and the rest of California, but some DUI offenses are far more common than others.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
The most common type of DUI offense involves drunk driving. Under California law, a person engages in drunk driving when they drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. The BAC limits for driving are:
- 0.08% for people who are 21 years old and older (California Vehicle Code section 23152(b)),
- 0.04% for commercial drivers (California Vehicle Code section 23152(d)), and
- 0.01% for people who are under 21 years old (California Vehicle Code section 23136(a)).
Law enforcement can tell what a driver’s BAC is by running a blood or breath test, which reveals how much alcohol content is in a person’s blood at the time the test is administered. Typically, the arresting officer will administer a breath test if they suspect the person they pulled over was driving drunk.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
A person can also be charged with a DUI for driving under the influence of any drug or combination of alcohol and drugs, including legal or illegal substances such as marijuana, commonly prescribed drugs, and street drugs.
Even if a person passes a blood or breath test, they can be charged with reckless driving, which California Vehicle Code section 23103(a) defines as operating “a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
A reckless driving charge is less severe than a DUI charge. Some defendants can even plea their DUI Charges down to reckless driving charges in exchange for their cooperation with the prosecution.
While the concepts of drunk driving, driving under the influence of drugs, and reckless driving are fairly straightforward, the issues involved in DUI cases can be extremely complex. That’s why you need an experienced DUI defense attorney to walk you through relevant laws and develop a winning defense strategy when you’ve been charged with a DUI.
The Types of DUI Cases We Handle
Seyb Law Group’s DUI lawyers can help with all kinds of Orange County DUI cases, whether you’re new to the criminal justice system, are a repeat offender, or were involved in a situation that was worse than the average DUI incident. Here are a few examples.
First Offense Cases
Getting charged with your first DUI can be scary and confusing. And although a first offense typically carries less serious consequences than a second, third, or fourth offense, any DUI arrest and driver’s license suspension can have a significant impact on your life.
An Irvine DUI attorney from Seyb Law Group will be able to understand and empathize with the emotions you’re probably feeling now that you’ve been charged with your first DUI because they’ve worked with clients like you before.
A skilled DUI lawyer from our team will work relentlessly to help you get your driver’s license back and avoid the other potential consequences of high or drunk driving. They can also connect you with any services you may need to ensure your first offense is your last.
Multiple Offense Cases
If you’ve been charged with your second, third, or fourth offense, you will likely be facing substantially higher penalties. Any case following your first DUI will likely involve a longer or even permanent driver’s license suspension, higher fines, and mandatory time in a county jail or state prison.
If this isn’t your first offense and you’ve received multiple DUI convictions, don’t despair. An Irvine DUI attorney from Seyb Law Group will draw on their extensive experience defending clients with multiple DUI offenses to help you avoid a DUI conviction, license suspension, and other consequences.
Every DUI lawyer at our law office is trained to employ aggressive defense tactics and can give you the strength you need to put up a good fight.
Drivers who are under the age of 21 are subject to California’s “zero tolerance” law, which, as we’ve explained previously, means that any detectible amount of alcohol in their blood (even 0.01%) can lead to a DUI arrest and DUI conviction.
Even so, underage defendants have rights, too. A skilled Irvine DUI lawyer can raise issues surrounding the legality of DUI arrests and evaluate the tests run on any breath or blood samples drawn to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
A DUI attorney can also help underage defendants avoid the most severe consequences DUI convictions can have on many aspects of their lives if they’re convicted, from their education to future employment opportunities. When you work with a DUI lawyer from Seyb Law Group, they’ll be keenly aware of these potential outcomes and will persuasively advocate for alternative sentencing options (such as DUI classes, drug or alcohol treatment, and community service) and leniency.
DUI Charges Involving Drugs
Orange County DUI cases often involve drugs, from medical or recreational marijuana to prescription medications to street drugs. Because there’s no legal limit for drugs as there is with alcohol, fighting DUI convictions related to drugs can be especially challenging.
The attorneys at Seyb Law Group have extensive experience handling drug- as well as alcohol-related DUI cases. We can connect you with a DUI lawyer who will expertly challenge the accuracy of drug tests and the qualifications of the arresting officers and lab technicians involved to give you a fighting chance.
DUI Cases Involving Injury or Property Damage
Any DUI case can result in a driver’s license suspension, but if you were involved in a drunk or reckless driving accident that caused harm to a person or property, you may face more severe penalties, including a felony DUI conviction.
An Orange County DUI lawyer from Seyb Law Group will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and consult with experts who can negate the prosecution’s assertion that your intoxication caused it.
Regardless of the type of DUI charge you face, you may be at risk of suffering major consequences, especially if you don’t have a qualified attorney by your side.
The Potential Consequences of a DUI Conviction
A California DUI conviction can have far-reaching consequences that can impact your personal life, educational opportunities, and future career. The types and severity of the penalties you may face depend on various factors, including your criminal history, whether you have any previous DUI offenses on your record, and the circumstances of this particular offense.
Here are some potential consequences of a DUI conviction in California.
Driver’s License Suspension
A DUI can lead to a temporary driver’s license suspension, but a conviction can extend it or lead to the permanent revocation of your license. The suspension period for a first-time DUI offense typically lasts six months.
You may qualify for a restricted driver’s license after 30 days of having your regular license suspended. A restricted driver’s license usually allows you to drive for essential purposes only, such as work, school, and necessary errands.
A first-time DUI offender typically receives a license suspension, fines, and probation. A subsequent offender or an offender who caused another person’s injury or death, however, can receive a lengthy prison sentence. The more DUIs you have on your record, the longer your incarceration period is likely to be.
If you’re convicted of a DUI in California, you’ll likely be placed on probation for a specific period of time. During that time, you must comply with certain conditions, such as:
- Routinely checking in with your probation officer,
- Complying with the conditions of your probation,
- Attending DUI education programs,
- Performing community service,
- Completing a drug or alcohol treatment program, and
- Avoiding any further legal infractions.
Participation in a DUI Education Program
California requires defendants who are convicted of DUI offenses to complete a DUI education program. The program lengths and types vary based on the nature of the offense, but they usually last from three months for first-time offenders to 18 months for people with multiple DUI convictions. They often involve mandatory DUI classes and victim impact panels.
Completion of a Drug or Alcohol Treatment Program
If you’re convicted of a DUI and had a high BAC, used an illicit substance, or are dealing with other aggravating factors, a judge may require you to complete an alcohol- or drug-related treatment program. These programs address substance abuse and addiction issues and help people get clean and sober.
In addition to having to pay legal fees and potential civil damages, you’re likely to incur a fine if you’re convicted of a DUI. The fines attached to DUI convictions can be significant. In most cases, the fines for a first offense can range from $390 to $5,000 or more, especially when additional penalties are involved.
Increased Auto Insurance Costs
As if legal fees, potential civil damages, and fines weren’t enough, a DUI conviction can also lead to increased auto insurance premiums for life. Insurance providers often consider people convicted of DUIs to be high risks drivers, which can lead them to significantly increase your rates or cancel your policy altogether.
Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)
In some cases, a judge may order you to have an IID installed in your vehicle. An IID is a device that requires a driver to pass a breathalyzer test before they can start their vehicle and at regular intervals while the vehicle is in use. IIDs are often required in cases involving repeat offenders and aggravating circumstances.
A Criminal Record
A DUI conviction will appear on your criminal record, leading to many long-term consequences that affect different areas of your life. Your conviction will likely show up on a background check, and you may be required to disclose it to institutions such as schools, property management companies, and employers.
Having a criminal record can impact your educational opportunities, job prospects, ability to obtain or keep a professional license, and ability to secure housing.
Interference with Professional Licenses
Some industries require people to hold licenses before they can work in specific roles. Licensing requirements often apply to healthcare professionals, teachers, counselors, pilots, and commercial drivers. A DUI conviction can render you unable to obtain or keep a professional license and, as such, can jeopardize your current position or prevent you from securing certain jobs in the future.
Of course, DUI laws and penalties often change over time, so you should always consult with a legal professional if you’re worried about the potential impact a DUI conviction could have on your life.
How an Aggressive DUI Attorney Can Help You Navigate the Legal System
The legal process involved in a DUI case can be a whirlwind of statutory provisions, procedural formalities, and conflicting evidence. An experienced attorney who has worked as a DUI lawyer specifically will be able to explain what’s going on each step of the way and amend your defense strategy as needed.
When you hire an Irvine DUI lawyer from Seyb Law Group, they’ll assist you from your initial arrest to sentencing and beyond, working non-stop to protect your rights and handle your case with professionalism and tenacity.
Here’s an overview of how a typical DUI case unfolds and what a DUI attorney can do to help you along the way.
Initial Arrest and Booking
After you go through a DUI arrest, the arresting officer will take you to the police station to book you, which means they’ll enter you into the system and may hold you in the county jail.
During this time, you should remain calm and cooperative, but you have a constitutional right to remain silent. That means you don’t have to speak to the police or answer any questions until your attorney arrives. All you have to do is explicitly tell the police that you’re exercising your right to remain silent and you want to speak to a lawyer.
You’re also entitled to a phone call. If you’re speaking to anyone other than a lawyer, police can listen in on your conversation, so choose your words carefully.
Bail and Release
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, law enforcement may hold you in the county jail, release you on bail, or release you on your own recognizance (which means you still have to appear in court for your initial appearance but don’t have to post bail).
If you contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest, they can help arrange for your release and explain the conditions of your release to you so you know what rules to follow when you return home.
An arraignment is usually a defendant’s first appearance in court. During an arraignment, a clerk or judge will read the charges against you and ask if you would like to plead guilty or not guilty.
A DUI attorney will advise you on what the charges mean and how to plead during this critical initial appearance. A DUI attorney will also accompany you to the hearing and answer any questions you have about the process.
Pretrial Motions and Discovery
A lot of things happen before a scheduled trial. The parties exchange evidence, the lawyers file motions, and the court holds hearings. During the pretrial phase of your case, your DUI lawyer can:
- Learn more about the incident;
- Gather evidence to support your defense;
- Challenge the legality of your arrest and any searches law enforcement officials made of your vehicle, belongings, or person; and
- File motions to suppress the evidence the prosecution intends to use against you.
A Seyb Law Group DUI lawyer will take a thorough and meticulous approach to each of these services, exploring every possible avenue to strengthen your case. They’ll also aggressively challenge the prosecution’s position and ruthlessly fight to prevent you from having to go to trial. If a plea bargain can lead to a favorable outcome, your DUI attorney will work with the prosecutor on your case to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
If your case goes to trial, a DUI lawyer from Seyb Law Group will fiercely advocate for you in the courtroom. Their familiarity with Orange County judges and juries and deep understanding of criminal law have equipped them with the tools they need to effectively argue your case and secure the best possible outcome for you.
If you receive a DUI conviction, the judge will determine your sentence after hearing both sides at a sentencing hearing. A DUI attorney from Seyb Law Group will make every argument possible to prevent you from having a suspended license or restricted license going forward and keep you out of state prison. That way, your conviction will have the smallest possible impact on your life.
Post-Conviction Relief and Appeals
If the facts of your case warrant pursuing post-conviction relief or appealing your conviction or sentence, a DUI attorney from Seyb Law Group can help you file the necessary court documents. If you’re successful, you may be able to challenge your sentence or get your conviction expunged and clear your name.
Seyb Law Group Provides Comprehensive DUI Defense Services
The attorneys at Seyb Law Group have extensive experience handling all types of Orange County DUI cases, from minor first-time offenses to felony DUI charges. We understand that each case that comes through our doors is unique, which is why we take a comprehensive approach to understanding our clients’ specific circumstances and addressing their individual needs.
Here’s an overview of the services our law offices provide.
Thoroughly Evaluate Your Case
When we get a new case, we begin by getting to know you and conducting a comprehensive evaluation of your situation to identify any potential defenses we may be able to argue. From there, we build a legal strategy that’s specifically tailored to the facts of your case and the outcome you’re hoping for.
Conduct An Independent Investigation
Once we have a thorough understanding of the issues involved in your case, we conduct our own investigation of the events. We do everything we can to look for that smoking gun evidence and make sure we have all the facts. During this process, we:
- Examine the prosecution’s evidence,
- Comb through police reports and other important documents,
- Review lab results,
- Reach out to and prepare witnesses,
- Consult with experts, and
- Obtain footage from security cameras, dash cameras, body cameras, and traffic light cameras.
Challenge the Evidence Against You
After we’ve conducted an investigation, we’ll be able to identify errors and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case and challenge the evidence against you. Our goal is always to convince the court to suppress evidence so the prosecution is forced to drop the case or, at the very least, keep it to themselves instead of presenting it to the jury.
When it comes to the evidence that does reach the jury, we do everything in our power to raise doubts as to its accuracy and relevance so they’re more likely to acquit you.
Negotiate with Prosecutors
In some Orange County DUI cases, it’s in the defendant’s best interest to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution.
A DUI defense attorney from Seyb Law Group will skillfully negotiate a favorable plea bargain with the district attorney assigned to your case if there’s a good chance of obtaining a more favorable outcome that way. They may be able to negotiate a reduced charge, such as a “wet reckless” charge, or convince the district attorney to dismiss your charges if you successfully complete a diversion program.
Although our lawyers can negotiate enviable plea bargains, we don’t hire the type of criminal defense lawyer who simply gives up and pleas you out at the whim of the prosecution. Our attorneys are prepared to remain by your side all the way through to trial if that’s the path you choose.
Represent You at Trial
If your case goes to trial, the experienced trial attorneys at Seyb Law Group will fight tirelessly on your behalf to weaken the prosecution’s case and convince the jury that you’re not at fault.
We’ll make objections where necessary, expertly cross-examine the state’s witnesses, put experts on the stand, and make persuasive closing arguments that drive home the story you’ve been telling all along.
Fight For You During Sentencing
If you do get convicted at trial, the prosecution will make a sentencing recommendation and an Orange County judge will sentence you. Our lawyers will argue on your behalf at your sentencing hearing. We can address the following factors to help get your sentence reduced:
- Your lack of criminal history,
- Your successful participation in a drug or alcohol treatment program,
- Your willingness to complete community service,
- The burden having your license suspended long-term or revoked would place on you and your family, and
- Other mitigating factors.
Represent You at DMV Hearings
In addition to criminal proceedings, a DUI arrest will also trigger a DMV hearing. The purpose of a DMV hearing is to determine the status of your driver’s license and whether and when you’ll be allowed to drive again.
The attorneys at Seyb Law Group will represent you at your DMV hearing and work to protect your driving privileges so you can retain your autonomy and easily get to where you need to be.
There are many law offices out there that represent people facing DUI charges, but they don’t all have the level of skill and experience you need. Here’s why Seyb Law Group is the best option for you.
Why Choose Seyb Law Group?
No matter what kinds of facts and complications your Orange County DUI case involves, the expert DUI attorneys at Seyb Law Group are ready to jump in and help.
Our extensive knowledge of California DUI laws and unending commitment to providing personalized, aggressive legal representation will give you the best possible chance of coming out of this without severe repercussions.
Our law firm was founded by attorney John Seyb, who has defended clients just like you against DUI charges in Irvine and beyond for over a decade. Since our law office first opened, we’ve demonstrated a strong commitment to professionalism and client satisfaction. That’s why we’ve earned a reputation as one of the leading DUI defense firms in Orange County.
Our team understands the nuances of California DUI laws and works diligently to ensure that our clients receive personalized, effective, and compassionate legal representation. We’ll tell you what we mean in more detail below.
We Have a Proven Track Record
Seyb Law Group’s history of successful case results demonstrates that we know what we’re doing when it comes to fighting DUI and other criminal charges. We’ve demonstrated our ability to effectively defend clients against DUI charges time and time again, stopping at nothing that stands in our way.
We Deliver Personalized Services
We never take a one-size-fits-all approach to DUI cases, or any of our other criminal cases, for that matter. Seyb Law Group takes pride in giving personalized, one-on-one attention to each and every client we serve, ensuring that they receive the care and support they need throughout the life of their case.
If you have questions about what’s going on in your case or how certain laws or procedures work, we’ll be available to answer those questions 24/7.
We Possess Expert Knowledge
The attorneys at Seyb Law Group are well-versed in the contours and complexities of California DUI laws. We also have extensive experience navigating the Orange County legal system and thoroughly understand local courts’ unique procedural requirements.
Plus, we’re intimately acquainted with the alternative sentencing options available in Orange County.
We Offer Aggressive Representation
Seyb Law Group is committed to fighting for our clients’ rights. We don’t back down when the state oversteps; we go harder, giving you the aggressive representation you need to prevail both in and out of the courtroom.
If you’re facing a DUI charge in Irvine or another city in Orange County, don’t put your future at risk. Trying to handle the case on your own or hiring a criminal lawyer who lacks expertise in California DUI laws could land you in an even worse situation than you’re already in. Instead, you can connect with a lawyer at Seyb Law Group who has the requisite experience and knowledge.
Let Seyb Law Group Be Your Advocate
Getting charged with a DUI can change the course of your life, but you don’t have to fight it alone. The dedicated and experienced attorneys at Seyb Law Group will be happy to stand by your side as you work to beat your DUI charge and get your life back to where it was before your arrest.
No matter what you’re envisioning the outcome of your case to be, we’ll be there for you from the interrogation room to your first appearance to your post-acquittal celebration or appeal. During every stage of the process, we’ll provide you with 24/7 access to the attorney on your case, the assistance of our dedicated staff, and insight as to the most strategic way to handle your situation.
By putting your case in Seyb Law Group’s hands, you can trust that it will be treated with the utmost care and fierce determination. We offer each person who contacts us a free consultation so we can hear their story and see if one of our attorneys is a good fit for them.
Call (714) 485-0816 or fill out our online form to set up your free consultation today and begin the process of safeguarding your future.