Open 24/7 SD: 619-814-5110 | OC: 949-681-7020 | Vista: 760-814-6025

  • Contact
    Areas We Serve
    Open 24/7   SD: 619-814-5110 | OC: 949-681-7020 | Vista: 760-814-6025

    Santa Ana DUI Lawyer

    Santa Ana DUI LawyerSanta Ana DUI Lawyer | Orange County 

    Don’t let a DUI derail your life. Act now with the support of a seasoned and respected Santa Ana DUI Defense Attorney. Dod Law, with offices in Santa Ana, Orange County, downtown San Diego, and Vista, California, and is committed to safeguarding your rights and freedoms.  Learn more how a Santa Ana DUI lawyer can help you.

    Hiring a Santa Ana DUI Lawyer
    A DUI charge can affect you for a long time, leading to hefty fines and possible jail time. Losing your license impacts your daily life and damages your reputation. Led by attorney Dod Ghassemkhani, our Santa Ana criminal defense law firm is dedicated to advocating for you to achieve the best possible outcome.

    With 20 years of legal experience and over 6,500 criminal cases handled, Mr. Ghassemkhani is a reliable and knowledgeable defense lawyer. Don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Contact Dod Law today to explore your legal options with a trusted DUI Defense Attorney.

    A DUI Case in California Can Impact Your Life
    Having an experienced lawyer on your side can significantly mitigate the impact of a DUI charge.  With a successful defense and favorable negotiations, you might experience minimal changes, and if your lawyer wins your case, you could have the charges dropped entirely, leaving no mark on your record.

    Without a skilled Santa Ana defense lawyer, a DUI conviction can lead to severe consequences, such as:

    License Suspension
    A DUI charge in California can jeopardize your driving privileges. Even without a conviction, you risk license suspension unless you take legal action. A first-time conviction can lead to up to four months of suspension, and repeat offenders face even longer suspensions. However, there are alternatives to license suspension:

    • You can request a DUI hearing to maintain your license until your court date.
    • Acquittal or dismissal of charges allows you to keep your license.
    • Reduced charges may also help retain your license.
    • Even with a conviction, a defense lawyer can help shorten the suspension or secure a restricted license for essential driving.

    Potential Jail Time
    Jail time for a DUI conviction varies based on the arrest circumstances, prior convictions, and judicial discretion:

    • First-time offenders: Minimum 48 hours
    • Second-time offenders: Minimum 96 hours
    • Third-time offenders: Minimum 120 hours
    • Fourth-time offenders: Minimum 180 days Additionally, you may face DUI rehabilitation programs and probation. An experienced lawyer can help minimize these penalties.

    Career Impacts
    A DUI conviction can adversely affect your career. Future employers typically conduct background checks, and a DUI can be seen as a liability. Having a skilled attorney can help get charges dropped or reduced, protecting your professional prospects.

    Financial Consequences
    DUIs come with significant financial burdens, including:

    • Fines: First-time DUI fines can exceed $1,000.
    • Penalty assessments: Additional court and state costs can also be $1,000 or more.
    • Mandatory DUI programs: Costs range from $500 to several thousand dollars.
    • Vehicle costs: Impound fees accumulate daily.
    • Interlock device: Installation and maintenance fees.
    • License reinstatement: Fees apply.
    • Insurance: Increased premiums.

    Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani at Dod Law has 20 years of experience and has handled over 6,500 criminal cases. He will meticulously review your case to ensure the best possible legal outcome, reducing the negative consequences and ensuring fair representation in court. Contact Dod Law today to discuss your legal options with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney.

    What to Expect After a DUI Arrest
    In California, DUIs are considered misdemeanors, but violators face serious consequences. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Orange County, downtown San Diego, or Vista, California here’s what you can expect:

    • Immediate License Suspension: Your driver’s license will be immediately suspended following your DUI arrest. To prevent this, you must submit a request for a DMV hearing in a timely manner.
    • Arraignment and Plea Submission: You will attend an arraignment to submit your plea. Your case may go to trial unless your attorney negotiates an outcome that avoids trial. If it goes to trial, a jury will decide your case.
    • Defense Strategy: Your lawyer will work with you to develop a robust defense. This may include proving that your rights were violated, challenging the arresting officer’s testimony, or identifying other weaknesses in the evidence against you.
    • Potential Penalties: If found guilty, you will face severe penalties, which may include fines, jail time, education programs, rehabilitation treatment, a suspended driver’s license, restricted driving privileges, and more. The severity of the penalties depends on whether it is a repeat offense, any injuries involved, and the judge’s discretion. An experienced Santa Ana DUI lawyer can help negotiate for less severe penalties if you are convicted.

    Contact Dod Law for skilled legal representation and to explore your options with a knowledgeable DUI defense attorney.

    Types of DUI Charges & Their Penalties
    In California, DUI penalties increase with each offense, and drivers must remain violation-free for ten years before a previous DUI is no longer considered. The state’s complex DUI laws mean that two individuals with the same blood alcohol content (BAC) might face different penalties based on their prior convictions.

    First-Time DUI Convictions
    First-time DUI convictions in California carry serious consequences, including:

    • Up to $1,000 in fines plus additional penalty fees
    • Up to six months in jail
    • Four-month driver’s license suspension
    • $125 license reinstatement fee

    You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and attend a DUI rehabilitation program. Penalties increase with multiple DUI convictions or aggravating circumstances such as having a child in the vehicle or causing injury while driving drunk.

    Second-Time DUI Offenses
    The minimum penalties for a second DUI offense in California include:

    • At least 96 hours in jail
    • Completion of an 18-month or 30-month alcohol treatment program
    • Mandatory installation of an interlock device on all owned vehicles
    • One-year driver’s license suspension
    • $125 license reinstatement fee

    Without an experienced DUI attorney, second-time offenders risk harsher penalties, such as up to one year in jail and a two-year license suspension.

    Third & Subsequent DUI Convictions
    For third and subsequent DUI offenses, minimum penalties include:

    • At least 120 days in jail for a third offense or 180 days for a fourth or subsequent offense
    • Completion of a 30-month alcohol treatment program
    • Three-year license revocation for a third offense, and four years for a fourth offense

    Offenders may face up to one year in jail for a third DUI or 16 months in state prison for a fourth or subsequent DUI. Vehicles may be impounded for three months or permanently forfeited to the state.

    DUI offenders can be placed on probation for at least three years for a first-time offense, with the term potentially extended. Violating probation terms, such as being caught drinking and driving, results in additional and harsher penalties.

    Seek Legal Help
    Navigating DUI charges requires expert legal support to ensure the best possible outcome. An experienced Santa Ana DUI attorney can help mitigate the severe consequences and protect your rights.

    DUI Expungement in Santa Ana, California
    A DUI conviction can have lasting impacts on your life even after you’ve completed your sentence. Although your DUI might not have resulted in an accident, it will still appear as a conviction on job applications. This can hinder your ability to enroll in higher education, secure a desired job, and even affect your chances of finding housing.

    If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in the past, you might be eligible to expunge it from your criminal record in California. Expungement means that your guilty or no contest plea is withdrawn, and the case is dismissed. However, the DUI will still be considered a prior offense if you are convicted of another DUI in the future, and it will also count as a prior offense for DMV purposes. Once your DUI conviction is expunged, employers cannot use it against you in their hiring or promotion decisions.

    To explore your options for expunging your DUI record and making a fresh start, consult DUI Defense Attorney Dod. He will review your conviction in detail to determine your eligibility for expungement and advise you on the best steps to petition the court.

    How Does the Legal Process of a DUI Case Work in California?
    Facing a DUI arrest in Santa Ana can be both stressful and challenging. The legal process begins immediately after the arrest, so it’s crucial to secure reliable legal representation as soon as possible. Understanding the steps involved can make the process less intimidating.

    Here’s a breakdown of the legal process for a DUI case in California:

    1. Arrest: After being stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be arrested and taken to the police station for processing and booking. Your driver’s license will be confiscated and replaced with a temporary one that is valid for 30 days unless you successfully contest the DMV’s action.
    2. Hiring a Lawyer: While hiring a lawyer is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. An experienced DUI attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your case, potentially distinguishing between freedom and incarceration.
    3. DMV Hearing: Following your arrest, your California driver’s license will be administratively suspended by the DMV. You have ten days to request a DMV hearing to contest this suspension. This hearing is your sole opportunity to challenge the suspension of your license. It is essential to have your lawyer represent you at this hearing to maximize your chances of retaining your driving privileges.
    4. Arraignment: The arraignment is your first court appearance for the DUI case. At this brief hearing, your lawyer and the prosecution present their arguments, and you will enter your plea. There is no jury at this stage.
    5. Pre-Trial: Many DUI cases are resolved before reaching trial. During the pre-trial phase, the prosecution will disclose evidence against you. Your attorney will scrutinize this evidence for inconsistencies or violations of your rights, and may negotiate a plea deal to reduce the charges.
    6. Trial: If a plea deal is not reached and the prosecution’s case is strong, your attorney may recommend proceeding to trial. While this carries some risk, having a skilled trial attorney can help create reasonable doubt and potentially lead to an acquittal.

    DMV Hearing – Hire a Santa Ana DUI Attorney
    Requesting a DMV hearing within ten days is crucial to avoid automatic license suspension. Secure a DUI Defense Attorney in Santa Ana, Orange County, San Diego, or Vista, California to represent you during this hearing. DMV hearings can be brief and sometimes conducted by phone. During the hearing, you will be questioned about:

    • The reasonableness of the officer’s belief that you were driving under the influence.
    • The legality of your arrest.
    • Whether your BAC was 0.08% or higher.

    It’s important to answer these questions carefully. Your attorney can subpoena the arresting officer and help construct strong responses to these questions.

    California’s Implied Consent Laws

    Field Sobriety Tests in a California DUI
    When pulled over on suspicion of DUI, officers may administer field sobriety tests to establish probable cause for arrest. Validated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these tests include:

    • The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
    • The Walk-and-Turn
    • The One-Leg Stand

    Performing poorly on these tests can indicate impairment, but they are not always accurate. Drivers in California may refuse these tests without penalty.

    Refusing a Breath or Blood Test
    While you may refuse field sobriety tests, refusing a chemical test such as a breath or blood test can have serious consequences, including increased penalties and a mandatory driver’s license suspension. California’s implied consent law means that by obtaining a driver’s license, you agree to submit to chemical tests if investigated for DUI. This consent applies to tests conducted after a lawful DUI arrest.

    Drivers may refuse preliminary alcohol screening tests (portable breath tests) without facing penalties, but results from these tests can be used against you if you consent to them.

    California’s Ignition Interlock Device Law
    First-time DUI offenders might be placed on probation and required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles. This device requires a clean breath sample to start the car and is costly to install and maintain. Under the 2018 IID law, repeat offenders and those with a first DUI that caused injury must install an IID for 12-48 months. Courts may also order an IID for first-time offenders without injuries, potentially for up to 6 months.

    The IID must be professionally installed in each vehicle you own and drive, except for company vehicles. You are responsible for maintaining and calibrating the device.

    Challenging Your BAC Results in California
    If BAC results from a DUI test exceed the legal limit, there are still ways to challenge these results:

    1. Substance Interference: Various substances, such as medications or mouthwash, can affect breath test results, potentially leading to inaccurate BAC readings.
    2. Blood Test Errors: Your attorney can investigate the handling of your blood sample to uncover any errors by police, hospital staff, or lab workers.
    3. Procedural Errors: Officers must follow strict procedures for DUI investigations and breath tests. Mistakes during this process can render findings invalid.

    Santa Ana DUI Defense Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani is experienced in reviewing DUI cases and ensuring fair representation in court.

    Speak with an Experienced Santa Ana DUI Attorney at Dod Law Today!
    A DUI, even a first-time offense, can have long-lasting consequences in California. Dod Law in Santa Ana, Orange County, Downtown San Diego and Vista California offers the expertise needed to navigate your case effectively. Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani, with over 6,500 criminal defense cases and a 10.0 “Superb” Avvo rating, is dedicated to criminal and DUI defense. Contact Dod Law for a free consultation.

    Frequently Asked Questions About DUI in Santa Ana, California

    Do I have to take the field sobriety test? You are not required to take field sobriety tests or handheld breath tests on the roadside. However, if you are taken into custody, you must submit to a blood or breath sample, or your license will be suspended for one year.

    How can a Santa Ana DUI Lawyer help me?
    An experienced DUI lawyer can guide you through both the DMV and criminal court processes. You must contact the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to avoid automatic license suspension. A knowledgeable attorney can help stop this suspension and schedule a hearing. 

    Contact us at our Santa Ana, Orange County office 949-681-7020 | San Diego office (619) 814-5110 | Vista office 760-814-6025 | or schedule an appointment by filling out our online contact form.

    At a Glance

    Meet Attorney Dod Ghassemkhani

    • Recent Case Results
    • San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association | Named San Diego County’s 2023 Trial Lawyer Of The Year
    • Award Winning Criminal Defense Attorney
    • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
    • Over 20 years of criminal defense experience
    • 10.0 “Superb” Avvo Rating