DUI Charges in Orange County 

Serving Southern California Since 1997

Facing DUI charges in Orange County can be a deeply stressful experience. The cultural stigma associated with DUI alone can be overwhelming, not to mention the potential of a criminal conviction. We know what you’re going through because we help people in your position fight these charges daily. We can help you, too.

At Braden & Tucci, our experienced DUI defense attorneys have extensive knowledge of California DUI laws and are dedicated to fighting for your rights. We recognize that each case is unique, which is why we take the time to get to know our clients and their situations so we can provide personalized legal representation, giving you the time, respect, and attention you deserve. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to pursue a favorable outcome, aiming to reduce charges or get them dismissed if possible. Contact us today for more information about how we can help with your DUI charges in Orange County.

To schedule a free consultation, call us at (949) 996-0170 or contact us online.

How DUI Cases Are Charged

California has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country. These laws are designed and implemented to protect people from the dangers of drunk driving and are well-meaning; however, strict, often mandatory penalties and California’s zero-tolerance policy often lead to disproportionate consequences for offenders. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for the police responsible for enforcing these laws to violate procedures by improperly obtaining evidence, misinterpreting field sobriety tests, or failing to observe the Title 17 regulations regarding drug testing. 

A person’s first three DUI convictions in a ten-year period are typically charged as misdemeanors, while the fourth can be charged as a felony. You may be charged with a felony on any of your first three offenses if you severely injured or killed another person in a collision or accident.  

Despite being misdemeanors, the first three convictions come with heavy charges. Our team has decades of experience navigating and practicing California DUI law and will use every strategy at our disposal to negotiate your case. 

A first offense can include the following penalties:

  • 48 hours-6 months in county jail
  • 6-month suspension of driver’s license
  • 3-5 years of informal probation
  • Completion of a DUI course lasting up to 9 months
  • Fines up to $1,000, plus penalty assessments 

A second offense includes these potential consequences:

  • 96 hours in county jail with a potential jail sentence of 1 year
  • 2-year suspension of driver’s license 
  • 3-5 years of informal probation
  • An 18-month DUI education program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 1 year
  • Fines up to $1,000, plus penalty assessments 

A Third offense could include: 

  • A minimum of 120 days in jail with a maximum of 365 days
  • Up to 3-year suspension of your driver’s license
  • Up to 5 years of informal probation
  • Mandatory attendance at a drug and alcohol education program for up to 30 months
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 2 years
  • Fines up to $1,000, plus penalty assessments 

A fourth offense is a wobbler, which means that a prosecutor can choose to charge it as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

When charged as a misdemeanor, the penalties for a fourth offense can include:

  • 180 days in county jail
  • 4-year revocation of your driver’s license
  • Up to 5 years of probation
  • Mandatory attendance at a 30-month DUI education program
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 3 years
  • Fines of up to $1,000, plus penalty assessments
  • Being designated as a habitual offender for 3 years
  • Admission to a drugs and alcohol treatment program

If the fourth offense is charged as a felony, you will face 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in prison instead of 180 days in county jail.

Additionally, your case may involve aggravating factors that could enhance your penalties. These factors include reckless driving, causing an accident, or refusing to submit to a chemical test following an arrest.

What Is the Legal BAC Limit in California?

California’s BAC limits can be a bit confusing. 

The baseline BAC limit is 0.08%, or about 4 drinks. Keep in mind that this conversion is only an estimation and can change according to what you are drinking, the ratio of liquor to mixers per drink, your weight, whether you are taking certain prescription drugs, and other factors. 

If your BAC is found to be at least 0.15% or over, your charges will be considered aggravated, and your penalties will be more severe. 

You are subject to more severe limits if you are a commercial driver. The BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%. If convicted, you will have your CDL license suspended for a year. If convicted of two DUIs, you will lose your CDL license and be ineligible to apply for another for the rest of your life. This is in addition to any other penalties associated with a DUI conviction.

California’s zero-tolerance law affects how high your BAC can be in some situations. These laws are aimed at people under the age of 21 and people on probation for a prior DUI. 

If you are already on probation for DUI, having a BAC of 0.04% or greater will lead to a DUI conviction, a license suspension of one year, and possible probation revocation. Further, if you are pulled over, and an officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, you must take it. 

Similarly, if you are under 21 and have a BAC of at least 0.01%, your license will be suspended for a year. You may also be charged with DUI. These suspensions are applied immediately upon detecting a BAC of at least 0.01% and are independent of any criminal conviction. 

Those who have had their license suspended due to California’s zero-tolerance law can challenge the decision through a DMV hearing.

We help you move forward

  • “Mr. Tucci is an aggressive bulldog attorney that you want representing you!”

    - Bree R.
  • “Thank you again, Mr. Tucci, through your efforts you have altered the course of my life. Truly the greatest to have ever done it.”

    - Less F.
  • “Thanks to Vincent Tucci, my son’s warrant was quashed, his two charges dismissed, and my son never had to appear in California!”

    - Paula H.

What sets us apart:

  • Zealous, Individualized Representation for Your Case
  • Proven Successes in Trial, in Court & with the DMV
  • Certified in Alcohol Screening & Field Sobriety Testing
  • Southern California’s Most Respected DUI Attorney
  • Former President of the CA DUI Lawyers Association
  • Southern California’s Most Aggressive and Successful DUI Attorney

Contact Us if You Have Been Charged with a DUI

If you have been charged with DUI, it is crucial to understand your rights and options. Braden & Tucci are experienced attorneys who can help you navigate the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for a favorable outcome. 

Call us at (949) 996-0170 or contact us online today for more information about how we can help.

Contact Us for a Consultation

We Know What You're Facing. We Know How To Win.

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