What are the penalties for a DUI in Newport Beach?
Typically, if you are convicted of a first-time DUI in Newport Beach, you may face the following penalties and consequences:
- Two days to six months of jail time
- Court fees and fines of $390 + penalty assessments (approximately $2,300)
- Three years of informal probation
- Driver’s license suspension by CA DMV
- Three to nine months of DUI School
These penalties may vary. While jail time is technically possible, very few first offenders will suffer these consequences if they have experienced, competent legal representation.
The judge will also consider the facts of your case and may exert considerable discretion according to the DUI laws. Your type of driver’s license, prior criminal record, blood alcohol level, and whether injury or property damage occurred are all key factors taken into consideration when evaluating your case.
It always pays to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side to argue and negotiate for the minimum possible consequences and penalties.
Will you lose your driver’s license for a DUI?
In California, you will face two types of cases against you if you are arrested for a DUI offense: the DMV, with regard to your privilege to drive a motor vehicle, and the criminal court, with regard to fines/fees and possible incarceration.
This means that driver’s license suspensions may be two-fold.
1. Administrative suspension
If you are arrested for a DUI in Newport Beach, you will need to surrender your license to the arresting officer. You will receive a pink paper (Form DS-367) which will act as your temporary license for the next thirty days. If you want to contest the suspension, you must contact the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of your arrest to request a DMV hearing (Administrative Per Se Hearing). This request will prevent your license from being suspended after the expiration of the thirty days.
The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian can represent you at this hearing. They will treat this hearing similarly to a court trial by presenting evidence on your behalf and cross-examining witnesses, if necessary, to attempt to prevent your license from being suspended. Should the DMV not rule in your favor at the hearing, your license will be suspended for up to four months.
2. Full license suspension/license restrictions
In the criminal case against you, if you are found guilty of a first-time DUI, the DMV will suspend your driver’s license for six to ten months.
However, the full license suspension may only last a short while if you agree to install and drive with an ignition interlock device (IID). An IID is a small breathalyzer device that prevents the engine of the vehicle from starting unless a zero-alcohol reading is returned by the driver.
In some cases, you may be given a restricted license. This means that you can continue to drive to and from work or as necessary within the course and scope of your employment.
Remember, if your license is suspended, you cannot drive again until you have taken the steps required by the DMV to get it reinstated. Reinstatement of your license does not happen automatically.
If you are arrested for a DUI, the arresting officer will ask you to hand over your driver’s license. In return, you will receive a pink document that is known as Form DS-367, which is a temporary license that allows you to drive for a 30-day period.
The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian can assist you in restoring your license if it is revoked because of a DUI.
They can represent you during the two hearings that you must attend:
- Administrative Per Se hearing (APS) before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- Hearing set before the criminal courts.
Further important information about the process is as follows:
- Contact the DMV within ten days of your arrest — If you do not contact the DMV within ten days of your arrest, you will lose your right to request and conduct an APS hearing, and therefore your license will be suspended once your 30-day temporary license expires. Your DUI attorney will contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to request an APS hearing and represent you throughout your case.
- The pre-hearing phase is critical to your defense — Your experienced DUI attorney may determine that it would be beneficial to your defense to subpoena maintenance and calibration records for the blood alcohol content device used to measure your blood alcohol level after your arrest. Additionally, your attorney might subpoena the officer who arrested you to explore any mistakes made in the investigation leading to your arrest, or to highlight the officer’s lack of training.
- Await a decision — Approximately thirty days from the DMV hearing, the hearing officer will issue their written findings. If you receive a favorable decision, your driving privileges are restored. If you do not, your driving privilege will be administratively suspended for up to four months. Your suspension will generally go into effect a few weeks after the decision is made.
How Much Do DUI Trials Cost?
The cost of DUI trials can vary greatly depending on numerous factors, including:
- Experience level of the attorney representing you
- Amount of time the attorney must spend on your case
- Whether you have prior DUI charges
- Complexity of the case itself
For example, a first-time DUI case handled by a new and inexperienced attorney may cost as little as $2,000. An identical case involving a more experienced attorney might cost more than double that amount. In contrast, the skill and acumen of an experienced attorney are necessary for a complex case where there is a DUI charge involving death or the suffering of great bodily injury. Such a case might cost as much as $70,000 or more.
Does the Complexity of the Case Change the Cost of a DUI Attorney?
The complexity of a case absolutely affects the cost of a DUI attorney.
The following is a partial list of factors that a DUI attorney will consider in determining the complexity of your case:
- Is this your first DUI arrest or do you have previous DUI arrests or convictions?
- Have you been charged with a misdemeanor DUI or are you being charged with a more serious felony DUI?
- Did you violate probation at the time of your DUI arrest?
- Did you cause an accident and did anyone involved in the accident suffer injuries or death?
- How complex of an investigation will your defense require?
Did You Take a Breath or Blood Test?
The purpose of a breath or blood test is to determine whether your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is greater than 0.08 percent.
If you are stopped and subsequently arrested by the police for a DUI, you must take either a breath or blood test. If you refuse to take one of these tests after you are arrested, your license will be suspended for at least a 1-year period.
Difference between breath and blood tests
While breath and blood tests are both chemical tests that determine your blood alcohol content, there are differences between the accuracy of the two tests. Breath or breathalyzer tests are far less accurate than blood tests. You may be asked to take a breath test on two occasions—prior to your arrest and subsequent to your arrest.
If you are stopped on suspicion of a DUI, police may require that you complete the following tests:
- Voluntary Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) breath test — This is a voluntary test, and you may refuse to take it. If you consent, you will be asked to breathe into a portable device at the location where you were stopped.
- Non-voluntary breath or blood test — The second test occurs at a police station, following your arrest. This test is not voluntary, and you must submit to either a breath or blood test. The first test that you take with a portable breathalyzer is less reliable and its results may not be admitted in court. The second breath test, conducted at a police station, is considered more reliable and its results are admissible.
Blood tests are far more accurate and precise in measuring your BAC. A blood test is administered either at a police station or a hospital and identifies the level of alcohol in your blood. Generally, the maximum level will occur approximately one hour after you have finished drinking.