Newport Beach DUI Attorneys

For some people charged with a DUI offense, it is the first time in their lifetime that they will set foot in a courtroom. To those unfamiliar, the process can be an intimidating experience.

Starting with your arrest, you are treated like a criminal even if your actions may have been the result of an honest mistake, you did not hurt another person and you did not damage any property. Regardless, you will be tested, arrested, and subjected to various other uncomfortable actions.

Although it may seem unfair, the consequences of a DUI conviction are very real and includes a criminal record that could follow you around for the rest of your life.

Therefore, you need to take the charges seriously and mount a robust defense as soon as possible.

At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we believe you should not have to pay a long-term price for a short-term error.

As experienced Newport Beach DUI attorneys, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian is ready to defend you or a loved one against a DUI charge, even if it means taking the case to trial.

Can you defeat DUI charges?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious charge. However, there are several ways to defend yourself against a DUI charge with the help of The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian.

Even if the evidence against you seems overwhelming, you have a good chance of escaping the most serious consequences if you hire a skilled and seasoned DUI attorney. 

Charges dismissed

The ideal outcome of any DUI case is a complete dismissal of all DUI charges. This result will save a lot of time and stress and means that you will avoid having a criminal conviction on your record. A dismissal will also result in vacating any immediate and long-term penalties associated with the offense.

Charges may be dismissed if law enforcement officers do not follow correct procedures or if they make mistakes during the DUI investigation. These errors may result in disqualifying evidence obtained in your DUI investigation from being used against you.

Sometimes, the blood alcohol content (BAC) test equipment is faulty and may therefore provide a false reading.

Another way charges may be dismissed is if the prosecution decides that the evidence against you is insufficient to achieve a conviction. In some cases, a skilled Newport Beach DUI lawyer, like those at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, may also be successful in negotiating a dismissal.

Negotiating a reduction of charges

If it looks like the case against you will proceed and the evidence is strong (making acquittal at trial unlikely), your DUI defense attorney may recommend negotiating with the prosecution to keep the penalties you face to a minimum.

The DUI penalties are set by statute in California and are described below. These penalties can be severe.  However, there may be some flexibility if you have a knowledgeable DUI attorney negotiating on your behalf.

One of the best outcomes, if a conviction based on the evidence is likely, could be having your DUI charge reduced to a “dry reckless” under the California Vehicle Code Section 23103(a). This result will greatly reduce the penalties you face, namely because it is not considered a “priorable” offense for any future charges should you face another DUI charge within a 10-year period. Additionally, the penalties and financial consequences are much less than a DUI offense.

The better your attorney knows the local court and personalities who work there, the greater the chance you have of a successful negotiation. The legal team at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian is very familiar with the local Newport Beach court system and the prosecutors who work there.

Acquittal at trial

An acquittal is when a person goes to trial and is found not guilty of all charges brought against them. 

Failure to prevent the case from proceeding against you or failing to negotiate a lesser charge may mean that a trial is your last option for clearing your name of the DUI charge.

A trial in California requires attorneys to follow strict procedures in presenting their case and offering evidence to the court and jury for consideration.  While the attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are well accustomed to life in the courtroom, it may be a little intimidating for you.

Before trial,  a seasoned attorney, like those at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, will review the case evidence and meet with both the District Attorney and the judge to evaluate the chances of success, should your case proceed to trial. 

Even if your case goes to trial, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will continue to attempt to negotiate with the District Attorney and the judge to reach the best possible outcome for your case.

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During the consultation, we will help you understand your rights and the charges against you.

Evidence that can be used against you in a DUI case

In DUI cases, the evidence used against you may seem overwhelming and impossible to contest. However, this may not be the case when viewed by an experienced DUI attorney.

The prosecution may rely on the following five types of evidence:

  1. Results from field sobriety tests 
  2. Blood or breath test results
  3. Evidence of how you were driving (drifting between lanes, going off the road, etc.)
  4. Your body language (shaky hands, slow reflexes, red eyes, slurred speech) 
  5. Incriminating statements you made

An experienced DUI attorney will assess all the evidence to identify any inconsistencies, omissions, or weaknesses in the case against you. 

Can you refuse to take a breathalyzer test?

In California, after you are arrested for a DUI, it is illegal for you to refuse to take a chemical test (breath or blood). A refusal to take a chemical test will result in a suspension of your license for one to three years. 

However, prior to your arrest, you may be asked by an officer to take a PAS breath device test (Preliminary Alcohol Screen). As opposed to the chemical test, you are not required by law to submit to this PAS test prior to your arrest. The PAS device is simply another field sobriety test, an investigative tool, used by an officer to evaluate your impairment to drive a motor vehicle.

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.

The DMV Process

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: 

  1. Administrative Per Se hearing (APS) before the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  2. 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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 

Where are the Newport Beach DUI schools located?

A drug and alcohol education program is almost always part of sentencing for a DUI and can last between 3 and 18 months.

For a first offense, you can complete your educational requirements at the following Newport Beach location:

Academy of Defensive Driving, Inc.
2028 Quail Street
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 752-0710

There are currently no 18-month alcohol classes offered in Newport Beach.  However,  Gold Coast Counseling Center offers 18-month classes at two locations in the city of Costa Mesa, which neighbors Newport Beach.

Gold Coast Counseling Center

2950 Airway, Suite #B-3
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 641-0532

1901 Newport Blvd. Suite 151
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 722-0893

Have you been charged with a DUI offense in Newport Beach?

A DUI charge may be an honest mistake. However, it is a dangerous mistake and it can greatly affect your future.

Legal representation by a team of experienced DUI attorneys will help you understand your options, navigate the legal processes, and prevent one mistake from damaging your future.

If you or a loved one were charged with a DUI in Newport Beach and need legal assistance, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will work towards the best possible outcome for your case. Call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 to discuss your case and discover your legal options. 

We have offices in Santa Ana, Westminster, Newport Beach and Fullerton to serve clients with matters heard at the Central, West, Harbor, and North Justice Centers, respectively, for all of Orange County.  The lawyers at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian are here to help!  Book an online consultation to get started today.
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