Westminster DUI Attorneys

For many people charged with a DUI in Westminster, California, it will be their first time inside of a courtroom and the experience will likely be intimidating and overwhelming.  You will be tested, arrested, and subjected to various uncomfortable actions during the legal process.

The consequences of a DUI conviction are very real and the resulting criminal record will follow you around for the rest of your life.

Therefore, it is in your best interest to seek out the assistance of an attorney that is experienced in defending against DUIs in Westminster. At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we will thoroughly analyze your case to aggressively defend you against a DUI charge in order to limit the long-term cost of a short-term mistake.

As experienced Westminster 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 your case to trial.

What happens after you are arrested for a DUI in Westminster?

If you are arrested by the Westminster Police Department on suspicion of driving under the influence, you will be forced into the California criminal justice system. During your arrest, it is important that you remain respectful to the arresting officers while also not providing them any information that will benefit their investigation.

As intimidating as the process may be, it will help if you know what to expect.

Chemical tests after your arrest

Once arrested, you are required to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood) to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC).  This test will be performed at, and you will be escorted to, the Westminster Police Department, a local hospital, or a local jail. 

If you are over the age of 21, a BAC of 0.08% or higher will lead to an automatic charge under California’s Vehicle Code 23152(b) VC (commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21 are subject to lower maximum levels).

If you choose to submit to a breath test, you may also be required to submit to a blood test.  This can occur if the officer has reasonable cause to believe that you were driving under the influence of a drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and drugs and if the officer reasonably believes that a blood test will confirm that drugs are in your system.  If a blood test is chosen or required, your blood sample will be sent to a lab for analysis which may take a few days for the results to be completed. 

These post-arrest chemical tests are mandatory. If you do not submit to a breath or blood test after you are arrested on suspicion of a DUI you will be charged with a “refusal” which will result in an automatic suspension of your license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for 1 year if this is your first DUI or for 2 or more years if this is your second DUI.

Arrest report

Following the chemical test, you will likely be detained for a few hours while the police complete all necessary criminal and DMV forms. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and criminal history, you may be released with a written promise to appear in court on a certain date and time. 

Once all reports and forms are completed by the handling officer, they will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office or prosecutor’s office.  Once received, the reports will be reviewed to determine whether a complaint against you will be officially filed with the West Justice Center.

Your driver’s license will be confiscated

After your arrest, the police will confiscate your driver’s license and they will provide you with a DS 367 form that will act as a temporary driver’s license for 30 days from the date it is issued.  At the end of the 30th day, your license will be administratively suspended by the DMV for 4 months.

To contest the administrative suspension of your license, you need to act quickly and call the DMV within 10 days of your arrest to schedule a DMV Administrative Per Se hearing.  If you do not contact the DMV within 10 days, your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 4 months which will start 30 days after the date of your arrest.  If you schedule the hearing, your temporary license will continue to be valid until the outcome of the DMV hearing. 

The arraignment hearing at the West Justice Center

At the arraignment hearing, you will hear the charges filed against you and you will be required to enter a plea: guilty, not guilty, or no contest (you do not admit guilt but agree not to contest the charge).

If you plead not guilty, a pre-trial date will be set and if you plead guilty, a sentencing hearing will be set.

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

Penalties for a DUI conviction in Westminster

A DUI conviction in Westminster could lead to the following penalties:

First DUI

  • Up to six months in jail
  • A fine of $390  to $1,000 plus penalty assessments
  • A license suspension from 4 to 10 months
  • Installation of an IID (Ignition Interlock Device)

Second DUI

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of $390 of up to $1,000 plus penalty assessments
  • A license suspension of up to one year
  • Installation of an IID (Ignition Interlock Device)

Third DUI

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A fine of $390 of up to $1,000 plus penalty assessments
  • A license suspension of up to three years
  • Installation of an IID (Ignition Interlock Device)

Penalties are increased if you are convicted of a DUI that caused the death or injury of another.

Common defenses for a Westminster DUI charge

Often, technical failures of testing equipment and the details of what happened during your arrest can be the difference between a conviction, case dismissal, reduced sentence, or acquittal at trial.

After reviewing the details of your case, your DUI attorney may elect to use some of the following common defensive factors and strategies:

  • The traffic stop was unlawful (no reasonable suspicion)
  • Your arrest was unlawful (no probable cause)
  • The field sobriety test was not conducted properly
  • You were not read your legal rights prior to an interrogation
  • There was a technical error leading to a false result in either your blood or breath test
  • The police did not follow Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations when collecting, storing, and analyzing the evidence used for the chemical tests
  • A substance other than an alcoholic beverage caused an inaccurately high BAC (e.g., medicine, mouthwash, etc.) 
  • Alleged signs of intoxication were due to other factors, such as tiredness or a medical condition
  • You were not driving the vehicle
  • At the time of driving your BAC was below .08% (“rising blood alcohol defense”) but rose above .08% at the time of testing

Does a DUI stay on your record?

If you are found guilty of a DUI in Westminster, the misdemeanor or felony conviction will remain on your criminal record indefinitely.  The long-term consequences of a criminal record can impact future employment, rental and loan opportunities, immigration status, and even child custody status.

However, if you have completed all sentencing requirements and paid all fines and fees, you may qualify to have your misdemeanor conviction dismissed (commonly referred to as an expungement) or have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed by way of expungement also.  

If you or a loved one have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor DUI, call The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian at (855) 918-4253 to discuss the possibility of having your past conviction dismissed.

How much does a DUI attorney cost in Westminster? 

Generally, the cost of hiring a DUI attorney depends on the amount of time estimated to properly represent the client, the attorney’s reputation, and the attorney’s hourly rate.  The legal complexities of a case along with the severity of the charges against you will determine the amount of time necessary to plan and implement a successful legal strategy.  Additionally, subpoena costs, investigators, legal motions, or the expectation of trial are also considered. 

Have you been charged with a DUI in Westminster? 

Our lawyers are available to help 24/7

If you were arrested in Westminster, CA, and need legal assistance for a DUI charge, The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian will guide you towards the best possible outcome and help to prevent one mistake from excessively impacting your future.

Our lawyers are available to help 24/7. Start with an initial online consultation.

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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Here are the values that guide our services:

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