First Offense DUI in California

If you have been arrested for a DUI in California and have never been arrested before you may not know what to expect.

Not knowing what will happen as a result of this arrest is probably creating a lot of stress.

The law office of Mark Greany has helped many good people who have been in this situation.

Mr. Greany will help you through every step of the process and will help you avoid so many of the pitfalls that can be in your way if you are not well represented. A DUI case in California is really like two cases in one.

There are two separate proceedings: one in the California Court brought by the District Attorney’s Office, and another at the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is called an administrative per se (APS) hearing. Mr. Greany handles both of these for you from start to finish.

Administrative Sanctions or a First Offense DUI

It’s important to get started with an attorney right away. When you were arrested for a DUI you were required to surrender your driver’s license, and you were given a temporary license.

This temporary license is only good until your APS hearing is conducted. It is extremely important that you do not delay dealing with this. 

You only have ten days from the date of your arrest to request a DMV APS hearing. Otherwise, your license will be automatically suspended.

My law office can make the request for your hearing and will represent you at the hearing. Your temporary license will remain valid until the hearing is conducted.

You have the right to request a DMV hearing to dispute the automatic suspension of your license. However, the DMV will not automatically provide you with a hearing. You must request one within ten days of your arrest.

At the hearing, you can challenge the circumstances of your arrest and the evidence that was collected to show that you were driving under the influence. For example, you may argue that the arresting officer lacked probable cause to believe you were under the influence.

If the government claims you refused to take a chemical test, you may argue that the officer did not advise you of the consequences of such a refusal. There are many legal and scientific defenses available that need to be considered.

At the hearing your license can be suspended by the DMV. In some cases the DMV action against your license can be “set aside” and your driver’s license will be returned to you.

My law office knows what is required at the hearing for the DMV to suspend your license. If the DMV fails to make the proper case against you at the APS hearing, your license suspension will be set aside.

If your license is suspended at the APS hearing the length of your suspension will depend on many factors.

For example, if you refused to submit to a test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) test (usually a breathalyzer test or blood sample) your license could be suspended for a full year. Usually the DMV suspension for a first offense is four months.

 If your license is suspended you may be eligible for a restricted license that allows you to travel to and from work. You will need to serve a thirty-day hard suspension before you are eligible for a restricted license.

Criminal Penalties for a First DUI in California

In a separate proceeding, the government will also likely bring criminal charges against you in court. Unlike the administrative license suspension hearing, the government must prove that you violated the law by driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt.

To do this, the government will call witnesses. Most often, this includes the arresting officer and the lab technicians who conducted the chemical test.

If convicted of a DUI, you face penalties in addition to the administrative license suspension imposed by the DMV. These could include:

  • – Three to five years misdemeanor probation;
  • – Mandatory participation in a “DUI school”;
  • – Participation in a victim’s impact panel
  • – Fines ranging between $1,500 and $2,000;
  • – Several days of community service;
  • – A six-month driver’s license suspension;
  • – Additional insurance costs for SR-22 certificate;
  • – Installation of an ignition interlock device; and
  • – Up to six months in jail.

As you can see, the consequences of a DUI conviction can seriously disrupt your life. However, there are defenses to California DUI charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand the possible defenses and which may apply in your case.

Have You Been Arrested for a First Time California DUI?

If you were recently arrested for your first California DUI, reach out to the Law Office of Mark Greany for immediate assistance.

Attorney Greany is a skilled criminal defense attorney who is passionate about defending the rights of people facing DUI charges.

He has extensive experience securing favorable results for his clients both in and out of the courtroom. To schedule a free initial consultation with a dedicated California DUI lawyer, call 858-531-6487 today.

You can also complete our online form and an attorney will be in touch soon.

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Mark Greany

Mark Greany has been practicing law since 1995 and is the founding partner of the Law Office of Mark Greany. You can learn more about Mark and his accomplishments by clicking here.

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