DUI/DWI Crimes

Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated

In California, it is against the law to drive a “motor vehicle” if you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater.

Commonly Charged DUI/DWI Offenses
DUI Driving Under 16 WIthout a LicenseFirst Offense
DUI Driving Under 18Second Offense
DUI Driving Under 21Felony DUI
DUI Driving Without a License or on a Suspended LicenseDUI Refusal
Driving with Multiple DUI OffensesDUI & Sobriety Checkpoints

DUI or DWI convictions can have serious consequences, with the penalties being more significant if you have prior convictions for DUI/DWI. If you are convicted of a DUI/DWI, you face significant fines, jail time, probation, suspension of your driver’s license, mandatory DUI school, job ramifications, or even the loss of your professional license(s). If you have a prior DUI/DWI conviction (within the past 10 years), you face suspension of your driver’s license, hefty fines, and considerable jail or prison sentences.

If you are being charged with a DUI/DWI offense in Orange County, it is vital that you retain an aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorney. In most cases, having a good attorney is the difference between receiving the more significant penalties like jail time and less hefty penalties like paying a fine and attending DUI classes. Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena can evaluate your case specifically, analyze the results of your chemical/breath/blood alcohol tests and LA or OC area field sobriety tests (whichever is applicable), and review the circumstances of your arrest. Ms. Sena can subpoena the police or law enforcement records which could reveal any inaccuracies or errors that were made. Your case position could change completely if any errors are found.

Frequently Asked Questions about DUIs Q: If I am convicted of a DUI/DWI, will I go to jail?

A: Most DUI/DWI cases in Orange County are resolved without a jail sentence if it is the individual’s first DUI charge or they do not have any prior convictions. Some counties, like Riverside, impose a community work program instead of a jail sentence. However, if it is a DUI case where the individual has prior convictions within 10 years, jail time may be imposed. You could mitigate your DUI/DWI case by going to AA meetings, drug or alcohol counseling, or going to a rehabilitation or treatment center. Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena has handled thousands of DUI/DWI cases and has experience getting them mitigated. She has kept many second and third offenders from jail sentences. Please contact her office for a consultation.

Q: If I am convicted of a DUI/DWI, will I lose my driver’s license?

A: It is very important that you contact the DMV within TEN days of your arrest if you were arrested for a DUI/DWI offense in order to retain your right to a DMV hearing. The DMV has the power to suspend or revoke your CA driver’s license, separate from any action taken by the District Attorney’s office or the court. Individuals charged with a first time DUI/DWI offense usually have their license suspended for 30 days while individuals who have multiple DUI/DWI offense usually get a 90-day suspension, by agreeing to put an ignition interlock device on their cars.

Q: I got pulled over but I don’t remember doing anything wrong, does this matter?

A: Yes. Police officers may not pull someone over or detain someone without “reasonable suspicion” that criminal activity is or was occurring. What this means is that police officers cannot just stop random cars for no reason in the hope of finding someone who is driving under the influence. However, this standard does not mean that the police must have “reasonable suspicion” that a driver is driving under the influence. Rather, any traffic violation is sufficient for a police officer to pull a driver over. If you truly believe that the police officer who pulled you over acted without “reasonable suspicion,” Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena could bring a motion to suppress evidence and if successful, get the DUI/DWI charges dropped. Please call Ms. Sena for a consultation about your case.

Q: What if the police did not give me my Miranda rights?

A: Unfortunately, most DUI/DWI arrests do not require Miranda warnings. In order to warrant Miranda warnings, an individual must be subjected to a “custodial interrogation.” Individuals stopped or detained for a DUI/DWI examination are not usually considered “in custody” for purposes of Miranda and thus, Miranda warnings are not typically required. Please note that Miranda only protects statements that individuals make while in police custody. This means that Miranda protections do not extend to the observations of the police officers or DUI/DWI examination results.

Q: If I passed the field sobriety tests will DUI/DWI charges still be filed?

A: Most individuals think that they “passed” the field sobriety tests that police officers gave them. In reality, these field sobriety tests are very challenging for even sober people and designed to fail. Any imperfection or mistake is documented and can be used against you if DUI/DWI charges are filed.

Q: If I hire Ms. Sena to handle my criminal case does the price include representing me at a DMV hearing?

A: Yes. Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Staycie R. Sena represents DUI/DWI clients at their DMV hearings for no additional charge.

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