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ORANGE COUNTY DUI ATTORNEY

Set yourself apart. Make the right decision. Get the best DUI lawyer in Orange County you can.

If you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Orange County, you will be charged with a DUI. To make sure you have the best chance of success, hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases.

Former DUI Prosecutor Richard Wagner has over 24 years of experience.

Orange County DUI

             Harbor Justice Center

Call 714-721-4423 for straightforward, honest information (not a sales pitch) from one of the best OC DUI defense attorneys.

Orange County – home to Disneyland, Mission San Juan Capistrano, Knott’s Berry Farm, Angel Stadium “The Big A”, The Honda Center, Bowers Museum, Balboa Island, Newport Beach, Fashion Island, South Coast Plaza, and Laguna Beach.

Click Here for a list of Richard Wagner’s successful DUI cases.

When facing charges for a serious crime like a DUI, choosing the right Orange County DUI attorney to represent you is an important decision. You want an attorney with a complete understanding of how DUIs are handled in Orange County, willing to ruffle the establishment’s feathers and present a strong defense on your behalf.

Richard Wagner has a reputation for giving personalized service to his clients. He has a proven track record of success in defending DUI cases in Orange County, setting him apart from other Orange County criminal defense lawyers and law firms.

The goal is to help you get the best possible result in your Orange County DUI case, and that means personally handling every aspect of your defense. In other words, Richard Wagner handles your case from start to finish. He does not take your money and pass your DUI case off to another attorney. 

Punishment for 1st DUI:

The judge can sentence you up to 6 months in the Theo Lacy Branch Jail or Central Men’s /Women’s Jail. However, there is no mandatory jail time. In Orange County, most first DUI cases settle or come to an agreement with no jail time. 

If your case involves any of these sentencing enhancements, the judge will consider these aggravating facts and decide whether to impose an additional penalty. This is when you need OC DUI Attorney Richard Wagner on your side. 

 

How Long Is My License My Suspended for a 1st DUI?

The officer took your license and should have given you a temporary driver’s license for 30 days. You have 10 calendar days to request a DMV Hearing to fight your suspension. DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner will get your license extended and set up the DMV Hearing. Do not try to do this on your own.

DMV suspends for 4 months as a result of the DMV Hearing.

DMV suspends for 6 or 10 months if you get convicted of a DUI.

DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner helps you get a restricted driver’s license if there is no refusal allegation. 

Some counties require an ignition interlock device (a device that prevents your car from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath). In Orange County, the courts no longer require the ignition interlock device. 

Punishment for Orange County 2nd DUI:

If you get a 2nd DUI in Orange County within 10 years, the judge could sentence you up to 1 year in the Theo Lacy Branch Jail or Central Men’s /Women’s Jail. There is mandatory jail.

In Orange County, the prosecutor will usually want you to serve between (depending on the facts of your case):

 

How a DUI Lawyer Can Help

Orange County DUI attorney Richard Wagner will negotiate alternatives to county jail:

  • house arrest,
  • electronic confinement,
  • Supervised Electronic Confinement (SEC), or other options instead of jail, such as
  • DUI Court or
  • Community Work Program (CWP),
  • work furlough,
  • work release,
  • private/city jail,
  • SCRAM, and
  • residential rehab. 

 

How Long Is My License My Suspended for a 2nd DUI?

The police officer took your license and should have given you a temporary driver’s license for 30 days. You have 10 days to request a DMV Hearing to fight your driver’s license suspension. DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner will get your 30-day temporary license extended and set up the DMV Hearing. Do not try to do this on your own.

DMV suspends for 1 year as a result of the DMV Hearing.

DMV suspends for 2 years if you get convicted of a DUI.

DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner helps fight these suspensions and helps you get a restricted driver’s license if there is no refusal allegation. 

Punishment for 3rd DUI:

If you get convicted of a 3rd DUI in Orange County within 10 years, the judge must sentence you to:

  • 120 days in jail. However, in Orange County, the DA will usually want between 180 – 365 days in Theo Lacy Branch Jail, Central Men’s /Women’s Jail depending on the facts of your case
  • Complete an 18- month DUI program
  • the MADD Victim Impact Panel.
  • informal probation for 5 years and
  • Pay the DUI fines and fees will be at least $2500,
  • If your case involves any of the following sentencing enhancements, the prosecutor will argue for the judge to consider these aggravating facts and impose an additional penalty:
  • BAC is .15% or higher,
  • child in the car 14 years old or younger,
  • speeding and driving recklessly,
  • refused the chemical test, 
  • still on probation for your 2nd DUI,
  • suspended or revoked license, or
  • hit and run.

 

These are reasons why you need a skilled DUI Attorney like Richard Wagner.

How A DUI Attorney Can Help

DUI attorney Richard Wagner will negotiate alternatives to jail time. 

  • house arrest,
  • electronic confinement,
  • SCRAM
  • Supervised Electronic Confinement (SEC) or other options instead of jail such as
  • DUI Court or
  • Community Work Program (CWP),
  • rehab treatment,
  • private/city jail, or
  • work furlough. 

 

How Long Is My License My Suspended for a 3rd DUI?

The officer took your license and should have given you a temporary driver’s license for 30 days. You have 10 calendar days to request a DMV Hearing to fight your driver’s license suspension. DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner will get your 30-day temporary license extended and request the hearing. It is not recommended you try to do this on your own.

DMV suspends for 1 year as a result of the DMV Hearing.

DMV revokes for 3 years if you get convicted of a DUI.

DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner helps fight the DMV suspensions and helps you get a restricted driver’s license if there is no refusal allegation. 

Punishment for 4th DUI:

If you get convicted of a 4th DUI in Orange County within 10 years, you will be charged with a felony DUI charge. You could be sentenced to 16 months, 2 years, or 4 years in State Prison. However, you could be given probation and sent to Theo Lacy Branch Jail or Central Men’s /Women’s Jail. If that happens, you will be required to complete the DUI program and other the MADD Victim Impact Panel and pay fees and fines. If sent to state prison, you must complete the DUI program for the DMV only.

The District Attorney’s office in Orange County will want you to give a sample of your DNA to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Orange County DUI attorney Richard Wagner will fight for you and go to the Judge to get a better offer without additional excessive conditions.

Richard Wagner will possibly negotiate Supervised Electronic Confinement (SEC) or other options instead of going to jail such as DUI Court or Community Work Program (CWP), rehab treatment, county parole, work release, and electronic confinement. 

Frequently Asked Questions


How Long Am I Held In Jail For an Orange County DUI?

For a 1st time DUI in Orange County, you will usually be held at the local jail or taken to jail for less than a day and then released with your written promise to appear in court. If it is a 2nd or subsequent DUI, you may have to stay in jail until you post bail.

Do First-Time DUI Offenders Go To Jail In Orange County, California?


The cop will take you to jail when she decides to arrest you for a DUI in Orange County. On a 1st DUI, you will most likely be released within 8-12 hours with your written promise to appear for your court date. However, lots of times, you will be given a citation and released. As for your punishment, if convicted of a first DUI, jail time for a first DUI depends on certain factors: Were you speeding and driving recklessly? Did you have a child 14 or younger in your car? Did you refuse to take the chemical test? Were you involved in a traffic accident? However, Richard Wagner can negotiate alternatives to jail such as Supervised Electronic Confinement (SEC) or other options instead of jail such as Community Work Program (CWP), rehab treatment, house arrest, residential rehab, or work furlough. 

How Long Is DUI On My Record?

That is a difficult question to answer because there is more than one record. In California, prosecutors and the DMV can look back as far as 10 years to see if there is a DUI on your driving print-out or criminal history to increase your punishment automatically. The 10-year period is counted from the date of arrest/offense — not from the date of conviction.

For example, you were arrested for a first DUI on September 1, 2008, but you went to court and eventually pleaded guilty on January 1, 2009. If you get another DUI 10 years from the date of offense – September 1, 2008 – you will be charged with a prior DUI and be facing consequences.
DUI convictions stay on your record longer than 10 years. But, it is common for prosecutors in Orange County to use DUI convictions older than 10 years to argue for increased punishment and to set bail.

For commercial license holders, there is no limit to how far the DMV and the court can look back to see how long ago you got your previous DUI.

How Do I Get DUI Off My Record?


An expungement – asking for the dismissal of your conviction based on no further law violations. An expungement will result in (1), an entry in the court record and your rap sheet as a later dismissal of your conviction, and (2) allow you to answer legally and honestly that you have not been convicted of a crime on most job applications, and (3) prevent the use of the conviction to impeach you if you testify as a witness.

Can I Expunge A DUI In Orange County?


Yes, absolutely, but you need help. A DUI expungement in Orange County is not just like any other expungement because of the political nature of DUI offenses. The process is not automatic like in other counties. DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner files the proper paperwork for you once you have completed probation.

Is My License Suspended Immediately After A DUI?

The arresting police officer takes your driver’s license and gives you a temporary 30 days driver’s license. Your driver’s license can be suspended immediately after a DUI arrest. Orange County DUI attorney Richard Wagner contacts the Orange Driver Safety Office for an Administrative Per Se (APS) Hearing to fight that suspension.

If your driver’s license is not taken by the arresting officer, it can also be taken as a result of what happens in court if you get a DUI. OC DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner helps you understand all of this.

There are proper procedures for getting an SR 22 form and paying fees and converting the suspension into a restriction license.

Is an Orange County DUI a Felony Or Misdemeanor?
 

1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUIs within a 10-year period are usually charged as misdemeanors. A 4th DUI is charged as a felony. However, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUIs can also be charged as a felony. If you have a prior felony DUI, any subsequent DUIs will likely be charged as felonies.

Orange County DUI attorney Richard Wagner fights to get felonies reduced to misdemeanors. In Orange County, when you get convicted of a DUI, the Judge will warn you that if you drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and someone is killed as a result, the Orange County District Attorney can and will charge you with murder.

Can A DUI Affect Getting A Job? 


Getting a DUI may affect getting a job. Some employers don’t hire anyone with a DUI conviction. If you drive for your job, a DUI can have a negative effect on your work. If you are applying for certain certifications, licenses, or government jobs, a DUI conviction may make you ineligible. This is why you need DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner to fight for you and explore the possible defenses to your DUI.

What Is The Difference Between A DUI & DWI?


A DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Some states call it a DWI. In Orange County, we refer to it as a DUI. But, essentially it is the same thing.

How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After a DUI?


Contact your insurance company to see how much your insurance company will raise your premiums after a DUI arrest and conviction. Statistics have shown your insurance company will use your DUI as an excuse to raise your premiums.

What Kind of Drunk Driving Tests Are Used in Orange County?


For Breath Tests: Police use the Lifeloc FC20 by Lifefloc Technologies, Inc. a fuel cell breath alcohol tester used as preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) before DUI arrests, or the Alco-Sensor VXL by Intoximeters, Inc. a small, lightweight, battery-operated, handheld machine.

After you get arrested for DUI, police use the Alco-Sensor VXL.

These breath machines have fuel cells that convert fuel (alcohol) and an oxidant (oxygen) into a direct current. Alcohol is converted to acetic acid, producing two electrons for each alcohol molecule. The electrons produce an electric current. The results from a properly calibrated Alco-Sensor VXL have little significance if the breath sample is not properly collected. DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner knows how to collect a breath sample in California. It is very important that breath alcohol testing be done according to the established rules and protocols.

In OC the results are uploaded to the Orange County Crime Laboratory. Click here to find out your breath alcohol results in Orange County.

For Blood Tests: The Orange County Crime lab uses Headspace Gas Chromatography with flame ionization detection (FID) – mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) to determine (BAC) blood alcohol concentration. Click here to find out your blood test results in Orange County.

DUI lawyers discover errors when lab techs make mistakes in sampling and sample preparation.

The headspace sampling technique is probably the easiest and simplest. It is based on gas laws (Henry’s Law). This basically says alcohol (a volatile substance) can be measured by analyzing the vapor above the specimen (blood) because they (vapor and blood) are in equilibrium.
 

Which Orange County DUI Lawyer Should I Choose? How to Find The Best DUI in Orange County?


In your search for the best DUI in Orange County, it is recommended to avoid law firms with websites that do not feature or hide the names of the attorneys. The names of these firms are often “Orange County DUI Law Firm,” but there is no information about the lawyers who will be handling your case. It would be difficult to put trust in the attorney-client relationship when a firm is hiding information about the attorneys.

Also, avoid firms with people calling themselves “Director of Business Development” or “Director of Operations” who tell you your case will be handled by a “team.” Be skeptical about an outfit where you meet with someone who is not a lawyer for your DUI consultation. These are salespeople who will tell you what you want to hear. Not what you need to hear. Richard Wagner meets with you about your case. You will get straightforward and honest information. Not a sales pitch. Not only does he personally meet with you for the initial free consultation, he personally handles your DUI case from start to finish – the DMV license suspension hearing and the court case. He doesn’t pass your case to anonymous lawyers without your knowledge. There is no need to overcharge you to pay for the so-called team who never touch your case. 

Look at the Five-Star reviews, ratings, and years of experience. See what other people say about your DUI Attorney

Make Sure Your DUI Lawyer Regularly Handles DUIs in Orange County


The criminal justice system in Orange County is unlike any other criminal justice system in any other county in California. There are many reasons for the differences. Jurors and prosecutors are different due to the conservative political orientation of the county. The OC has many Republican voters from culturally conservative groups. If your blood-alcohol level is .04 percent, the DA in Orange County will charge you with DUI under VC 23152a and possibly even VC 23152b. This is unlikely to happen in Los Angeles or other counties. 

The other huge difference is the amount of jail time prosecutors want to give you in Orange County. As you can see from the amount of jail time on a 2nd DUI and a 3rd DUI in Orange County, if you make the mistake and hire a fake Orange County DUI Attorney, he/she will not know how to handle this type of case.

Orange County DUI Lawyer – Former DUI Prosecutor

Richard Wagner has deep roots in Southern California—his family moved here in 1975. He went to elementary school through high school in Orange County and makes his home in Orange County, California with his wife, two kids, and dog, Nera.

Richard Wagner has over 24 years of experience representing DUI clients in all the courts in Orange County. Call 714-721-4423 for a free DUI Evaluation.

Orange County

7700 Irvine Center Drive
Suite 800,
Irvine, Orange County, CA. 92618
United States (US)
Phone: (714) 403-6317
Secondary phone: (714) 721 4423

 

Courthouses for Orange County DUI Arrests

North Justice Center, 1275 N. Berekely Avenue, Fullerton, California – Cities Served: Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Placentia, Stanton, Yorba Linda, Villa Park. 

Stephen K. Tamura Justice Center (West Justice Center), 8141 13th Street, Westminster, California – Cities Served: Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Stanton, Westminster 

Harbor Justice Center, 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, California – Cities Served: Aliso Viejo, Balboa Island, Capistrano Beach, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Dana Point, Foothill Ranch, Irvine, John Wayne Airport, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Lido Isle, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Trabuco Canyon.

Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana, California – Cities Served: Orange, Santa Ana, Santa Ana Heights, Tustin, Tustin Foothills. 

Central Jail Court, 550 N. Flower Street, Santa Ana, California

Community Court, 909 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, California