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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, it is highly recommended you hire a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in DUI cases.

Richard was able to achieve an even better outcome for my case than what we initially thought was possible. I couldn’t be more grateful to him for this than I currently am. I highly recommend hiring him.” J.P., Garden Grove


Orange County DUI Court

             Harbor Justice Center

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

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. Read Richard Wagner’s profile

It is highly recommended you hire an attorney with a complete understanding of how DUI cases are handled in Orange County. Hire someone willing to ruffle the establishment’s feathers and present a strong defense on your behalf.

Highly Rated and Reviewed DUI Defense Attorney

Top 100 Lawyers by National Trial Lawyers

Superb Rating and 5-Star Reviews on AVVO

5-Star Reviews on Google

5-Star Reviews on Yelp

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 drunk driving case, and that means personally handling every aspect of your defense.

Richard Wagner Handles All Stages of Your OC DUI:

  • Arraignment
  • Bail hearings
  • DMV license suspension hearing
  • Expungement and Sealing Arrest Records
  • Jury trials
  • Pretrial conferences
  • Probation violation hearings
  • Mandatory settlement conferences
  • Restitution hearings
  • Trial readiness conferences
  • Warrant recall hearings


In other words, Richard Wagner handles your DUI offense from start to finish. He does not take your money and pass your DUI case off to another less experienced 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.

Your punishment can include: 

  • informal probation for 3-5 years, and
  • 3, 6, or 9-month DUI program, and
  • DUI fines and fees are close to $2,500
  • MADD Victim Impact class.


Punishment for 2nd DUI:

For your 2nd DUI in Orange County, the judge could sentence you up to 1 year in the Theo Lacy Branch Jail or Central Men’s /Women’s Jail. 

The Orange County DA will want to put you in the Orange County Jail for at least 90 days depending on the facts of your case.

Other penalties can include:

  • 18-month DUI program,
  • MADD Victim Impact class,
  • informal probation for 5 years,
  • pay DUI fines and fees of about $2500.


Punishment for 3rd DUI:

For your 3rd DUI in Orange County, the judge must sentence you to at least 120 days in jail up to 1 year:

  • The Orange County DA will want to put you in the Theo Lacy Branch Jail, Central Men’s /Women’s Jail for at least 180 days depending on the facts of your case
  • 18-month DUI program
  • MADD Victim Impact Panel
  • Informal probation for 5 years and
  • Pay the DUI fines and fees will be at least $2500.


DUI Causing Injury VC 23153 – Felony or Misdemeanor

The police may have arrested you in Orange County for felony driving under the influence, but the Orange County DA may charge file misdemeanor charges. Or you can be arrested for misdemeanor DUI, and the OCDA, can file felony DUI charges. 

The Orange County District Attorney’s decision whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony offense for a DUI causing an injury is based on several factors.

Punishment For DUI Causing Injury VC 23153

If this is your first offense and you are granted probation:

  • $390 to $1000 fine, plus penalty assessments, surcharges, and fees;
  • Ignition Interlock Device for 12 months;
  • 1-year license suspension;
  • Possible 6-month car impound;
  • First Offender DUI School; plus
  • 5 days to 1 year in the county jail


If you are denied probation:

  • 90 days to 1 year in jail, or 2 or 3 years in state prison. 
  • 3-6 more years in prison if you inflicted great bodily injury on someone.
  • 1 year more in prison for each additional injured victim, up to 3. 

For more information about DUI With Injuries and Vehicle Code 23153

If your DUI involves any of these sentencing enhancements, the judge considers these aggravating facts and decides whether to give you a harsher punishment. 


How a Real Orange County DUI Attorney Can Help

In addition to knowing how to fight your DUI. DUI attorney Richard Wagner will negotiate alternatives to jail time. 

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



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.

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 driving privileges can be suspended immediately after a DUI arrest. Orange County DUI attorney Richard Wagner contacts the Orange Driver Safety Office to set up your Administrative Per Se (APS) DMV Hearing to fight that suspension.

Your driving privileges can also be suspended as a result of what happens in court if you get convicted of a DUI. OC DUI defense attorney Richard Wagner helps you understand all of this.  For more information about DUI License Suspensions and Restrictions click here

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,  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. 

In OC the results are uploaded to the Orange County Crime Laboratory. 

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. 

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 Attorney in Orange County?

In your search for the best DUI attorney in Orange County, avoid law firms with websites where it’s hard to find the names of the attorneys. These firms are often called “Orange County DUI Law Firm,”  and there is little or no information about the lawyer who will be handling your case. 

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 a place where you meet with someone for your DUI consultation who is not a DUI lawyer. 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 and gives you 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 touches 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 differ due to the county’s conservative political orientation.

If your blood-alcohol level is .04 percent, the DA in Orange County will charge you with DUI under VC 23152a or VC 23153a 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 a mistake and hire a fake Orange County DUI Attorney, they will not know how to handle this type of case.

DUI Court / DMV Information

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

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

Orange County Office

7700 Irvine Center Drive
Suite 800,
Irvine, Orange County, CA. 92618
Phone: (714) 403-6317
Secondary phone: (714) 721 4423
Email: deucelawyer@gmail.com
URL: https://www.criminaldefensestrikeforce.com

If arrested for an Orange County DUI, call (714) 721-4423 for a FREE Consultation with Richard Wagner, Attorney at Law to begin to build your DUI defense.