Legal Guide

Punishment for DUI in Orange County

DUI is driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. In some states, another term is used called DWI. This is driving while intoxicated. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not allowed everywhere in the world. The same is true in all counties of all states of the United State of America.  Orange County is the County of California and all laws are stated in the California vehicle code. So, all laws of California DUI apply in Orange County also. DUI is considered a traffic violation because of the DMV and insurance. The car insurance can go up in Orange County after a DUI conviction. You can get all information about this increase in insurance from your car insurance provider.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels are indicators of alcohol in the blood. A level sufficient for arrest varies from state to state but a BAC of 0.08% or higher can be an offense. Serious health issues are reported even with small amounts of alcohol in the blood.

Alcohol takes a half hour to 2 hours to absorb in the blood. Alcohol affects normal body functions of the body by directly affecting breathing by slowing it down. Alcoholism also delays cognitive skills due to which you lose control of coordination of brain and body organs leading to accidents. That is why driving after drinking alcohol is dangerous not only for the driver but also for others.

DUI Penalties in Orange County

Punishment for 1st DUI

Usually, jail time is not mandatory in Orange County for the majority of DUI cases.  Most of the cases are resolved without imprisonment. However, there are some situations when the different conditions can put someone in jail. When there is the involvement of property damage or accident that results in injury or death of a person (s) then jail time can be decided by the court. In Orange County, the Police officer can arrest you for DUI under Vehicle Code section 23152(a) or Vehicle Code section 23152(b).

Following are some punishments for DUI 1st time in Orange County.

  1. You can be asked to attend a 3-months alcohol/drug program
  2. You can be asked to attend a 6-9 months alcohol/drug program if your Blood Alcohol Content is more than 15%
  3. You can be asked to complete victim impact class
  4. You can be put on informal probation for 3 years
  5. You can also be fined $1500 to $2000
  6. Your driving license can be confiscated but you can drive with a temporary driving license for 30 days. You have 10 days to request for DMV hearing against driving license suspension. It will be better to hire Orange County DUI lawyer to get support in the DMV hearing.
  7. A driving license can be suspended for 4 months if the blood alcohol content is 0.08% or greater. You can request a restricted driving license after enrolling in an alcohol program. This restricted driving license can be used from and to a house or school. Your driving license will be completely restored after completion of the alcohol program.

Punishment for 2nd DUI

You can be sent to jail for up to one year for the 2nd DUI in Orange County. Ten days in jail are mandatory. Imprisonment to 2nd DUI in Orange County depends upon facts of the case and the close gap between first and second DUI. Usually, the District attorney wants to send you to jail for 45-90 days.  You can be asked for a victim impact class and to complete an 18 months alcohol program. The informal probation period can be of 3-5 years. DUI fines can be $1500 - $2000. The driving license suspension period can be for more than one year. You can file an appeal for a DMV hearing with the help of an attorney.

Punishment for 3rd DUI

Mandatory 120 days jail by law in Orange County provided 3rd DUI within 10 years. Usually, the District attorney wants to send you to jail for 180-365 days. But this depends on factors like the gap between and 3rd and 2nd DUI and your facts about your case. You can be asked for a victim impact class and complete an 18 months alcohol program. The informal probation period can be of 3-5 years. DUI fines can be $1500 - $2000.

Punishment for 4th DUI

4th DUI can have serious consequences because the case can be considered a felony provided 4th DUI within 10 years of 3rd DUI. Imprisonment can be of 16 - 48 months. You can be ordered to complete an alcohol program for 2 years. The District Attorney Office can ask to complete impact class and “mother against drunk driving” class. Informal probation can be of 5 years. The district attorney's office in Orange County can order your DNA. Keeping in you the severe consequences of 4th DUI, it is highly recommended to hire an attorney who will fight your case on many parameters.

DUI jail in Orange County

If you are arrested for the 1st DUI case then you can be held in jail for 1-2 days. You can be released after this with the promise that you appear in court for the criminal case. In case of a second DUI jail, you will be held in the jail until post bail.

DUI record in Orange County

DUI criminal record in California will stay for 10 years. These ten years are taken into consideration from the date of arrest. DUI in Orange County continues to show until expunge. The employers seeking employees usually don’t ask about misdemeanor but for a felony. But criminal records either a felony or misdemeanor, are found on all background checks like licensing, certification, and government background checks.

DUI conviction makes it impossible to get a new job, licensing, and certification. Expungement is the only option for getting clear from the record of the background check. You can request for expungement after successful completion of probation and no further DUI bases. If you request for expungement then the court replaces a guilty/guilty verdict/no contest with not guilty and your case will be considered as closed. This will help get the criminal background check required by the employer to hire you. It will also help you in getting licensing and certification.

License suspension

The police officer will take your driving license after arresting you. He can advise you to go to DMV or he can issue a temporary driving license which can be effective for 30 days. The license is suspended immediately after arrest. You can challenge this suspension of your driving license with the help of an expert attorney. If it is a case when the driving license is not taken by a police officer then it is taken by the court. You are advised to contact DMV to fill SR 22 and pay a fine and then wait for the suspension period.

DUI charges in Orange County

In Orange County, mostly 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI are considered as a misdemeanor if occurred within 10 years. Felony has serious consequences and 4th DUI is considered a felony. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI can be considered a felony if an accident occurs and injuries or death are reported. If felony DUI is followed by subsequent DUI, then again this is considered a felony.

An expert attorney can fight to support you to reduce your charges to a misdemeanor. If you are arrested for 1st DUI then the judge will give you admonishment that if you are arrested for DUI offense again and if some dies as a result then Orange County Office can charge for the murder case.

The bail amount of DUI

The bail amount is different for different DUIs.

  • 1st DUI- $2,500
  • 2nd DUI – $10,000
  • 3rd DUI - $15,000
  • 4th DUI - #50,000


In misdemeanor cases, probation includes the following.

  1. Summary probation which means no need to report to anyone including the probation officer. You have to fulfill terms of probation only.
  2. Supervised probation which you have to report to a probation officer on regular basis. The probation officer may require the following from you.
  • Drug testing
  • Anger management classes
  • Drug rehab classes


Orange County gives the chance of appeal to people involved in DUI. But to get your appeal approval, get a DUI attorney.

You can fight your case by yourself, but it is recommended, not to do this because of the complex nature of terminologies and clauses. Another possibility is public defender which is again not a good choice. Public defenders have less time to defend you. In these situations you can be penalized in shpe of fine, jail or both.

Choosing a private expert DUI defense attorney is the ideal option to get results in your favor. All attorneys are not competent enough to understand and proceed with your case.  Choosing a wrong or incompetent attorney will lead to a wastage of time and money. 

By keeping in view the above mentioned advantages of hiring an expert DUI attorney will be the best option.

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