Felony DUI in Orange County: What You Need to KnowCalifornia state law is very clear: it’s unlawful for any person who is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to operate a motor vehicle. If you are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County, CA, you could be arrested and charged with DUI. Any DUI conviction will have a serious impact on your life.

In most circumstances, a DUI arrest in Orange County results in misdemeanor charges for the offender. There are, however, certain aggravating factors that could result in a felony DUI charge. Aggravating factors in a DUI case can include:

  • Prior DUI convictions
  • Refusing to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.
  • Your age at the time of the arrest.
  • A BAC of 0.15% or higher.
  • Causing a DUI accident.
  • Causing a DUI accident that resulted in serious injury or death.
  • Reckless driving, such as excessive speeding.
  • Child endangerment/a child under the age of 14 was a passenger in the vehicle at the time of your arrest.

In addition to criminal charges, you may also be facing civil action if your DUI was responsible for an accident that injured or killed someone or caused significant property damage.

Consequences For Being Convicted of Felony DUI in Orange County, CA

The consequences for a felony DUI conviction are much harsher than those for a misdemeanor DUI. If convicted of felony DUI in Orange County, CA, you could be facing:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines and court costs
  • Up to six years in state prison
  • Probation
  • Loss of your driver’s license for up to 10 years
  • Court-ordered treatment programs
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. (You may also be prohibited from operating any motor vehicle without an IID.)
  • Restitution to victims

A felony DUI conviction could also make it difficult to qualify for certain jobs, obtain a loan, or attend the school of your choice.

Fighting Felony DUI Charges in Orange County CA

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a felony DUI in Orange County, you have three choices: you can plead guilty, no contest, or not guilty. If you choose to plead not guilty, you’ll need to prepare yourself for trial. You can represent yourself, you can ask the court to assign a public defender, or you can hire a private DUI defense attorney.

Unless you’re a lawyer, representing yourself at a DUI trial is a really bad idea. Public defenders are capable lawyers, but they have enormous caseloads. Most public defenders simply don’t have the time to effectively defend your case.

To ensure the best outcome for your case, you definitely need an experienced attorney to protect your rights during the trial process. The representation and guidance of a skilled DUI defense attorney can help you in many ways:

  • They have smaller caseloads than public defenders, so they can devote more time and resources to their client’s cases.
  • They will be able to identify any legal flaws in the state’s case and raise questions about the validity of the evidence against you.
  • Your lawyer will know how to negotiate with the prosecution to get the DUI charges against you reduced or dropped.
  • They may be able to prevent your driver’s license from being suspended.

Possible DUI Defense Strategies

Don’t give up without speaking to an attorney. DUIs are rarely open and shut cases. In order to get their conviction, the prosecution will have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you are guilty of the state’s charges against you. If a jury is unable to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, you’ll be acquitted of the charges. Your lawyer’s job will be to provide that reasonable doubt.

Casting doubt on the prosecution’s case isn’t as difficult as you might think. Depending on the facts and circumstances in your case, there may be many defense strategies your lawyer can use to get the charges against you reduced or even dropped:

  • There was no probable cause for the DUI stop.
  • Errors or misconduct on the part of law enforcement.
  • Title 17 violations.
  • Improper or inaccurate field sobriety tests.
  • Inaccurate breathalyzer BAC tests.
  • Inaccurate DUI blood tests due to lab errors such as mislabeling, contamination, or improper storage of blood samples.
  • A prior medical condition, such as GERD, ketosis, or auto-brewery syndrome (gut fermentation) affected the accuracy of any BAC tests.
  • Involuntary intoxication.
  • DUI was necessary.

Speak to Orange County DUI Attorney Michael Marley

The outcome of your Orange County felony DUI case will depend on whether you have the right attorney to represent you. When you choose to work with Michael Marley and the Marley Law Firm, you are being represented by an attorney with nearly 15 tears of experience serving as an Orange County Public Defender. This expertise gives Michael an edge over other criminal defense attorneys. He knows the tactics the prosecution will use to get their conviction and how to effectively counter their charges.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a DUI in Orange County, CA, contact the Marley Law Firm without delay. You can contact us through our website or call us at (949) 726-6000 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Orange County, CA DUI defense attorney.