The California Legislature has directed courts to follow sentencing guidelines for any person charged and convicted of an Orange County DUI. Judges and prosecutors have a broad range of guidelines and penalties for an Orange County DUI case. The prosecutors will consider several factors and will make an offer to the Judge. The Judge has the discretion to accept or deny any plea bargain presented by the prosecutor and the defense lawyer.
One of the things the prosecution will consider in determining their plea bargain is the general facts surrounding the case, such as the manner you were stopped: Were you stopped on the side of the road and sleeping? Were you pulled over on the freeway? Were you in a parking lot? Did the officer pull you over because you were speeding or weaving? Did you fail to stop at a stop sign? Were you involved in an accident? Many of these factors will also tie into a discussion about probable cause. That is, did the officer have probable cause to pull you over, or if you were already pulled over, to administer a test to detect the presence of alcohol? A skilled defense attorney can scrutinize whether an arrest report evidences probable cause sufficient to meet the legal standards required by law. To do so, a careful review of your police report along with an evaluation of the driver’s opinion are required to determine whether the statements made by the officer accurately reflect what happened.
The Prosecutor and the Judge will also take into account any prior criminal offenses. They will consider previous DUI convictions and take into account their location and date. Your criminal record will only be considered for the ten years prior to the current conviction. Consequently, the sentence for a second DUI will be much harsher than for a first.
Probation will also be argued unfavorably by the prosecution. An Orange County DUI conviction will usually yield probation period from three to five years. Most non-injury, misdemeanor DUIs will require informal probation, whereas more serious DUIs will result in formal probation. Formal probation requires supervision and checking in with an officer at certain times.
The courts will also look at your previous driving history. Someone with an excellent record will receive a more favorable sentence than someone who has a more complicated driving record.
These factors are just some of the few the prosecution will argue in their favor. In addition to these basic factors, the legislature has indicated several aggravating circumstances referred to as enhancements. Enhancements may result in harsher punishments.
Due to the broad spectrum of possible sentences, an experienced attorney can protect you and argue for the best possible results. Consult an Orange County DUI attorney who will not only see your positive qualities but will fight hard to ensure that the Judge sees you in the same positive light.
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