Orange County is in the state of California. It has a population of about 3 million. Driving Under Influence (DUI), as is known in California, is a crime under California DUI laws. The influence can be under alcohol and/or drug such that the mental and physical faculties are impaired and driving in that condition could result in damages to property, injuries to others and also deaths. The aim of DUI laws is to reduce auto accidents due to drinking and also the number of victims.As DUI is a crime, the cases related to DUI are dealt by lawyers specialized in DUI laws. When some one is arrested for DUI, the defendant will be brought to trial. The trial is itself such a complex process to establish drunk driving. The prosecutor’s examination, the officer’s proof are bound to cause confusion and fear in the defendant. Even though the defendant need not employ a lawyer, it makes things less complicated so that the defendant knows what to do during and before the trial.It is not expected that a common citizen knows about the consequences of certain of his or her actions. For instance, in California, one can’t contact a lawyer before taking breath or blood analysis. A lawyer would help in analyzing the case, form strategies to defend against the charges of prosecutor, help reduce the charges.A good lawyer can be obtained by contacting the officials in the court, by referral and through websites. An important credential is the membership of the National College for DUI Defense. However care should be exercised in referrals because the referring lawyer may split the fee between them.The cost of hiring will vary from place to place and the complexity of the case. A lawyer in a small community may charge $500-$1500 and the top ones may earn $15,000 per case.
Penalties for any offense are designed to prevent offenders from committing it again. The effect for any wrongdoing is the punishment for it. The punishment for DUI offenses are harsher because of the potential consequences of injuries and deaths that may result from it.The punishments are decided according to the associated factors involved when DUI was committed and the number of times the DUI offense is committed. The type of punishments involve a combination of penalties such as court probation, fines, license to drive the vehicle, attendance in DUI school and jail term.A first time convicted offender gets a court probation for a period of 3 to 5 years in which he or she has to avoid drinking and driving. But the offender need not report to a formal court officer. The fines are paid either in full or in installments. The diver license is nullified for a period of 6 months. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the authority to issue restricted license to travel to work or school. Further the offender may have to attend a DUI school to attend alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs for a period of 12 to 45 hours depending on the level of alcohol concentration in the blood. California laws require mandatory jail of 48 hours. This may be converted to community service.If the offense is repeated within a period of 10 years, the consecutive punishments get harsher. The second offense carries court probation without any reporting but the third offense requires reporting to an officer. The fines and fees remain the same for second and third offense. The license will be suspended for 18 months and 3 years respectively. The license may be renewed after one year. An ignition interlocking device may have to be installed that tests breath for alcohol. The offenders will have to attend 18 months of DUI school training. The jail sentence is for 96 hours for second offense and 210 days for third offense.If the offender is convicted of causing injuries, there will be permanent loss of license and severe jail sentence. If manslaughter is involved, it may even be tried as murder charge. Also the fourth offense carries loss of license and jail term.The above mentioned punishments may vary depending upon the case. There is a psychological side to the punishments. The suspension of license may also result in loss of job, if the job requires continuous travel.
A society keeps record of most of the events. The events are recorded in the form of numbers. Births, deaths and marriages are few of the events recorded and kept as statistics for further references to aid decisions for many course of actions. Similarly data and events are recorded in different spheres such as crime and economy.The purpose of criminal statistics is two fold. The first one controls and restricts the individual’s actions to prevent from being committed again. The second purpose is to aid the decision makers, usually the legislatures, legal courts to enact reactive as well as proactive laws to reduce the occurrence of such crimes.DUI is a crime and therefore the state maintains records of such occurrences through various agencies such as police departments, department of motor vehicle (DMV). It is estimated that there are seven agencies involved in a DUI case. The record contains details like penalty, jail sentence, license confiscation and any attendance of alcohol program.The record is opened in case of repeat offense and the record remains there always. Based on the record, the punishment for the next offense gets harsher. The record is open to the public and is accessed by individuals, organizations for various purposes. Employers who want to hire may check the criminal record of the individual and therefore the chances of a DUI convict getting employed gets slimmer. Insurance companies also access the record before insuring some one. Some organizations have the policy of not hiring someone with a DUI record.It is possible to have the DUI records cleared in all states except Illinois. The process is called expungement. Lawyers help clearing the records from different agencies. Other than loss of financial opportunities, the psychological trauma of going through a DUI process and the labeling with a DUI record is often great and this has great impact when the individual is a teen.