Southern California DUI Defense – Orange County, LA, Riverside, San Bernardino, Long Beach, San Diego

You have found Attorney Richard Wagner, an experienced DUI defense lawyer who wins DUI cases.

You have found a dedicated DUI defense lawyer who knows what the inside of a courtroom looks like, what pleadings to file to suppress illegally seized evidence, and advise you whether you should take the prosecutor’s offer or go to trial and get an acquittal.

LA OC DUI Attorney Lawyer

You also have found a DUI defense attorney who will work tirelessly on your case with access to the best forensic toxicologists and expert witnesses to get you the best possible result.

DUI – Driving Under the Influence – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a)(c)(f) and (g)

It is a misdemeanor to drive a vehicle while under the influence of any alcoholic beverage under Section 23152(a) of the California Vehicle Code.

DUI involving alcohol. It is not necessary to prove any specific degree of intoxication, but only that the driver was under the influence.

DUI involving drugs.   When a defendant is charged with driving under the influence of a drug, a showing of a specific measurable amount of the drug in the defendant’s blood is not required.  In the 1970’s, the Los Angeles Police Department began a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) Program to help police officers identify drivers who were driving under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.

It is also misdemeanor for a person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle under Section 23152(c) of the California Vehicle Code.

It is a misdemeanor for a person who is under the influence of any drug to drive a vehicle under Section 23152(f) of the California Vehicle Code.

It is a misdemeanor for a person who is under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug to drive a vehicle Section 23152(g) of the California Vehicle Code.

Driving over the legal limit – Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher – California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b)

It is a misdemeanor to drive a vehicle while having 0.08% or more, by weight, of alcohol in your blood.   This law is sometimes referred to as the “per se” DUI statute because the California Legislature has criminalized driving with a specified blood-alcohol level – and has deemed that level excessive – regardless of whether the driver is legally impaired.

Under this law, the prosecutor does not have to prove you were, in fact, under the influence.  It is enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your blood-alcohol level was 0.08%, or more, at the time you were driving.

If your blood-alcohol level is 0.08 % or more, you could be in violation of Vehicle Code Section 23152(b) or 23153(b), even if you were not “under the influence” or in legal terms: did not have the ability to drive with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.

However, it is not unusual for someone to be arrested for DUI to completely avoid a DUI conviction and/or DMV license suspension. The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, has represented many of these people.

California DUI law is very complicated and changes every year. This is one area of criminal law that is not worth leaving up to an inexperienced attorney who tries to do all types of law from bankruptcy to family law to an occasional DUI or trying to represent yourself.

LA OC DUI Lawyer

Sentencing Under California Vehicle Code Sections 23152

Driving Under the Influence cases are not something Courts in California take lightly. California DUI laws are strongly enforced and violations carry severe consequences.  California DUI law is one of the most complicated areas of criminal law, primarily because it is always changing. One specific area where DUI law changes on a regular basis in California is Sentencing (or punishment).

First Time DUI  – Violation of California Vehicle Section 23152

If you are not granted probation:

Imprisonment and fine. Conviction of a first violation is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 96 hours (at least 48 hours of which must be continuous) nor more than 6 months, and by a fine of $390 to $1000.

The court must order that any imprisonment be served on days other than those of the defendant’s regular employment. If the court determines that 48 hours of continuous imprisonment would interfere with the defendant’s work schedule, the court must allow the defendant to serve the imprisonment when normally scheduled for time off from work.

If you are granted probation:

The conditions must include:

3 – 5 year probationary period or a period equal to the maximum permissible sentence;

A requirement you do not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood;

A requirement you do not refuse a chemical test to determine your blood-alcohol content on arrest for a violation of California Vehicle Sections 23152 or 23153; and

A requirement you do not commit a criminal offense.

Probation. When granting probation, the terms and conditions must include a fine of $390 to $1000. The court may also impose a county jail term for at least 48 hours, but not more than 6 months. If the county has an approved DUI program, the court must also impose as a condition of probation that you participate in the program for at least 3, 6, or 9 months if your BAC was 0.20 % or higher, or you refused or failed to take a chemical test.

Penalty assessments, fees, and state surcharges. These significantly increase the base fine and includes an assessment for alcohol abuse education and prevention programs, and, if applicable an assessment for county alcohol and drug problem assessment programs.

License suspension. The DMV must suspend your driver’s license for 6 months. If you were ordered to participate in a 9-month DUI program, the DMV will suspend your driving privilege for 10 months. The DMV will not reinstate your license until you file proof of financial responsibility and proof of successful completion of a DUI program.

Disallowance of restricted license. When the court, considering the circumstances taken as a whole, determines you would present a traffic or public safety risk if authorized to drive during the 6-month (or 10-month) suspension period, the court may prohibit the DMV from issuing a restricted driver’s license.

The court may consider the circumstances of the offense, such as your blood alcohol level, refusal to take a chemical test, children in the vehicle, and flight from an accident scene.

Surrender of license. If your driver’s license is required or ordered to be suspended or revoked by the DMV under any section of the California Vehicle Code on conviction of a DUI offense, you must surrender your license to the court upon conviction.

Vehicle impound. The court may order that a vehicle used in the offense under California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153, and was registered to the convicted defendant, be impounded at your expense for 1 to 30 days if you do not have any prior conviction within the last 5 years.

Ignition interlock device. The court may require you install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle you own, operate, or have access to.

California Vehicle Code Section 23700 requires the DMV to maintain a pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare counties, requiring first time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device for all vehicles owned or operated for 5 months.

Restitution. The court must (1) impose a restitution fine of no less than $100 and not more than $1000 (and if probation granted an additional probation revocation restitution fine in the same amount), and (2) order restitution to any victim for any economic losses incurred, unless the court finds compelling and extraordinary reasons for not doing so.

Participation in county alcohol and drug problem assessment program. The court must order you to attend a county alcohol and drug problem assessment program if you have previously been convicted of a violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153 that occurred more than 10 years ago.

Second Time DUI  – Violation of California Vehicle Section 23152

If you are not granted on probation:

Imprisonment and fine. Conviction of a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152 when the offense occurred within ten years of a separate violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152, 23153, or 23103.5 (guilty plea to reckless driving in place of charge under California Vehicle Code Section 23152) that resulted in a conviction, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for 90 days to 1 year, and by a fine of $390 to $1000.

If you are granted probation:

The conditions must include:

3 – 5 year probationary period or a period equal to the maximum permissible sentence;

A requirement you do not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood;

A requirement you do not refuse a chemical test to determine your blood-alcohol content on arrest for a violation of California Vehicle Sections 23152 or 23153; and

A requirement you do not commit a criminal offense.

Probation. When granting probation, the terms and conditions must include: (1) confinement in the county jail for 10 days to 1 year or 96 hours to 1 year, (2) a fine of $390 to $1000, and (3) successful completion of an 18-month or 30-month DUI program.

Penalty assessments, fees, and state surcharges. These significantly increase the base fine and includes an assessment for alcohol abuse education and prevention programs, and, if applicable an assessment for county alcohol and drug problem assessment programs.

License suspension. The DMV must suspend your driver’s license for 2 years. The DMV will not reinstate your license until you file proof of financial responsibility and proof of successful completion of a DUI program.

Disallowance of restricted license. When the court, considering the circumstances taken as a whole, determines that you would present a traffic or public safety risk if authorized to operate a motor vehicle during the 2-year suspension period, the court may prohibit the DMV from issuing a restricted driver’s license to you under California Vehicle Code Section 13352.5.

The court may consider the circumstances of the offense, such as your blood alcohol level, refusal to take a chemical test, children in the vehicle, and flight from an accident scene.

Surrender of license. If your driver’s license is required or ordered to be suspended or revoked by the DMV under any section of the California Vehicle Code on conviction of a DUI offense, you must surrender your license to the court upon conviction.

Vehicle impound. If you have had a prior conviction within the last five years, the court must order impoundment of the vehicle used in the offense registered to the convicted defendant at your expense for 1 to 30 days, except in an unusual case.

Ignition interlock device. The court may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle you own or operate for up to 3 years from the date of conviction.

California Vehicle Code Section 23700 requires the DMV to maintain a pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare counties, requiring second time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device for all vehicles owned or operated for 12 months.

Restitution. The court must (1) impose a restitution fine of no less than $100 and not more than $1000 (and if probation granted an additional probation revocation restitution fine in the same amount), and (2) order restitution to any victim for any economic losses incurred, unless the court finds compelling and extraordinary reasons for not doing so.

Participation in county alcohol and drug problem assessment program. The court must order you to attend a county alcohol and drug problem assessment program if you have previously been convicted of a violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153 that occurred more than 10 years ago.

Third Time DUI – Violation of California Vehicle Section 23152

If you are not granted probation:

Imprisonment and fine. Conviction of a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152 when the offense occurred within 10 years of 2 separate violations of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152, 23153, or §23103.5 or any combination of these offenses, which resulted in convictions, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for 120 days to 1 year, and by a fine of $390 to $1000.

If you are granted probation:

The conditions must include:

3 – 5 year probationary period or a period equal to the maximum permissible sentence;

A requirement you do not drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood;

A requirement you do not refuse a chemical test to determine your blood-alcohol content on arrest for a violation of California Vehicle Sections 23152 or 23153; and

A requirement you do not commit a criminal offense.

Probation. When granting probation, the terms and conditions must include: confinement in the county jail for 120 days to 1 year, and a fine of $390 to $100. As an additional condition of probation, the court may require you to satisfactorily participate for at least 18 months in a DUI program if you have not previously completed a program successfully. Alternatively, on a showing of good cause and regardless of whether you have previously completed a program, the court may require satisfactory participation for at least 30 months subsequent to the underlying conviction, in which case the term of imprisonment is 30 days to 1 year.

Designation as habitual traffic offender. You must be designated as a habitual traffic offender for three years subsequent to conviction. The court must require you to sign an affidavit acknowledging this designation.

License revocation. The DMV must revoke your driver’s license for 3 years. The DMV will not reinstate your license until you file proof of financial responsibility (SR-22) and proof of successful completion of a DUI program.

Surrender of license. If your driver’s license is required or ordered to be suspended or revoked by the DMV under any section of the California Vehicle Code on conviction of a DUI offense, you must surrender your license to the court upon conviction. If you have more than one license, all must be surrendered. The court must transmit to the DMV all licenses required to be suspended or revoked.

Vehicle impound and forfeiture. If you have had two or more prior convictions within the last five years, the court must order impoundment of the vehicle used in the offense registered to the convicted defendant at your expense for one to 90 days. If you have been convicted of California Vehicle Code Section 23152 and have 2 or more separate convictions within seven years, the court may declare your vehicle a nuisance and order it to be sold, if you are the registered owner.

Ignition interlock device. The court may require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle you own or operate for up to 3 years from the date of conviction.

California Vehicle Code Section 23700 requires the DMV to maintain a pilot program in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare counties, requiring third time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device for all vehicles owned or operated for 24 months.

Restitution. The court must (1) impose a restitution fine of no less than $100 and not more than $1000 (and if probation granted an additional probation revocation restitution fine in the same amount), and (2) order restitution to any victim for any economic losses incurred, unless the court finds compelling and extraordinary reasons for not doing so.

Participation in county alcohol and drug problem assessment program. The court must order you to attend a county alcohol and drug problem assessment program if you have previously been convicted of a violation of California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 or 23153 that occurred more than 10 years ago.

Whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor DUI charges, facing a probation revocation for being on DUI probation, you owe it to yourself to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney for the best defense.

Only DUI defense attorneys with the knowledge of the right defenses to fit the facts of your particular case can effectively represent you in court and at DMV.

As the Sentencing Laws and penalties get more expensive and severe and the consequences of a DUI conviction and DMV license suspension or revocation extend further into your lifetime, you must consider alternatives to simply pleading guilty.  There are ways to Fight Your DUI.

Richard Wagner has been practicing criminal defense DUI law since 1998. Richard Wagner wins cases by obtaining acquittals, getting serious charges (felony and misdemeanor) dismissed, or negotiating the original more serious charges to a lesser serious offense.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino or in Southern California, contact The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, immediately. Unlike many general criminal law lawyers, he will evaluate the facts of your case and discuss your options.

Whether your DUI is rejected, reduced to a lesser charge, dismissed or you are acquitted at trial, The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, will protect and defend your Constitutional rights and ultimately see that you get back on the road at the earliest possible time.  Do not delay. Call 714-403-6317 to take action.

Southern California Criminal Defense-Orange County, LA, Riverside, San Bernardino, Long Beach, San Diego

When loss of liberty and social stigmatization (“loss of good name”) are at stake, time is of the essence. Calls to The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, are returned promptly and clients are kept informed of significant developments in their cases.

Beginning with the initial consultation, the protection of your Constitutional Rights is the number one priority, including your right to be represented by an attorney throughout all stages of the proceedings, your right to produce evidence and witnesses on your own behalf, your right against self-incrimination, your right to testify on your own behalf, your right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, your right to a speedy and public jury trial, where you would be presumed innocent, and could not be convicted unless 12 impartial jurors were convinced of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Do not speak to anyone without your attorney’s approval or knowledge. Do not speak to police, parole or probation officers, members of the press or family members about pending or possible charges without your attorney present. Your calls or visits may be overheard by jail authorities or bondsmen.

If you have been accused or arrested for a crime in California, you should have a private, in-person consultation, face-to-face with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. While this may not be possible, The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, is prepared to consult with you over the telephone.

The goal is to establish a good working relationship, explain “what is going to happen next” and the stages of the criminal process, including release opportunities.

Juvenile Delinquency Court

For parents who have the misfortune of being notified of Juvenile delinquency proceedings involving children under the age of 18, this is a special kind of case. These cases involve a minor who has allegedly committed a delinquent act which would be considered a crime if committed by an adult.

However, if the minor is over 14 years old and the alleged delinquent act is a serious offense, such as murder or a sex crime, the minor could be tried as an adult in adult criminal court.  Prop. 57 requires juvenile cases to be filed in juvenile court, though the DA can seek “transfer” of the minor to adult court. Juvenile Transfer Hearings were formerly known as fitness hearings.

Especially, in these cases, you need a powerful defense. The judge decides if the court will intervene in the minor’s future. If it does, the judge has to consider the appropriate course of action for the minor, and how to make the minor take responsibility for his or her actions.

The court will then decide how to care for, treat, and guide the minor. This can include punishment so the minor learns to obey the law.

Richard Wagner has been practicing criminal law since 1998. Richard Wagner wins cases by obtaining acquittals, getting serious charges (felony and misdemeanor) dismissed, or negotiating the original more serious charges to a lesser serious offense.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or under investigation in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino or in Southern California, contact The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, immediately. Unlike other lawyers, Richard Wagner will analyze and evaluate the facts of your particular case and discuss your options and give you straightforward advice.

Whether your criminal case is rejected, reduced to a lesser charge, dismissed or you are acquitted at trial, The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, will protect and defend your Constitutional rights and ultimately see that you get back on track at the earliest possible time.  Do not delay. Call 714-403-6317 to take action.

DUI Lawyer Federal Attorney Orange County

Federal Criminal Defense-Orange County, LA, Riverside, San Bernardino, Long Beach, San Diego

Federal Criminal Defense cases result from investigations by federal law enforcement agency such as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Federal prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) file an indictment or information in federal district court and federal criminal cases are prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office.

Evidence in federal cases may include surveillance video, wiretaps, records, photographs, fingerprint scans, electronic or digital evidence such as computers, and cellphone evidence.

If you have been charged with a federal drug trafficking crime for heroin, marijuana, Oxycodone, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, MDMA or methamphetamine, the FBI or DEA in most cases has an overwhelming amount of evidence against you. As a result, nearly ninety percent of all federal criminal cases involve guilty pleas and many of these cases involve some form of plea agreement.

While you may be charged with a drug trafficking offense carrying a mandatory minimum penalty, The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, has negotiated sentences below the mandatory minimum for clients.

The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, provides clients with high-quality representation when facing federal sentencing so clients get the most lenient sentence possible. If prison is part of the agreement, Richard Wagner negotiates the best facility possible with release at the earliest opportunity.

Richard Wagner understands the sentencing judge is required to impose a sentence that is “sufficient, but not greater than necessary” to fulfill the purposes of sentencing.

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines went into effect in 1987. Sentencing judges calculate a defendant’s guideline level and criminal history score.

The court is permitted to depart from a guideline-specified sentence when it finds “a mitigating circumstance … not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines that should result in a sentence different from that described.”

The sentencing guideline range is only one of seven factors a court must consider before it imposes sentence.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or investigated for committing a federal crime in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino or in Southern California, contact The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, immediately. Unlike many general criminal law lawyers, Richard Wagner will evaluate the facts of your case and discuss your options.

Whether your case is rejected, reduced to a lesser charge, dismissed or you are acquitted at trial, The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, will protect and defend your Constitutional rights and ultimately see that you get your life back on the track.  Do not delay. Call 714-403-6317 to take action.

Next Step…

If you or someone you know has been arrested for committing a crime in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside or San Bernardino or in Southern California, contact The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, immediately. Unlike many general lawyers, Richard Wagner will evaluate the facts of your case and discuss your options.

Whether your case is rejected by the prosecuting attorney, reduced to a lesser charge, dismissed or you are acquitted at trial, The Law Office of Richard Wagner, A Professional Corporation, will protect and defend your Constitutional rights and ultimately see that you get back on the road to recovery.  Do not delay. Call 714-403-6317 to take action.