Should I get a lawyer for a second time DUI?


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Should I get a lawyer for a second time DUI?

Second Time DUI – Do I need a Lawyer?

finding the best Lawyer
A common question is, “Should I get a lawyer if I am charged with a second time DUI?”
As I’m sure most people are aware, a second time DUI, like any other charge, has a minimum and a maximum punishment, which is a huge range – anywhere from 96 hours to one year in jail.  Plus there is an 18-month mandatory alcohol school, and fines and fees to the court, plus payments to the alcohol school and an insurance increase that is fairly expensive.
Since there is so much at stake, it is generally in your best interests to closely examine and fight all that you can when it comes to your case.

Should I get a Lawyer if the Police Didn’t have a Reason to Stop Me?

The probable cause, which is especially important in any case, is often listed as “speeding” or  “weaving”.  Aside from being vague, it may not meet the requirements of the law.
There exists a  DMV memo to all police officers and agencies regarding valid probable cause, after the case of Solovij v. Gourley (now depublished), was decided.  As mentioned in that case and in the DMV memo, it is not enough to state “speeding”, as there must be a legal foundation to conclude speeding.  Under the law, that is shown through introducing a properly maintained and calibrated measuring device – a speedometer used for pacing a vehicle, or a laser or radar device.
It is interesting that speeding is specifically listed in the NHTSA manual used to train all police officers in field sobriety testing in the United States as not indicative of DUI.  As the manual states, “Alcohol is a depressant, and drivers are more likely to drive slowly under the influence, rather than speed.”
Weaving, likewise, has to be descriptive.  Weaving that takes place within a lane is not illegal.  Even weaving outside lane lines has to be, under the statute, a danger to other drivers on the road.  None of those elements are met, or proven, from the documents you sent me.  Especially with weaving, the existence of a patrol car video could help or hurt in proving a violation of the law.
 Looking closely at the probable cause could lead to a motion to suppress evidence if there was an invalid stop.  The probable case in a case, whether weaving or speeding or both, must be well proven.  A motion to suppress evidence, as it suppresses all evidence after your stop, would cause a dismissal of the case, so it would be especially important in your case.  Even if you do not win the motion, filing and bringing the motion usually gives leverage for a negotiation in your case above and beyond what others may get for the same facts in cases like yours.

Should I Get a Lawyer to Challenge a Breath Test in a DUI?

Looking closely at the breath machine also, likewise, can get you a lot of mileage out of your case, as it can result in a finding that the breath machine testing results were invalid, which can exclude the breath test, the strongest evidence against you.  Excluding the breath results could result in a complete dismissal of your DUI case and certainly would give you better negotiating leverage as well.
Likewise, with the breath machine used for your breath test, an attorney should subpoena or request via discovery the breath maintenance and calibration records, to make sure that the machine was accurate.  Under California law, machines are entitled to a .02% margin of error, so your testing results could be as low as a .06% and as high as a .10%, and still be considered accurate in testing a .08% alcohol test result. Many breath machines are miscalibrated even more than that, which renders the values of the test invalid entirely.

Should I Get a Lawyer to Plea Bargain in a DUI case?

Finally, regarding plea bargain negotiations in a DUI, you or your attorney will want to make sure to personalize you as much as possible, so that the prosecutor doesn’t just see you as just another case number.  I usually help collect character reference letters, get proof of volunteer service or steps towards sobriety (including your AA classes, or other steps), and get copies of your resume, or school transcripts, to show that you are on a good path, and that a conviction and punishment might derail you, and to assuage fears from the prosecutor that you might get a third DUI.
The goal is to dismiss wherever possible, or negotiate away the prior or negotiate to a lower charge, or, if neither of those are possible, negotiate using mitigation evidence to reduce the punishment, including jail time, as low as possible, and then convert any punishment to alternative sentencing (including sobriety programs, alcohol monitoring, gps or electronic monitoring, weekends, community service, or private punishment programs).

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Contact us – If any of this leads to additional questions, or if you’d like clarification on any of the above, please call our Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert Miller.  It’s our pleasure to help in any way that I can.

DUI Checkpoints for Orange County December 4-6

DUI Checkpoints for Orange County December 4-6

DUI checkpoints in Orange County have been announced. Orange County law enforcement is on high alert for drivers that might be DUI during December.

Orange County DUI Checkpoing

This weekend there are Orange County DUI checkpoints, including in Santa Ana and the City of Orange, and Saturation Patrols through the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in the cities of Villa Park, Yorba Linda, and Stanton.

The City of Santa Ana‘s DUI Checkpoint is from 9pm to 3am tonight/tomorrow morning (Friday, December 4th, 2015), on Fairview, between First Street and 5th street.

The City of Orange DUI Checkpoint is from 8pm to 3am tonight/tomorrow morning (Friday, December 4th, 2015), although the press release from the City of Orange did not list the location.

Saturation patrols (where trained officers drive around looking for clues that someone might be driving under the influence), and DUI checkpoints, are common throughout the month, and are funded by State and Federal DUI grants.

Before a sobriety checkpoint can be considered ‘legal’, it must not only be constitutional at the federal level, it must be at the state level as well . 11 states currently prohibit sobriety checkpoints within their boundaries.

Are DUI checkpoints in Orange County legal?

Regarding DUI Checkpoints for Orange County, under the California Ingersoll decision, and decisions of both the United States  Supreme Court and courts in California, the following standards must be met:

  • the criteria for stopping motorists must be neutral, and not based upon officer discretion only;
  • adequate safety precautions must be taken;
  • the checkpoint’s time and duration should reflect “good judgment”;
  • officers must make a written plan of operations;
  • the checkpoint must exhibit sufficient indicia of its official nature;
  • drivers should be detained a minimal amount of time; and
  • roadblocks must be publicly notified to the public in advance.

Once at a DUI checkpoint, drivers can be detained to ask questions, and separate probable cause has to be established for a breath or blood test, which is technically a search of the body, requiring either sufficient probable cause or a warrant.



How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?

finding the best Lawyer

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?Finding a lawyer to help handle a case is not an easy task. Even for other legal professionals, choosing between various attorneys that practice in a specific field of law can be difficult. This page looks at the various ways to screen potential lawyers in general, and tells you, how do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?

Do you need a lawyer for a DUI?

Not everyone gets a lawyer for a DUI.  And there is a certain subsection of cases that may not even need a DUI lawyer.

However, a DUI defense attorney can help in most cases.  The best way to find out how an attorney can help your case, or to even ask if you actually need an attorney to handle your case, is to consult with one and find out what an attorney can do, and how they can help your DUI case.

If an attorney cannot help you, they should be honest and let you know that.  If a DUI lawyer can help your case, then they should be able to discuss how, exactly, they can help you and explain your options.

An experienced DUI attorney may be able to argue your performance on the field sobriety tests, whether or not the reason you were stopped was legal, or valid probable cause, and go over why you were stopped, and the potential defenses to DUI breath testing, and defenses to DUI blood testing, that would apply in your case.

A lawyer can also use their experience in persuasion, legal argument, and negotiation skills and negotiate a plea bargain in your DUI case that meets your goals, and minimizes the impact on your life.  That alone might save you from a DUI on your record, or save you thousands in fees and other costs.  Since the cost of a DUI is expensive, any reductions of the charges or options to avoid fees and fines can end up saving you a lot of money.

Any experienced lawyer who is rated as a top Orange County DUI attorney can also appear in court for you, saving you the time and potential embarrassment of sitting around the court for hours while other people you may know might be there.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?

And, of course, they will work with you and advise you every step of the way as you go through the process, regarding what your options, and what your best strategy might be, given the facts of your case. So how do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?

How do you choose a DUI lawyer?

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case through my own friends or family? As in many fields, the best way to find a good lawyer or attorney is to have someone give you a personal referral to a DUI attorney.  Someone you personally know that either has used the attorney or law firm or knows the attorney on a personal basis will usually result in a higher quality lawyer.  The lawyer has basically been pre qualified by whoever recommended them to you.  We are proud of the fact that most of our clients were personally referred by our former clients or persons that know our firm personally.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case if I don’t have a personal referral?  Other methods include using a bar association, or an attorney referral service, although qualified lawyers pay to be listed.  That makes a lawyer referral not nearly as qualified as a personal recommendation.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case by going through advertisements? Although lawyer advertising is everywhere, the worst way to obtain a lawyer might be from advertisements. The direct solicitation advertising that is mailed to you or that appears in places like jail advertising boards or is on bail bonds websites is no guarantee of a quality attorney by itself.

What qualifications should a DUI lawyer have?

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case and review qualifications of the attorney? For the field of DUI defense, a DUI lawyer should have at least the following qualifications:

What should I look out for when searching for a lawyer?

  • A lack of a bar discipline record (in other words, never being disbarred, on bar probation, or subject to bar discipline).  A state bar record is usually an indication, or symptom, of a larger problem, and an inability to put clients first.  A lawyer with a good reputation with the California State Bar is obviously better than one with state bar problems.
  • A law firm that does everything.  Lawyers that handle worker’s compensation, and family law, as well as civil litigation, bankruptcy, and DUIs on the side, will typically not have the ability, knowledge, or time to handle a DUI case properly and give the case the attention it deserves.
  • A DUI attorney that looks down on clients.  You want to be a partner with the DUI lawyer handling your case, and need to be able to discuss options and ask questions.  DUI Lawyers with a top down, “I’m the attorney and you’re not” attitude, will not have good communication with you.

How to interview potential OC DUI lawyers to handle your case.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case in a personal interview with the lawyer? Make sure that you interview anyone you are considering as your attorney.  An interview allows you to get to know your DUI Specialist in Orange County.  Ask all of the questions that you have on your mind, or are curious about.  Don’t forget to ask them about their history as a lawyer, and about their focus on DUI defense. Attorneys that do not participate in education and defense of DUI cases specifically do not know many of the defenses that apply to breath or blood testing cases.

When you go to an interview with a potential lawyer, make sure that you bring everything you have, including all the documents you were given when you were arrested or released.  Write out a list of questions you might have, about the lawyer, the process, the punishments, and the procedures to defend a DUI case.  This allows the lawyer to be able to asses as to whether he can help your Orange County DUI case.  Interviewing multiple DUI lawyers is also a good idea.  I recommend you interview as many DUI Defense lawyers as time permits.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?

Find a DUI defense lawyer in Orange County, or who at least practices and appears in the courts in the OC on a regular basis.  A lawyer who does not frequently operate within the courthouse or city where your case is pending can be a problem.  As said above, a DUI lawyer needs to know the area that he is working in.  Knowing the judge, local prosecutors, and the general climate of what works in handling DUI cases successfully can help to prepare your best possible defense.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case and keep fees affordable? Make sure to ask any potential Orange County DUI lawyers about their fees.  You don’t want to finally find the best Orange County DUI lawyer for your case, and start working only to find out that you will have to sell everything you own in order to afford their services.  You can usually find the best DUI lawyer for you without breaking the bank, but as they say, good lawyers aren’t cheap, and cheap lawyers aren’t good.

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case? We can help make your decision easy. Our Orange County DUI Lawyers know the DUI laws and DUI defenses and have experience fighting cases in Orange County.  Knowing how to make an impression on a prosecutor, a judge, or a jury, and what tactics work best in presenting and negotiating a DUI plea bargain, or winning a DUI case, can make a huge difference in your case.

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Contact us

How do I find the best Orange County DUI Lawyer for my case?Contact our firm to find out more about our firm and why we are the right choice for DUI cases in Orange County.

Orange County DUI Lawyers

Orange County DUI Lawyers

dui orange county

Were you arrested for a DUI in Orange County?  Our website has valuable information about DUI charges anywhere in OC.  You can also contact our Orange County DUI Lawyers for a free consultation  about the specifics of your case.  There are also actions you should be taking now to help your case. 

It’s likely if you are on this page that you were contacted by the police somewhere in Orange County.  It could have been that they responded to an accident, or noticed some violation of the law, and decided to investigate further.

If you smelled like alcohol, or admitted to drinking, the police will typically conduct field sobriety tests, and then a breath or a blood test, and you will be arrested and taken to jail.

Orange County DUI Lawyers

Luckily, jail is the worst part of this entire ordeal, usually.  But they probably took your driver’s license away, and gave you a 30 day pink temporary license, along with a date to show up in Orange County Superior Court.

It’s important to know that you or an attorney have to contact the DMV office of driver safety in Orange within 10 days of your arrest.  Otherwise, you could be left without a license once your temporary expires, and could suffer a suspension.  A DMV hearing prevents that.

What am I facing from my DUI arrest?  Can your Orange County DUI Lawyers help?

A DUI in Orange County can range in seriousness, from misdemeanor DUI to felony DUI.  The punishment depends on the circumstances of the case, including:

  • Whether there was injury to another person as the result of a DUI with an accident;
  • High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) (a .15% or higher)
  • Whether there was speeding while DUI or driving recklessly;
  • Whether there is property damage to another car or object;
  • Whether or not there were children or minors in the car when the allegations of DUI occurred; and 
  • Whether there are any prior DUIs within 10 years.

Note that even in the best of situations, DUI is seen as a contemptible crime by everyone in the justice system.  No judge wants to make it even suggested that they are anything but tough on DUI cases.  All DUI prosecutors in Orange County are trained and truly believe that they should not give DUI cases any special treatment.  Police do not simply let someone go with a DUI case, and political pressure from MADD and other groups keep the pressure high on DUI cases.  Every year the law changes to make the laws more harsh for DUI in California.  No one in Orange County, except the Orange County DUI Lawyers that make it their profession to speak up for the person arrested of DUI, is interested in cutting anyone a break.

What about my license?  Can Orange County DUI Lawyers help keep me driving?

In a separate proceeding, the DMV, who has jurisdiction over your driving privileges, will automatically suspend your license, if you do not request a DMV hearing within 10 days.

Requesting a hearing will cause a hearing date to be set and your driving privilege to be extended by months.  If you win the hearing, then you get your license back with no suspension or restricted license needed.  If you lose, then there is a hard suspension with no driving, plus a restricted license to drive to work or school.

What can your Orange County DUI Lawyers do for me?

Our Orange County DUI Lawyers can do the work to prepare for the DMV and for the court process.  Our professional expertise handling thousands of DUI cases in Orange County makes it possible to analyze your case and determine what might be best in your case to avoid the harsh punishment from a DUI in Orange County.

How do I know if I am getting one of the best Orange County DUI Lawyers?

About Us Robert Miller Associates

At Robert Miller & Associates, we handle only the defense of DUI cases. We use our top notch courtroom experience and skills to advise you, guide you, and protect you throughout the entire process, from start to finish. We are proud to be an award-winning team that provides thorough legal counsel and excellent representation to individuals in Orange County, and we can help you, too.

If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Orange County  contact our firm today.  We will tell you honestly and openly what you need to do to protect yourself immediately, what works best given the situation and facts of your case, and how to best fight to keep from one mistake following you for years.


Association California DUI Lawyers Our founding attorney proudly boasts numerous accolades and recognitions, including:


Orange County DUI Lawyer Robert Miller

We have successfully handled more than 3000 cases, including hundreds of DUI trials.  As one of the best Orange County DUI Attorneys, our firm has many, many very satisfied and happy clients.


Many clients helped by our firm in the past can attest to our great results.  We have many top ratings and reviews on Yelp, Avvo, Google, and other resources.


“During two meetings with Robert and several telephone conversations we were able to craft a defense strategy.  In several court appearances Robert was able to convince the district attorney of our defense.  Ultimately the case was dismissed.  Robert gets a five star rating from me.   He is professional and easy to reach either  by phone or email or even text message.  His fees are fair and very competitive.”  (Maurice N., from a Yelp review).


Even other attorneys in the field know that our law firm has the expertise and knowledge to handle your DUI matter.  We have top ratings from colleagues within our area of expertise.  As one stated: “I highly endorse Mr. Miller. Very experienced and caring attorney who produces great results in representing clients! I want all people with legal problems to contact him first.” (Mark Clay, Esq., from one of over 60 attorney endorsements through Avvo.)


In the past we have had amazing results for clients fearful and facing a drunk driving matter before the courts and the DMV, including hundreds of DUI matters reduced or dismissed, avoiding a lifetime of problems for our clients.  See our results page for many details on cases just like yours. 

We have obtained favorable outcomes for the majority of the cases we have handled.  We encourage you to retain our assistance as soon as possible. The sooner you do so, the sooner we can begin protecting your future. If you have been charged with DUI, and need someone to fight for you in court, or need representation for a DMV hearing, contact the Orange County DUI Attorneys of Robert Miller & Associates immediately.

DMV Information and Penalties for a DUI

As Orange County DUI Attorneys, we can honestly assess and discuss your case, We will show you the procedures, defenses, potential punishments, and outcomes, with no obligation.

We are here for you via phone call, email, or welcome you into our office to have all of your questions answered.

Whether you are ready to hire an Orange County DUI Attorney today, or are just looking for information, make sure that you don’t miss deadlines.  Contact us today.