Orange County DUI Court
The Orange County DUI Court program is a court-supervised program for second time DUI cases in Orange County, or third time DUI cases in Orange County. It includes comprehensive treatment, supervision and regular court appearances throughout a minimum one year term.
What is Orange County DUI Court?
The Orange County DUI Court Program is part of the OC Superior Court’s Collaborative Courts, which include special treatment for cases and courts for specific situations. The Collaborative Courts runs a Veterans Court, and a Homeless Court. OC DUI court is a collaborative effort between the Orange County Health Care Agency Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services and the Orange County Probation Department.
A team of therapists and counselors is assembled to help those charged with a 2nd or 3rd Time DUI Offense free themselves of addictions to drugs or alcohol. The Orange County DUI Court program assists successful candidates with continuing education, finding and maintaining gainful employment and helping those afflicted with the same problems they have faced.
Why is Orange County DUI Court offered, or an option?
Some DUI offenders in Orange County sign up to avoid jail time, as the DUI court program is designed to prefer treatment over jail time. It is designed to get and keep the DUI Court participants sober, and provide them treatment over the course helping them to gain an understanding of the destructive lifestyle they lived before, and become solidly entrenched in a new sober lifestyle.
The goal of the DUI Court program is to have participants experience greater health, reunification or better relationships with family and friends, and greater success at work. The DUI Court team is designed to assist participants in connecting them with whatever help they need.
The program works with multiple DUI offenders and gets them back on a law abiding and productive track of life.
Who is Eligible for Orange County DUI Court?
In order to be eligible for the Orange County DUI Court, each client must meet the following:
- Each client must live in the geographic area of the court where he/she applies for DUI Court. Applicants who live outside Orange County cannot be served by this program. Applicants who live in another part of Orange County will be referred to the appropriate court.
- The applicant must not have any convictions involving violence, drug sales or gang activity in his/her past.
- The applicant must have a recognition that he/she has a substance abuse problem and a readiness for change.
- The applicant must have sufficient mental and physical health to be able to complete the activities and requirements of the program and may not be taking medications which are inconsistent with program testing or sobriety (ie. drugs of abuse such as stimulants and depressants, among others).
- The applicant must have a feasible transportation plan for attending court sessions and the program’s activities.
And, in addition to the above, the Court and Probation require all of the following:
- You must remain sober during the Program.
- Being gainfully employed is mandatory.
- You must have a sponsor.
- You must complete a DMV approved SB38 Program.
- All participants must attend all Court ordered activities.
- Participants must also submit to random searches and testing.
Where is Orange County DUI Court Offered?
Any applicants to the program must apply to the DUI Court which serves the city where they live. Orange County Superior Court has divided DUI Court cases among 4 courthouses, Central (Santa Ana), North (Fullerton), Harbor (Newport Beach), and West (Westminster). Where you live, not where your case is, is where you would apply for the program.
What is involved in Orange County DUI Court?
As mentioned above, the program is a one year minimum process. That process is divided into five phases, as follows:
Window Phase of the Orange County DUI Court
The Window Phase is a 14 day period in which a candidate may withdraw their plea and be back at the start of their case again. Once the 14 days has passed, the candidate is then moved forward to an Orientation Phase and withdraw is no longer allowed. The Window Phase gives a potential candidate the opportunity to determine if Orange County DUI Court Program is the right fit. Evaluations by both the Health Care Agency and the Probation Department occur during this period and the Court evaluates whether you are appropriate for the program.
Orientation in the Orange County DUI Court
Once the 14 day Window Period has elapsed, and you are accepted by the Court, orientation. Orientation lasts at least 30 days and includes indoctrination, assessment and assimilation. During Orientation, you will be assigned a Probation Officer and Counselor to assist you throughout the program. During Orientation you will be required to attend one individual and one group therapy session per week as well as alcohol and drug testing three times per week. Attendance at five to seven self-help meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, is also required. Finally, a curfew will be imposed by the court.
Phase I of the Orange County DUI Court Program
Throughout the program, complete sobriety is required. In order to advance between to another phase a candidate must meet certain criteria. Phase I of the Orange County DUI Court Program begins after a candidate has had no positive alcohol or drug test results for 30 consecutive days. Also no unexcused absences for 14 consecutive days, and acknowledgement of substance abuse problem and a commitment to live an alcohol and drug free lifestyle are required. Phase I of the treatment program will last a minimum of 90 days and is dependent on the individual person. During this time, the candidate has evaluations and a treatment plan is developed.
Phase II of the Orange County DUI Court Program
Phase II of the Orange County DUI Court Program is an Ongoing Treatment phase. Here, you work to meet goals and objectives set during the first phase. The second phase is designed to assist handling stressful situations that may have caused substance abuse in the past. Phase II lasts a minimum of 120 days.
Phase III of the Orange County DUI Court Program
The third and final phase of the Orange County DUI Court Program focuses on stabilization, mentoring, achievement and graduation. The phase lasts a minimum of 120 days and allows successful candidates more freedom as graduation approaches. Court appearances become less frequent and a mentorship of a new DUI Court Program participant is required.
Orange County DUI Court can help you avoid jail time.
We can help you with Orange County DUI Court questions, procedures, and help you qualify. Contact our DUI Defense Firm today for a consultation, or for any questions. We are here to help you.