Useful Information About the DUI Court Process


Orange County Courts are some of the most difficult courts in the State of California. They are also one of the more severe in their sentencing guidelines.

For example, while the statutory minimum sentence in the State of California for a second offense DUI is 96 hours, (which can be served over two 48 hour weekends), Orange County starts off with 90-to-120  days of County Jail.

The statutory minimum sentence for a third offense DUI is 120 days, Orange County begins their sentencing at 270 days (9 months) in the Orange County Jail.

DUI - Driving Under the Influence

In choosing an Orange County DUI Defense Attorney, it is important to retain one who focuses his/her practice not only on DUI, but also practices mainly in Orange County, California, as the courts in Orange County, California are so unique as compared to other counties in California. It is in your best interest that your DUI Attorney understands the Court Process in Orange County, not another county in California.


An arraignment is where an Orange County DUI suspect enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. The person can also withhold entering a plea at that time and instead move to continue the arraignment to enter a plea at a later time.

At the arraignment, the Orange County Drunk Driving Lawyer can usually appear on the suspect's behalf. This is important for those who want to avoid having to take off time from work just to be stuck in a crowded courtroom for hours each and every time the suspect is required to appear in court.

At the arraignment, the Orange County DUI Attorney may choose to set the matter for pretrial, or continue the arraignment to allow the attorney to see whether it is more beneficial to plead at the arraignment, as opposed to setting the matter for pretrial conferences. This is an especially important question in the event the DUI case is not a case that is likely to proceed to trial.


If a plea of not guilty is entered, the matter is set for pretrial, which is the stage leading up to trial where the OC DUI Lawyer and the Orange County District Attorney enter into negotiations regarding the Orange County DUI case. At the pretrial conferences, the Orange County DUI Attorney acquires the DUI Discovery and negotiates the case with the Orange County District Attorney's Office (O.C.D.A.).


If a plea cannot be negotiated, the matter will proceed to a bench trial or a jury trial. In choosing your Orange County DUI Attorney to represent you in your OC DUI case, determine whether the DUI lawyer has a record of taking DUI cases to trial. Sometimes the DA and the defense lawyer just cannot agree on what is a reasonable disposition of the case, so the matter proceeds to trial to resolve the dispute.

A DUI Trial requires a lawyer who understands the complex scientific principals associated with DUI defense. The DUI lawyer must understand human physiology, how body metabolizes alcohol, how a person's physical limitations may affect their ability to be a suitable candidate for the standardized field sobriety tests. It is important to determine whether the DUI lawyer is trained in these areas, such as being certified to administer breath tests and maintain breath testing equipment to ensure its accuracy and reliability. It is also important to determine whether the Orange County DUI Attorney is qualified to not only administer the standardized field sobriety tests, but also be qualified as an Instructor by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

It is important that the Orange County DUI Defense Lawyer you choose to represent you in your DUI case is qualified to represent you. Get to know the attorneys you are considering to determine whether they are DUI trial attorneys, or just attorneys who want to take your money and plead you out. If the matter were to proceed to trial, you will need to ensure that the lawyer that you chose actually takes DUI cases to trial and has a successful track-record. A trial involves knowledge of the complexities of a successful DUI defense. Orange County DUI Defense Attorneys from The SoCal Law Network are experienced DUI Trial Lawyers with a successful track-record.