If you’re arrested and charged with DUI, you have rights, and it’s good to know them. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to be protected from any unreasonable search and seizure. You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you’re charged with DUI in southern California, speak to an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.

A good DUI defense lawyer may try to have the charge against you reduced or dismissed. This may happen if the police did not have a legal reason to stop you in the first place. If your DUI charge becomes a criminal trial, you will have the right to enter a plea, or your attorney will enter your plea on your behalf. You’ll have three options; your attorney will discuss the potential consequences and results of each plea and suggest and what he or she thinks is the best option and why, but the final plea choice is yours.

At your first court appearance, your arraignment, you will be asked to enter a plea and offered a plea bargain by the prosecutor. The plea bargain is typically a reduced charge in return for a guilty plea. Your attorney will advise you to accept or reject the plea bargain based on the particular circumstances of your case. If you enter a not guilty plea, the next hearing will be scheduled. You need not be physically present in court to enter a not guilty plea; your attorney may do that on your behalf. You may choose instead to enter a guilty plea, which will require you to be physically present in court or to sign and notarize what’s called a “Tahl Waiver.” When you sign a Tahl Waiver, you waive your right to a trial and other rights you would have during a trial.

Your third option is to enter a plea of no contest. The consequences of pleading no contest are the same as the consequences of pleading not guilty, with this important distinction; you haven’t admitted guilt, and an admission of guilt can be used against you if any personal injury claim arises from your DUI incident. For the best legal advice and aggressive defense representation if you are charged with DUI in southern California, now or in the future, consult immediately with an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney.