September 2016 Newsletter
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The Average Cost of a California DUI
Getting arrested for driving under the influence is a costly mistake; in addition to facing the possibility of jail time and losing your driver's license, the price of a DUI can put a serious dent in your wallet.

From the moment you are arrested, the costs associated with your case begin to climb. First, you may have to post bail. Depending on your criminal history and the seriousness of your arrest, you may be required to pay several hundred dollars in order to get released. Once you are out, you will probably have to pay between $300 and $500 to retrieve your car from the impound lot where it was towed.

If you plead guilty or are convicted of driving under the influence, your costs will only increase. The judge in your case is required to assess a statutory fine against you that can range between $390 and $1,000. While that may seem steep, keep in mind that the judge will also assess additional penalties, court costs, fees, assessments, and other penalties that may be three to four times the amount of the statutory fine. By the time the court case is over, a first-time DUI offender may be ordered to pay several thousand dollars in fines, court costs, and other mandatory fees.

In addition to court costs, most people in California are required to take a DUI course or program which lasts at least three months. While the costs of these programs vary, you can expect to spend at least $500-$600 on this requirement. Similarly, you may be required to attend meetings with a probation officer for several months or a year. Probation programs also charge monthly monitoring fees, and may require you to pay for things like random drug and alcohol tests.

Drivers convicted of two or more DUIs in California are also required to install an ignition interlock device to avoid a lengthy driver's license suspension. These devices cost around $100 to install, and require monthly service checkups and fees that run between $75-$100 per month. In order to receive a restricted driver's license after a DUI, you will have to enroll in an alcohol program, pay a $125 driver's license reinstatement fee to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and file an SR-22, a special form providing proof of insurance.  

Finally, a DUI will dramatically affect the amount of money you pay each month in car insurance premiums. While these costs are difficult to measure exactly, you can expect your premium to increase significantly.

The total cost of a DUI will depend on your individual circumstances. After accounting for all of the costs, fees, fines, and increased expenses of an arrest for driving under the influence, it is not uncommon for a first-time DUI to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000 to $15,000. Drivers who are under the age of 21, drivers with previous DUI convictions, and drivers who cause property damage or injuries will likely pay much more. All things considered, the cost of calling an Uber or Lyft home for a ride home from the bar is miniscule in comparison.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is important to seek affordable, knowledgeable, and experienced help. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our Orange County DUI defense attorneys represent people accused of driving under the influence every day, and will work to help you clear your name.  For more information about the DUIs or the DUI process, visit To set up a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call 866.902.6880 today.
Can You Still Be Charged With Theft If You Return the Stolen Property?
Theft is one of the most common crimes committed in the country. From childhood acts of shoplifting to serious robberies and break-ins, theft can encompass a wide variety of crimes. But what if you took an item fully intending to give it back? Can you still be charged with theft if you return the property you stole? 

In California, there are two types of theft: petty theft and grand theft. Petty theft involves items or property worth less than $950, while grand theft involves property over that amount. Petty theft is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail, while grand theft is a "wobbler" offense. This means that depending on the circumstances, prosecutors can use their discretion to charge grand theft as either a misdemeanor or felony offense.

Like all crimes, a prosecutor must prove the elements of a theft charge in order to secure a conviction. With theft, the law requires a prosecutor to show:
  • The defendant took possession of property belonging to someone else,
  • The defendant took the property without the owner's permission or consent, and 
  • The defendant intended to keep the property permanently or for long enough to deprive the rightful owner of its use and enjoyment. 

If the prosecutor cannot prove each element, then a conviction for theft is impossible. As a result, the defenses for theft revolve around disproving one or more of these three elements. If the prosecution cannot show that the property belonged to someone else, or that the defendant lacked permission to take it, then there can be no theft charge. 

Similarly, the prosecution must also show that the defendant either intended to keep the property forever, or, that the defendant kept the item long enough that the owner was deprived of its value and use. This means that in some instances, returning "stolen" property is a defense to theft. 

For example, suppose a man borrows his roommate's car for an hour. Even if he took the vehicle without the roommate's permission, it would probably not be theft because the man did not intend to keep the vehicle, and the roommate probably wasn't harmed by those actions. However, if the roommate borrowed the car for several days or a week or more, the owner would be deprived of the value and use of the car for a significant period of time, and there would likely be enough evidence to sustain a theft charge even if he returned the car later. 

If you are arrested for theft, shoplifting, or larceny, there are defenses available to help you fight the charge. At the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, our experienced California criminal defense attorneys will work quickly to speak with the prosecutors about your case and can work to reduce your charges if possible. To learn more about how our attorneys can help you clear your name, contact our office today by calling 866.902.6880 or visiting us online at

Speaking Presentation Announcement
The National College for DUI Defense will be holding the Fall 2016 session "DWI Means Defend with Ingenuity - High Gear Defenses For Getting to Victory Lane", scheduled from September 22, 2016 through September 24, 2016. This session is co-sponsored by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Attorney Virginia Landry, Regent and Board Member with the NCDD will be presenting 3 different sessions. On September 23rd, she will be presenting "Making Your Office Work", in which she will discuss maximizing productivity and efficiency for legal professionals in the office. That same day, Virginia will be presenting "Preparing for Cross and Direct of Experts." In this seminar, Virginia will discuss how to use cross examination to win your trial, pointed checklists for toxicology experts and different kinds of strategies when direct and cross examining experts. On September 24th, Virginia will present "Cross of the Blood Laboratory and Alcohol Technician". In this workshop, Virginia will provide tools and demonstrations for effective questioning of the BLAT technician at trial. This session will be held at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on this event, visit the website
Virginia Landry

Virginia L. Landry received her undergraduate degree from Northern Arizona University in 1982. She then went on to pursue her law degree from Western State University, graduating in 1988. The following year, Ms. Landry opened her own Law Office. As a nationally recognized Board Certified DUI Defense Attorney Specialist, Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Virginia L. Landry, is able to practice law within all the California state courts and the Central District Court of the United States.


As a criminal defense lawyer with years of litigation and trial experience, Ms. Landry is fully prepared to handle criminal cases involving violent crimes, white collar crimes, theft crimes, sex crimes, juvenile crimes, drug crimes, weapons charges, and domestic violence. Attorney Landry has successfully represented clients facing a variety of complex misdemeanor and felony charges.

In addition to her current position as Regent for the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), Virginia serves on the Board of Directors for the California DUI Lawyers Association  as its Secretary. Virginia is one of only a handful of attorneys across the nation who is Board Certified in DUI Defense. She has also received her  certificate of instruction , successfully training participants in DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Student and Instructor courses.


Virginia Landry served on two committees and was on the Orange County Bar Association's Board of Directors for three years, is a past President and current member of the West Orange County Bar Association, is currently a Sustaining Member for the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Other local bar associations include the North Orange County Bar Association, The Newport Harbor Bar Association, the South Harbor Bar Association, the Western State University Alumni Association, the Northern Arizona University Alumni Association and the Warren J. Ferguson Inns of Court.

The Law Offices Of Virginia Landry Team