What are the Penalties for DUI in California?

What are the Penalties for DUI in California

What are the Penalties for DUI in California?

From the moment you see the red and blue lights flashing, you know it can’t be good news. It’s bad enough to get pulled over. But if you’ve been drinking and driving and get stopped, you know you’re going to jail. The penalties for DUI in California are pretty serious. The last thing you want to do is end up with a conviction for this sort of crime. Thats why you should call and talk to a DUI defense lawyer in California as soon as possible after your arrest.

There’s very little forgiveness from the courts when it comes to DUI. With the advent of rideshare companies, it’s hard to imagine why someone would drink and drive. The same goes for people charged with drugged driving. If you’re convicted, there’s little chance you’ll get any leniency from the judge. That’s why you need a seasoned DUI defense lawyer in California there to help fight the charges. Rather than wait until the last minute, call your attorney as soon as you’re arrested. This way, they have plenty of time to prepare your case.

What is the Law for DUI in California?

Like most other states, California’s DUI laws are pretty black and white. If you get pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the cops are going to do a few things. First, they’ll look for signs of impairment. For example, they’ll look to see if you have bloodshot eyes or are slurring your speech. They’ll also check to see if they smell alcohol or marijuana. The next thing they’ll do is ask you to submit to a breathalyzer test. If your blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher, you’ll be arrested for DUI. Even if your BAC is lower than .08, if you perform poorly on your field sobriety test, you can still be arrested and charged with DUI.

Every case is unique. And the California legislature understands that. That’s why there are certain things that can lead to enhanced penalties for DUI. For example, if your BAC is higher than .20, the charges can be more severe. The same is true if you’re a commercial driver who’s charged with DUI. Finally, people who are drunk and get into an accident can even be charged with a felony. Your DUI defense lawyer in California will have to review your case to determine what sort of defenses are available to you.

The Penalties for DUI Get Worse with Each Infraction

If you’re convicted of DUI in California, you’ll be ordered to pay fines. Surprisingly, the amount of the fines doesn’t really go up with each offense. Generally speaking, whether it’s your first or third DUI, your fines will be anywhere between $390 and $1,000. However, there are certain penalties that get worse with each offense.

The penalties for DUI in California are as follows:

First Offense:

  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • 48 hours to 6 months in jail
  • 6-month license suspension
  • 3 months of DUI school
  • Possible probation

2nd Offense:

  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • 96 hours to 1 year in jail
  • 2-year suspension of your driver’s license
  • Ignition interlock device for 12 months
  • 18-30 months of DUI school
  • Eligible for restricted license

3rd Offense:

  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • 120 days to 1 year in jail
  • 30 months of DUI driving school
  • 3-year suspension of license
  • Ignition interlock device for up to 2 years

It’s important to keep in mind that the judge has a lot of discretion when it comes to sentencing. Your DUI defense lawyer in California will try to get the prosecutor to agree to the lowest penalties. It all depends on the facts of your case. Your criminal history and prior convictions will weigh heavily into this decision.

Your DUI Defense Lawyer in California Can Ask for a Restricted License

California is better than a lot of states when it comes to a restricted driver’s license. Even if you’re convicted of multiple DUIs, your DUI defense lawyer in California may ask the judge to approve a restricted driver’s license. This license allows you to drive to school and work while waiting for your suspension to expire. The judge isn’t required to grant this license. Also know that, even if it’s approved, you’ll likely have to install an ignition interlock device in order to get the restricted license.

If you’re arrested and charged with DUI in California, you’ll be facing these serious penalties. That’s why it’s wise to call and talk to an experienced DUI defense lawyer in California right away.