The Legal Consequences Of DUI In The State Of California
Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous and should be taken seriously. Even if no one is harmed, driving while intoxicated can still lead to drastic consequences.
How A Los Angeles DUI Law Firm Can Fight 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & Felony DUIs
Punishments for a DUI in California can include the following:
- Jail time.
- Thousands of dollars in fines.
- Revocation of a professional license.
- Insurance rates can increase by the thousands each year.
- The cost of health insurance may increase.
- Attendance in alcohol programs which may conflict with professional obligations.
A first-time DUI charge can cost up to $1000 in fines, and the consequences become even more severe with each subsequent DUI conviction. If a driver commits the act of drunk driving again and they are charged with another DUI, the law in California is intended to punish offenders more severely when they have previous DUI convictions. Here are some other questions our DUI lawyers typically receive:
- Can You Go To Jail For A DUI In California?
- What Are The Punishments For Drunk Driving In The State Of California?
- What If The DUI Resulted In An Injury?
- How Can DUI Attorney Defend a Fourth or Subsequent DUI?
Can You Go To Jail For A DUI In California?
When it comes to first and second DUI convictions, jail time is not generally required. Jail time can even be avoided with a third DUI depending on the situation and if the defendant has a skilled DUI defense attorney. However, the law is not so lenient when it comes to a fourth or successive DUI.
DUI charges are generally misdemeanors, but a fourth DUI will be charged as a felony, and the consequences are much direr for a felony DUI. Though each case is evaluated separately, the penalties could include a prison sentence from 16 months to 4 years and revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license for four years. If there is any injury or property damage involved, the consequences can be even greater.
What Are The Punishments For Drunk Driving In The State Of California?
1st DUI charge – the convicted can expect to pay between $390-1000 in fines, a jail sentence of up to 6 months, suspension or revocation of driver’s license for 6 to 10 months, and 3 or 9 months in an alcohol treatment program.
2nd DUI charge- the stakes are higher. The penalties include jail time from 96 hours to 1 year, fines of up to $1000, driver’s license suspension or revocation for up to 2 years, and 18 or 30 months in an alcohol treatment program.
3rd DUI charge – the consequences can include 120 days to 1 year in jail, up to $1000 in fines, suspension or revocation of driver’s license for up to 3 years, and 30 months in an alcohol treatment program.
4th or subsequent DUI – The consequences are much worse because after a third DUI, any following DUIs are considered to be felonies. Those convicted of a felony DUI may get up to 3 years in prison, suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, 30 months in an alcohol treatment program, and revocation of their driver’s license for up to 4 years.
What If The DUI Resulted In An Injury?
If the DUI led to any kind of injury to another party, they can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, and the consequences can be even more profound than any other kind of DUI. For a misdemeanor, the convicted party can expect to pay anywhere between $390 to $5,000 including any restitution to injured parties, 1 to 3 years with a suspended or revoked license, and up to 30 months in an alcohol treatment program.
A felony can bring a prison sentence of up to 16 years, $1015-5000, plus restitution to injured parties, suspension or revocation of driver’s license for 5 years, and 30 months in an alcohol treatment program.
These penalties and punishments can be lessened with a “wet reckless” or a “dry reckless” charge which are two different plea bargains that a DUI charge can be reduced to.
How Can DUI Attorney Defend a Fourth or Subsequent DUI?
A DUI, whether it’s the first, second, third, fourth, or subsequent, are all serious but because the fourth or subsequent DUI are considered felonies, the penalties are much more severe. However, just because a driver has been charged with a fourth DUI does not necessarily mean they are guilty. Having an experienced DUI defense lawyer can help to get the charges reduced by presenting a solid case in court.
The moment a person is charged with a DUI, there are important legal decisions that need to be made and should not be made without a lawyer. A skilled L.A. County DUI defense lawyer can help to get the charges lessened or even dismissed. Here are the defenses an attorney can use to fight a 4th or subsequent DUI charge:
- Probable cause
In order for a person to even be charged with a DUI, there needs to be a reason that the driver was pulled over by law enforcement in the first place. If there is not a probable cause to arrest the driver, then the charge can be challenged.
- Title 17 violation
If a driver is stopped on suspicion of a DUI and blood, breath, and urine tests are administrated by law enforcement, the officer must follow the Title 17 procedures. Title 17 was enacted to make sure that chemical tests for DUIs are accurate and a violation of any of the procedures can produce inaccurate tests. This can include improper calibration of the breathalyzer and incorrect field sobriety testing.
- Proof the defendant was driving
The prosecution must be able to prove that the person charged with the DUI was actually the one driving the car.
Been Arrested For A DUI In California? Let Our Los Angeles DUI Lawyers Help Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a first, second, third, fourth, or felony DUI in the Southern California area, it is vital to get in touch with a skilled DUI defense attorney from Braden & Tucci at once.
Having the right legal representation is the best way to improve your chance of success in the courtroom. Contact us today at (213) 935-7550 and let us fight to protect your driving rights.