Law Office of Lance Dacre

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California DUI Penalties

Posted on | November 15, 2011 | No Comments

Napa, California Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

A DUI in California is a serious matter. If convicted, you face fines, the suspension of your driver’s license, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and possibly jail. Additionally, California has enhancement penalties in cases where a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is in excess of .15% or if a minor under the age of 14 was a passenger in your car at the time of your DUI arrest. On top of any penalties imposed by a judge, you face increased insurance premiums, a permanent criminal record, and two points against your driver’s license that remain on your record for ten years.

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, the arresting officer should have given you a pink slip of paper. This serves as your temporary license. If you do not request a DMV hearing within ten days of your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended. It is essential that you schedule a DMV hearing as soon as possible to avoid the automatic suspension of your license.

DUI Penalties for First Time Offenders in California

Judges have a certain amount of discretion when sentencing DUI offenders. While each county and municipality may impose its own fines and jail sentences, in general, if convicted for drunk driving in California, you face the following kinds of penalties:

First time DUI Offenders

Fines – between $390 and $1,000
Jail – a possible jail sentence up to 6 months
Driver’s license suspension – driver’s license suspension of up to 6 months
Underage DUI – if under the age of 21, your license will be suspended for a year
DUI school – three to six months
Ignition interlock device – the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device
Community service – community service may be required if a plea bargain is offered.
Probation – three to five years

Second DUI Conviction within Ten Years of First DUI Conviction

Fines – between $390 and $1,000
Jail – a minimum of 10 days to a 1 year maximum in jail
Driver’s license suspension – a two year suspension of your driver’s license
Restricted license – eligibility for restricted license after 1 year
DUI school – eighteen months
Probation – three to five years

Third DUI Conviction within Ten Years of First DUI Conviction

Fines – between $390 and $1,000
Jail – a 120 days to a year in jail;
Driver’s license suspension – a three year revocation of your driver’s license
Restricted license – eligibility for a restricted license after 18 months
DUI school – thirty months
Probation – three to five years
Ignition interlock device – yes

Fourth DUI Conviction within Ten Years of First DUI Conviction

A fourth conviction for DUI may be charged as a felony in the state of California. As a consequence, if convicted you could face a three-year prison sentence and a 5 year revocation of your driver’s license.

Contact Napa, California DUI Defense Attorney Lance Dacre

If you’ve been arrested for drunk driving, it’s important to protect your rights and take steps to avoid the loss of your license. Even if you failed a breath or blood test, there are a number of issues that need to be considered before deciding what’s the best course of action. If your field sobriety test was improperly administered or if the Intoxilyzer or Breathalyzer machine was incorrectly calibrated, the charges against you may be dismissed.

To learn how we can help you, contact Napa DUI defense attorney Lance Dacre today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.

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