Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence, DUI, is one of the most common offenses committed in California.  Those who drink and drive are committing a very serious offense.  There are stiff penalties for driving under the influence.  If you have had more than one offense, the penalties become more severe.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence Conviction

First Offense

  • Jail Sentence up to 6 months
  • Fine starting at $1,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension (6 months)
  • Complete Driver’s Program

Second Offense (within ten years of previous offense)

  • Jail Sentence up to a year
  • Fine starting at $1,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension ( 2 years)
  • Complete Driver’s Program

Third Offense (within ten years of previous offense)

  • Jail Sentence up to a year
  • Fine starting at $1,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension (3 years)
  • Ignition Locking Mechanism
  • Complete Driver’s Program
  • Designated as Habitual Offender

Fourth Offense

  • Jail Sentence up to a year
  • Fine up to $3,000
  • Driver’s License Suspension 4 Years
  • Ignition Locking Mechanism
  • Complete Driver’s Program
  • Designated as Habitual Offender

If you are charged with DUI it is important to talk to a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. You must request a DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest.  If you fail to do this your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked.  A DMV hearing is different from a criminal court hearing.  You will need the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney at this hearing.  Requesting a hearing to fight the suspension is the first action that needs to take place.

In addition to the DMV hearing, you will also face criminal prosecution.  DUI statutes are complex and it is essential to have an attorney assist you throughout the process.  There are many factors that will influence the potential sentencing.  Some of the factors that will factor into the sentencing include:

  • Prior conviction for DUI (in past 7 years)
  • Going 20 mph or more over the posted speed limit
  • Getting a DUI with a minor under age 14 in the vehicle
  • Blood-alcohol reading of more than .20%
  • Refusal to submit to chemical test

When you are charged with DUI you must take it seriously.  Even a first offense can result in heavy penalties.  An experienced criminal defense attorney will work with you to defend you against DUI charges.  The attorney may be able to get your charges reduced or your case dismissed.