What Are the Penalties For a DUI in California?

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What Are the Penalties For a DUI in California?

DUIs are always serious offenses. In California, they are considered priorable offenses, which means the consequences get more serious with each conviction. Once you are arrested, you have 10 days to request DMV hearing. Requesting a hearing postpones your license suspension until your hearing is over and the case is decided. It may even save you from ever having to serve a suspension as sometimes the hearing results in your suspension being set aside. Here are the general penalties for DUIs in California based on how many DUI convictions you have. Of course, you should consult with your California DUI attorney for the most accurate information as it applies to your case.

First Offense Misdemeanor

For your first offense, you’ll likely be given a summary probation, which is an informal probation, of three to five years. You may also get up to six months in jail and be asked to pay between $390 and $1,000 in fines. Some offenders will also be asked to complete a three-month or nine-month drug education program. You could also lose your license for anywhere from six to 10 months. However, you can usually obtain a restricted license if you agree to pay for and install an ignition interlock device (IID).

Second Offense Misdemeanor

If you commit a second DUI offense in California within 10 years of the first one, you’ll face another three to five years of summary probation, anywhere from 96 hours to a year in jail time, and another $390 to $1,000 in fines. You’ll also likely be asked to attend an 18-month or 30-month court-approved California DUI school or course. Finally, you’ll be faced with a two-year license suspension which can be converted into a restricted license after a year.

Third Offense Misdemeanor

If you are convicted of a third DUI offense in California within a ten-year period, you’ll be faced with the same three to five years of summary probation, 120 days to a year in jail, and another $390 to $1,000 in fines. You’ll also have to attend a court-approved drug education program for 30 months and complete a three-year license suspension. Your suspension might be able to be converted into a restricted license but only after 18 months. You’ll also obtain the label of HTD or habitual traffic offender. This label will stay on your DMV record and can cause serious problems for you, from getting a job to obtaining credit.

Misdemeanor DUI with Injuries

If you were convicted of a misdemeanor DUI that resulted in injuries, you’ll face the same three to five years of summary probation, five days to a year in county jail, but you’ll pay between $390 and $5,000 in fines. You’ll also have to serve three, 18, or 30 months at a drug or alcohol education problem and a one to three-year license restriction or suspension. Additionally, you’ll have to pay full restitution to all injured parties.

Felony DUI Penalties

In California, those who are convicted of a felony DUI will face 16 months to three years in California State Prison. You’ll have to pay between $390 and $1,000 in fines and serve a four-year license revocation — not just a suspension. You’ll be given the HTD designation by the DMV and you may earn a strike pursuant to California’s three strikes law.

Felony DUI with Injuries

If your DUI conviction was deemed a felony and injuries resulted from the DUI, you’ll be looking at 16 months to 10 years in state prison and may have to face additional or consecutive one to six-year periods depending on how many injuries there are and the extent of those injuries. You’ll also be given a strike pursuant to California’s three strikes law, face $1,015 to $5,000 in fines, and you will have to go to alcohol or drug education classes at a court-approved facility for 18 to 30 months. You’ll be given an HTD classification and will also have to pay full restitution to all injured parties.

As you can see, any DUI is a serious charge in California. The penalties for a DUI in California are strict and can impact your life for years to come. It’s critical that you defend yourself against DUI charges by hiring an experienced and qualified California DUI attorney. Only a qualified legal representative can help you present your best defense and obtain the best possible outcome for you given the circumstances of your case. Get a consultation today and take the first step down the road towards protecting your freedom and your future.

 

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