DUI First Offense in California

Being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs can have a serious impact on your life, even before you are convicted, and even if you are not convicted at all. The state of California has an aggressive stance towards driving under the influence, and the charges of DUI or DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) come with extensive penalties that will impact your personal and professional life. Working with an experienced California DUI attorney is the most effective way to get the help that you need in order to navigate this complicated process and to understand your rights and options every step of the way.

Read more below to learn about what a DUI is, how California handles them, and how the right defense attorney can help you get through this criminal case. Contact us now to schedule an initial consultation, where you will be able to speak directly with an experienced legal professional about how we have helped clients in similar cases to your own in the past, the outcomes that we achieved, the approaches that we took to get these outcomes, and more. In addition, you will be able to use this opportunity to get advice and insight as it relates directly to your own situation, which can be extremely helpful during the stressful first days following an arrest.

What Is a DUI?

A charge of DUI is a criminal accusation of driving under the influence, either of alcohol or other drugs (known as a DUID). When the charges stem from alcohol, the restrictions are reliant on the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver, which is legally limited to .08. In instances when the driver is below the age of 21, California has a “zero tolerance” stance on DUI, and a minor with a BAC in excess of .01 will face penalties, and will then face additional penalties if they are in excess of .05, and finally will be charged with an “adult” DUI if their BAC is in excess of .08.

In cases where the driver is under the influence of mind-altering substances other than alcohol, such as scheduled drugs, then the officer will simply need to prove that the suspect ingested the substances. There are a variety of methods that California police officers employ in order to determine whether or not an individual is in control of their mental capacities during a traffic stop, including a breath test, field sobriety tests, and ultimately a blood chemical test (that they will likely obtain a warrant to compel you to do against your will if you do not provide consent).

Penalties For a First DUI in California

There are many different penalties that you will face if convicted of a first DUI, but there are many other possibilities that you will need to face penalties even if we are able to reach an agreement with the prosecution and judge regarding your case. The key is to understand all possible penalties and all possible options to pursue your defense and determine the outcomes that are most favorable. 

License Suspension

Many people believe that your driver’s license will be automatically suspended if you are arrested for a DUI, but this is not necessarily the case. The California DMV will suspend your driver’s license if you do not apply for an appeal hearing within 10 days of your arrest, meaning that you must act quickly in order to make sure that you are covering all of your bases when trying to mitigate the impact that this situation will have on you. We will be happy to work with you in order to help you understand how to handle this hearing in a way that is most helpful. If you do not file for your appeal or are denied your appeal, then your license will be suspended for six months.

If you are convicted of DUI, then your license will be suspended for up to six months, but you may be able to install an ignition interlock device in order to get your driving privileges returned sooner, but on a limited basis. You will need to install the IID at your own expense if you choose this option.

Jail Time

You may be facing up to 6 months in jail if convicted of your first DUI, although there are many other options that we will be able to seek in order to avoid this type of punishment, even if convicted. We will work directly with the judge, as your sentence is mostly up to their discretion at the end of your case.

Fines and DUI School

You will need to pay fines of up to $1000 if convicted of your first DUI, which does not factor in the costs of legal fees, court costs, IID costs, and any other associated expenses with this situation. In addition to the fines, you will need to attend mandatory DUI classes, also at your own expense. Often times, we can have the fines waived, significantly reduced or converted to community service.

Contact Us Today

The sooner you act, the sooner we will be able to begin developing a comprehensive defense and working towards positive outcomes for your case. Schedule your initial consultation now, so that we can establish a relationship and get a deeper understanding of how we can work together.

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