No one would expect it to happen to them. Whether you didn't realize how many drinks you had or you have been wrongly accused, DUI can drastically effect your life. If you have been charged with DUI, you may be wondering what you should expect next.
In the state of California, any driver could receive a DUI if they are driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. The penalties and consequences you face will depend on a number of factors, such as the number of offenses you have on your record, if a child was in the vehicle with, and how high your BAC was. The most important thing to remember is to never give law enforcement any details about your case, especially not a confession. You should speak with an attorney about your case as soon as possible.
Penalties for DUI in California
When you are pulled over by a police officer, they must have a valid reason to stop you. Whether you sped through a red light or were weaving through lanes, there must be reasonable cause for them to suspect drunk or impaired driving. If an officer does not have proper grounds to pull you over, yourDUI charges may be thrown out altogether.
Typically, the following penalties will follow a DUI:
- First offense: 1 year license suspension, minimum of 4 days and a maximum of 6 months in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
- Second offense: 2 year license suspension, between 10 days and a full year in jail, mandatory use of an ignition interlock device, and up to $1,800 in fines.
- Third offense: 3 year license suspension, between 120 days and 1 year in jail, up to $1,800 in fines, and a mandatory ignition interlock device.
- Fourth offense (within 10 months of the previous): 16 months of jail time, up to $18,000 in fines, a 4 year license suspension, and a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
In California, you may be able to plea your DUI down to a wet reckless. A wet reckless is basically a conviction of reckless driving that involved alcohol, meaning your charges will be much less severe and not as serious on your record. Any DUI conviction will remain relevant for sentencing purposes on your record for up to 10 years. This means if you were convicted of DUI over 10 years ago, any new charges will be considered a first offense.
If you have been charged with a DUI, contact our firm today to fight your case.