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Articles Posted in Sentencing

When you have been arrested for a Los Angeles DUI, you have not yet been convicted. A charge only means that there is reasonable suspicion that you are guilty of what you are being accused of. However, until it is proven guilty in a court of law, or until you have entered a plea of guilty, you are not convicted. Once convicted you will be sentenced. Oftentimes, this sentence is negotiated before hand. If you are found guilty pursuant to a trial, the Judge will determine your sentence. The sentence is guided by the relevant statutes. The statutes outline a range of possible consequence, and using this as a guideline, the Judge will order a specific sentence. The factors the Judge will consider is the specific facts of your case, and your criminal history. Fortunately, there is room for negotiation and argument. This is where it is important to have your Los Angeles DUI Lawyer on your side. They can ensure you get the best possible sentence by arguing in your favor.

Let’s first look at the actual range of sentencing, and then consider an example to illustrate how it works. The relevant statutes for a Los Angeles DUI are California Vehicle Code §23152, and 23153.

When convicted of a DUI, you face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, rehabilitation or education classes and probation. This is not including license suspension which is handled by the DMV.

A Los Angeles DUI carries with it a range of potential consequences. These consequences depend on various factors, such as the criminal background of the person being charges, and the specific facts of the offense. However, in certain situations, the consequences can be magnified when certain variables are present. Although many variables can increase the consequences, these are some of the most significant.

Refusal

A refusal to take a sobriety test at the station after a DUI arrest can lead to additional consequences to your DUI charge. When you have been arrested for a DUI charge, officers will ask if you are willing to take a sobriety test at the scene of the arrest. This request is optional. You are not required to comply. It gives officers a gauge of whether you are intoxicated or not. If they find that you are, they can arrest you and take you into the station. At the station you will be required to take an alcohol screening test. This test is not optional, however, officers cannot force you to take it. If you do not take it, and are found guilty of a Los Angeles DUI, it will be considered when sentencing you.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, you will be facing court and a possible conviction. If convicted, there is a range of consequences that could be a part of your sentence depending on the facts of your case and your criminal history.

If you have prior convictions, especially a prior DUI conviction, it could affect your sentence. Additionally, if there is injury or significant damage to property, you may be facing a significantly higher range of consequences. Possible consequences include:

  • Probation from three to five years

A person may be charged for a DUI under two different code sections: California Vehicle Code §23152, and California Vehicle Code §23153.

If a person is charged under California Vehicle Code §23152, it is likely a misdemeanor. If a person has been charged under California Vehicle Code §23153, it is likely a felony. Each code sections gives its own range of possible consequences. The final sentence a person may face will depend on the code section under which they have been charged, their criminal history and the facts of the case.

If a person has been charged under California Vehicle Code §23152, the person may face the following:

Getting arrested for a DUI is a traumatic and difficult time. Many people are very eager to get the case completed and will take a plea bargain or offer to get the case completed as soon as possible. This leads to quick, uninformed decisions. Many times it is advisable to wait and seek the counsel of a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer before entering any type of plea in your DUI case. Entering a plea right away may quickly conclude the case, but the consequences you suffer may linger for quite some time.

Reporting

If you have been convicted for a DUI, it will likely be nothing less than a misdemeanor. This means it will be on your record as a felony or misdemeanor. When you apply to educational institutions, or to take certification or board exams, you will have to list your conviction and explain the situation on your application. It is the same process for when you apply to jobs. The employer will ask you if you have been convicted of any criminal offenses and you will have to state your conviction.

Probation

Generally with a first time DUI offense, you are looking at three years of summary probation. You will be on probation for three years. Any criminal offense during the time period you are on probation will be an additional offense, that of probation violation.

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A person who has been stopped on the suspicion of driving under the influence will be charged under California Vehicle Code §23152. If a person has been convicted of a DUI within ten years, the previous DUI will be considered when issuing a sentence for the new DUI. Let’s look at an example to explain this process.

David was charged and eventually pled guilty to Driving Under the Influence in 2012. He then was later stopped for a DUI in 2014. In 2014, the Prosecutor offered him a plea bargain if he were to plead guilty, and David agreed. The court would consider this to be a second offense DUI, since the conviction was ten years within the previous one.

In contrast, Donny was found guilty of a DUI in 2000. He was then later charged with a DUI in 2014. Because Donny’s previous DUI was over ten years before, the current conviction in 2014 will not be considered a second offense. Instead, Donny will be charged as it is a first time offense. This, however, does not preclude a Court from considering the prior DUI.

California Vehicle Code §23152 makes it unlawful for a person to be driving a vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are arrested and charged with the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you will be given the opportunity to be heard in a criminal court. If it is found that you plead guilty, or are found guilty, you will be convicted. With that conviction there will be a sentence. The terms of that sentence will depend on the certain different factors.

The statue only states a range for sentencing when it comes to different offenses. The reason it does not specify one sentence is because each case is different, and there will be many different things a Judge will take into account when specifying a sentence. Among the those factors is whether there is a prior criminal history, the nature of the crime, as well as the facts surrounding the offence.

The California Vehicle Code specifies that if a person is found guilty of a DUI, then they are facing the following:

If you have been charged with a Los Angeles DUI, the California Vehicle Code §23152 will outline the potential sentence that the Judge may issue. The sentence is not set and standard, it is merely a range that can be issued based on the specific facts of the case, and the criminal background of each individual. The final sentence will be up to the discretion of the Court.

This is why it is important to have a Los Angeles DUI Attorney represent you in your DUI case. Because there is room for discretion, a powerful argument and weaknesses in the case have the potentially of ensuring that the sentence is at the lower end of the spectrum.

If you have been convicted of a DUI under California Vehicle Code §23152, there are several consequences you may face. The potential consequences are listed under California Vehicle Code §23536.

When you have been arrested for suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, you have only been charged. In order to convicted, and therefore sentenced, it first has to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you meet all the elements required to be found guilty of a DUI.

If you have been convicted, and not merely charged, one of the components of your DUI sentence will be an alcohol program. Statutorily, the Court may sentence you to up to six months of an alcohol education program. However, the length of the program may be reduced under the proper negotiations.

The length of your program will greatly depends on the facts of your case and your prior criminal history. Let’s consider the example of Danny. Danny has had no previous criminal arrests, nor has he been convicted. His blood alcohol level at the time of arrest was about .09 and he was stopped for a broken headlight. Because Danny does not have any extreme enhancements that would cause the Judge to raise an eyebrow, including no prior criminal history, the Judge may sentence Danny to complete only 3 months of an alcohol education program.

When a person is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, it is very important that they promptly call the DMV and schedule a DMV hearing within 10 days of the arrest.

The DMV hearing is separate from the criminal proceedings in criminal court. The criminal case is heard before a criminal Judge and bears the potential sentence outlined in the California Penal Code. The DMV hearing is heard before a hearing officer and makes the determination of if, when and how long a driver’s license will be suspended.

The DMV hearing is more informal than Court, and does not carry with it the formal rules of evidence. However, you may be represented by a San Diego DUI Lawyer at both proceedings, and it is highly advisable that you are.

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