Possible Consequences for a California DUI Conviction

Penalties for a DUI conviction can range from fines to jail time. The final sentence will depend on a number of different elements that a prosecutor has available to penalize people charged with driving under the Influence. These include probation, fines, different alcohol programs, Cal Trans ( trash clean up) and jail time.sfactors, and therefore it is difficult to ascertain a specific formula as to which sentence will be given.

Clients often overgeneralize about the penalities for a DUI arrest and believe there is a set penalty for a DUI case, however this is not the case. DUI sentencing laws are written in ranges of potential consequences. Although there are certain minimum penalties set by law if one is convicted, skilled defense lawyers can often minimize the harshness of great punishments

Fines will range from $390 to $1,000 plus penalty assessment. The penalty assessment will triple the fine as a result of court costs and taxes. Consequently, the more accurate range including all costs is from $1,500 to $4,500.

In addition to a fine, a Judge may also accept Prosecution’s recommendation for a mandatory alcohol program or Mother against Drunk Driving program which could range from three to nine months. Cal Trans may also be ordered. Cal Trans is a program that requires trash pick up on the freeway, or graffiti removal.

Probation can be issued with or without serving jail time. A DUI conviction will usually yield a period of probation from three to five years. Most non injury, misdemeanor DUIs will require informal probation whereas more serious DUIs will result in formal probation. Formal probation requires supervision and regular reporting to a probation officer who monitors your good behavior and assures that you stay out of trouble.

It is popular belief that jail time cannot be given for a first time offense. However, that is not the case.sJail time can, in fact, be imposed on a first time offense, depending on the facts of the case. The Judge has the discretion to impose zero to six months of a jail sentence for first time offenders.sThis range of potential jail time gives your defense lawyer great latitude in negotiating for you to avoid any jail time. For a second offense within ten years, there is a mandatory jail sentence ranging from 96 hours to a year. For a third offense there is a mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail to one year. There will be an additional jail sentence added if the DUI occurs while serving probation for a previous DUI.

There are however, alternatives for serving a mandatory jail sentence, especially if you have someone representing you who can efficiently argue in your favor. You can have the option to attend private jails which can cost you $75 to $100 a day and can be completed on a part time or weekend basis. Additionally, there are different forms of electronic surveillance, or house arrest.

Regardless of your sentence, there may be options for you to consider even after you have been sentenced to cause your life the least amount of complication. Consult a California DUI attorney who has successfully argued cases in which the Judge has readily sympathized and given lesser sentencing. Furthermore, hire an attorney who understands your needs and creates the opportunity for alternatives to mandatory jail time.s