If you have been stopped by an officer for suspicion of a DUI, that does not mean you have been convicted. You must be tried in a court of law, and found guilty of each element beyond a reasonable doubt. Short of a full trial, the only way you can be charged and convicted is if you enter a plea of guilty.
There are several consequences you may face if you are convicted.
Alcohol Education Classes
The Court will ask that you complete a set number of classes. It is often a six month class, but with the help of an experience Los Angeles DUI Attorney, you may have it reduced down to three months. These classes also include alcoholics’ anonymous classes. The proof of completion of these classes must be shown to the DMV and the Criminal Court.
Penalties and Assessment
The court will always issue a fine. Your total amount due is always about three times the fine, because the Court adds on penalties and assessments. The court will give you a final due date to have all payments completed. If you explain to the Court why you may be unable to pay the fine, then they will set up a payment plan for you, give you more time to pay it, or allow you to do community service in lieu of the fine.
As part of your conviction, it is likely that you will be given about three years of summary probation. Summary probation is different from formal probation. Formal probation requires that you check in with a probation officer, whereas summary probation does not. Summary probation requires that you do not violate any other laws while you are on probation. If you do, you will be charged with a Probation Violation, which is a charge by itself. You will have to appear in court again, and you will receivesa new sentence.
Your driver’s licenses and any potential suspensions are dealt with by the DMV. Your license may be completely suspended, or it may be restricted. A restricted license allows you to drive to and from work.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, your status in the country may be affected. In order to get a thorough understanding of what potential consequences you face, it is a good idea to consult with an Immigration attorney.
Professional license suspension
Many professional boards require that you report a DUI so that they may assess if they are going to take any actions. Boards such as the California State Bar Association, or the Medical Board will inquire as to the facts of your case and the eventual outcome.
These are just a few of the consequences that you may face if you are convicted of a DUI. There are many more that have not been addressed. The best way to get the best possible outcome is to consult with a DUI Professional who has dealt with hundreds of cases like yours and has helped hundreds of people in your situation.