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.
Let’s compare two cases to get a better understanding of why there is a range and not a set sentence.
David is driving home from a work party. At the party, he had a few beers and ate dinner. He mistakenly believes he is fine to drive home, but then on his way home is pulled over by officers for having run a stop sign. David complies with officers, pulls over, and has a blood alcohol level of .09, just a bit over the legal limit. David has no prior convictions. David immediately hires a Los Angeles DUI lawyer and the lawyer gets to work having David enroll in alcohol education classes and community service. David is sentenced to no jail time and a lower fine with no alcohol education classes. This is because David was compliant with officers, he had a low blood alcohol level, and he had no prior criminal history. In addition, David showed proactivity in making amends, to which the Judge saw favorably.
Now, lets consider Dina. Dina is driving home from a club and is intoxicated. She has gotten a prior DUI about 3 years ago. She is speeding down the highway, weaving in and out of traffic. When she is pulled over, she at first, attempts to outrun officers, then pulls over. Her blood alcohol level is .12. The sentence Dina faces is likely to not be as favorable. This is her second offense, and her blood alcohol level is high. In addition, she possibly endangered the lives of others by speeding and weaving in and out of traffic. This is dangerous and should not be taken lightly.
If you are facing a DUI case, do not go it alone. Consult with a knowledge and reputable Los Angeles DUI lawyer today!