One of the most asked questions regarding a Los Angeles DUI is what are the criminal penalties associated with a California drunk driving arrest.sThe penalties that are associated with the Los Angeles DUI will depend on the criminal charges that are filed in the case.sIn most cases, these criminal charges will be ‘driving under the influence of alcohol’ and ‘driving with .08% or higher blood alcohol concentration’.
The penalties for both of these charges are similar.sUnder the current law in California, there are multiple penalties that can be assessed for a Los Angeles DUI.sThe actual penalty will depend on the circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest and the discretion of the judge that is hearing the case.
A first offense DUI in California is punishable by a minimum of 4 days to a maximum of 6 months of incarceration.sThe fees and fines associated with a DUI conviction can easily top $1500 and that does not include the cost of hiring California criminal defense attorneys to represent you in court.sIn many cases, the judge will require that the offender attend a state-approved DUI school for a minimum of three months and may even require a longer duration if the person has a high blood alcohol level at the time of the DUI arrest.
Other penalties that may be imposed after a DUI conviction include community service requirements, probation for up to three years, and/or the required installation of an ignition interlock device on the offender’s vehicle.sA driver’s license suspension may also be imposed by the Court or the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a period of up to six months.
In the event of special circumstances, or enhancements, in the DUI case against the defendant, harsher penalties are called for.sOne of these special circumstances is refusing to submit to chemical testing, which is punishable by a one year driver’s license suspension and eliminates the possibility of getting a work-restricted license.sAnother special circumstance that routinely appears in these cases is speeding in excess of 30 mph on the highway or 20 mph on city streets, which is punishable by a minimum 60 day jail sentence.sPrior DUI convictions carry longer jail sentences and license suspensions as well.