Understanding California’s DUI Laws
California has a complex set of laws governing DUI (driving under the influence) arrests and convictions. Many factors can influence whether you should be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony and what penalties you might face if convicted.
At the law firm of Beau J. Jacob, Attorney at Law, I will examine all the factors in the state’s case against you and seek a resolution that minimizes negative consequences. Even if you are being charged with your second or third DUI, I will construct a defense strategy that fully explains your side of the situation. I will protect your rights and make certain you receive the representation you need and deserve. For more than 30 years, I have been providing personalized, effective legal service at a reasonable cost, personally helping my clients get the best outcome possible.
California DUI Laws At A Glance
Generalizing about California’s DUI laws is difficult. However, here are a few facts about how the state deals with those charged with drunk driving:
- First-time DUI offenders are usually charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted, they often do not face jail time, but they can be put on probation, made to pay hefty fines and “penalty enhancements,” made to participate in the Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program, made to attend first-offender DUI classes and have their driver’s license suspended for up to six months.
- For additional (second or third) DUI arrests, the consequences are more severe. Penalties can include up to a year in jail and a suspended license for up to two years. They may also be assigned probation and mandatory attendance at an 18-month or a 30-month DUI school.
- Car accidents resulting in injuries or fatalities and involving DUI are usually charged as felonies.
- There is a 10-day window after a DUI arrest in which someone charged with drunk driving can have their lawyer request a DMV hearing to prevent an automatic administrative suspension of their driver’s license. Even if that time frame has passed, please do not hesitate to call, as your lawyer may still, upon a showing of good cause, be able to schedule a DMV hearing.
As the consequences of a DUI arrest are severe, it is important to have on your side a lawyer who can mitigate or eliminate all consequences. I have more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense and DUI matters.