DUI Defense

Understanding DUI Penalties in California

By May 14, 2019 May 22nd, 2019 No Comments

Being charged with driving under the influence is difficult on many levels, and DUI penalties can be harsh. For many drivers, the DUI occurs after a seemingly innocent night out—perhaps you were over at a friend’s house watching the game and having a few beers, or after a great dinner that involves what you may have thought was a moderate amount of wine and even a small nightcap. A routine traffic stop could end up in swirling blue lights and you walking the line, however, and being surprised to find out that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the allowed .08 percent. Being at or above .08 means that in California you are ‘legally intoxicated,’ and if you are caught behind the wheel, that can mean big headaches—and big expense.

Driving under the influence, along with so many other serious types of driving offenses like distracted behavior, reckless driving, ignoring traffic signs and rules, speeding, and more, can result in catastrophe. Other parties may have been injured or even killed due to negligence on your part, and you will need a tough DUI attorney to protect your rights during what could be an extremely challenging time. If you are a first-time offender, penalties could be surprisingly harsh as DUI laws continue to tighten up. You could even lose your license, as well as spend time in jail. If you do get your license back, an ignition interlock device may be part of the deal, requiring a learning curve and additional installation and maintenance costs. The cost of a DUI can be astronomical and is enough to bankrupt some individuals who may not have the means to deal with such penalties and fines.

If you are a repeat offender or have been charged with a felony DUI or other more serious, related charges (usually if another party is seriously injured or killed), you could be sent to jail for one or more years, and lose your license for one or more years—or for good. Many repeat offenders must work hard to get their licenses back at all, and the ignition interlock device (IID) may play a large role in this, with it being required for five years or even more in some cases. Classes are required, and along with jail time, you will then be forced to deal with a parole officer or probation. The fines can be extremely challenging to deal with, and the reality is that after multiple DUIs, you may not be able to drive for quite some time. Your attorney will be able to explain all the options available to you for the future.

If you have been arrested due to a DUI matter, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws and our office will provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.