In the state of California, the penalties for a DUI are determined based on whether you have any prior DUI convictions from the past 10 years. The penalties are bad enough for a first-offense, let alone a second and third.
When your pipes are broken, you hire a plumber. If you’re facing a DUI charge, especially if this is not your first go-round, hiring a DUI lawyer is the best way to protect yourself from these serious consequences. A DUI lawyer is a kind of specialist in that he or she is particularly knowledgeable on the law when it comes to DUI cases, and this is definitely a situation where you want an expert on your side.
Penalties for DUI Offenders
A conviction for a DUI offense in the state of California will, without fail, lead to:
- Fines and fees
- Jail time
- The suspension of your license
- Mandatory DUI school
As the convictions add up, so too do the penalties. Consider the penalties for a first offender:
- Fines and fees of between $1,800 and $3,600
- Jail time of up to 6 months (though you may be able to knock this down to nothing if you agree to an additional 90 days of restricted driving privileges)
- Up to 6 months of license suspension, plus an additional two to five months of restrictions on driving privileges
- Three months of DUI school
- (Possible) 30-day vehicle impoundment
- (Possible) Interlock device
All of that, just for a first offense! Now, compare that with an offender who has acquired three or more DUI convictions:
- Fines and fees of between $1,800 and $18,000
- Jail time of up to 16 months (with a 16-month sentence being in state prison, rather than in a county prison closer to home)
- License revoked for up to four years
- 30 months in an alcohol treatment program
- Mandatory interlock device for offenses including and beyond the third offense
- (Possible) 90-day vehicle impoundment, or the potential loss of the car entirely
As you can see, DUI convictions in the state of California are nothing to play around with. This is too important to go it alone, especially if this is your third or fourth offense. Simmrin Law Group can help you fight to keep your car, to keep more money in your pocket, and to get your life back.
A “Wet Reckless” Charge
While you may be hoping to have your DUI charge dismissed altogether, if this is your third or fourth offense, the odds are less likely. The prosecution may offer you a plea in the form of a “wet reckless” charge.
A “wet reckless” charge is basically a reckless driving offense wherein alcohol was involved. As far as penalties go, a wet reckless charge is preferable inasmuch as the penalties for a wet reckless conviction more closely resemble those associated with a first offense for a DUI, or even just a simple reckless driving charge.
However, you should never take a plea bargain without consulting with a lawyer first. What may sound like a great deal at first may have hidden conditions that can permanently affect you going forward. Let the Simmrin Law Group review the proposal and advise you as to whether it truly is the better “deal” for you.
In the state of California, the “implied consent” law requires that drivers agree to have their BAC (blood alcohol level) tested by law enforcement if they were legally arrested for a DUI. The driver can choose to submit to either a blood test or a breath test.
If you refuse to be tested, you must then pay a $125 fine for the refusal. Not only that, but you may also have your license suspended, and the suspension periods increase with every offense.
For a first-time offender, the suspension period is one year, with an additional year added on for each additional offense. And it only gets worse if this is not your first offense. If you have refused this test, our lawyers can help you decide on the best course of action for your case.
Facing a DUI Conviction? Call Us Right Away!
DUI convictions in the state of California are serious business. All it takes is one conviction, and you’re already paying out the nose in fines and fees and potentially even facing jail time and the loss of your license. Don’t take on a case as important as this is by yourself. Talk to one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers today.
Fill out the form to the right, or call us at (310) 997-4688. We offer a free consultation with no obligation to retain. We have handled DUI cases for everyone from first-offenders to those with multiple convictions on their records. We know the law, and we are here for you. Call us today!