Charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in California can seriously impact your life. You can face a number of dire consequences if you are convicted. These charges can apply if you are driving your personal vehicle or a company car at the time of your arrest.
You may be wondering what will happen if you get a DUI while driving a company car in California. Find out how this type of DUI will be prosecuted with the Simmrin Law Group. You can also use this article to consider the effects such a DUI might have on your employment.
Facts Regarding DUI Charges in California
You may be charged with a DUI in California if a law enforcement officer believes you are operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer may immediately take your driver’s license, issuing you a Notice of Suspension/Revocation.
The court system in California uses multiple charges to prosecute DUI offenses. However, there are no specific charges used to prosecute drivers who are operating a company car. You will face the same DUI charges as drivers operating a personal vehicle.
Commercial drivers represent an exception to this rule. If you are operating a vehicle while using a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you may face different charges and additional penalties.
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Penalties for DUIs Involving Company Cars in California
The court system uses fines, jail time, and the suspension of a driver’s license to punish drivers convicted of DUIs. These penalties will increase each time you are convicted of a DUI within a 10-year period. A first-time DUI conviction could result in:
- Jail Time: Up to six months
- License Suspension: Up to one year
- Fines: Up to $2,000
A second conviction for a DUI in California can lead to:
- Jail Time: Up to one year
- License Suspension: Up to two years
- Fines: Up to $2,500
These penalties can continue to increase if you face subsequent DUI arrests in the state of California. Additionally, these penalties may be harsher if someone was injured in a DUI-related accident. As we mentioned earlier, you can face these penalties regardless of whether you are operating a company car or your personal vehicle.
Penalties for DUIs Involving a CDL
In many ways, the penalties for a commercial DUI resemble the penalties we have already discussed. Commercial drivers face similar fines and a similar period of time in jail following a conviction.
However, commercial drivers will face harsher penalties with regards to their driver’s license. You may have your CDL revoked for life if you are convicted of two commercial DUIs in the state of California. This means you would no longer legally be able to operate a commercial vehicle.
The revocation of your CDL can prevent you from doing your job in many situations. It’s therefore important that you get professional help quickly if you are charged with a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle in California.
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Employer Responses to DUIs in California
The state of California cannot control how employers handle an employee who gets a DUI while driving a company car. California is currently an “at-will” employment state. This means that your employer can fire you at any time, as long as they are not engaging in discrimination.
Legally, you must notify your employer of traffic convictions if you are operating a company car. Your company may decide to take certain steps once they learn of your DUI conviction. Some companies will:
- Suspend a driver’s right to operate company vehicles for a set period of time
- Revoke a driver’s right to operate company vehicles at any point in the future
- Terminate an employee who is convicted of a DUI
Generally, you will find information about a company’s policies on DUI convictions within your employee handbook. You may wish to review your company’s guidelines right away after a DUI arrest.
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Get Help with DUI Charges in California
You don’t have to try to take on DUI charges in California on your own. If you are accused of a DUI while driving a company car, you can get fast help from the professionals at the Simmrin Law Group. We can work to defend you right away, increasing your odds of successfully resolving a DUI accusation.
Getting your charges reduced or even dismissed can help you avoid the penalties for a DUI, both on and off the job. Let our DUI lawyers in Los Angeles get to work for you right now. We’re ready to help, starting with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles now.