The court may incarcerate you for a DUI (driving under the influence) conviction in California. You may wonder what kind of jail you go to for a DUI. The answer is that you may be sent to either jail or prison. The location where you stay depends upon the DUI charges you face.
Learn more about DUI incarceration penalties in this article.
Many California DUI Charges Result in Jail Time
Many DUI convictions require you to spend time in jail. Technically, the term “jail” describes a local detention facility. The sheriff or police department may run the jail, which could be relatively close to your residence and family.
The court may sentence you to jail time even for a first DUI offense. However, DUIs are priorable — this means that you face increased penalties each time you are convicted. Let’s review some common jail sentences for DUI convictions in California:
- A maximum of six months for a first misdemeanor DUI conviction
- A maximum of one year for a second or third misdemeanor DUI conviction
The minimum amount of time you must spend in jail increases with each conviction. A third DUI conviction may require you to spend at least 120 days in jail.
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Some California DUI Charges Result in Prison Time
You may also go to prison after a DUI conviction in California. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation operates the prison system. Prisons contain individuals accused of more serious crimes. Generally, convicted felons go to prison instead of jail. Prisons are more restrictive than jails in many cases.
The court may send you to prison after a felony-level DUI conviction. Some DUI offenses are wobblers. A wobbler means you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. You could be charged with a felony for:
- A fourth DUI offense, leading to up to four years of prison time.
- A DUI with injury, leading to up to ten years of prison time.
- Vehicular manslaughter, leading to up to four years of prison time.
- Gross vehicular manslaughter leading to up to ten years of prison time.
- DUI second degree murder, leading to up to fifteen years of prison time.
Note that you may face life in prison if someone died due to an accident you caused. You might want to talk to a lawyer if you were involved in a serious auto accident. Call to speak to a DUI lawyer in California today.
Additional Penalties for DUI Convictions in California
Time in jail or prison is only one example of a DUI penalty in California. You may face other repercussions for a conviction. A DUI could result in:
- Hefty fines and restitution payments.
- Restrictions on your driving privileges.
- Mandatory time in DUI school.
Generally, the court requires you to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars after a DUI. They may also order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. Drivers who don’t install an IID may have their license suspended.
You could also have to attend DUI school after a conviction. A first time DUI offense may only require you to attend a few months of DUI school. Subsequent DUI offenses require additional schooling. These penalties exist in addition to incarceration in California.
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Work to Avoid Jail or Prison Time with a DUI Lawyer
No one wants to spend weeks or years behind bars. Make sure you get help quickly if you are accused of a DUI in California. A lawyer may begin working on your defense right away. Getting legal assistance may help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed.
A lawyer may work to reduce the time you’d spend behind bars by working on a plea bargain. A plea bargain reduces the penalties you face. However, you must plead guilty to a less severe charge to accept a plea bargain. Your lawyer could also handle your defense in court in California.
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Discuss the Kinds of Jail Used for DUIs with a Lawyer
You could go to jail or prison for a DUI conviction in California. You may also face fines and restrictions on your driver’s license. Take steps to protect yourself from a DUI charge by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. We’re prepared to assess your case now. Reach out to us for a free consultation.
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