A police officer can pull you over and arrest you for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. What happens after you get a DUI? Prosecutors could charge you with a criminal act. The court could convict you, leading to severe legal penalties, including jail time and fines.
Get more specific information about the fall-out from a DUI arrest right now.
You Face Criminal Charges After a DUI in California
Driving under the influence is a criminal act in California. After the arrest, you may go before a judge for an arraignment hearing. The judge may then let you know what charges you are facing. There are many different charges used to prosecute DUIs in the state. The court could charge you with:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Driving under the influence of drugs.
- Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.
These are only examples of the DUI charges used in California. You may face more specific charges if you are under 21 or if you are a commercial driver. There are also different charges used for people who have a blood alcohol content (BAC) well over the legal limit. You may be released after your arraignment hearing until the time of your trial.
The DMV Can Suspend Your License After a DUI
You may face criminal charges after a DUI in California. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) also steps in when there are DUI charges. The DMV has the right to suspend your license within 30 days of a DUI.
You may take steps to prevent this suspension by requesting a DMV hearing. You have to ask for this hearing within 10 days of your arrest. Requesting the hearing allows you to dispute the suspension of your license. The DMV automatically suspends your license if you do not request the hearing.
A Note About Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)
You have another option to protect your license after a DUI arrest. You may willingly choose to install an IID in your vehicle. An IID tests your BAC each time you start your vehicle. The DMV may allow you to continue driving without a hearing if you install an IID.
Additionally, the court requires many drivers convicted of a DUI to install an IID. The court considers the severity of your DUI charges to determine how long you must use an IID.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction in Los Angeles
Drivers convicted of a DUI face numerous penalties in California. The penalties vary based on the number of previous DUIs on your record. A first-time DUI could result in:
- Fines of up to $2,000.
- Jail time of up to six months.
These penalties increase with each DUI conviction. A driver with two DUIs could face fines of up to $2,500 or up to one year in jail. The penalties for a DUI could be even higher if you had an accident.
We mentioned IIDs earlier. You may also have to install an IID in all vehicles you regularly operate after a DUI. You are not legally allowed to drive a vehicle without an IID in many cases. Driving without an IID could result in additional fines and penalties.
Your Options After a California DUI Arrest
You do not have to accept a DUI charge in California. You may take steps to resolve the charge against you. Many drivers work with a DUI lawyer to get help. You could work with a lawyer by calling (310) 929-6503. A lawyer could be able to:
- Get your charges dismissed.
- Get your charges reduced.
- Handle your case in court.
Getting your charges dismissed allows you to move on immediately from a DUI. A lawyer could also get your charges reduced to an acceptable level through a plea bargain with the prosecution — this means you plead guilty to a lesser charge and get reduced penalties.
Your lawyer could also defend you in court after a California DUI, which may result in a not-guilty verdict. Finally, a lawyer may help with your DMV hearing to protect your driving privileges.
Contact a Lawyer After a DUI in California
A lot of things happen after a DUI in California. You could face fines, jail time, or driving privilege restrictions. A lawyer may help you deal with all of these challenges. Focus on getting help by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. We can offer you a free consultation.
Reach us by calling (310) 929-6503. You may also complete our online contact form.