A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in California may lead to severe penalties. Many DUI convictions result in jail time, leading drivers to wonder if they can avoid jail for a DUI. In some cases, time behind bars may be unavoidable. In other situations, a lawyer could help you avoid jail.
Find out more about the amount of jail time commonly used for DUI convictions with this article. Consider other penalties associated with a DUI right here. Focus on options for building a defense to avoid incarceration.
Jail Time for First-Time DUI Convictions in California
You may face up to six months of jail time for a first DUI conviction in California. Six months is the maximum amount of time you could serve for a “simple” DUI. A simple DUI cannot cause harm or injury to other people.
The court may choose to waive jail time for a first DUI offense. However, individual counties generally make decisions related to minimum jail. Some municipalities charge drivers with a minimum of ten days of jail time for a first DUI offense.
Jail Time for Subsequent DUI Convictions in California
In California, DUIs are priorable offenses, meaning they stay on your record after a conviction. DUIs remain on your record for ten years. Each time you are convicted of another DUI, the penalties grow more serious — this applies to jail time as well as fines and restrictions on your license.
Drivers convicted of multiple DUIs face a minimum jail sentence. The amount of time you could spend in jail depends upon how many DUIs you have. You could face:
- A minimum of four days in jail for a second DUI
- A minimum of 120 days in jail for a third DUI
A fourth DUI could result in felony charges. Drivers convicted of a felony DUI may face prison time. You could end up sentenced to years in prison for a felony DUI charge in California.
Avoid Jail Time for a DUI by Getting Your Charges Dismissed
You only face jail time for a DUI if a court convicts you of the crime. Some drivers may avoid jail time by getting DUI charges dismissed. It is not easy to get DUI charges dropped in California. You may want to speak with a DUI lawyer about your options to have your charges dismissed.
The court may dismiss your charges if there is not enough evidence against you. The court may also drop the charges if a police officer pulled you over without reasonable cause. A lawyer may review your case in this situation. Call (310) 929-6503 to speak to a lawyer.
Focus on Reducing Your Charges to Avoid Jail for a DUI
You may avoid jail time after a DUI if you accept a plea bargain. Plea bargains are deals offered by the prosecution. Drivers who take a plea bargain agree to plead guilty to a lesser criminal charge. In exchange for pleading guilty, you receive lessened penalties.
Accepting a plea bargain could allow you to avoid jail after a DUI arrest by pleading guilty to a less serious crime such as “dry reckless.” You may end up performing community service instead of spending time in jail — this could allow you to move forward with your life.
However, the prosecution does not offer plea bargains for all DUI charges in California. You may get a plea bargain for a first time DUI, but not for subsequent DUI arrests. Find out more about accepting a plea bargain by talking to a DUI lawyer.
Build a Defense to Avoid Jail After a DUI Arrest
The court may find you not guilty after a DUI arrest in California. Drivers who are not guilty do not have to go to jail. A lawyer may represent you in court to help you avoid jail time. Your lawyer may begin working on a strong defense for you today. Work to minimize the effects of a DUI starting right now.
Find Out if You Can Avoid Jail for a DUI in California
You may avoid jail for a DUI in California in some circumstances. However, at other times you could end up spending time behind bars. Talk to the Simmrin Law Group about your options to legally handle a DUI accusation. Reach out to us now and get a free consultation. We are prepared to help you build your claim.
Reach us easily by calling (310) 929-6503. You may also fill out our online contact form.