DUI Laws in California

DUI Laws in California

The law in California determines several types of criminal offenses. Misdemeanor DUI charges imply the possibility of being sentenced to county jail, expensive fines as well as probation, which means alcohol or drug counseling in addition to community services. Of course, felony DUIs are far more serious and may imply the possibility of a lengthy state prison sentence along with the loss of your right to vote, serve on a jury or carry a firearm.

As the law in California  designates,  individuals who are intoxicated and thus unable to drive safely when their BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) equals or surpasses the .08% threshold, in any DUI case, the prosecution will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver’s BAC did in fact surpass the legal limit. However, even when an individual’s BAC test demonstrates that the alcohol level in his or her blood does not reach the .08% limit, that person may still be under the influence if they behave in a suspicious manner and are thus unable to drive safely. In addition, in cases where drugs or some other controlled substances are involved, the prosecutor will argue that the defendant is guilty of DUI, since using those substances caused the suspect to drive carelessly.

Choose The Right Strategy

However, if the case is alcohol-related, the prosecutor will need to prove that the BAC was too high at the time the individual was driving. One needs to keep in mind that BAC tests are meant to determine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration when operating a vehicle and not post-factum. The difference between a driver’s BAC test at the time he or she was driving and the time the test is taken could be quite significant indeed. Hence, there are plenty of DUI defense strategies that could be used in cases like this.

In most cases, DUI charges are misdemeanors, but there are certain exceptions – first, if it is the fourth conviction in a decade, and second, if there was an accident and someone was seriously injured. However, even a first-time DUI may incur up to 6 months in jail along with expensive fines.

In cases when an individual is convicted of a DUI crime for a second, third and even the fourth time, he or she will be deemed as a “DUI offender with priors”. The more DUI convictions, the bigger the legal consequences. People facing numerous DUI convictions face severe legal penalties, which may put harsh restrictions on their daily lives.

Possible Penalties

Below is a list of penalties that will apply to the individual convicted for numerous offenses. When there are aggravating circumstances, the legal penalties are going to be even harsher. These may include possible jail or prison time as well as longer license suspension. Among those aggravating circumstances is a BAC level of over .15%, driving a vehicle with a child below the age of 14, driving with a suspended license, speeding over 100 mph, and causing car accident.

Second DUI Offense with Probation
Jail: 96 hours minimum to 1 year in county jail
Fine: $390 to $1,000, with possible penalty assessments
License Suspension: up to 2 years
Treatment Program: 18 months or 30 months in drug/alcohol treatment program

Third DUI Offense with Probation
Jail: 120 days minimum to 1 year in county jail
Fine: $390to $1 000, with possible penalty assessments
License Suspension: up to 3 years
Treatment Program: 18 months or 30 months in drug/alcohol treatment program

Fourth DUI Offense
Probation: up to 365 days jail; No Probation: up to 3 years in prison
Fine: $390 to $1,000, with possible penalty assessments
License Suspension: up to 4 years

Contact Us

If you or your loved ones were charged with a DUI for a second, third or even fourth time, it is very important, crucial even, to get in touch with a qualified and genuinely experienced law firm as soon as possible. If that is the case and you are already browsing the internet looking for your ideal option, we simply recommend that you definitely learn much more about the reputable law firm of Eisner & Gorin, LLP at the earliest opportunity. Call our Beverly Hills criminal defense law firm at (877) 781-1570, or email us using online contact form.

Related Information: DUI Court Process | DMV Hearing