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What are the possible penalties for DUI in California?

Even for a first time offense, the penalties for a DUI in the State of California can be very serious. Such penalties include:

-4 days to 6 months in Jail, with atleast 48 hours of continuous jail time .

-Fines and assesments which may vary per county but generally total $1,300-$2,200

-Car may be impounded for up to 6 months if owned by defendant

-Ignition interlock for up to 3 years

-3 months of attendance at a state-sponsored DUI school

-6 month suspension of driving privileges

Having a child under 14 in the car, speeding 20 mph on surface streets and 30 mph on highways, refusing to take a chemical test, or having one or more previous convictions within the last 10 years will increase the penalties.

Each county in California has different sentencing policies and plea dispositions for DUI offenses. For example, one county may impose no jail or trash pickup time for a first-offense DUI, but never offer a reckless driving disposition. Another county may demand two days of jail time, but routinely wipe it out with two days credit for time served.

Within each county, plea and sentencing practices can vary from courtroom to courtroom, depending on the judge or the deputy district attorney assigned to the case.

Understand that the future potential consequences are severe if you are arrested and charged again with driving under the influence. That look-back period is forever increasing (legislation in 2005 increased the 7-year look-back time period to 10 years).

If you have been arrested two or more times for DUI, the court will look more favorably on you if you take immediate steps to address your drinking problem (e.g., daily attendance at AA meetings, outpatient or residential treatment with proof of it for the court).

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Driving Under the Influence, call the Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse at 925-828-5307