Possible Consequences of a First Offense Driving Under the Influence Conviction in California.
If you are convicted of a first offense DUI, the Court may order you to serve between 48 hours to 6 months in jail. In most cases, however, the custody component of a DUI conviction can be negotiated or even eliminated with competent representation. If not eliminated, the defendant may be allowed to serve any days of custody in a work release or house arrest program. It is rare for first time DUI defendants to serve actual custody in most Southern California Courts.
Fines are a significant consequence of a DUI conviction. Though statutory fines are $1000 for a misdemeanor conviction, penalty assessments and court costs charged to the defendant can be greater in total than the fines imposed. With penalty assessments, Southern California Court fines range from $1,500 to $2,500. If your attorney is successful at reducing these fines, the amount you save in fines may equal the entire amount you paid for legal representation.
If your blood alcohol did not exceed .14%, you will be required to complete a three to four month first conviction program. However, with a blood alcohol result between .15% and .19%, some courts impose a requirement of a six-month alcohol program. The controlling factor effecting your enrollment in a six-month class is geographically based. For example, in San Diego, none of the program providers offer the six-month program whereas in Los Angeles, virtually every program offers a six month alternative. Finally, with a blood alcohol result at or above .20%, courts often require the completion of a nine month alcohol program. Even this is subject to negotiations as the prosecutor may agree to a stipulation to a lesser BAC which may ultimately reduce length of the program. The facts of each case differ as will the results.
If your Driving Under the Influence conviction occurred in a Los Angeles County Court, you WILL be required to install and Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle for a period of six months. Unless you are approved on DMV waivers because you declared that you neither owned, operated or has access to a vehicle, the installation of the IID becomes mandatory. Even if successful at avoiding the IID through waivers, you will not be eligible to obtain a license of any type until the six month IID period has passes. I will discuss this in greater detail under California's IID installation requirements.
Seeking the strength of an aggressive DUI Defense Attorney is a fundamental elements to and avoiding a DUI conviction, reducing fines, reducing alcohol program duration, and reducing or avoiding custody. David Welch has spent seventeen years successfully representing defendants of DUI charges. Our office is available and happy to provide you with expert level management of your DUI case. Please do not hesitate to contact our office to further discuss the specifics of your case.