Have you been charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) while driving in California? Or is it a friend or a loved one facing the charge? If you, or anyone immediately close to you, has received a DUI in California, then there are a number of things which you need to be aware of in order to ensure that the situation is resolved in the best fashion possible.
First, you need to be aware that there are a variety of serious consequences associated with getting a DUI, and some of them can last for a long time. These consequences can often include fine, prison, probation, and even driving prohibitions.
The second thing that you need to be aware of is that the laws surrounding a DUI in California are both complex and difficult to understand, and that the slightest misstep within the system can make the associated penalties far worse than they need to be. Finding and hiring a lawyer who is experienced in California DUI law is absolutely essential to ensure that this process is as painless and straightforward for you as possible.
The specific penalties that can be rendered against you as a result of receiving a DUI in California are a $ 1,300 fine, up to three years of informal probation, 3-5 days of community service/sheriff work, compulsory attendance to a First Offender School, and a six month license suspension. At the discretion of a judge, a DUI-charged offender may even be required to stay in jail for 48 hours. However, there are additional difficulties involved in the DUI process.
Due to a variety of form complications between the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and the California court system, it is very difficult to effectively reduce the severity of penalties affiliated with receiving a DUI. Broadly, what this means is that while having your DUI reduced to a “wet reckless” charge, the DMV does not provide the forms which will allow you to bypass some of their penalties. However, if you hire a lawyer, they will be able to work through this system and ensure that your penalties are reduced as much as possible.
Should you or your loved one receive a second DUI in the state of California, the penalties grow much more severe: a full two year loss of the California Driver’s License, a compulsory 18-month attendance in DUI school, three to five years of formal probation, fine as high as $ 2,800, and a mandatory jail time of 96 hours. A third DUI results in a similar scaling of penalties.
Regardless of whether you are looking at a trial date for your first or your fourth DUI, which can result in a felony DUI conviction, you should immediately begin looking for an attorney. Should you fail to represent yourselves effectively in court not having a lawyer, the repercussions can be quite severe and amount to the loss of driving capabilities. This loss can occur regardless of whether or not one’s livelihood is dependent upon one’s ability to drive, so make sure to seek out proper and effective representation for all matters relating to a DUI.