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What Are the Penalties of a DUI Conviction in California?

We understand that mistakes happen. Whether you’ve made a mistake and received a DUI or if you are worried about getting one, we may be able to help provide some information for the ramifications in California of such a situation.

A DUI (driving under the influence) charge occurs when someone has an alcohol level above 0.08 and is caught by law enforcement operating a vehicle. It is the blood alcohol level at the time of driving that matters for the charge.

If you are convicted of a DUI in California, you will face some or all of the following penalties, including a mark on your permanent criminal record. This is why you must obtain a skilled defense attorney to fight these charges and fight for your freedom.

First DUI

  • Fines: $390-$1,000 + Penalty assessments

  • Jail: 48 hours-6 months or probation

  • Up to 6-months license suspension

  • Probation: 3 years, including 3-month DUI school

Second DUI

  • Fines: $390-$1,00 + penalty assessments

  • Jail: 96 hours-1 year or house arrest or work programs

  • Up to 2-years license suspension

  • Probation: 3 years, including 18-30 month DUI school

Third DUI

  • Fines: $390-$1,00 + penalty assessments

  • 120 days-1 year (or 30 days if probation and 30-month DUI school granted)

  • Up to 3-years license suspension

  • Probation: 3-5 years and 30-month DUI school at judge’s discretion

California Restricted License

Those convicted of first-time driving under the influence (DUI) charges could lose their California drivers’ licenses for up to six months. However, restricted drivers’ licenses can help those convicted of DUI charges get back on the road. A restricted license is essentially a license that only lets you drive provided you are driving to a location allowed by a court or the government. Unfortunately, not every DUI convict can obtain a restricted license.

DUIs with injuries or Death

Injuries or death that is involved in a DUI usually results in more severe penalties. Depending on the situation, injury DUIs can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony, an injury DUI can result in a prison sentence of 16 months to four years. And depending on the defendant’s history, fines for an injury DUI can range from $390 to $5,000. DUI offenders who cause the death of another person are generally charged with vehicular manslaughter or murder. A defendant in this situation could be charged with:

  • negligent vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated

  • gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, or

  • second-degree murder.

The penalties for DUI injuries and fatalities vary greatly. On the one hand, a misdemeanor negligent-vehicular-manslaughter-while-intoxicated conviction could result in up to a year in jail and a maximum of $1,000 in fines. A second-degree murder conviction, on the other hand, is a felony and carries 15 years to life in state prison. If you have been involved in an incident similar to those stated above, it is imperative you take the correct steps to build your defense, like hiring an attorney.

What Should You Do Next?

DUI charges can present severe life-altering consequences if you do not handle them carefully. A skilled and knowledgeable lawyer will be able to help create a strong defense to help your case. If you have been charged with a DUI or have an unfair DUI conviction we may be able to help. Attorney Mark Raymond McDonald has more than 30 years of experience in law and can handle any case, no matter how complicated or difficult. Call (909) 443-1599 today to set up your free consultation.