First Time DUI in California

Published: 09th February 2012
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Within the state of California, once you have been faced with DUI, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is a serious charge that can have a very lasting impact on your life. You need to consult a DUI lawyer as early as you can after your DUI charge in order that he or she can formulate a defense. Many people automatically think they should plead guilty to DUI in order to "get over it" and "be done with it". But in reality, doing this can subject one to severe penalties, even for the initial DUI offender. California is really a strict state when it comes to DUIs, and therefore DUI penalties may be harsh.

Penalties for DUI

Within the state of California, all DUI cases involve penalties which are based on specific laws that govern the DUI charges. Your individual circumstances will also be considered when the judge that hears your DUI case makes a ruling or judgment against you. This may include the facts of the case, the manner that you were arrested and the facts surrounding your arrest, your BAC level (blood alcohol concentration) when you were arrested, and also the judge's unique opinion of DUIs. One component that will determine the degree of the DUI penalties that you'll be facing is how skilled and experienced your DUI attorney is when in involves working with the district attorney or D.A. in your case. Sometimes your competent DUI lawyer is able to negotiate and get your charges reduced. In other cases the lawyer might have to litigate your case before a jury.

What to Expect After DUI Conviction

In general, if you are a first time DUI offender in California, you are likely to lose your driving privileges. With a first time DUI conviction, most drivers lose their right to operate a motorized vehicle for 6 months or longer. The fines that you will face may cost as much as $1000. These fines can also be governed by penalty enhancement that makes them even steeper. You could also need to pay to get a gadget set up on your vehicle that verifies your sobriety before your car might be started, which assures the court that you won't be drunk driving again. Based on what your BAC levels are you might be required to attend an alcohol treatment course for as much as 6 months as a condition of the sentence. Unfortunately, with a first time offense of DUI in California, you might also spend as much as six months in jail.

Enhanced DUI Penalties in California

In a few instances California DUI penalties are enhanced. For example, if you're adjudged responsible for speeding while committing the DUI, or maybe you won't have a field sobriety test or undergo blood alcohol content testing, or maybe you're driving having a minor inside your car while you are drunk, you can be penalized even more. When you have enhanced DUI penalties you might pay more in costs and fines, you could possibly spend more time in DUI rehab programs, or you may spend additional time in jail.

As you're able to understand, even when it's your first DUI offense in the state of California, this is a serious charge. A DUI charge signifies that you're in serious trouble. If you want to sustain your reputation, your liberty, and your way of life make certain you find an experienced DUI attorney to fight for you against the DUI charges.


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If you have been charged with a DUI and are looking for helpful, reliable Sacramento DUI lawyer then check out the Law Offices of Brianne Doyle. Visit her website or give her a call at 916-806-6400. She's an excellent Sacramento criminal defense attorney and can give you the assistance you need to make it through this DUI arrest.

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