DUI

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Are You Facing Drunk Driving Charges?

In California, it is a crime to drive under the influence, and thousands of individuals are arrested in California each year for DUI offenses.

It is a common misconception that a person can only be charged for DUI if they are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. However, under the law, a person may be charged with a DUI if they are impaired to the point that they cannot drive safely, regardless of their BAC. Also, you can be prosecuted for DUI if you are found to be under the influence of drugs, prescription or otherwise.

These cases rest on the prosecution’s ability to demonstrate impairment through evidence such as bad driving, poor performance on field sobriety tests, and common symptoms of intoxication like bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.

The law permits a jury to consider all evidence in deciding whether a person is under the influence.

First Offense

DUI punishment is first dependent on whether or not the court grants probation once a person is convicted.

If probation is granted, a person convicted of a first-time, misdemeanor DUI faces over $2,000 in fines and fees. They will be required to complete either a three- or nine-month DUI Program, attend the MADD Victim Impact Panel, and face a license suspension that could last up to one year.

Additionally, depending on the BAC level and surrounding facts of the case, a person may be subject to home detention and alcohol monitoring, they may be required to complete Public Work Service or community service, face a vehicle impoundment for up to 30 days, and may be required to install the ignition interlock device in their car for up to three years.

If probation is not granted, a person may be sentenced up to one year in jail.

DUI Penalty Enhancements

Other factors are taken into consideration in determining punishment for any DUI. A DUI sentence may be enhanced when the court finds that there are certain aggravating factors that warrant harsher punishment. Allegations, such as DUI with BAC of .15% or more; refusal to submit or complete a chemical test; DUI with a minor passenger under 14 in the vehicle; DUI with reckless driving of 20 mph or more above the speed limit; or DUI in a construction or safety enhancement zone, are common among sentencing enhancements.

Second Offense

If convicted of a second misdemeanor DUI within 10 years, a person will face at least four days in jail. Additionally, they will be required to attend an 18-month DUI program, complete Public Work Service, attend the MADD Victim Impact Panel, pay over $2,500 in fines and fees, and face a two-year license suspension. Additionally, the court has the discretion to subject a person to home detention and alcohol monitoring and require installation of the Ignition Interlock Device for up to three years. A court will also order that the vehicle be impounded for up to 30 days.

Again, if probation is not granted, a person may be sentenced up to one year in jail.

Third Offense

If convicted of a third misdemeanor DUI within 10 years, a person will face at least 120 days in jail. Additionally, they will be required to complete the 18-month DUI program, attend the MADD Victim Impact Panel, pay over $2,900 in fines and fees, face a three-year license revocation, and be deemed a Habitual Traffic Offender. While the court will order that the vehicle be impounded for up to 90 days, it may also require installation of the Ignition Interlock Device.

If probation is not granted, a person may be sentenced up to one year in jail.

Fourth Offense

A fourth offense within 10 years will be charged as a felony.

If probation is granted, a person convicted of a fourth offense faces at least 180 days in jail, a four-year license revocation, and up to $10,000 in fines and fees, among other punishment.

If probation is not granted, a person may be sentenced up to three years in prison.

Felony DUI

If a person is involved in an accident while driving under the influence, and other parties are injured, the case will be charged as a felony. Sentencing enhancements will be added to increase punishment based upon the level of injury the parties receive, whether it be great bodily injury or death.

A person convicted of driving under the influence causing injury, as a felony, faces a minimum of 16 months in prison.

Having a skilled and aggressive DUI defense attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of a DUI arrest.

Call Today For Aggressive DUI Defense

Contact the Angelos Law Group online or call us in San Diego at 619-727-6812.

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