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California DUI/DWI Penalties
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California DUI/DWI Penalties

CA DUI Penalties Defense Attorneys Helping You Get Your DWI/Drunk drivig Offenses Reduced Or Dismissed

California DUI & Drunk Driving laws and resulting penalties are some of the toughest in the nation. With so many check points in San Diego, If convicted for drunk driving, one will face some serious penalties. It is illegal to drink or do drugs and drive when percentage of the blood alcohol content in you is at:

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  • 0.08% or higher― over 21 years old while driving a passenger vehicle
  • 0.04% or higher― while driving of a commercial vehicle
  • 0.01% or higher―under 21 years old

When one breaks any of the driving while intoxicated or under the influence rules the penalty can be severe. Certain factors affect how severe your punishments will be. Some factors effecting punishments in a DUI related matter are:

  • Other related charges
  • Prior DUI convictions
  • Prior criminal record
  • Prior driving record
  • Level of intoxication
  • Remedial efforts after arrest
  • Whether an accident was involved
  • Whether aggravating factors existed (ie violating uncharged traffic laws like speeding or   traveling the wrong way having other passengers exposed to danger attitude of driver toward law enforcement and others at time of arrest, ect)
  • Intangibles that are not always predictable such as attitude/case load of the prosecutor(how confident is he/she they can prove their case)
  • Attitude/proclivities of the sentencing judge

In short entrusting your case to a seasoned experienced DUI penalties lawyer often times makes a tremendous difference in having your case achieve the best possible outcome.

Here are overview of the penalties someone can face in California for DUI offenses:

First DUI Offense

  • A jail term of 48 hours up to 6 months
  • The suspension of your license up to 1 year
  • A fine of $390 to $1,000 plus the judge could add court costs that sometimes can  triple   the whole fine total amount
  • Enrollment and completion of a drunk driving class that could last between 6 weeks and   9 months
  • Placement on probation up to 5 years, which means that you will have to check in with a   probation officer and comply with court-imposed terms and conditions that could prohibit you from drinking and limit your driving privileges
  • You also could be subject to random searches
  • You may be required to install an interlock device in your car that will block you from turning on your ignition and driving if you have been drinking

Second DUI Offense

  • A jail term of between four days and six months
  • 2 year suspension of the driver’s license
  • A fine of $390 to $1,000 plus the judge could add court costs that sometimes can triple  the whole fine total amount
  • Enrollment and completion of drunk driving classes that could range from 18 months to 30 months depending on other penalties
  • Formal probation, which means that you will have to regularly check in with a probation officer and face even stricter terms and conditions that also allow authorities to search you at any time
  • You may be required to install an interlock device in your car that will block you from turning on your ignition and driving if you have been drinking

Third DUI Offense

  • A jail term that will be at least 120 days and could be as high as 1 year
  • Driver’s license revocation up to 3 years
  • A fine of $390 to $1,000 plus the judge could add court costs that sometimes can  triple   the whole fine total amount
  • Enrollment and completion of a drunk driving class that could range from 18 months to 30 months
  • Formal probation, which means that you will have to regularly check in with a probation   officer and face even stricter terms and conditions that also allow authorities to search you at any time
  • Mandatory installation of an interlock device

Fourth DUI Offense (typically charged as Felony DUI)

  • Up to 3 years in prison or, if a misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail.
  • A jail or prison term of between 180 days to three years
  • The revocation of the driver’s license for 4 years
  • A fine of $390 to $1,000 plus the judge could add court costs that sometimes can  triple   the whole fine total amount
  • Enrollment and completion of a drunk driving class of between 18 and 30 months
  • Formal probation, which means that you will have to regularly check in with a probation   officer and face even stricter terms and conditions that also allow authorities to search you at any time
  • Mandatory Installation of an interlock device in any vehicle that is driven while on probation

Depending upon the facts of a particular case DUI – related charges range from Felonies to Misdemeanors in California.  A brief analysis of California Law is as follows:
Murder
Should an individual die and that individual’s death can be cause related to the actions of the driver and there appear to be “aggravating factors”, the prosecution can charge murder where the penalty carries a life sentence.  Most common examples of “aggravating factors” seen in drunk driving motor vehicle cases are instances which demonstrate that the driver drove with a reckless indifference to human life.

If a driver suffered a previous alcohol-related conviction and was warned of the danger of driving after drinking alcohol or if the driver receives plenty of warning not to drive but does so anyway as if the driver blatantly disregards traffic laws culminating in a death; a defendant can be charged with murder.
Gross Vehicular Manslaughter
When a driver is responsible for the death of another individual at a time when he or she was impaired because of alcohol and /or drugs gross vehicular manslaughter charges can be brought exposing the driver to at least 10 years in prison.

Driving which constitutes Gross Vehicle manslaughter is almost a direct interpretation of the charge itself.  The driver while under the influence operates the vehicle in such a manner that it is a gross exception to violating minor or basic traffic violations.  Rather it is someone whose conduct and driving is way outside the bounds of reasonableness which results in the death of another.

Quite often the difference between Murder Gross Vehicular Manslaughter and Felony Manslaughter is not obvious.  Frequently a judge is called upon to bring out overcharged acts of drunk driving involving death.

More often however it is left to the determination and skill of the lawyer to convince the trier of fact that the conduct involved does not rise to the level justifying the seriousness of the charge which the prosecutor elects to bring against the client.

Felony Manslaughter/Misdemeanor Manslaughter

Vehicular Manslaughter in California involves alcohol or drugs in the drivers system at the time.

California law provides for Felony Vehicular Manslaughter and Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter.  When the driver of the vehicle at time of death is intoxicated the “go to” charge is basic Felony Vehicular Manslaughter unless there are any aggravating factors associated with the actual driving or conduct of the driver.  If so then the more serious charges of gross vehicular manslaughter or murder are analyzed.

Rarely will a misdemeanor Vehicle Manslaughter be the result if it can be proven that the driver who caused the death was intoxicated.  Moreover charges to Felony Vehicular Manslaughter is a real challenge in California if provable blood alcohol level of the driver is significantly higher than the existing legal limit of 0.08%.

Please be aware that the described sentencing possibilities are driven by case specific facts.  Many times driving under the influence of alcohol or drug arrest are accompanied by other factors which affect the sentence an individual will receive.

Also many times other charges are added to a driving while intoxicated charges such as when there are children in the car (child endangerment) and drugs  or weapons are found when the officer performs a search of the vehicle.

We Can Help You Get Your DUI Offenses In California Contact Our Firm Now For Free Initial Consultation

As you can see a conviction for DUI offenses can exact a heavy toll on you and your family because the penalties go far beyond just the possibility of having to pay a fine. It can ruin your social life, career, and put serious emotional stress on you.

Whether you are a charged as a first time or multiple times offender you need the help of attorneys who knows what they are doing. As defense lawyers who have handled similar cases like yours, we can help.

You need to move quickly to contact an attorney. By contacting a law firm like The San Diego Criminal Defense Experts your charges can be reduced or dismissed. We can get an early start by analyzing your case and working toward the goal of reducing or eliminating  the penalties you may face.

¿Se habla español? We regularly works with Spanish-speaking Criminal & DUI clients.

California DUI/DWI Penalties
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