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DUI COURT PENALITES

We fight for the best possible outcome to protect your freedom

  • DUI penalties increase with each subsequent conviction if committed within 10 years

  • DUIs are generally charged as misdemeanors but may be charged as felonies if you caused an accident with an injury or fatality or you committed your fourth DUI offense in 10 years

  • Depending on the facts of your case, you could face:

    • Up to 6 months in county jail for a first offense misdemeanor conviction

    • Up to 1 year in county jail for second or third offense misdemeanor conviction

    • Up to 3 years in state prison for a fourth felony offense conviction

    • Community labor may also be imposed

    • You must pay a fine at minimum from about $2,000 up to $5,000 depending on the offense

    • You must participate in a alcohol education program

      • ​3 - 9 months for a first offense 

      • 18 months for subsequent offenses

  • Courts may require you to install an ignition interlock device. In Los Angeles County, the DMV requires an ignition interlock device for all convictions

  • Your driver’s license is suspended for one year if you refused BAC testing

  • Aggravating circumstances that enhance penalties may include 

    • Traveling 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit on a city street or 30 miles per hour or more over the speed limit on a freeway

    • Refusing a BAC test

    • Driving with a child 14 years old or younger in your car

    • Having a BAC of 0.15% or greater

  • Felony DUI - Death or Bodily Injury

    • A DUI that involves bodily injury or death to another person may be charged as a felony DUI even if the person is a passenger or pedestrian

    • Penalties for an injury related DUI can be significantly more severe than standard drunk driving​

    • Penalties, fines, classes, license suspension and jail or prison time are increased for a felony DUI or a DUI causing injury

DUI PROBATION & PRIORABILITY

Failure to follow terms of the DUI probation is a DUI probation violation

  1. DUI probation is from 3 to 5 years

  2. Most DUI probation terms prohibit refusing a chemical test after a subsequent DUI arrest and prohibit driving with any measurable amount of alcohol in the blood

  3. Convictions remain on your DMV driving record for a period of 10 years

  4. A conviction for DUI is priorable for 10 years.  Penalties are more severe if a subsequent DUI is within 10 years of the prior DUI

  5. Terms and conditions of probation vary from case to case, some common conditions include the following:

  6. Do not commit any misdemeanors or felonies of any kind or any new offenses while on probation

  7. Obey all orders, rules, regulations, and directives of the Court and Jail

  8. Pay all fines and/or restitution

  9. Perform community service

  10. Complete all programs

  11. Agree to submit to searches and seizures of your person or property by police or probation officers with or without a warrant

PROOF OF ENROLLMENT

TREATMENT PROGRAM COMPLETION

  • During sentencing, the judge will order you to show "proof of enrollment" in your DUI school by a specific date

  • Once you enroll, the school typically sends a proof of enrollment certificate to both the court and the DMV. You need to follow up and confirm proof has been sent 

  • The judge will also order you to complete your DUI school by a specific date

  • Generally, your DUI school will provide the court and the DMV with a certificate of completion when you successfully complete your course. You need to confirm the certificate has been sent to the court

  • Keep track of your attendance to address any discrepancies later on

  • You must make up any missed sessions before you will be issued a certificate of completion

  You violate probation if you fail to

complete your court ordered DUI education

program and the DMV will NOT re-issue you a license​​

​​Many courts have authorized alternative sentencing programs.
Sentencing Alternatives are subject to the court's discretion and the facts of each case

SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES

Here is a general listing of such alternatives:

 

  • Alcohol treatment and/or drug rehabilitation

  • Sober living environments

  • Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

  • Participation in a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Victim Impact Program

  • Participation in a HAM (Hospital and Morgue) program

  • “Good time/work time custody credits” are hour-for-hour exchanges of alternative sentencing against hours that would have been spent in county jail

  • Community service or labor

  • Ignition interlock devices 

  • Electronic Monitoring Devices. GPS device that attaches to the ankle

  • Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, or SCRAM. SCRAM measures alcohol by way of a device attached to the ankle

  • Work furlough. Go to work during the day and check into a dormitory-style housing facility at night

  • Work release. Work at an approved location and return home at night

  • Serve jail sentences at "weekend jails" at local privatepolice stations rather than county jails

PETITION FOR DISMISSAL

Sometimes called "Expungment"

  • If you have been convicted of a crime, anyone with authorization can view your criminal record

  • Post-conviction relief is critically important through a petition for dismissal which modifies your record. This requires a formal written petition and if granted by a judge, your record will state that you are entering a not guilty plea and the case is dismissed

  • In California, a criminal record is maintained permanently, does not disappear automatically solely because of the passage of time, and is a public record

  • Many employers run background checks on prospective employees

  • A criminal record may prevent you from obtaining certain professional licenses from California State agencies and likely makes it more difficult to obtain a mortgage, car loan, get accepted to college, obtain housing and can result in severe immigration consequences

However, even if the petition for dismissal is granted you still have to disclose your conviction in some circumstances that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. You apply for a state license

  2. You apply to become a peace officer

  3. You apply to work for the California Lottery Commission

  4. You run for public office

  5. You seek a license from certain California licensing agencies who require that you obtain a dismissal before they will issue a license

 

A Petition For Dismissal May Get You Back On Track

Limits of the Petition for Dismissal

 

A Dismissal Helps Begin A Second Chance But Unfortunately Does Not Change Everything

 

For example:

  • It does not remove a conviction from a criminal record

  • It will not help reinstate a suspended driver’s license. Driving privileges are not reinstated. The suspension or revocation of a driver's license will not be overturned

  • It will not restore the right to own a gun if it was stripped as part of a felony proceeding Penal Code 29800

  • It does not remove the insurance “points” that a DUI puts on a license

  • DUI is still prioable as a past offense if you get another DUI within 10 years

  • Your record will show that you were arrested and convicted of an offense, but that you are now entering a plea of not guilty and the case against you is dismissed in the interest of justice. The only way to remove the arrest from your record is to petition the court to have your arrest record sealed and destroyed through a successful Factual Innocence Motion   

  • The petition for dismissal does not completely erase your record. However it is beneficial for your record to state that the case against you was dismissed especially for obtaining employment because California Labor Code 432.7 states an employer cannot discriminate against you for an arrest on your record that did not result in a conviction, ask you about an arrest that did not result in a conviction, or discriminate against you based on the fact that you have dismissed convictions

  • The conviction may still be used against you as a prior conviction for purposes of sentence enhancements, for subsequent convictions, and for “strikes” under California’s three strikes law

  • It will not relieve the duty to register as a sex offender under Penal Code 290

  • Some offenses are not eligible for dismissal including but not limited to: Penal Code 261.5(d), 286(c), 288, 288a, 288.5, 289(j), Vehicle Code 42002, 42002.1

 

NEW BEGINNING

Penal Code Section 1203.4 Dismissal-Overview 

We have extensive experience in attaining Penal Code Section 1203.4 dismissals for our clients depending on their individual case

Eligibility for dismissal often requires:​

  • Successful completion of all conditions of sentence and probation without any violations or have an order to terminate probation early under Penal Code 1203.3

  • Have not committed another felony after this conviction

  • Have no criminal charges pending or are not on probation or serving a sentence for a criminal offense 

  • Was not convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense that is not eligible. Not all offenses are eligible

  • Not sentenced to California State Prison as a result of either the conviction itself or violating terms of probation 

Reducing a Conviction to a Misdemeanor - Penal Code 17(b)

California Penal Code 17(b), may reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor if the offense is a “wobbler”  offense that may be either punished as a felony or a misdemeanor. This depends on the facts and evidence of each particular case.