A first-time arrest for DUI can leave defendants feeling very confused; it’s no wonder, considering the bad information friends and family are prone to spread around. It is common for new defendants to wonder whether or not they need an attorney for a first time DUI.
The truth is, DUI offenses and the facts surrounding each offense make each case completely different. It’s very easy to miscalculate how a prosecutor, judge, or jury will react to evidence in real-world cases because there are countless factors that affect a case outcome.
First time DUI offenses in California carry severe penalties that may include license suspension, jail time, fines, and years of probation. These penalties can greatly impact your ability to continue normal daily life and may exclude you from future employment, housing, and other opportunities. If you are facing your first DUI conviction, contact a qualified DUI defense attorney today to help minimize the penalties that you may face.
1st Time Convictions Carry Severe Penalties
Although first time DUI convictions are generally misdemeanors in California, they still carry severe penalties. The extent of your penalties depends on a number of factors such as:
- Whether your DUI led to a car accident
- Whether your DUI resulted in injuries
- Whether you were also speeding
- If you agreed to a chemical test
- The results of your chemical test
- If you were under 21 at the time of the DUI arrest
- If you had a passenger in the car that was under the age of 14
The penalties that you may face include:
- A six-month license suspension
- Up to six months in county jail
- A fine ranging from $390 to $1,000
- Completion of a three-month or nine-month DUI course
- Three to five years of informal probation
If the judge gives you probation, there are a number of additional penalties associated with it, including:
- You are prohibited from committing any other crimes, regardless of the type
- You are prohibited from operating a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system
- You are not allowed to refuse to submit to chemical testing if you are arrested for another DUI in the future
- You may be required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings
- You may be required to participate in the Mothers Against Drunk Driving program
- If your DUI caused an accident, you may be required to pay restitution
- You may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car for a period of up to four years
This broad range of penalties for a first time DUI offenses impacts every aspect of your daily life both in the present and potentially for years in the future.
How DUI Attorneys Help With First Time Offenses
There are many ways that a DUI defense attorney can help you lessen the severity of the potential penalties you could face. A DUI attorney can help you avoid a license suspension by representing you at a DMV administrative hearing.
A DUI defense attorney can also help you get a conviction expunged from your permanent record as long as you successfully completed probation. In court, an attorney can present evidence and witnesses, negotiate a plea bargain and offer you advice and counsel on what happens next.
Obtain Your Free Case Evaluation
Arrested for DUI in Southern California? Call (844) 241-1221 to speak with a DUI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Randy Collins. Attorney Collins is a former prosecutor and has a “Superb” rating on AVVO. Contact us today for help.