In California, a first time DUI offense carries harsh penalties. Due to the strictness of California law, it is often difficult to get a DUI charge dropped from your record without the help of an attorney. One way that an attorney can help you is by negotiating a plea bargain that will result in less jail time, smaller fines, a shorter probationary period and allow you to avoid having your driver’s license suspended.
Few DUIs Are Easy, So Buckle Up
It is not easy to get a first time DUI charge dropped. California has strict DUI laws that carry severe penalties. For a first-time DUI offense, the potential penalties include a maximum of six months in county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, six to ten months of driver’s license suspension, and up to nine months of DUI school.
The odds of getting your DUI charge dropped and avoiding these penalties without an attorney is very slim.
You May Want To Consider A Plea Bargain
If you are facing a first time DUI conviction, you may want to consider a plea bargain. One of the most common plea bargains for a first time DUI is a “wet reckless” plea. The difference between a DUI conviction and a wet reckless conviction is that a wet reckless result in a conviction under California Vehicle Code 23103 with an addendum on your record stating that alcohol was involved in your arrest.
The advantages of a wet reckless plea are:
- Shorter maximum jail time possibility
- Shorter probation period
- Smaller fines
- License suspension is not mandatory
- A shorter period of time spent in DUI school
The maximum amount of time you can spend in a county jail for a DUI is six months; this decreases to 90 days for a wet reckless. The probationary period is also decreased from three to five years for a DUI to one to two years for a wet reckless. You can also save money by plea bargaining a wet reckless charge: the maximum fine for both charges is $1,000, but courts are less likely to impose the maximum fine with a wet reckless. Another huge advantage of a wet reckless charge is that license suspension is not mandatory.
Finally, a DUI conviction results in mandatory three-month minimum attendance at DUI school, whereas a wet reckless conviction may not have a DUI school requirement. Although there are many advantages to a wet reckless plea, it will require a qualified attorney to negotiate the reduced conviction.
If you are facing a first time DUI offense, the penalties can be severe and have lasting repercussions on your future. Contacting an experienced DUI defense attorney is the best way to minimize the penalties associated with your first time DUI conviction.
Obtain Your Free Case Evaluation
Don’t let a Southern California DUI offense restrict your ability to get a job or otherwise affect your future, speak with a lawyer about your case so you can find out what you’re facing. Call (844) 241-1221 to speak with a Law Offices of Randy Collins legal professional for free.