California DUI Consequences

Having assisted DUI clients in California for several decades, our defense firm has received all kinds of arrest inquiries. Without a doubt, those who contact us for guidance are more interested in finding out potential penalties and consequences for offenses more than anything else. For many, determining whether or not to hire an attorney is based on the risks involved: if handling the case themselves can allow them to receive no jail time and keep their criminal record squeaky clean, they would be happy to avoid spending thousands on legal representation and take their chances on their own. If the consequences are too costly, and the chances of being ordered to serve consequences are likely, defendants want to know so that they can hire an attorney out of pure necessity.

Unfortunately, California’s legal process provides no guarantees, and although the potential consequences can be evaluated, there is no way to tell whether any particular defendant will be ordered to serve the maximum penalties allowable under California law. There is no way to determine how a judge and/or prosecutor will handle your case. There are a countless number of variables that can affect the outcome of a person’s case. Those worried about what consequences they may face as a result of their charges should consult with a skilled attorney. A conviction for driving under the influence will affect each person differently, as there are some professions and organizations that treat these offenses more seriously than others.

Call us today at (888) 250-2865 to obtain a free case evaluation and find out how a conviction could affect your situation.

Will I Go to Jail for a Conviction?

For many, dealing with the aftermath of an arrest is terrifying. Unlike some other crimes, driving under the influence is frequently committed by persons with no criminal history. Usually, those arrested for drunk driving in California are brought into the police station, booked, and forced to stay the night. These situations can leave a lot of people shaken up, and the thought of spending more time in jail and/or prison is enough to go into full blown panic mode.

For first time DUI offenders, California carries a minimum of forty eight hours in jail and a maximum of six months, or 180 days in jail. If your circumstances put one or several people in harm’s way, or you accidentally harmed someone during your incident, your judge may try to “teach you a lesson” and order you to spend months in jail. Spending months in jail for a first time offense where there was no collision and/or injuries is rare, but not unheard of.

The following are circumstances that regularly affect the court’s decision on whether or not to send a DUI defendant to jail:

 Minor Passenger/s in Your Vehicle

  • Was there a child in your car when you were arrested for driving under the influence? If so, a judge may see you as a danger to others and order you to spend more time in jail.

Were You involved in a Collision?

  • Did the police find you in an altered state after you collided with a tree or vehicle? If the circumstances imply that you did or could have injured someone, you could suffer additional consequences.

 Are You Facing Additional Criminal Charges?

  • Were you licensed at the time of your alleged DUI incident? Were you charged with other crimes arising from the same incident? Multiple criminal offenses being committed during a DUI could make a judge feel that you are reckless and dangerous, resulting in further consequences.

Were You Extremely Drunk?

  • You may have felt OK to drive, but if the court believes that your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was at an abnormally high level, say .15% or above, the safety of yourself and others could be called into question as a result of what some would consider to be reckless endangerment.

How Much Will I Be Ordered to Pay?

For some, the financial burden of a DUI is their biggest concern, and with good reason. Even without factoring in attorney fees, the financial cost of a DUI is outrageous. Some believe that the massive costs associated with DUI offenses help deter people from driving while under the influence. Whether or not this is the case, the financial burden of a conviction in California can hold people back from accomplishing their goals. Few people have back up funds prepared to deal with situations like driving under the influence, and it is not uncommon for a family’s personal savings to take a serious hit following an offense.

Keep in mind that the numbers provided will not apply to every person. The information is provided on California’s court info website:

$40,000 in auto insurance increase

  • The estimated cost of your annual car insurance increase during the 13 years following your arrest.

$650 for DUI Classes

  • These classes are costly and their cost varies.

$140 a Day Towing and Storage

  • Most people have their cars towed and stored following their arrest. On average, the fees involved amount to around $140 a day.

$100 for DMV Reinstatement

  • The DMV will want money from you to have your license reinstated.


Total Estimated Cost for DUI with Two Day Tow and Storage: $40,904.00


Additional California DUI Consequences

In addition to potential time spent in jail and costly fines, those who are convicted of driving drunk in California can suffer other penalties as well. Some employers will not hire persons who have a DUI on their criminal record. If you have a felony DUI conviction, there are several opportunities that you may no longer be able to take advantage of. Consult with one of our DUI lawyers to find out how this can affect your personal circumstances.

DUI Legal Assistance

Those facing charges do not have to go it alone. Call (888) 250-2865 today to obtain a free consultation and case evaluation from a drunk driving defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Randy Collins. Their attorneys will work tirelessly in your favor to help produce a positive case outcome.