Randy Collins

Free Consultation

Do I Need An Attorney For A First Time DUI?

Do I need an attorney for a first time DUI?

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 depend on a number of factors such as:

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 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 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 (888) 250-2865 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.

In California, defendants who are facing their third charge for driving under the influence will encounter few chances and harsh penalties. A third offense DUI defendant is seen as especially dangerous by the courts and the resulting penalties are severe and have serious long-term consequences. If you have been charged with your third DUI offense in California, a qualified DUI criminal defense attorney can help defend your rights in court.

Excessive Blood Alcohol Concentration

DUI offenses in California are always misdemeanors unless one of the following is true, making it a felony.

  • If the defendant caused an accident during which someone other than themselves was injured;
  • If the defendant is charged with a fourth DUI in the next 10 years (known as the “lookback period”); or
  • If any of the defendant’s prior DUI charges are a felony, the third DUI will automatically be charged as a felony as well.
Penalties for a 3rd DUI

Third offense DUI defendants in California will face both administrative and criminal penalties. Your driver’s license will be suspended for up to three years; however, if applicable, after one year you may be eligible for a restricted license to use in limited circumstances, such as driving to work.

The criminal penalties for a third DUI offense are severe. A defendant will face a minimum of 120 days in jail, with a possible maximum sentence of one year. Jail alternatives may be available: a DUI criminal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate for a shorter time in jail in exchange for a portion of your sentence served as community service, drug and alcohol rehab or house arrest. You will also incur a minimum fine of $390; the fine may be increased to as much as $1000. You will also serve a minimum probationary period of three years with a possible maximum of five years. The judge will also order you to complete an 18-month DUI course.

The standard criminal penalties can also be increased if there are certain factors present in your DUI case. These factors are known as “enhancements” and include:

  • The DUI caused an accident
  • Hit-and-run
  • There was a minor in the car at the time
  • The defendant was driving on a suspended license
  • The defendant refused to a chemical test
  • Alcohol content was 0.15 or higher
  • The defendant was also speeding

Any one of these factors can result in an additional charge and even harsher penalties.

What to do if you have been charged with your 3rd DUI offense in California

If you have been charged with your 3rd DUI offense in California, the severe administrative and criminal penalties associated with your crime make hiring an attorney extremely important. Contact a qualified DUI criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the best legal defense.

Free Case Evaluation

Those in Southern California can call the Law Offices of Randy Collins to obtain a free case evaluation. Call (888) 250-2865 today to speak with an experienced DUI attorney and get the answers you’re looking for.

Client Reviews

I had never gotten in trouble before, so I was pretty concerned when I called the Law Offices of Randy Collins. After a 30 minute consultation about my DUI with injury I felt like I was in the right hands. I went with them and was very happy with the result.

Rob D.