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DUI Penalties

California DUI Penalties

First, every county in California sets it's own standards or offers for DUI charges. This means that California counties vary in their penalties. Some California counties are notoriously more difficult to deal with and the county District Attorneys handling DUI's have less control over whether they can negotiate at all. There are some California counties that will not negotiate a DUI defense case at all. In these cases it takes and experienced DUI defense attorney to be able to ensure that your case is pled down to lesser charges if possible.

DMV Hearing-Drivers License Suspension

You have 10-days from the date of your DUI arrest to schedule your DMV APS hearing. During the DMV hearing the DMV hearing officer will hear evidence as to whether your California drivers license should be suspended or not. With all DUI arrests you run the risk that your California drivers license will be suspended.

California DUI Criminal Hearing

In addition to the DMV hearing you will be required to make an appearance in criminal court for your DUI charges. The nature of the penalties that you ultimately receive will generally be based on some of the following factors;

  • Whether you were charged with a Misdemeanor or Felony DUI
  • Whether you have a prior DUI record
  • Whether you have a prior criminal record
  • Your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC.)
  • The county of your DUI arrest

First Time DUI Penalties

Generally, a first time DUI offender will be offered to pay a court fine, which ranges, but is usually around $1300-$1,800, misdemeanor probation from 3-5 years, and a alcohol program that must be completed as part of your DUI probation, possible county jail time (depends on county), and loss of drivers license.

2nd and 3rd Time DUI Arrest Penalties

The 2nd and 3rd DUI arrest charges and penalties can be much more severe depending on the prior record, the county in which the DUI arrest took place. You should seek out and consult with an experienced California DUI lawyer to discuss the defense of your DUI defense case if it is your second or third DUI charge.

Fourth DUI Penalties

If you have been arrested and charged with your fourth DUI in California and you have three prior DUI convictions within the state within 10 years of your fourth DUI arrest you are facing a Felony DUI charge. Felony DUI charges are extremely serious and require an experienced Felony DUI lawyer. You may be facing county jail or possibly state prison incarceration if convicted of felony DUI in California.

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