Depending on the circumstances, you may have to face multiple penalties if you are convicted of a DUI in California. The aggravating and mitigating factors of your case will have to come into play if your conviction results from a jury verdict or plea bargain. The maximum and minimum penalties available to you, however, will depend in large part on the number of prior DUI convictions you have had, as well as other circumstantial penalties.
What Are the Minimum and Maximum Penalties for a First DUI Conviction?
Your first DUI conviction in California is considered a misdemeanor. Penalties for the first DUI conviction include:
- Fines. Up to $1,000 in fines plus a certain number of “penalty assessments” can potentially increase the amount you will have to pay. This means your fines can total thousands of dollars or more.
- Jail. You could receive anywhere from 48 hours to six months in jail for your first DUI conviction. If the judge orders probation, however, there is no mandatory jail time that is given.
- License suspension. For your first conviction, there is usually a six-month license suspension. If you had a blood alcohol concentration f .08% or more, there could be a four-month administrative suspension that is imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A driver can also receive a “restricted license” after a 30-day “hard suspension” period.
- Probation. First DUI offenders will usually get a three-year term of probation. This includes having to complete a three-month DUI class, but this class time can increase if your BAC was at a certain level.
If you have recently been convicted of a DUI in California, you should first contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Our Bay Area defense attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas Nicholas Cvietkovich could represent you in criminal DUI court, so contact us today.