The penalties are severe and can even be life-altering in nature, growing increasingly worse with each subsequent offense. Therefore, having solid defense becomes crucial to your future-not just a luxury. Below, we explain just some of the different penalties that you may face if you have been criminally charged with DUI. If you have further questions, contact us right away.
One of the first penalties that people think of in the wake of a criminal charge for drunk driving is the fines that they will be forced to pay. In California, these can be immense. For a first, second, or third time offense within a ten-year period, they may total anywhere between $390 to $1000; however, in Riverside County it may be as high as $2300. For a third offense in Riverside County, it may spike to $3000. Aggravating factors in a DUI case may also cause fines to increase. For example, for DUI with injury, fines may reach $5000.
Informal probation, also referred to as summary probation, is another penalty that is imposed from the very first offense. Under California law, no matter whether you have been charged with your first or your third offense, the summary probation will last anywhere between three to five years. This does not change when the DUI occurs in Riverside County or when the subject has been charged with DUI with injury. Probation contains several different conditions; for example, you are not permitted to drive with any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood, cannot refuse to submit to a chemical test and cannot commit any additional crimes. In addition, you may be required to attend AA or NA meetings, participate in Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Program, pay restitution, or have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your car(s).
Those who have been convicted of drunk driving are also required to participate in a drug/alcohol program. For a first -time DUI, you are required to participate in either a 3-month first offender DUI program (AB-541) or a 9-month first offender DUI program (AB-1353). These require between 30 and 60 hours, which can last over a 3- to 6-month period. Most of these classes are in lecture format, but also use videos and group discussions to discuss DUI law, as well as drug abuse and the problems that arise with drinking. It is designed to educate DUI offenders to consider the attitudes behind DUIs to help reduce and/or eliminate the problem. For the 3-month class, the fee is roughly $550; for the 9-month class, the fee doubles to approximately $1200.
For a second DUI, you will likely be required to attend an 18-month program (SB 38). This consists of 52 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of education, 6 hours of community reentry monitoring (designed to help you transition back into a normal life), and bi-weekly interviews. The cost for this is roughly $1,530. In Riverside County, if you are arrested for your third DUI, you may be required to participate in the 30-month program (SB 1365). This includes 78 hours of group counseling, 12 hours of education, between 120 and 400 hours of community service, and frequent therapy sections. The cost for this is about $3400.
One of the most frightening things to consider is that after being arrested for alleged drunk driving, you may be required to spend time in either a county jail or state prison. From the first offense, a DUI may be punishable with incarceration.
What is explained above are just the guidelines for basic DUI penalties. If you were found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.15 percent, refused to submit to a chemical test, caused an accident, were speeding at the time of the arrest, had a child 14 years or younger in the car, or were under 21, these penalties could be significantly higher. For example, if you caused injuries during the commission of the alleged crime, you may have a consecutive prison sentence imposed on top of the first, depending on how many people were injured during the accident and the extent of the injuries that they suffered.
Attorney Joseph Rhea knows what to expect and has helped countless individuals in this position. Check out the firm's victories to see the cases that have successfully been handled; for example, Attorney Rhea helped a client who was charged with his second DUI plead to an infraction of speeding, resulting in a fine of merely $250. He also helped a client who was charged with a 0.24 percent blood alcohol DUI get the case dismissed because of a Serna violation. Attorney Rhea knows the law, and knows how to defend the rights of his clients.
To learn more about how he may be able to help you, please contact a Palm Springs DUI attorney.
“Mr. Rhea was extremely knowledgeable which, without a doubt, was the reason the Judge dismissed my case without any fines, probation, etc. Additionally, his vast knowledge helped lay out all the scenarios which helped relieve my anxieties. He was extremely prompt and reliable which made working with him a pleasure. I would highly recommend Mr. Rhea’s services to anyone and everyone.” – Former Federal Drug Possession Client