If you are arrested for a DUI in California for the first time, you may wonder what to expect. While the penalties will vary depending on your specific situation, some things apply to all first-time offenders.
1. Driver’s License will be Suspended for at Least 90 Days
Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can have lasting consequences. If caught driving while intoxicated, you will likely face several penalties, including a driver’s license suspension. In California, a first-offense DUI carries a mandatory suspension of at least 90 days. That means you will not be able to drive for the duration of your suspension. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, preventing you from starting the engine if you have been drinking. In addition, you will likely face steep fines and the possibility of jail time. Consequently, it is important to be aware of the potential penalties of a DUI before you get behind the wheel.
2. You will be Required to Attend DUI Classes
In addition to a driver’s license suspension, first-time DUI offenders in California must complete a drug and alcohol education program. The length of the program will depend on the severity of your offense, but it typically lasts between 12 and 30 hours. The program aims to educate you about the dangers of drinking and driving. You will learn about the effects of substances on your body and mind and how to make better choices regarding drinking and driving.
3. You will be Fined Anywhere from $250 To $1,000
In addition to the other penalties, you will be required to pay a fine if you are convicted of a first-time DUI. The fine will depend on the severity of your offense, but it can range from $250 to $1,000. You may also be required to pay additional fees, such as court costs and the cost of the alcohol education program.
4. You could Face Up to Six Months in Jail
Although it is not mandatory, you could face up to six months in jail if you are convicted of a first-time DUI. The exact amount of time you will serve will depend on the severity of your offense. If you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) significantly above the legal limit or were involved in an accident, you may face a long jail sentence. However, the best DUI defense lawyers in California can help you minimize the penalties you’re facing. So, if you have been charged with DUI, it is important to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced dui lawyer phoenix can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.
5. Insurance Rates Will Increase
Most insurers will consider you a high-risk driver after a DUI, and your rates will reflect that. You can expect a significant increase in your premiums and may even have trouble finding an insurer willing to cover you. In California, the average premium increase after a DUI conviction is about $1,000 per year. In some cases, your insurance company may even drop your coverage entirely. As a result, it’s important to shop around for insurance after a DUI conviction and compare rates from multiple companies. You may also consider alternative transportation options, such as public transportation or ride-sharing services.
The above are some of the consequences that come with being convicted of a DUI. If you have been charged with DUI, it is important to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced DUI lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.