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The Penalties Associated With DUIs in California

The severity of penalization for DUIs varies on a case by case basis, but there are general guidelines that help one estimate the penalties of a DUI conviction. Obviously, a DUI lawyer is most likely to help you get a reduction on a sentencing, and it’s your best chance at having a case dropped or thrown out. Let’s look at the penalties you will likely incur if you are convicted of a DUI. A conviction means a judge and/or jury has determined that an individual is guilty of the crime in question…


If you’re convicted of your first DUI, you’re likely to receive a jail sentence between four days and six months. You can also expect a fine of up to 1,000 dollars; as well as the suspension of your license for anywhere between one to ten months. An interlock ignition device (IID) might also be required in your car. These devices breathalyze you before allowing you access to drive your car.


If you’ve committed a second DUI, and you’re convicted of the offense within ten years of your first DUI, your penalization will be more extreme. Secondary offenders can expect a jail sentence ranging from ten days to a full year. You can expect a fine up to 1,800 dollars; and your license will be suspended for one to two years. An IID will be required in your car.


Again, there is a ten year “lookback period” on California DUI sentencings. If you’ve been convicted of a third DUI within the lookback period, you can expect a sentence including 120 days to a full year in jail. Again, you may be fined 1,800 dollars or fewer. Third-time offenders will have license suspension for three years. And an IID will be required in your car.


The ten year lookback period applies here as well. Convicted offenders will spend sixteen months in jail. They will be fined up to 18,000 dollars; and their license will be suspended for four years. And again, an IID will be required in your car.

Now, there are other options out there that may aid you in reducing a sentence, or changing the type of conviction. For example, DUI offenders may try to plea bargain with a “wet reckless” claim. This claim – if successful – may reduce the charge to a reckless driving case.

The defendant, in the instance of a wet reckless case, must qualify for this claim in three ways: First of all, the blood alcohol level of the offender must have been close to the legal limit. Secondly, the offender can’t have been involved in an accident due to the incident. And lastly, the defendant cannot have previous DUI or wet reckless offenses. This plea requires the aid of a DUI lawyer, so if you’ve been accused of a DUI in the state of California, please give The Law Offices of Amber Bellante a call.

We’ll work with you to reduce, drop, or change your sentence!