A DUI conviction can have consequences at every possible level that you can imagine. First, your driver’s license could be suspended. If you have a job that requires driving, you are at risk of losing your job. The cost of a DUI can also be significant. Hefty fines, court fees, installation of an ignition interlock device, cost of alcohol education programs, and counseling can all add up very quickly to thousands of dollars.
Sentencing in a DUI case could be affected by many different factors. The state of California takes the following into consideration when determining the level of punishment for DUI: the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), nature and extent of injuries caused to other parties, and prior DUI record. Other factors that may influence your DUI sentence include: having an abnormally high BAC, violating other laws such as driving at an excessive speed or running a red light, causing serious injuries to other parties, refusing to submit to a chemical test, and being under 21 at the time of the DUI arrest (known as an underage DUI charge).
First-time offenders are usually required to pay fines and court fees, and will face a license suspension for six months to a year. In addition, they may also be required to undergo alcohol education and perform community service. If it is a second DUI conviction, offenders may face harsher penalties, including jail time, longer license suspensions, and lengthier rehabilitation programs.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI – irrespective of whether it is a first-time or repeat offense – it would be in your best interest to contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer who will aggressively fight the charges and explain your legal options. The knowledgeable defense lawyers at Sitkoff & Hanrahan can help you limit your risk and help ensure that your case has a positive outcome. Please call our offices at (866) 430-8383 to schedule a free consultation.