First Offense DUI In California: This Is What to Do Next

First Offense DUI In California: This Is What to Do Next 1

Have you been arrested for a DUI in California? If you are fighting a California DUI first violation or a first DUI, failed breath, blood, urine, or another sobriety test, you can take the right action by using the best online resources today to analyze the details of your arrest.

The unique circumstances of your own first offense DUI in California arrest should be investigated by an experienced California DUI attorney near you, who may be able to develop a defense based on the results of your breath alcohol test, which may prove helpful in finding a way out of a first-of-its-kind California DUI charge based on the breathalyzer tester you used during your arrest.     

Here’s everything you need to know about your first offense DUI in California.


Depending on how your arrest went down, a first DUI conviction can be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. You can also get six months of a prison sentence, an additional four-month license suspension, and a suspended sentence of up to half the time.

In most states, DUI is a serious traffic violation rather than a criminal offense. Though there are some exceptions.

California is a more lenient state when it comes to DUI. First offense DUI penalties in CA are generally low.

If caught driving under the influence of alcohol with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration equaling 0.8% or more) in the state of California and many other countries, you may be convicted of DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol).     

If you are arrested for first offense DUI in California, there are no administrative consequences such as license revocation or fees unless you are convicted of most crimes. For your first offense, you will have a total fine and a fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 and can be required to spend up to two days in jail.     

Suspended License  

This means that your license can be suspended by the DMV for up to 30 days if you do not request a DMV hearing or a 10-day license revocation hearing. If you fail to schedule a DV hearing, you lose your license.

If your license is suspended by DMV, you can get it back by obtaining a restricted license (if you were a commercial driver under 21 years of age at the time of arrest) or by anticipating a refusal by DMV to comply with these instructions.     

An experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorney can help you present a defense that applies to your case and help you combat DUI as effectively as possible.

An experienced DUI lawyer can help you get your license BACk and stop a possible license suspension by the DMV. A good DUI attorney from Los Angeles will help you fight your charges by filing a notice of hearing with the DMV and in many cases getting away with a clear charge.      

This means people arrested for DUI face a range of harsh penalties if convicted of a charge, even if it is their first run under the law. You could face charges, license revocation, and more if you’re arrested and convicted of a DUI. Many first-instance DUI cases can be avoided in California by gaining sufficient time since the DUI arrest and a qualified CA DUI attorney can help a person get a lesser charge or dismissal.     

Criminal Sanctions 

In addition to admin penalties, you could also face criminal penalties for your actions. Under California law, a second DUI gets you between three to five years of summary probation.  Up to 30 months of DUI school, a fine of up to $390 to $2,000, and no less than 96 hours in prison.      

The basic penalty for a conviction for a second misdemeanor DUI in California is California vehicle code section 23540, which imposes a prison sentence of 90 days to one year, a mandatory fine of $390 to $1,000, and suspends your California driver’s license.

Note that in addition to the prison sentence, defendants facing a second DUI charge also face a stiffer driving ban. A court conviction for the second DUI in California leads to a two-year license suspension, with a one-year restriction.     

Chemical Tests 

If you are arrested for an initial misdemeanor DUI and chemical tests show that you have a BAC of 0.8% or more, the arresting authority may confiscate your license or issue an order suspending or revoking your provisional license.

If you refuse to undergo a chemical test, in violation of California’s tacit consent law, your license will be suspended for a year after your temporary license expires. A DUI lawyer in California would always advise you to do a chemical test if you have not been drinking while driving. 

If chemical tests show that you have a BAC of 0.9% (or more) and you have been arrested for the first misdemeanor DUI, you will be issued with a revocation or suspension order and your license confiscated.     

Refusing a Test

If you refuse or fail to pass a chemical test, you will be placed on DUI probation from time to time, but suspensions after a second offense are not limited beyond the first year for a first offense DUI penalties in CA.     

In California, for example, the suspension period of a first DUI is six months, two years for a second DUI conviction, and three years for a third DUI conviction.

A person convicted of a second offense within 10 years of their first offense faces harsher penalties and consequences than someone who is drunk at the wheel and is considered a priority offense. A DUI or DWI offender has a good chance of having his license suspended for a significant period of time unless a federal motor vehicle court order requires otherwise.     

For a First Offense DUI in California: The Law Is Clear

For a first offense DUI in California, the consequences of a conviction are up to three years of informal probation, a fine of up to $390, a $2,000 fine, and the completion of an alcohol program for first-time offenders consisting of 30 hours of lessons for $500.     

Criminal sanctions include fines and a criminal record, including possible prison sentences. Zero-tolerance violations do not carry a prison sentence but can result in license revocation and fines.

For more, be sure to check out the rest of our site.

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