In California, one of the things you should know is that a DUI is taken very seriously. Driving under the influence has the potential to lead to injuries to yourself and others. Crashes could lead to deaths, too. For that reason, you could face serious criminal repercussions if you’re accused and convicted of a DUI.
When you’re arrested for a DUI, the officer has to forward a notice of suspension or revocation to the DMV, which means that you could lose your license. You do have a right to ask for a hearing, so long as you do so within 10 days of receiving the revocation or suspension order.
Will you go to jail if this is the first DUI you’ve been accused of?
You could if you’re convicted. A first-offense DUI that doesn’t include any injuries to yourself or others is penalized with up to $2,000 in fines, two days (48 hours) in jail and a potential license suspension. You may also be ordered to complete an alcohol education program.
The minimum license suspension for a first offense is six months, and it is possible that the police could confiscate your vehicle and impound it. Fortunately, if you do need your license, you may be able to negotiate the use of an Ignition Interlock Device, so that you can get back on the road.
Do you need to defend against a first-offense DUI?
Yes. Even if you think that you are innocent, you do need to defend yourself. Remember, even though the per se blood alcohol content limit is .08%, you could face a DUI for driving while impaired with less alcohol in your blood. You could also be charged with no alcohol in your blood if the officer believes that you’re impaired by another substance, like prescription or illicit drugs.
Don’t wait to defend yourself, because a conviction could be costly and have a significant impact on your life. You could lose your job, lose a scholarship to your school if you’re attending college or face other serious repercussions. A good defense will help you fight back against the charges and protect your best interests.