DUI Penalties in Los Angeles
DUI in Los Angeles
California happens to have very strict laws when it comes to drunk driving. The law requires the police officer at the time of your arrest to take BAC tests to determine your blood alcohol level. The legal limit for under 21 is 0.01% , whereas, for adults, it is 0.08%. In both cases, there are many penalties that a driver can be subjected to. From license suspension, hefty fines, probation, a criminal record and jail time, there are many possibilities that depend on the various factors related to the DUI arrest.
It is unlawful for anyone in the state of California to drive while intoxicated. Driving under the influence of any drug, whether it is a legal or banned substance, comes with penalties that become increasingly harsher, depending on other factors such as injuries to people or damage to property. The consequences you face as a result of a DUI include suspension of your license, fines, jail, probation, and mandatory participation in an alcohol education program.
If your DUI resulted in someone getting injured or killed, then the charge changes from a misdemeanor to a felony. If the injuries were minor, however, then there is a possibility that you will be charged under the misdemeanor section of the statute instead.
Rights You Have With DUI
During the arrest, it is expected that the police act in accordance with proper policies and procedures. In order for the stop to be legally valid, they must have had probable cause for pulling you over. Probable cause can include things like a traffic violation, being stopped in a DUI checkpoint, or suspicion of DUI pursuant to an accident. If you are taken into custody, the police will advise you of the implied consent warning prior to asking if you’ll submit to a breath test. When you were issued your driver’s license, you agreed to submit to a BAC (blood-alcohol concentration) test if requested by law enforcement. It is within your rights to refuse, but your license will be suspended for a period of one year for a first refusal and two years if you’ve already refused to submit to a breath test in the past. A refusal may also result in jail time and alcohol education courses.
DUI Penalties in Los Angeles County, California
DUI penalties in California are based on many factors; blood alcohol level, age, DUI history, and if there are drugs involved.
For DUI under 21:
- The driver’s license will be suspended for a year. In repeat offenses, the suspension period can be 2 years or more.
- If the BAC is higher than 0.01%, fines can be imposed and the suspect will be required to attend mandatory DUI School.
- If the DUI is a second or third offense, heavy fines and penalties can be imposed. This may subject the underage driver to a year or more of jail time, 2 or more years of license suspension, fines over $1000, and a longer term DUI school.
For adult DUIs:
- First Offense: For BAC of 0.08 or higher, there can be 36 months of probation, fines, and DUI School
- Second Offense: For BAC of 0.08 or higher there can be twelve months of license suspension, fines, up to one year of jail time, license restriction, and DUI School.
Third Offense: For BAC of 0.08 or higher, a minimum jail sentence of 120 days will be imposed, along with fines and a DUI program of at least eighteen months.
California Drunk Driving Laws
California is known to have some of the country’s toughest DUI laws. To win hearings at the DMV and court, you need to have a DUI attorney on your side who has a complete mastery of California’s drunk driving laws. If you are facing a DUI charge, or know someone who is, contact C. Robert Brooks now!
DUI Misdemeanors In Los Angeles
Your first three DUI offenses are considered misdemeanors unless one of the DUIs resulted in injuries or death. The fines for all DUI misdemeanors, unless it results in an injury, will not exceed $1,000. Penalty assessments are added by the court, however, which can significantly increase the amount of the fine. With your first offense, your exposure is six months in jail, and for your second or third offense, you could be facing up to a year in jail. The court will also determine how long your license is suspended for and how long you will have to attend an alcohol education program.
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DUI Felonies in Los Angeles
Felony charges are considered far more serious than misdemeanors, so they come with heavier consequences. Absent aggravating circumstances, most DUIs are misdemeanors. If you have, however, accumulated three prior DUI convictions in a 10-year period, you will be charged with felony DUI.
If you are on probation for another drug or alcohol-related offense, then you may also be subject to harsher penalties. This is why it is important to discuss your particular case with a DUI attorney about prior convictions and penalties.
The “implied consent” laws require that minors must submit to a breathalyzer test.
- Underage drivers with a .01% blood alcohol concentration can be convicted of a “zero tolerance” offense. The penalties for this offense include license suspension and fines up to $250.
- Underage drivers with a .05% blood alcohol concentration can be convicted of an underage DUI infraction. The penalties are similar to a “zero tolerance” conviction, but can increase if there was a prior DUI within the last 12 months, and may also be required to complete an alcohol education program.
A diligent and successful Los Angeles DUI attorney will work to reduce your charges so you can get back on the road again. Contact C. Robert Brooks and learn more about your rights under California law.