In California, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered a dangerous criminal act. The criminal penalties for DUI convictions often range from fines to license restrictions, probation, possible jail time, and more, depending on whether you are a first, second, third, or fourth offender. One mandatory thing to do when facing a DUI charge in Redlands, California, is to seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney quickly.
Many people are aware of the immediate effects of a DUI charge but do not consider the long-term consequences. DUI convictions come with serious consequences that can adversely affect your personal life and professional career. The long-term effect of a DUI charge in California can hinder your driving status, admission status, employment status, insurance, and more. Here, we will take a look at the criminal penalties and after-effects of a DUI conviction in California.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR DUI IN CALIFORNIA
The drunk driving statistics in California are shocking. In 2013, there were 160,388 DUI arrests in California, while there were 154,743 in 2014 and 141,372 in 2015. Also, the California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended 134,595 licenses in 2016 due to drunk driving. As a result, DUI penalties in California are severe if an individual is convicted. The minimum and maximum penalties that can be imposed by the judge are set by statute.
FIRST DUI CONVICTION
A first-time DUI offender may be asked to pay a fine of between $390 and $1000 plus penalty assessment. Your license will be suspended for 6 months. However, you can apply for a restricted license that requires using an ignition interlock device (IID). Also, it is possible that you face a jail term of 48 hours to 6 months. If convicted, you will also receive informal probation of up to 3 or 5 years.
SECOND DUI CONVICTION
Second-time defendants may be asked to pay a fine of between $390 and $1000 plus penalty assessment. You can face a possible jail term of 96 hours up to a year. Also, you will receive a license suspension of 2 years. As with a first-time DUI charge, you can apply for a restricted license, which requires using an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to 12 months. Upon conviction, you will receive informal probation of up to 3 or 5 years.
THIRD DUI CONVICTION
As with a first or second DUI, a third DUI charge may result in a fine of $390 to $1000 plus penalty assessment. If convicted, you will face a jail term of 120 days to a year, and your license will be suspended for 3 years. That being said, you can apply for a restricted license that requires using an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to 2 years. You will also need to complete informal probation of 3 to 5 years.
No matter the angle you look at it from, these penalties are serious. Nonetheless, if you are facing a DUI charge in California, it is definitely worth fighting. For more information on what your next steps should be, check out our article: What to do If You Get Arrested for a DUI in California.
CONSEQUENCES OF DUI CONVICTIONS
The after-effects of DUI convictions are devastating and can affect your quality of life. Even after paying your fines and fulfilling your legal obligations, your DUI charge in California (whether in Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, or a neighboring area) can still dent your future prospects and haunt your life for years to come. Here are some of the consequences of DUI convictions:
- Driver’s License Revocation: A DUI charge can cause your driver’s license to be revoked for up to 2 years or more. You will lose your freedom to drive a car. If your job involves driving, you may become unemployed.
- Employment: DUI arrest and convictions may also affect your current job. Court appearances, hours of community service, house arrest, or jail time may have various effects on your work schedule. You may end up losing your current employment.
- Background Checks: Most employers carry out thorough background checks before hiring job applicants. DUI convictions will hinder your prospects of getting a new job as lots of employers are not comfortable with hiring DUI offenders.
- Auto Insurance Rates: DUI offenders are considered “high-risk” drivers by insurance companies. Hence, your auto insurance rates can increase significantly after a DUI conviction.
- Scholarship Programs: Having a DUI charge on your record may hinder your prospects of gaining admission to a university. Also, your scholarships may be revoked.
- Personal Relationships: You may feel ashamed or embarrassed about how family and friends feel about you after your DUI conviction.
- Professional Relationships: The way you are perceived by your employer and coworkers will most likely be adversely affected after a DUI arrest.
A DUI conviction can have serious repercussions on your life even years after the fact. You shouldn’t just plead guilty without any fight. Following your DUI arrest, the right thing to do is to seek the help of a trusted DUI attorney. Our qualified DUI attorneys at Kassel and Kassel use many defenses to fight for our clients, with the goal of getting their penalties and fines reduced or dropped completely.
CHOOSE YOUR CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY CAREFULLY
In the face of such devastating consequences, choosing the right criminal defense attorney is crucial. As soon as you are arrested for a DUI, your first move should be hiring an experienced DUI attorney in California. Our qualified DUI attorneys at Kassel and Kassel understand the nuances of the California DUI laws. We will represent you vigorously and increase your chances of success.
We serve clients in Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, Banning, and other areas in California. Schedule a free consultation today.