Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson

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408-246-3004

247 N. Third Street, San Jose, CA 95112

California DUI Penalties

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Criminal Defense Lawyer for Driving-under-the-Influence Charges in Santa Clara County and throughout the Area

Driving under the influence can lead to severe penalties and consequences for those convicted of it. Understanding the consequences of being charged with a DUI can help prepare you for what to expect as you go through the court process. Many people believe that a DUI charge is not serious or is merely a traffic violation. A DUI charge is, in fact, serious and should be treated as such. A DUI offender can be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony offense. A defendant may be sentenced to lengthy prison time depending upon the number of prior DUI offenses, the severity of the charges, if any individual was hurt or killed as a result of the offender driving under the influence, and other conditions.

Therefore, it is essential that any individual being charged with a DUI offense consult an experienced DUI lawyer. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, our skilled criminal defense lawyer has extensive experience in defending clients against all forms of DUI charges. Contact us today so we can begin building a strong defense for you.

Penalties for Driving under the Influence

In California is it illegal for any individual to drive a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more (VC 23152(b)) If an individual drives with a BAC of 0.08% or more, then he or she is considered to have been driving under the influence. Penalties for driving under the influence in California are serious. Depending on the severity of the DUI charge, offenders can face probation, fines, and even jail time. Some of the punishments for driving under the influence include:

  • If an individual is convicted of a first-time misdemeanor DUI offense, then he or she can be punished by serving a jail term of up to 6 months, pay a fine ranging from $390 to $1,000, and have their license suspended for six months (VC 23536). If the defendant is granted probation, and his or her BAC was less than 0.20%, then he or she will be required to attend a licensed DUI program for at least three months.
  • If convicted of a second-time misdemeanor DUI offense within 10 years of the first offense, the offender may be sentenced to a jail term of up to one year (VC 23540). The defendant will be required to pay a fine of not less than $390 and not more than $1,000. The defendant's driver's license will be suspended for at least 12 months. In addition, if the defendant is granted probation, then he or she will be required to attend a DUI program for at least 18 months.
  • Per Vehicle Code 23546, if convicted of a third DUI offense, the offender faces a minimum jail term of 120 days or one year. The offender will be required to pay a fine not less than $390 and not more than $1,000. The defendant's driving privilege can be revoked for three years. In addition, if the defendant is on probation, he or she will be required to participate in a DUI program for at least 18 months. However, if the defendant has previously completed a 12-month or 18-month DUI program, then the defendant will be referred to a 30-month program (if available).
  • If an individual is convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense, then the individual faces a prison term of 16 months, 2 years, or four years in the state penitentiary. The offender will be required to pay a fine ranging from $390 to $1,000. In addition, if the court grants the offender probation, the offender will be required to attend a DUI program for 30 months. The offender's driving license will be suspended for four years.

It is essential to keep in mind that the penalties for driving under the influence can vary depending on the number of prior DUI offenses and if anyone besides the driver was injured or killed as a result of the offender driving under the influence.

Suspension of Your Driver's License

If your driver's license was temporarily suspended or revoked, there are several ways in which you can have your driving privileges reinstated. If you are a DUI offender, you may be able to have your driving privilege reinstated by providing proof of financial responsibility and completing a driving-under-the-influence program. However, you may only be permitted to drive on a restricted driver's license for a period of time that is dependent upon the severity of your charges and the number of your prior DUI offenses.

Individuals whose licenses have been suspended for driving under the influence can be issued restricted driving licenses (if all other conditions are met) if they only drive vehicles that are equipped with ignition interlock devices (IID) for a specific period of time. This law currently extends to the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento. Starting January 1, 2019, DUI offenders in the entire state of California will be required to have IIDs installed in the vehicles they drive if they wish to have their driver's license reinstated (which may or may not be restricted).

Act Now to Save Your Driver's License

You only have ten (10) days from your arrest to request a hearing with the Driver Safety Office of the Department of Motor Vehicles. You have a right to a hearing in order to save your driving privileges. Attorney Erik Johnson conducts these hearings on behalf of his clients and has one of the highest success rates in Northern California.

Quality DUI Defense Lawyers in San Jose CA

If you are facing a DUI charge, do not wait. Contact our reputable criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson. Attorney Erik Johnson will strive to get the DUI charges dismissed or reduced, or achieve the most lenient sentence possible for you. He will ensure your rights and freedoms are protected in court. Call our office at 408-246-3004, or contact us online. We serve clients in San Jose, Santa Clara County, San Francisco and throughout the bay area.

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