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San Jose DUI attorney FAQsNo matter the offense, when you are in trouble with the law, it can be a scary and intimidating experience. When it comes to DUI, the state of California takes these charges very seriously and will usually prosecute offenders to the greatest extent of the law. The consequences for DUI vary greatly depending on the circumstances surrounding a specific case, and those who are facing charges should be sure to understand how the laws affect them. Here are some answers to four of the most frequently asked questions about California DUIs:

How Long Will I Lose My License For?

It depends. There are many factors that can affect how long your driver’s license suspension is in effect. If you are arrested for drunk driving, you may face an administrative per se suspension of your driver's license. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may also have to serve a criminal license suspension. However, if this was your first DUI offense, you will be able to keep your full driving privileges if an ignition interlock device (IID) is immediately installed and used for at least six months. If you do not use an IID, you will be able to drive with a restricted driver's license for 12 months.

Will a DUI Affect My Insurance?

More than likely, yes. If you are arrested or convicted for a DUI, it is not unusual to see your car insurance rates go up to double or even triple what they previously were. In California, you are required to obtain SR-22 or high risk insurance after a DUI. Your insurance provider must send proof of insurance to the California DMV.

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California DUI defense attorneyWhile the number of people who die in alcohol-related car crashes has been decreasing significantly since the 1980s, it still remains a large issue today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 11,000 people in the United States died in alcohol-related car accidents in 2017. In California alone, there were 3,602 deaths. In an effort to reduce that number, a new law was passed and went into effect at the beginning of the year that requires both first-time and repeat DUI offenders to install a breath-alcohol ignition interlock device into their vehicle.

SB 1046 Requires Ignition Interlock Installation

According to the new bill, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, first-time DUI offenders will now have to choose between:

  1. Six months of full driving privileges with an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle, or
  2. A restricted driving permit for one year with no ignition interlock device.

If you are a first-time offender and you cause injury to another person, you have no choice but to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for one year.

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California DUI defense attorneyCalifornia is famous for having some of the country’s most strict DUI laws. Even a simple, first-time DUI with no injuries or property damage can cost you your driving privileges, in addition to probation and exuberant fines. Committing a DUI at any time is a terrible idea, but it is an even worse one when you have a child in the vehicle with you. California courts do not take kindly to DUI offenders who endanger children and will most likely punish you to the extent the law allows. Not only will you be facing any applicable normal DUI charges, but you will also be facing an enhanced charge because of the child in the vehicle and you could also be facing child endangerment charges.

DUI With a Child in the Vehicle Calls For a Sentence Enhancement

When certain aggravating factors are present when you committed a DUI, California courts can choose to increase the penalties. In addition to any DUI charges you may be facing, you will most likely face an enhancement to your DUI charge if you had a child passenger at the time of your arrest. California VEH 23572 allows for this sentence enhancement if it is found that you committed a DUI with a child in the vehicle under the age of 14. In addition to other penalties, you will also be facing extra time in prison. These times can vary from 48 hours to 90 days of extra jail time.

Child Endangerment Charges

If you are caught with a child passenger under the age of 14 and you are found to be intoxicated while driving, you could also be charged with child endangerment. Under California’s Penal Code 273(a), you could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime for putting the child in a situation where death or great bodily injury was likely. Though you cannot be convicted of both a DUI with a child endangerment enhancement and a penal code charge for child endangerment, you can be convicted of both a normal DUI and a penal code charge for child endangerment.

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