If you’ve been stopped and are now facing accusations of driving while under the influence, it’s important for you to take time to get to know your rights and how the DUI could affect you if you’re convicted. Depending on who you are and what you do in your life, a DUI could have many different effects ranging from making it so you can’t get to work to losing your job and professional license for violating an ethical standard set by an organization.
There are essentially six levels of DUIs in California. These include:
- First-offense misdemeanor.
- Second-offense misdemeanor.
- Third-offense misdemeanor.
- Misdemeanor resulting in an injury.
- Felony resulting in an injury.
For each of these DUIs, there are some serious penalties that you could face.
Take a look at a first-offense misdemeanor, for example. Even if this is your first offense, you could go to jail for up to six months for violating the law. Your driver’s license could be suspended for between six to 10 months, though you may be able to get a restricted license.
On top of these penalties, you could face fines. Fines start at $390 and go up to $1,000.
If you have a DUI offense in your history, you could face more significant penalties
If you were convicted of a DUI in the past, you could end up facing serious penalties for a second or subsequent DUI now. For instance, if this is the fourth time you’ve been accused of a DUI, you could be looking at a felony charge with a minimum of a 16-month jail sentence. You could lose your license for four years for this offense, too.
Any kind of DUI charge requires you to think about your defensive options
DUI charges of any kind can lead to serious issues for you. You have to start working on a defense as soon as you can, so you can focus on minimizing the risk of penalties. With the right approach, you may be able to avoid a conviction or prevent yourself from facing some of the more serious punishments allowed by law.