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What should I expect if charged with my first DUI

First-time DUIs are more often than not charged as misdemeanors with punishments ranging from fines to jail time amongst other possible penalties. First time DUI charges are typically less severe than the charges one would receive after they have already received previous convictions for drinking and driving. To learn more about the legal ramifications of drinking and driving, continue reading this article. 

What are the penalties for a first-time DUI?

If charged with drinking and driving for the first time, you may:

  • Have your driver license suspended for a six-month long period
  • Be sentenced to probation for 3 to 5 years
  • Be fined with as little as $390 or as much as $1000 as well as penalty assessments
  • Be released from your work
  • Be ordered to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle
  • Have to go to DUI school
  • Be unable to travel to Canada
  • Receive a light jail sentence

Depending on which county you are located, for a misdemeanor, in lieu of a jail sentence, you could receive probation. If this is the case, then you must follow certain conditions such as having an ignition interlock device put on your vehicle and an agreement that you will not drive with alcohol in your system. You may also have to attend AA meetings or follow other probation conditions. In the event that you fail to comply with your probation conditions, the judge may apply a jail sentence to you instead.

What happens after being arrested for a DUI?

Once you have been arrested for being under the influence, you will then be subjected to a DMV hearing for license suspension as well as a mandatory court trial. Note that you have to actually request the license suspension hearing within a ten day timeframe if you want to dispute your license suspension, otherwise you will receive an automatic suspension of six months. During this time, you may be issued a temporary license after an officer has confiscated your license.

When can I drive after having my license suspended?

First-time DUI offenders are allowed to apply for an “IID restricted license,” which enables an offender to drive under the condition that they have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle during their license suspension period. Alternatively, they may apply for a restricted license that allows them to drive for some specific reasons. After an offender's suspension period is complete, they can go to the DMV to file a form that will allow them to have their license reinstated. A $125 fee is also required for this process. 

In this article, we went over what could result from a first-time DUI offense in the State of California. If you or someone you know is being charged for committing a DUI, please consider contacting us to learn about possible defenses against DUI charges.

Regardless of the classification of the offense, it is important that you seek the assistance of competent legal counsel to help you best understand your legal defense while identifying an outcome that best minimizes your risk. We here at the H Law Group patiently await your call.

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