A DUI is not like other driving offenses. Due to the serious nature of the crime, and the fact a drunk driver puts the lives of others at risk, a DUI carries serious legal penalties in the state of California. But the consequences of a DUI don’t end once you’ve paid your fine and done your time. A DUI conviction can impact both your present and your future.
Criminal Penalties for DUI in California
The legal limit for blood alcohol level in the state of California is 0.08%. Anything over that is considered being “under the influence,” and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when your blood alcohol level is this high means you are legally “driving under the influence.”
DUIs are compounding offenses in California, which means the penalties get steeper with each subsequent arrest and conviction. For a first offense, the minimum penalties are up to $1,800 in fines and expenses, up to 48 hours in jail (or a 90-day restriction of your license), loss of your license for 30 days, mandatory 3-month alcohol treatment. The maximum penalties for a first offense are up to roughly $4,000 in fines and penalties, up to six months in jail, loss of your license for six months, the impounding of your vehicle for 30 days, and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. All of this is at your expense.
If you are arrested for DUI again within 10 years of your first conviction, the fines, jail terms and length of license suspension increase with each subsequent arrest, with the possibility of losing your license permanently. This, of course, assumes no one was killed or seriously injured due to you driving under the influence. In that case, the DUI will most likely be charged as a felony with felony penalties attached.
A DUI conviction also goes on your record, meaning it can get you fired from any job that uses background checks, or prevent you from getting a job in the future.
Redwood City DUI Attorney
Since anything can happen when you drive under the influence – accidents with other vehicles, property damage, injury to other people – DUI cases are often complicated, and may involve potential penalties you aren’t ready to face. When you’ve been picked up for a DUI/DWI in Northern California, you need an attorney with experience representing clients against DUI charges. Attorney Naresh Rajan serves clients charged with DUI in Redwood City and surrounding counties.