Being arrested and charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI) can be a humiliating and devastating experience. However, sustaining a conviction for DUI will only make your problems worse. If convicted of driving under the influence in California, the penalties you face will depend on the number of times you have previously sustained convictions for this or any other related offense, as well as a host of other factors. Whether the conviction results from a plea bargain or jury verdict, the case’s facts and the offender’s characteristics will play a crucial role in determining the outcome. Whether you find yourself staring down a conviction for a first-offense DUI or a fourth-offense DUI with aggravating circumstances, this article deals with many of the penalties you can face here in California and why you should contact an experienced Tehama County DUI lawyer to protect your future.
What Are The Penalties for A First-Offense DUI in Redding?
If you sustain a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can expect more than just the proverbial slap on the wrist. Tehama County law enforcement all up and down the chain take these charges seriously. For a first-offense DUI in California, consequences for conviction generally include:
- Anywhere from forty-eight hours to six months in county jail
- A probation sentence of three years
- A fine of approximately $1,600, including court assessments
- A suspension of your driver’s license for at least six months
- No longer being able to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system
What Happens If I Get A Second DUI in Redding?
Naturally, the consequences of a second-offense DUI are more significant than a first offense. If law enforcement arrests you and finds that you have a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, you will face the following penalties upon conviction:
- Anywhere from ten days to one year in county jail
- Up to $2,500 in fines and fees
- A lengthy driver’s license suspension
- Enrollment and participation in a court-approved DUI school, at your own expense
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in all vehicles that you own
Will I Go to Jail for A Third DUI in Redding?
If law enforcement arrests you for a third or subsequent DUI offense, they will consider you a repeat offender. This means that Golden State prosecutors will seek to punish you with the harshest possible penalties. If you sustain a conviction for a third or subsequent DUI offense, you can expect to face the following penalties:
- Anywhere between 120 days and one year in county jail
- A suspension of your driver’s license for up to three years
- A potential fine of up to $1,800
- Mandatory participation in a court-approved DUI program for a minimum of thirty months
- A potential period of probation
What Are The Penalties for Driving While under The Influence of Drugs?
Many people erroneously assume that driving under the influence charges is reserved solely for those who consume alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, operating a vehicle under a controlled substance’s influence is just as illegal. California law regarding Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) is quite clear. If convicted of this offense, you will most likely face the following consequences:
- Up to six months in county jail
- A potential suspension of your driver’s license between six and ten months
- A potential fine of up to $1,800, if this is your first offense
- Mandatory enrollment in California DUI school
Are There Any Aggravating Factors to A Drug DUI in Redding?
Bear in mind that you may even face felony charges if you are caught driving while under the influence of drugs. You will most likely face felony charges if this is your fourth or subsequent offense, you have a prior felony DUI on your record, or if you injured another person while driving under the influence of drugs. This can result in a jail sentence of up to four years, substantial fines, and more.
What Happens if I Get A DUI While under The Age of 21 in CA?
Underaged motorists, i.e., motorists who are under the age of 21, who operate a vehicle while under the influence or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, can be charged with a standard DUI and generally face the same penalties as drivers who are at least 21 years of age.
Underage motorists who are caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.01 percent or more can be convicted of an infraction, which can carry up to $250 in fines and a minimum one-year license suspension.
An underage driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent or more can be charged with underage DUI, which is also an infraction. A conviction for underage DUI carries a one-year license suspension and a $100 to $300 fine, depending on whether the driver has a prior infraction conviction within the past twelve months.
What Are Some Aggravating Factors That Could Result in Harsher Penalties?
Aggravating factors are facts or circumstances that increase the severity of a criminal act or the defendant’s culpability, thus warranting harsher sentencing. Typical aggravating factors for DUI cases include:
- Prior convictions
- High BACs
- Reckless driving
- Excessive speeding
- Having a suspended license
- Causing injuries or property damage
- Having a child in the vehicle at the time of the offense
Anyone faced with such charges should immediately avail themselves of quality legal services because a conviction for even the slightest DUI offense can destroy the rest of your life. Gregg Cohen is the former elected district attorney for both Shasta and Tehama Counties with more than thirty years of experience in criminal law, which he is eager to apply on his client’s behalf. You should not hesitate to contact Cohen Criminal Law today if you are in need of a competent legal team.