The Law And First Time DUIs – Do Not Take Them Lightly
Getting a DUI for the first time can be a scary experience. To help you through the stress of an arrest and the complexity of our legal system, you need to secure the services of a DUI attorney Los Angeles residents trust. An attorney can be a tremendous help when dealing with a DUI arrest and can help you regain a normal life as quickly as possible.
After the Arrest
Being charged with a DUI should never be taken lightly. You should not be without hope, however. You are entitled to legal representation, and the State has to prove its case. First offenses for DUIs are usually misdemeanor charges, but there are special circumstances which can elevate the charge to a felony offense. There are also other factors which can increase the punishment which you may receive for a first time DUI in California, even if it is not charged as a felony offense.
These aggravating factors can include speeding or reckless driving, an injury resulting from an accident, or having a minor under the age of 14 in your car, among others. When there is death or injury involved, the chances of being charged with a felony DUI are much higher but any of these and other circumstances can result in harsher punishments, larger fines and more.
The Administrative Hearing
The first thing your Los Angeles DUI lawyer will do is schedule an Administrative Hearing. Those who are charged with a DUI in California must schedule this hearing within 10 days of the arrest. If this is not scheduled by you or your attorney, you may lose your license regardless of the outcome of the criminal case.
DUI First OffenseEvery arrest should be viewed as a serious turn of events. You should remember to stay calm – an arrest does not mean a conviction, and there are many things that a qualified Los Angeles DUI attorney can do to attempt to mitigate the outcome of the charges. The first step will be to examine the evidence including officer training and equipment maintenance; if the training has not been documented, or if the breathalyzer has not been properly maintained, these issues can result in leverage your attorney can use to lessen the charges or to get them dropped altogether.
The following punishments are standard for a first time DUI:
- Fines from $390 to $1000 (not including penalty assessments)
- Up to 6 months in jail
- 4 months to one year suspension of your driver’s license
- DUI School lasting from 3 to 18 months
Other things such as an ignition interlock device can also be ordered by the Court but the results of a conviction also carry other burdens. This includes years of increased insurance premiums, a criminal record and the possible loss of employment.
It does not matter how many times you have been charged with a DUI, you must take these charges seriously. At the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin, you will find a DUI lawyer Los Angeles residents rely on for legal help. You will receive a vigorous defense from this former prosecutor who knows the California laws and Court system. Call Jonathan Franklin now for a free initial consultation.
Will I Go To Jail For A First Time DUI?
You were driving when a police officer pulled you over and arrested for driving under the influence. Now you’re facing a DUI charge. You have a lot of worries. You also have a lot of questions like:
- How will this impact my job?
- How bad will it damage my reputation?
- What happens now?
- Do I need a defense lawyer to help me fight the charge?
- Then there is the other question that is causing you sleepless nights. Will I go to jail just for a first time DUI?
These are important questions and you need a tough, honest lawyer to give you these answers. You also need a criminal defense lawyer ready to fight for you. You need DUI Defense Lawyer Jonathan Franklin.
Driving under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
It is unlawful for any individual to drive a vehicle under the influence of any alcoholic beverage. This laws with respect to driving under the influence charges can be found under California vehicle code 23152 subsection a and b. The law defines being under the influence of alcohol as anyone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
The Law for a First DUI Conviction
In California, he penalties for a DUI conviction depend on how many previous convictions you have for driving under the influence. For instance, a second conviction has harsher penalties than a first conviction. Luckily, a first-time DUI does not involve any DUI prior convictions within 10 years. In fact, a first-time DUI is considered a misdemeanor.
You face the following penalties:
- Participation in an alcohol and/ or drug education program.
- Have your license suspended for approximately six months.
- Informal probation. This could last anywhere from three to five years. You won’t have to report to a probation officer, but you cannot drink and drive during that time.
- Spend up to six months in jail.
Will You Go to Jail?
The answer depends on a few factors. Just because you face spending six months in jail does not mean it will become reality. In counties like Los Angeles where there are no mitigating factors, or circumstances that could increase your penalties, you may avoid jail time. For instance, you could receive three years of probation. You may spend six days completing community service. You could pay fines up to $2,000. You may be required to participate in an alcohol program. The DMV may suspend your license too.
Keep in mind that every case is different. Thus, you are not guaranteed to receive the above sentence, if convicted. Contact Jonathan Franklin for a free initial consultation immediately. He will go over the details of your case and explain all the legal options you have. These options can include negotiating a deal with prosecutors so that you avoid jail time and perhaps plea to a lesser offense. Another viable option would be taking your case to trial, if you choose. Jonathan Franklin can go over ever possible option and scenario to help you decide the best strategy to eliminate or reduce the consequences that a DUI conviction encompasses.
Aggravating Factors of a First Time DUI
Some aggravating factors involved in a DUI arrest may increase your chances of receiving jail time. According to 23572 of the vehicle code, you can spend 48 hours in jail if one of the following situations occurred with your DUI:
- Your passenger was under the age of 14 years old when you were stopped for DUI.
- You had a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent of higher.
- You refused to take a blood alcohol test.
According to California Vehicle section 23582, you face up to an additional 60 days in jail if the following occurred:
- You were driving 20 miles over the speed limit on a California freeway.
- You were driving 30 miles over the speed limit on a street or highway.
Jonathan Franklin and his team are here for you. Instead of worrying about jail time, you can fight the charge. Start resolving the matter today by taking the first step of contacting the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin.