Individuals who are driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs risk losing their driving privileges. If you are stopped while driving under the influence, you may be charged for violation of Vehicle Code 23152. VC 23152 (a) provides that it is ‘unlawful’ for a person to drive a vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Under VC 23152 (f), it is against the law to drive a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, and yes that includes marijuana. If at the time you were stopped the police officer has enough probable cause to detain you, you will be arrested and transported to a local police station. A police officer may establish probable cause if he or she smells alcohol on your breath, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test or if you fail a field sobriety test (FST). Once at the police station, your blood alcohol concentration levels will be tested. If you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs you will be charged with a DUI. However, the penalties that are placed will depend on a number of factors. In a courtroom a judge will take into account the age of the driver, the damage to property, physical damage to another person, damages to passengers, the age of the passengers, the location of your DUI, the status of your driving license, and others factors that have the ability to impact your case.
In most DUI cases, if it is your first time DUI offense, you will be required to pay a fine ranging between $390 to $1000, plus any additional penalties that may arise from harming another person or damaging property, and a six-month license suspension. However, if you are a person under the age of 21, you may have your driving privileges suspended for a year or longer. In addition, you may face a six-month jail sentence and you will be required to undergo DUI probation for the next three years. As part of your probation, you will be required to pass a 9 month DUI school before you can even think about reissuing your license. Finally, you will need to make sure that you have paid off the DMV fees (see below to learn more about DMV reissue fees).
A DUI is a ‘priorable’ offense meaning that a prior or first offense will have an impact on future DUI penalties and fines. Keep in mind that a ‘wet- reckless’, though it holds lesser penalties and fines than a DUI, will have an effect on how your second DUI case is treated. A person who has violated the DUI laws for the second time should expect to pay a fine ranging between $390 to $1000, plus additional charges, license suspension for up to two years, and mandatory 18 to 30 month DUI school. Furthermore, the driver may face jail time of up to a year.
If within ten years you are daring enough to commit a third DUI offense, you will be charged with fines ranging between $390 to $1000, jail time of up to one year, three-year license suspension and 30 months of DUI school. Furthermore, you will be registered as a habitual traffic offender (HTO) by the Department of Motor Vehicle. Individuals who are registered as Habitual Traffic Offenders may be required to pay a fine ranging from one to two thousand dollars and spend up to 180 days in jail. When you are charged with a DUI for the third time, your penalties can increase if you were driving on a suspended license or if you cause bodily harm to another person. After a third DUI is charged, you really want to consider Uber or public transportation before you choose to drive home while under the influence of an alcoholic drink or drug. When a fourth time DUI hits, you are looking at more serious consequences that will greatly limit your freedoms.
Individuals that just don’t get tired of paying DUI fees, going to jail and having their license suspended, will find comfort in the following. If after three DUI’s you fail to break the horrible habit of driving under the influence, your fourth DUI offense will be treated as a felony. In the state of California, if you have three felonies, any subsequent criminal charges will hold twice the penalties and fines. This means that if you have three felonies in the state of California, and your fourth DUI just cashed in, you will face additional penalties than those for fourth time DUI offenders. Fourth time DUI fees can range up to $18,000 (plus additional damages), up to 30 months of DUI school, felon status, up to 16 months in prison, and may face permanent license suspension.
When you are charged with a DUI, it is crucial to seek attention before you accept the charges placed by the court. There are many factors that can affect a DUI. For instance, did you know that your blood or urine sample ferments if it is not treated with the right amount of preservatives? Also, did you know that you can have your blood or urine samples tested by an independent agency? In fact, even the procedure in which your blood was collected can be assessed to ensure that your blood and/or sample were collected and treated according to the Title 17 California Code of Regulations. Furthermore, an experienced attorney can also contest the way in which you were arrested. Were you read your rights? Did the officer tell you that a breathalyzer test is optional? Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense which is why both law practitioners and lawmakers establish strict codes of conducts for both the driver and the peace officer. Whenever there is a violation of certain codes, you may have enough reason to contest the police findings.
As mentioned above, there are a number of ways to contest your DUI. A DUI will impact the way you commute from location to location and may prevent you from obtaining certain government jobs. To consult the facts of your case with an attorney, you may contact our experienced DUI attorney who will let you know if there is anything that can be done to challenge your case. Remember that every case is different which means that every DUI case will warrant different fines and penalties. To ensure that you know the laws that apply to your case, you will want to speak with a local attorney.
Reissuing License in California
As you can see from the basic penalties described above for first, second, third, and fourth DUI cases, a DUI guarantees a license suspension. Under California Vehicle Code 14601.3 (a), it is against the law for anyone with a suspended license to operate a vehicle on a U.S road. When your license is suspended, you are legally obligated to stay away from driving a car. The Department of Motor Vehicle may suspend your license for the following reasons:
- Not attending your court date: individuals who fail to appear (FTA) in court after a traffic violation and citation, will have their license suspended until they attend court.
- Not paying the fine: in some cases, your license is suspended if you fail to pay your traffic-related fine.
- If you are stopped and you are driving without car insurance
- If you fail to pay your child support payments
- If you are driving with a mental or physical impairment that can cause damages to others
In addition, according to the Admin Per Se program established in 1990, your license is immediately confiscated by the police if the following applies to you:
- You are driving a motor vehicle while with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher
- You are driving with a BAC .01% and you are minor or a person on DUI probation
- You are driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC over .04% or higher
- You refuse to take a BAC test
Reinstating a California Driver's License
Before you can reinstate your driving privileges, you are required to complete any obligatory suspension period. As mentioned above, first time DUI offenders will have their license suspended for six months. In addition, you cannot reinstate your driver's privilege after DUI until you have complete a required DUI school which comes with your probation. For DUI cases, after you have waited out the mandatory suspension and you have successfully completed your DUI school, you may proceed with the following:
- Pay DMV fees
- Presenting a certificate of completion of a DUI program
- Serving a jail or prison sentence
- Proof of insurance: California Insurance Proof Certificate issued by your insurance company
Individuals with mental or physical disorders will be required to submit a medical evaluation of their disorder. Reinstating your rights after you have been convicted of a DUI requires patience as you will have to wait a period of time (usually a year) before you will be allowed to reapply for your license. Living without a license can be an annoyance that may want to avoid. To ensure that you keep your driving privileges for as long as you can, you may want to avoid driving under the influence. A DUI can become costly after consideration of the fees and mandatory DUI school fees. In cases where the individual does not have enough to pay back, he or she may find that their suspension period is longer than those who have the financial means to continue with the process of reinstating their driver's license.
In addition to serving jail time, waiting out any mandatory suspension, and paying for DUI school fees, you will be required to pay the DMV reissue fees. The DMV will collect the following fees:
- An administrative fee of $55
- Admin Per Se fee of $100
- Alcohol Screening fee $100
- Court restriction fee $15
- Remove restriction on Driver License fee $20
- Drug suspension fee $24
Individuals who are charged with a DUI will need to hop through certain hoops in order to reinstate their driving privileges after a DUI conviction. For this reason, you are encouraged to speak with an attorney who can help contest the DUI so get to keep your driving privileges. One of the greatest defenses against a DUI is filing a ‘blood split motion’. When your attorney files a blood split motion, he is asking to have the blood sample retested. The police station is required by law to save enough blood or urine so that it may be independently tested. If they fail to save some sample for you or break any of the regulations under Title 17, you may have your DUI charges dropped.
In the other cases, you may want to speak with an attorney about a wet-reckless. In some cases, an attorney is able to drop the charges of a DUI to a wet-reckless. A wet-reckless is treated as a DUI except that it holds lesser punishments and fines; most importantly, you may keep your driving license.
Being charged with a DUI is a serious offense that can impact your driving privileges, and may affect other areas of your life. When you are charged with a DUI, it will appear on your driving record for the next ten years. This means that if you are applying to work in a place that requires you to drive, you may be denied the opportunity if they see a DUI in your driving history. Furthermore, after you complete and reinstate your driving privileges, you may only be allowed to drive after the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). You will be required to pay for the device and follow the rules of the program. You will be required to blow air into the device before igniting the car and you may not be able to drive after certain hours or on certain days.
A DUI impacts your life in many ways which is why you should always contest a DUI charge. There are many reasons to challenge a DUI, to learn more about the DUI laws in California, you may contact the Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney at 323-464-6700.