If you have multiple prior convictions for DUI or you hurt someone while driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, you can face serious repercussions. All counties in California take these charges very seriously and will prosecute them to the fullest extent.
Felony DUI penalties
If you are arrested or cited for a DUI and you have three or more prior DUI or alcohol related reckless driving convictions (wet reckless) in the last 10 years, you will most likely be charged with a felony DUI. If you are convicted of a felony DUI, the judge will be faced with the choice of sending you to state prison or giving you a chance on probation. If you are granted probation for a felony DUI, you will have to serve anywhere from 180 days to one year in county jail. You will also probably be required to participate in a residential treatment program as part of your grant of probation.
DUI with injury
If you are arrested or cited for a DUI accident that causes injury to someone other than yourself, the district attorney will charge you with violating either or both Section 23153(a) and 23153(b) of the California Vehicle Code. California Vehicle Code section 23153(a) makes it a crime to drive under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, and cause an injury to another person. California Vehicle Code section 23153(b) makes it illegal to drive while your blood alcohol level is above .08% and cause an injury to another person. These charges can either be filed as a misdemeanor or as a felony.
If you are convicted of a felony DUI with injury, the judge will be faced with the choice of sending you to state prison or giving you a chance on probation. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor violation, the judge will have the option of sentencing you to county jail for not less than ninety days or granting probation. If you are granted probation for either a felony or misdemeanor DUI with injury, you will have to serve anywhere from 5 days to one year in county jail. You will be fined $2397. You will have to attend and complete either the First Offender DUI program, which is three months or the Extended First Offender program, which is nine months. Your driver’s license will be suspended by the DMV.
Being charged with a DUI when you are under 21 can be a frightening experience. As a young person, it is likely you have never been in trouble with the law before. Your family is probably still very involved with your life and worried about your situation. You may be in school or just starting a job and a DUI can complicate both. If you or your child are under 21 when you are arrested or charged with DUI, there can be many additional complications that persons over 21 don’t face.
Zero Tolerance Law when under 21
California Vehicle Code section 23136 outlines the zero tolerance law for those under 21. In California it is unlawful for anyone under 21 to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .01 percent or greater. This offense is an infraction, not a misdemeanor, but you will still face fines and fees as well as penalties from the DMV. The DMV will suspend your license for one year, or you will face a one year delay in getting your license if you don’t have a valid license yet. If you refuse a chemical test, your license could be suspended for one to three years depending on whether you have been convicted of this crime before. You have a right to fight your suspension at the DMV hearing, but you must request that hearing within 10 days of the offense. You have the right to be represented by an attorney at that DMV hearing.
Under 21 DUI While .05-.07 Percent Blood Alcohol Content
It is unlawful to be under 21 and drive while having a blood alcohol concentration between .05 and .07 percent. This offense is an infraction, not a misdemeanor or a felony, so you cannot be sentenced to any jail time. However, there are still serious consequences. If found in violation, your license will be suspended for one year (or you will have to wait one year to get a license if you do not already have one), you will be ordered to complete a three month DUI school, and you will be ordered not to drink alcohol until you are 21. Repeat offenses of this law will raise the fines imposed by the court. As with any other DMV action, you have a right to request a hearing to fight the DMV administrative suspension. However, you only have 10 days to request this hearing. An attorney can help you schedule the hearing and represent you at the hearing.
Under 21 DUI While .08 Percent or Above Blood Alcohol Content
If you are charged with violating Vehicle Code sections 23152(a) or 23152(b) while under 21, you face the same consequences as anyone over 21, but also have to face additional penalties because of your age. Your license will be suspended for one year by the DMV unless you mount a successful defense at your DMV hearing. In addition to other “standard” terms of your DUI sentence, the judge will likely order you to attend the Alive at 25 class through the Santa Rosa Junior College. The class is four and a half hours and is offered twice at month for a cost of $85.
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney
If you are arrested or cited for a felony DUI or DUI with injury in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, or anywhere in the North Bay, call the Law Office of Amy Chapman
today at (707) 636-3207 to find out what you’re facing and to get started on your defense today. You can also contact the office online.