Every day thousands of people in California are arrested on DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol, charges. We mostly hear about them in the context of celebrities. However, just this month [November 2014], a Westminster City councilman was arrested and charged with a DUI after hitting a metal fence at an apartment complex.

Driving under the influence of alcohol in California is a crime, and depending on the circumstances of each individual case, comes with different consequences. If you, or a loved one, have been charged with a DUI, you may be wondering what to expect.

Get an Attorney

The first and most important thing to do if you have been accused of driving drunk is consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. He or she will have the knowledge and skill that you need to make your case to a judge or jury. Your DUI lawyer can also help you negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor on your case that may include lessened fines and shorter jail and license suspension time.

DUI Penalties

In California, a first offense is punishable by the following:

  • Jail time of four days to six months
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Thirty days to 10 months license suspension
  • Some counties require an interlock ignition device to be installed in the car

A second offense is punishable by:

  • Ten days to one year in jail
  • Up to $1,800 in fines
  • License suspension of two years

A third offense is punishable by:

  • Jail time of 120 days to one year
  • Up to $1,800 in fines
  • License suspension of up to three years

A fourth offense within 10 months of the third DUI offense is punished by 16 months in jail, up to $18,000 in fines, and license suspension for up to four years.

Second, third, and fourth offenses come with the requirement of an interlock ignition device being installed in the defendant’s motor vehicle.

Being charged with a DUI is serious, and it can have a serious effect on many aspects of your life. David S. Kestenbaum has years of experience handling DUI cases, and he is here to help you with your DUI charge.

We recommend that you keep our phone number in your purse or wallet, so it is easily accessible should you need urgent legal counsel. For an initial consultation, the Kestenbaum Law Group  welcomes your call to our office at (818) 616-4312.