First DUI Offense - Penalties & Punishments*

Probation

3-5 years of Court Probation

This means no probation officer to report to, but absolutely no drinking and driving during that time-period with other conditions.

Fines & Fees

A fine, including court fees and costs of $2,000-$2,500

This can be paid over time for an additional charge or in-full within 45 days. In some courts, you can work off part of the fine through community service.

Driver License

Six-month loss of California Driver's License. Drivers are eligible for a restricted "work license" for entire 6 months. However, if the driver is also suspended by the DMV administratively, there is a 30 day "hard" suspension before the restricted license. This means that there are no exceptions to the 30 day suspension.

 A suspension means absolutely no driving, while a restriction allows driving to and from work or school only.

DUI School

Depending on your Blood Alcohol Level, DUI school may be required - as few as 12 hours or as many as 45. Blood alcohol over .20 will result in a 9 month DUI school. The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs maintains a list of DUI Schools.

Jail Time

MANDATORY JAIL TIME

There is a likely requirement of 48 hours of jail time on a first-offense DUI. It is possible to have this time converted to work service.

* Does not include DMV administrative penalties or criminal enhancements. In addition, starting July 1, 2010, individuals arrested and then convicted of a first-offense DUI, in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento counties will be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on their vehicle for five months (or 12 months if an injury was involved). This is a pilot program, which is why the penalty only applies to these four counties.

* There may be individual facts in a case that could lead to "sentence enhancements" - being charged which could result in a more severe sentence: having a blood alcohol higher than .15 or .20, refusing a breath for a blood test, having a child or minor in the car, having a solo car accident, injuring another person, or a prior conviction older than 10 years. If any of these circumstances are in your case, you should talk to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Second DUI Offense - Penalties & Punishments *

Probation

3-5 years of Court Probation

This means no probation officer to report to, but absolutely no drinking and driving during that time period and other probation conditions.

Fines & Fees

A fine, including court fees and costs of $2,000 to $2500.

This can be paid over time for an additional charge, or in-full within 45 days. In some courts, you can work off part of the fine through community service.

Driver's License

Two Year loss of California Driver's License. Generally, drivers are eligible to apply for a restricted license after 90 days "hard suspension" with installation of an IDD.

A suspension means absolutely no driving, while a restriction allows driving to and from work or school. You will also have to install an ignition interlock device (breath tester) on your vehicle.

DUI School

This will be for 18 months. The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs maintains a list of DUI Schools

Jail Time

MANDATORY JAIL TIME

There is a required 96 hours of jail time on a second-offense DUI. It is possible to have this time converted to work service. Many counties will insist on at least 10 days of jail, but some require 30 or more depending on the specifics of the case. (This is where a good DUI attorney can help.)

* There may be individual facts in a case that could lead to "sentence enhancements" being charged which could result in a more severe sentence: having a blood alcohol higher than .15, refusing a breath for a blood test, having a child or minor in the car, having a solo car accident, injuring another person, or a prior conviction older than 10 years. If any of these circumstances are in your case, you should talk to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Third DUI Offense - Penalties & Punishments *

Probation

3 to 5 years of Court or FORMAL Probation

Court Probation means no probation officer to report to. However, formal Probation means reporting to a Probation Officer on a regular basis with closer supervision. Often times there are strict no alcohol terms, alcohol counseling with court reviews.

Fines & Fees

A fine, including court fees and costs of $2,200-$2,800

This can be paid over time for an additional charge, or in-full within 45 days. In some courts, you can work off part of the fine through community service.

Driver's License

Minimum 3 years loss of California Driver's License

 A suspension means absolutely no driving, while a restriction allows driving to and from work or school. Generally, after 18 months, a "hard suspension" driver may apply for a restricted license.

DUI School

This will be for 18 months, sometimes 30 months. The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs maintains a list ofDUI Schools.

Jail Time

MANDATORY JAIL TIME

There is a required 120 days of jail time on a third-offense DUI. It is possible to have this time converted to some alternative such as home arrest, rehab, or some combination of these. Many counties will insist on at least 210 days of jail, while some counties require one full year.

* There may be individual facts in a case that could lead to "sentence enhancements" being charged, which could result in a more severe sentence. These include having a blood alcohol higher than .15, refusing a breath for a blood test, having a child or minor in the car, having a solo car accident, injuring another person, or a prior conviction older than 10 years. If any of these circumstances apply to you,  talk to an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Fourth DUI Offense - Penalties & Punishments

A fourth DUI within 10 years in California is a felony. The punishment can be county jail up to a year or state prison for 1 months, 2 or 3 years. It is important that if you or a family member has been charged with a felony DUI that you contact an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. An experienced knowledgeable lawyer can often mitigate or minimize these penalties considerably, especially if the individual is willing to attend counseling or inpatient treatment.