Many good people are arrested for DUI and suddenly find themselves in the criminal justice system. The main ways a Court will punish a person convicted of Driving Under the Influence are through jail time, community labor, a fine, alcohol classes, DUI programs, and probation, which will be explained below.
For a discussion of DUI laws click here: https://beachcitiesdui.com/dui-laws
Serving time in jail is something no one wants to go through. The good news is that if it was your first time arrested for DUI you will most likely not need to do another second of jail time. However, if you have been arrested multiple times within the last 10 years for DUI, then jail time is mandatory.
Other situations where someone may have to serve jail time would be if there was a bad accident - if someone was injured then it is elevated to a felony and jail is likely and potentially time in a state prison. generally though, if you were arrested for DUI for the first time you should not serve jail time.
Community Labor can sometimes be substituted in place of jail time. Community labor is hard work and run by Cal Trans. This typically consists of picking up trash. This is different than community service which is a lighter form of service with more options available.
GPS MONITOR DEVICE/HOUSE ARREST
It may be possible to serve time with an alcohol monitoring device locked to your ankle. This device also can track your whereabouts through a GPS system. We have helped many people avoid jail with this device.
MOTHERS AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING/HOSPITAL AND MORGUE
There are other programs the Court may Order a person convicted of DUI to complete. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is a common program Ordered by the Court. This is a one time program that is relatively easy to complete online.
The HAM program is time intensive and requires attendance at the hospital and morgue to hear doctors talk about patients they have helped after being hit by DUI drivers. Additionally, the program requires a trip to the morgue. The prosecutors like this program to impress upon the attendee the risks of driving under the influence. Here is a link with more info.
To sign up for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Hospital and Morgue program you can call the Volunteer Center.
DUI fines depend on the severity of the situation leading to arrest. DUI fines start at $390 and go up to $1,000. However, this amount is deceiving because penalties, assessments and court fees will be added. If you can get the fine as low as possible under the law, $390, that is approximately $1,900 by the time penalties and assessments are added. Fines are typically something attorneys can manipulate by lowering in a plea bargain, getting credit to reduce even further, and getting time to pay the fine.
If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence you will be placed on probation. If it is only a misdemeanor conviction, not a felony, then probation is informal. There is nothing you have to do, no one you must check in with, but you cannot drive at all after drinking alcohol, and you must obey all laws. Being convicted of a crime would then be a probation violation. Additionally, not completing the programs Ordered by the Court would be a violation of probation. It is important to reduce penalties as much as possible because completing all these tasks is difficult.
If you are not arrested during probation and you completed all obligations ordered by the court then your probation automatically expires. It is important to note that probation begins to run on the day of conviction, not the date of arrest. After the probation ends you can request the Court Dismiss your case and it is almost certain they will.
Probation is typically 3 years, but it can go up from there depending on the number of DUI convictions and severity of the circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest.
Probation expires automatically. After expiration of probation, it is possible to have the conviction expunged. We expunge cases frequently for our clients and have never lost a hearing to expunge a client's record.