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California DUI Laws

California DUI Laws VC 23152(a)

California DUI Laws: Misdemeanors, Felonies, and Prior DUI Convictions

California law defines several levels of criminal offenses. Misdemeanor DUI convictions carry the possibility of a county jail commitment, monetary fines, and probationary terms including alcohol counseling, and community service. Felony DUI charges are much more serious crimes, because they include the possibility of a substantial state prison sentence and the loss of civic rights such as the ability to vote, serve on a jury, or own a firearm.

In any DUI case, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a driver's blood-alcohol concentration was 0.08% or higher – the level at which California law designates all individual to be too intoxicated and thus unsafe on the roadway. Even if a person's blood alcohol test result is below 0.08%, he or she still might be under the influence of alcohol if he or she displays certain behaviors and cannot operate his or her vehicle safely. Further, if drugs or controlled substances are only involved, the prosecution can argue the defendant is guilty of a DUI because their ingestion made the suspect unsafe on the roadway.

In alcohol-related cases, the law requires that the prosecutor demonstrate the actual blood-alcohol at the time of driving. It is important to remember that the Blood-Alcohol testing is supposed to determine the driver's blood alcohol concentration at the time that he or she was operating a motor vehicle, and not after the fact. There can be a significant difference between a driver's blood-alcohol concentration at the time of driving and the time the test is taken. As a result there are a number of DUI Defenses that may apply to your case.

DUI charges are misdemeanor crimes, except when (1) it is a person's fourth conviction in a 10-year period, or (2) someone is seriously injured following an accident. Even a first-time DUI offense carries the possibility of up to 180 days in jail and substantial fines.

If a person is convicted of a DUI offense for a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time, he or she is considered to be a “DUI offender with priors.” As the number of DUI convictions escalates, so do the legal consequences involved. People who have multiple DUI convictions face harsh legal penalties that will place severe restrictions on their way of life.

The following is a list of DUI penalties that apply to defendant convicted of multiple offenses.If aggravating circumstances are involved, legal punishments are be enhanced – they include the possibility of additional jail, prison, and longer license suspensions. Aggravating circumstances can include having a blood alcohol concentration over 0.15%, driving with a child below the age of 14, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, driving over 100 mph, or causing a motor vehicle accident.

Second DUI Offense with Probation
Jail: 96 hours minimum to 1 year in the county jail
Fine: $390.00 to $1,000.00, with possible penalty assessments
License Suspension: up to 2 years
Treatment Program: 18 months or 30 months in drug/alcohol treatment program

Third DUI Offense with Probation
Jail: 120 days minimum to 1 year in the county jail
Fine: $390.00 to $1,000.00, with possible penalty assessments
License Suspension: up to 3 years
Treatment Program: 18 months or 30 months in drug/alcohol treatment program

Fourth DUI Offense
Probation: up to 365 days jail; No Probation: up to 3 years in prison
Fine: $390.00 to $1,000.00, with possible penalty assessments
License Suspension: up to 4 years

Contact our DUI Defense Law Firm: Immediate Response 24/7

Contact the law firm of Eisner & Gorin, LLP, right now to have immediate counsel begin on constructing the most appropriate defense strategy. If you have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles or the San Fernando Valley, obtaining a qualified attorney is the most important decision you can make.

The top-rated DUI attorneys at Eisner & Gorin, LLP, have litigated thousands of drunk-driving cases, and helped clients throughout Los Angeles County. As well-qualified DUI defense lawyers, our law partners are dedicated to clients' needs and to producing outstanding results. With our DUI defense law firm on your side, your chances of successfully fighting your charges and avoiding a conviction are greatly increased. We will advise you throughout the DUI process and serve as your advocate in court and at your DMV hearing. Our DUI attorneys will protect your rights, inform you of your legal options, investigate the conditions of your arrest, and question law enforcement and witnesses.

Remember, you only have 10 days to prevent your license from being suspended!


Eisner Gorin LLP is committed to answering your questions about Criminal Defense law issues in Los Angeles, California.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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